Yorkville is a neighbourhood and former village in Toronto, Canada. It is bounded by Bloor Street to the south, Davenport Road to the north, Yonge Street to the east and Avenue Road to the west, is considered part of "The Annex" neighbourhood officially. Established as a separate village in 1830, it was annexed into Toronto in 1883. Yorkville is diverse, comprising residential areas, office space, an array of shopping options. Within the Yorkville district is one of Canada's most exclusive shopping districts, anchored by the Mink Mile along Bloor Street. In 2006, Mink Mile was the 22nd most expensive street in the world, with rents of $208 per square foot. Yorkville had rents of $300 per square foot in 2008, making it the third most expensive retail space in North America. In 2008, the Mink Mile was named the seventh most expensive shopping street in the world by Fortune Magazine, claiming tenants can pull in $1,500 to $4,500 per square foot in sales. Founded in 1830 by entrepreneur Joseph Bloore and William Botsford Jarvis of Rosedale, the Village of Yorkville began as a residential suburb.
Bloore operated a brewery north-east of today's Church Street intersection. Jarvis was Sheriff of the Home District; the two purchased land in the Yorkville district, subdividing it into smaller lots on new side streets to those interested in living in the cleaner air outside of York. The political centre of Yorkville was the Red Lion Hotel, an inn, used as the polling place for elections, it is here that William Lyon Mackenzie was voted back into the Legislature for 1832 and a huge procession took him down Yonge Street. The village grew enough to be connected by an omnibus service in 1849 to Toronto. By 1853, the population of the village had reached 1,000, the figure needed to incorporate as a village and the Village of Yorkville was incorporated. Development increased and by the 1870s, Potter's Field, a cemetery stretching east of Yonge Street along the north side of Concession Road was closed, the remains moved to the Necropolis and Mount Pleasant cemetery. By the 1880s, the cost of delivering services to the large population of Yorkville was beyond the Village's ability.
It petitioned the Toronto government to be annexed. Annexation came on February 1, 1883, Yorkville's name changed from "Village of Yorkville" to "St. Paul's Ward" and the former "Yorkville Town Hall" became "St. Paul's Hall"; the character of the suburb did not change and its Victorian styled homes, quiet residential streets, picturesque gardens survived into the 20th century. In 1923, Toronto Hebrew Maternity and Convalescent Hospital was opened at 100 Yorkville Avenue and a year the name was changed to Mount Sinai Hospital; the facade of this building still stands housed retailer Chanel. In the 1960s, Yorkville flourished as Toronto's bohemian cultural centre, it was the breeding ground for some of Canada's most noted musical talents, including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as then-underground literary figures such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Dennis Lee. Yorkville was known as the Canadian capital of the hippie movement. In 1968, nearby Rochdale College at the University of Toronto was opened on Bloor Street as an experiment in counterculture education.
Those influenced by their time in 1960s-70s Yorkville include cyberpunk writer William Gibson. Its domination by hippies and young people led MPP Syl Apps to refer to it as "a festering sore in the middle of the city" and call for its "eradication." Joni Mitchell captured a colorful impression of the nightlife scene on Yorkville Avenue in her song Night in the City. After the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway, the value of land nearby increased as higher densities were allowed by the City's official plan. Along Bloor Street, office towers, the Bay department store and the Holt Renfrew department store displaced the local retail; as real estate values increased, the residential homes north of Bloor along Yorkville were converted into high-end retail, including many art galleries, fashion boutiques and antique stores, popular bars and eateries along Cumberland Street and Yorkville Avenue. Many smaller buildings were demolished and office and hotels built in the 1970s, with high-priced condominium developments being built in subsequent decades.
Along Bloor Street is located the "Mink Mile" shopping district. The street is lined on both sides of the street with office buildings with retail stores in the bottom one or two floors; the main streets of Avenue Road and Bay Street north of Bloor are developed. North of Bloor, on Yorkville and Cumberland streets, between the main arteries, the character changes to smaller buildings containing art galleries, first-floor retail and restaurants. Further north still are single-family detached and semi-detached homes dating to the 19th century. Yorkville has upscale shopping and the first five star hotel in Canada. Upscale boutiques include Burberry, Gucci, MAC Cosmetics, Hugo Boss, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Holt Renfrew, Tiffany & Co. Escada, Ermenegildo Zegna, Harry Rosen, Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Vera Wang, Ferrari, Williams-Sonoma and Olufsen, Betsey Johnson, Max Mara, Bulgari, Coach, Guerlain and others; the Holt Renfrew store on Bloor is the luxury retailer's flagship and largest store with four floors and boutiques.
