Thorncliffe Park

Last updated
Thorncliffe Park
Neighbourhood
The Residence of the Leaside Towers.jpg
Leaside Towers is the tallest residential apartment building in East York and a prominent landmark of Thorncliffe Park
Thorncliffe Park map.PNG
The northwest portion is only sometimes considered part of Thorncliffe Park
Coordinates: 43°42′17″N79°20′47″W / 43.70472°N 79.34639°W / 43.70472; -79.34639 Coordinates: 43°42′17″N79°20′47″W / 43.70472°N 79.34639°W / 43.70472; -79.34639
CountryFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
ProvinceFlag of Ontario.svg  Ontario
City Toronto Flag.svg Toronto
CommunityToronto & East York
Changed Municipality1998 Toronto fromEast York
Government
   MP Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West)
   MPP Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West)
   Councillor Jon Burnside (Ward 26 Don Valley West)

Thorncliffe Park is a densely populated, multicultural neighbourhood in central east Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the former Borough of East York. East York merged with five other municipalities and a regional government in 1998 to form the new "City of Toronto". It is commonly considered to be bounded on the east by the Don River, on the west by Millwood Road, on the north by Wicksteed Avenue and Research Road, and on the northwest by a railway track between Millwood and Wicksteed. However, the official community planning area named Thorncliffe Park includes the neighbourhood to the north of the railway tracks, east of Laird Avenue, south of Eglinton Avenue, and west of the Don River.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

East York Dissolved municipality in Ontario, Canada

East York was a former administrative district and municipality within Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From 1967 to 1998, it was officially the Borough of East York, a semi-autonomous borough within the upper-tier municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The borough was dissolved in 1998, when it was amalgamated with the other lower-tier municipalities of Metropolitan Toronto to form the new "megacity" of Toronto. Prior to its amalgamation, East York was Canada's last remaining borough.

Contents

Character

Thorncliffe Park has both an industrial and a residential section. The residential section is in the south, and consists chiefly of 34 high-rise and low-rise apartment buildings grouped in and around a rough oval with Overlea Boulevard dividing Thorncliffe Park Drive. Some condominiums (in a converted office building) and townhouses have recently been added on Overlea.

Retail establishments, such as East York Town Centre, began to appear in the areas north of Overlea Boulevard, as Toronto's industrial sector declined. East York Town Centre - East York, Ontario.jpg
Retail establishments, such as East York Town Centre, began to appear in the areas north of Overlea Boulevard, as Toronto's industrial sector declined.

Overlea Boulevard used to be the dividing line between the industrial and residential sections, but the decline of the industrial sector in Toronto has led to the appearance of retail establishments and service organizations in the former factories on the north side of Overlea