Many flagships of other companies are located here as well, such as Harry Rosen, Town Shoes, Gucci and Chanel Browns Shoes opened on Bloor, with merchandise, much more expens
Grand Trunk Railway
The Grand Trunk Railway was a railway system that operated in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario and in the American states of Connecticut, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont. The railway was operated from headquarters in Montreal, with corporate headquarters in London, England, it cost an estimated $160 million to build. The Grand Trunk, its subsidiaries, the Canadian Government Railways were precursors of today's Canadian National Railways. GTR's main line ran from Portland, Maine to Montreal, from Montreal to Sarnia, where it joined its western subsidiary; the GTR had four important subsidiaries during its lifetime: Central Vermont Railway which operated in Quebec, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Grand Trunk Eastern Railroad which operated in Quebec, New Hampshire, Maine. Grand Trunk Pacific Railway which operated in Northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Grand Trunk Western Railroad which operated in Michigan and Illinois. A fourth subsidiary was the never-completed Southern New England Railway, chartered in 1910, which would have run from a connection with the Central Vermont at Palmer, Massachusetts, to the deep-water, all-weather port of Providence, Rhode Island.
A new line to Providence would have allowed for more extensive port facilities than were possible for the Central Vermont at New London, Connecticut. Construction began in 1910 and continued in fits and starts for more than 20 years until abandoned in the early 1930s because of the Great Depression; the loss of the SNER's strongest proponent, Grand Trunk Railway president Charles Melville Hays, on the Titanic in 1912 may have been the major reason that this new route to the sea was never completed. Another important factor was the unrelenting opposition of the New Haven Railroad, which fiercely protected its virtual monopoly control of rail traffic in southern New England; the company was incorporated on November 10, 1852, as the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada to build a railway line between Montreal and Toronto. The charter was soon extended east to Portland and west to Sarnia, Canada West. In 1853 the GTR purchased the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway from Montreal to the Canada East – Vermont border, the parent company Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad through to the harbour facilities at Portland.
A line was built to Lévis, via Richmond from Montreal in 1855, part of the much-talked about "Maritime connection" in British North America. In the same year it purchased the Toronto and Guelph Railroad, whose railway was under construction, but the Grand Trunk Railway Company changed the original route of the T&G and extended the line to Sarnia, a hub for Chicago-bound traffic. By July, 1856, the section from Sarnia to Toronto opened, the section from Montreal to Toronto opened in October of that year. By 1859 a ferry service was established across the St. Clair River to Fort Gratiot; the Grand Trunk was one of the main factors. The original colonial economy structured along the water route from the Maritimes up the St. Lawrence River and the lower Great Lakes was expanded by the duplicate route of the Grand Trunk; the explosive growth in trade during the 1850s within the United Province of Canada and further east by water to the Maritimes demanded that a railway link the entire geopolitical region together.
During this time the GTR extended its line to Lévis further east to Rivière-du-Loup. By 1860, the Grand Trunk was on the verge of bankruptcy and in no position to expand further east to Halifax. On the eve of the American Civil War, it stretched from Sarnia in the west to Rivière-du-Loup in the east and Portland in the southeast. Colonists in the United Province of Canada, some who experienced their territory being attacked by the United States only 40 years earlier, were uncomfortably close to the giant Union Army and faced terrorist attacks during the mid-19th century in the form of Fenian raids; such security concerns led to demands for a year-round transportation system that British reinforcements could use should their territory be attacked during winter when the St. Lawrence River was frozen, the only railway for British reinforcements to use would be the Grand Trunk connection at Portland, in the United States. Many citizens thought that the only way to finish the Grand Trunk – and protect the country – would be to unite all the colonies into a federation so that they could share the costs of an expanded railway system.
Thus the British North America Act, 1867 included the provision for an Intercolonial Railway to link with the Grand Trunk at Rivière-du-Loup. The end of the American Civil War saw British North America on the verge of uniting in a single federation, the GTR's financial prospects improved as the railway was well-positioned to take advantage of increased population and economic growth. By 1867, it had become the largest railroad system in the world by accumulating more than 2,055 km of track that connected locations between its ocean port at Portland, its river port at Rivière-du-Loup, the three northern New England states, much of the southern areas of the new provinces of Quebec and Ontario. By 1880, the Grand Trunk Railway system stretched all the way from Portland in the east to Chicago, Illinois, in the west. Several impressive construction feats were associated with the GTR: the first successful bridging of the St. Lawrence River on August 25, 1860, with the opening of the first Victoria Bridge at Montreal (replaced by the present structure
Dufferin Street is a major north-south street in Toronto and King Ontario, Canada. It is a concession road, two concessions west of Yonge Street; the street starts at the foot of Lake Ontario, continues north to Toronto's northern boundary at Steeles Avenue with some discontinuities and continues into Vaughan, where it becomes York Regional Road 53. The street is named for Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, who served as Governor General of Canada from 1872 to 1878. In 2003 and 2007, it was voted as one of "Ontario's Worst 20 Roads" in the Ontario's Worst Roads poll organized by the Canadian Automobile Association; the southern end of Dufferin is within the Exhibition Place at Dufferin Gates. The two Dufferin Street bridges connect the Exhibition Place with the rest of Dufferin Street to the north; the bridge span over the railway north of the CNE grounds was determined to be unsafe for vehicular traffic in 2013. The span, dating from 1911, is closed to vehicles until a replacement bridge is ready in early 2014.
The bridge is scheduled for replacement starting in 2016. The City of Toronto plans to build a temporary bridge to restore vehicular traffic in advance of the replacement construction. North of the CNE grounds, the east side is dominated by industrial or transitional industrial to residential and commercial buildings of Liberty Village, with several old factories being converted to loft-style condominiums; the west side is single-family homes with one apartment building south of King Street. The neighbourhood to the west is named Parkdale, developed before 1900. North of Queen Street West, Dufferin is residential on both sides, with the large Dufferin Mall on the west side of Dufferin, south of Bloor Street; this was the former site of the Dufferin Park Racetrack. Across the street from the mall is the Dufferin Grove city park. From Queen Street north to College Street, the neighbourhood is known as Little Portugal. North of College, west of Dufferin is the former village of Brockton and on the east is the Dufferin Grove neighbourhood, named after the park on the east side of Dufferin.
Dufferin station is located at Dufferin and Bloor Street on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth of the Toronto subway system. From Bloor Street to Davenport, Dufferin is lined with homes built from the 1920s to post-World War II; the Galleria Shopping Centre is located on the west side of Dufferin and on the south side of Dupont Street. The neighbourhood west of Dufferin in this area is known as Wallace Emerson, while on the east it is known as Dovercourt Park. North of Davenport, Dufferin ascends the former Lake Iroquois shoreline escarpment. North of the escarpment, the street continues to be residential on both sides north to Eglinton Avenue West. Between Rogers Road and Eglinton Avenue West, Dufferin crosses two steep ravines. North of Eglinton Avenue, it becomes a six-lane arterial road through industrial and low-density commercial lands of the former North York; the regional shopping centre of Yorkdale Shopping Centre is located at Dufferin and Highway 401. The sections from Eglinton into York Region was Vaughan Road.
North of Wilson Avenue, Dufferin is interrupted by Downsview Airport and Allen Road, the latter of which feeds Dufferin north of Kennard Avenue, north of Sheppard Avenue. A broken section of Dufferin Street runs parallel with Allen Road, one block east, south of the continuation from Allen Rd. from Sheppard Ave. to Kennard Ave. This section ends in a cul-de-sac just south of Kennard. North of Wilson, Dufferin Street runs 210 metres to Katherine Street and continues on as Beffort Road/Hanover Road. Dufferin Street continues north of Steeles Avenue into the city of Vaughan; the section north to Highway 7 and Langstaff Road is a six-lane arterial road, designated as York Regional Road 53. North of that, it narrows to four lanes narrows again two blocks north of Major Mackenzie Drive to two lanes. North of Lloydtown/Aurora Road / 18th Sideroad, it is maintained by King Township and terminates just north of Graham Sideroad in the Holland Marsh, after jogging at Davis Drive, the former Highway 9; the intersection of Dufferin Street and Queen Street West intersects with the main railway line from downtown to the northwest of Toronto from Union Station.
The location was the site of the Parkdale Train Station and it was a level crossing. In the 1890s, an underpass was built for Queen Street to accommodate growing east-west traffic. At the time, the area north of the railway line was industrial and factories backed onto the tracks. North-south traffic was not expected or planned for and the two sections of Dufferin were not connected; as automobiles arrived in Toronto around 1903, for the next 107 years, vehicles looking to travel along Dufferin detoured around the closed section to Peel and Gladstone, which became de facto sections of Dufferin. The detour was known locally as the Dufferin Jog; the jog was eliminated in 2010 with the construction of a four-lane underpass beneath the railroad track, including public art and an amphitheatre-styled park with tiered gardens at the southwest corner of the underpass. This project was approved by city council in 2007, work on extending the roadway began on July 2009; the underpass was opened on November 18, 2010.
A further widening of the north side of the bridge was completed in 2016-2017 to support expanded GO Transit train service. The section of the east side of the bridge along Queen Street was built in
Roncesvalles Avenue is a north-south arterial street in Toronto, Canada. It begins at the intersection of Queen Street West, King Street West and the Queensway running north to Dundas Street West. At its southern starting point, King Street West traffic continues northward onto Roncesvalles Avenue unless the traffic turns east or west onto Queen Street West or the Queensway. At its northern end point, traffic continues onto Dundas Street, a straight-line northern extension of Roncesvalles. Roncesvalles Avenue takes its name from the Battle of Roncesvalles, which took place in the Roncesvalles Pass in Spain in 1813. At this gorge, Colonel Walter O'Hara—an early 19th-century Irish settler who played a significant role in the establishment of the neighbourhood—led a regiment that fought against the retreating army of Napoleon. Roncesvalles Avenue was a four-lane arterial roadway, although parking is allowed at all times on both sides of the street. Recent construction converted the street to two driving lanes, with the former right lanes re-purposed as permanent parking spaces, right turn lanes or streetcar platforms where necessary.
Along the east side of the street from Queen Street to Dundas, the buildings are storefronts with upper apartments. Most of the buildings date from 1910 and later. Along the west side, the land usage is more diverse. At the intersection of Queen Street and Roncesvalles, there is a hotel. Behind the intersection is the large Roncesvalles Carhouse, a TTC streetcar maintenance and storage facility. Further north is a retirement home. Residential usage predominates along the west side, with some commercial storefronts around the intersection with Howard Park Avenue. Businesses along Roncesvalles Avenue are organized into the "Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area"; the residential neighbourhood part of the former villages of Brockton and Parkdale, is today classified as Roncesvalles. Many of the businesses there serve the city's Polish population; the street is served by the frequent 504 King streetcar, its rails embedded in the street. Major construction took place between July 2009 and December 2010 to replace water mains which run below the tracks, the tracks themselves and the road and sidewalks.
The project transformed the street for its entire length. The width of Roncesvalles increases at its south end to allow turning streetcars access to the TTC yard; as part of the street redesign, a widened sidewalk "bumpout" was added to each stop to allow riders to board the streetcar directly from the curb. To accommodate a bike lane at a TTC stop, the bike lane would rise up from the main road to run on top of the bumpout; when the streetcar is boarding, cyclists are required to allow riders on and off. The first mention of Roncesvalles Avenue in atlases of Toronto was in 1860; the roadway was built to connect Queen Street with Dundas Street the main highway west. King Street West was extended to the foot of Roncesvalles in the 1880s; the Queensway was built in the 1950s, although a small part of Queen Street west of Roncesvalles had been built in the 1800s. The area around the street at the time of its construction was agricultural with market gardens. Parkdale, Toronto Roncesvalles, Toronto
Great Fire of Toronto (1849)
The Great Fire of Toronto of 1849, April 7, 1849 known as the Cathedral Fire, was the first major fire in the history of Toronto, Canada. Much of the Market Block, the business core of the city, was wiped out, including the predecessor of the current St. James Cathedral; the 1831 building of the Toronto City Hall and St. Lawrence Market south of King was damaged and was torn down. Before the fire, Toronto's fire-fighting capabilities were limited to six volunteer companies operating in one fire hall at Court Street and Church Street. Manual pumpers and tankers involved far too much manpower and would prove to be no match for the speed of a major fire; the fire halls existing in Toronto in 1849 were: Fireman's Hall on Church Street south of Adelaide Street East - Built 1826 and renumbered as Fire Hall Number 5 in 1861. Fire Hall Number 1 at 139-141 Bay Street - Built 1841 and closed by Toronto Fire Department in 1924. Engine Number 4 at St. Patrick's Market on Queen Street West - Built 1842 and closed 1861.
Fire Hose Company Number 2 at Berkeley Street - Built 1849 and closed 1859. A second Fireman's Hall at Bay Street had been built in 1839, but it had closed in 1841, some eight years before the fire; the fire was discovered at 1 a.m. in the rear of Graham's Tavern on the north-east side of King Street and Nelson Street at George, behind Post's Tavern. The fire consumed Post's Tavern burned through the outbuildings north to Duke Street; the fire spread through the whole block, destroying the Home District Saving Bank and frame buildings to the east on King Street. At this point, a south-easterly wind had come up; the fire was blown across Nelson Street to Rolf's Tavern and consumed all of the buildings of the Market Block south of Duke Street in the block bounded by King Street East, Nelson and the north-south back lane east of Church streets. At 3 a.m. the spire of the first St. James Cathedral at Church Street caught fire and the cathedral was soon destroyed; the fire spread to the south side of King the'old' Toronto City Hall and market building.
It damaged most buildings on the east side of Nelson. At its height, the fire was visible from across Lake Ontario in St. Catharines; the fire could have spread further, but Toronto west of Church Street was saved by a rain shower at about 3:30 a.m. This wet down the roofs of buildings to the west; the wind was from the north-east, pushing the fire away from the court house, fire hall and St. Andrew's Church west of Church Street. At 4 a.m. troops arrived to assist the firefighters, it was this assistance that saved the buildings on the south side of King Street from major damage. According to The Globe, the fire was extinguished by 5 a.m. The damages were estimated at CA$500,000 including $58,000 to St. James Church alone; the loss to insurance companies was $239,724. One life was lost, Richard Watson, publisher of the Canadian and Upper Canada Gazette journals, was in the office of The Patriot newspaper at Nelson and Front, attempting to save printer types, when the floor collapsed, he was trapped in the fire.
The Upper Canada Gazette, the first newspaper in Ontario, would not resume publication. While the buildings on the main streets were brick, the inner buildings along laneways were made of wood and fuelled the fire; the early firefighting companies of the time made up of volunteers, had limited firefighting capability, Toronto Fire Department was not formed until 1875. Fire hydrants and water tanks or barrels had been added in 1842 by the Metropolitan Water Company, but they were not enough. None of the buildings within the Market Block survived, but buildings surrounding the block, such as the Daniel Brooke Building at King and Nelson, were spared; the Toronto City Hall had been located one block south to Front Street in 1845. Most businesses were rebuilt by the fall of 1849. Most of the buildings that burned down were made of wood, so in response, the city changed building codes to prevent future losses of this magnitude. St Lawrence Market was rebuilt and new buildings like St. Lawrence Hall and Cathedral Church of St. James were built to code.
This did not mean an end to future fires. Today, most of the block north of King Street is St. James Park. Great Fire of Toronto Armstrong, Frederick Henry. A City in the making. Dundurn Press. ISBN 1-55002-026-9. Armstrong, Frederick Henry. Toronto: The Place of Meeting. Windsor Publications. ISBN 0-89781-077-5. Robertson, J. Ross. Landmarks of Toronto, vol. 2. J. H. Scadding, Henry. Toronto of old. Toronto, ON: Adams, Stevenson & Co. Notes City of Toronto Archives: Toronto history FAQs
Riverdale is a large neighbourhood in Toronto, Canada. It is bounded by the Don River Valley to the west, Danforth Avenue and Greektown to the north, Jones Avenue, the CN/GO tracks, Leslieville to the east, Lake Shore Boulevard to the south. In 1875, the House of Refuge opened at the corner of Gerrard Street East; the hospital took on its current name Bridgepoint Active Healthcare in 2002, expanded to include the former Don Jail in the Bridgepoint Redevelopment project. The 1884 annexation of the area called Riverdale included an area from the Don valley on the west to Greenwood on the east, from Danforth on the north to Queen Street on the south. Riverdale is located just east of Toronto's downtown core. Since its amendment to the City of Toronto in 1884, it has developed a stature as a neighbourhood of independent arts, with several independent galleries located along Queen Street East; the residential landscape within Riverdale is made up of Victorian and Edwardian style homes, constructed in the 1800s as boarding rooms for the working-class.
Many of the residences have since been redeveloped into homes for young families with homes redesigned to fit the tree-lined streetscape. In recent times, local housing values have increased significantly. With this a new generation of young professionals and their families have moved into the area, furthering widespread gentrification. "Riverdale" can refer to a larger area around it as well. The smaller, core area of Riverdale refers to the stretch of Toronto east of the Don Valley Parkway and west of Jones, between Danforth Avenue and Gerrard Street; this area is referred to as "North Riverdale" or prime Riverdale. "Riverdale" sometimes is used to refer to a much wider area that includes "South Riverdale" and less areas east of Jones. This area includes many smaller communities centred around a'high street' or commercial area; some Riverdale residents "lower" Riverdale. "Upper Riverdale" is characterized as the part of the neighbourhood north of Riverdale Ave. and "Lower Riverdale" is the area south of Riverdale Ave.
In terms of the quality of the housing supply, homes built in "upper Riverdale" are more to be renovated, but "Lower Riverdale" contains more original and classic designs of the late 19th century. There are a number of remarkable century-old homes built on Simpson and Langley Avenues, the latter street named after Toronto's well-known early 20th century architect, the former featuring the oldest Victorian houses in Riverdale. Of note, Simpson Avenue is home to the original six houses of Riverdale. "South Riverdale", as its name suggests, is the southern half of the Riverdale neighbourhood, south of Lower Riverdale. Its approximate boundaries are: the Don Valley Parkway to the west, Jones Ave. to the east, Gerrard Street East to the north, Lake Shore Boulevard to the south. South Riverdale comprises many smaller neighbourhoods: "Riverside" known as the "Queen Broadview Village" is a neighbourhood located within the larger neighbourhood of South Riverdale. Definite boundaries according to the Riverside Business Improvement Area defines the borders as the Don River to the west, Gerrard Street East to the north, Empire Avenue to the east and Eastern Avenue to the south.
Riverside is a mixed income and multicultural neighbourhood experiencing a trend of "gentrification" along Queen St. East and Broadview Ave, it had been home to the Don Destructor, a Toronto garbage incinerator, demolished in 2004. Don Mount Court, a social housing project was redeveloped as a mixed social housing and market value community; the market value portion is being sold under the name Rivertowne. Riverside is known for rich cultural heritage; the biggest landmark in the neighbourhood is the Broadview Hotel, a red sandstone commercial block in Romanesque style constructed in 1891-3, the tallest structure in South Riverdale for many decades. Other major landmarks include the Ralph Thornton Community Centre, Broadview Lofts, The Opera House. Riverside was the location of Sunlight Park, Toronto's first baseball stadium; the area has a large young population, evident in the cluster of schools just east of Broadview Avenue. Dundas Junior Public School is the resident school for children in kindergarten through to fifth grade, after which they are transferred to Queen Alexandra Sr.
Public School which sees students through to eighth grade. It is home to the First Nations School of Toronto, a cultural survival school that places heavy emphasis on aboriginal values and culture, SEED Alternative Secondary School, Canada's first public alternative school. Riverside is emerging as a district of independent design and food retailers, as well as restaurants. Toronto's second largest Chinatown known as East Chinatown is found at Broadview & Gerrard. At the northernmost corner of East Chinatown is the Riverdale branch of the Toronto Public Library; this branch is bilingual in English. North of the library is the monument to Sun Yat-sen. Construction on the Toronto Chinese Archway began in the western end of East Chinatown on November 24, 2008 and it opened to the public on September 12, 2009. There are only two streets with bilingual signs, Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East, signs located three of the four corners of the intersection; the southern part of South Riverdale, just north of
Weston is a neighbourhood and former village in Toronto, Canada. The neighbourhood is situated in the northwest of the city, south of Highway 401, east of the Humber River, north of Eglinton Avenue, west of Jane Street. Weston Road just north of Lawrence Avenue is the commercial core of Weston, with many small businesses and services. Weston was incorporated as a village in the 19th century and was absorbed into the Borough of York in the late 1960s. York itself was amalgamated into Toronto in 1998. Weston's building stock consists of Victorian homes east of the railway with apartment and condominium towers on Weston Road overlooking the Humber River valley. Weston's main shopping district is located on Weston Road between Church Street in the north and Wilby Crescent in the south. Most buildings in this area reflect early-mid-20th century Ontario town architecture, brick buildings with decorative masonry; the area has a noteworthy library. The community is dotted with grand old churches with architectural significance.
There has been a recent move in Weston to designate certain areas as a historical district. Most streets in Weston are lined with tall mature trees, some well over 100 years old; this is more common east of the railway tracks. There has been some infill development on former industrial and commercial lands bringing some new housing stock to the area. On April 26, 2013, a fire was accidentally started at 2304 Weston Road, due to tar during roof construction; the first European settlement in the Weston area took place in the 1790s, when a saw mill was built in Etobicoke Township on an old native trading path along the west side of the Humber River, named after the well-known Humber estuary in Yorkshire, England. In 1815 James Farr, a prominent local mill owner, named the growing settlement "Weston" after his birthplace, Hertfordshire. Weston developed along both sides of the river until a disastrous flood in 1850 destroyed the west bank settlement; the former west bank settlement is now the site of the Weston Country Club.
Improvements to the Main Street, now Weston Road, the 1856 arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway brought growth on the east side. The first post office was opened in 1842; the first library opened in a Mechanic's Institute. In 1865, the Trinity College School opened, it was located in Weston near the old Mill and at a home further north until 1867. It relocated to Port Hope, Ontario in 1868. A second railway company arrived in 1869. On October 5, 1869, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn attended the sod turning ceremony for the construction of the Toronto and Bruce Railway; the spade which he used for the event is kept in the public library. The town of Weston grew, over the 19th century became an important industrial centre for the Toronto area; the symbol adopted for the town, an outline of an old-fashioned bicycle, was based on this history of manufacturing and the old CCM bicycle factory on Lawrence Avenue just east of Weston Road. Models of bicycles now hang from the streetlights along Weston Road.
Weston was incorporated as a village in 1881, as a town in 1914. In 1914, the town saw the opening of Weston Public Library, a Carnegie library; this building is now recognized with heritage status. In October 1954, Hurricane Hazel flooded the Humber River valley, causing death and destruction of property. In response, low-lying areas in the Humber River valley were converted to parkland and property zoning standards were changed across Ontario to avoid building encroachment on floodplains. There is a memorial in the south end of Lions Park near a pedestrian bridge which incorporates the original footing of a bridge that once crossed the Humber; the other footing of the bridge is the square chunk of concrete, in the middle of the river nearby. In 1967, it became part of the Borough of York. In 1998, York was in turn amalgamated with the five other members of Metropolitan Toronto, in the new "megacity" of Toronto. Vocal lobbying at the time allowed Weston to retain many street names which are exact duplicates of downtown streets, including Church Street, King Street and John Street.
The Union Pearson Express between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station downtown was a hot political issue in Weston. It had been proposed for completion by 2009. Weston is a station stop on the Kitchener line operated by GO Transit and additional airport trains would stop there; the link would see the construction of three additional tracks through the neighbourhood and increased rail traffic more than fourfold. Community activists worried about how the link would sever the community and the possibility of lower future property values due to increased noise and diesel fumes, it was an issue during the Canadian federal election held on January 23, 2006, when incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament, Alan Tonks, supported the link, while the other candidates opposed it. It was an issue in the February 2007 provincial by-election, where all local candidates came out against the link, but, still supported by the governing Liberals; the Weston Community Coalition had proposed a subway line as an alternative to run through the Weston rail corridor to the airport that would have stops along the way which would serve many communities throughout Toronto and be operated by the TTC rather than a private company.
Various other alternatives were presented by community activists such as an Eglinton subway to th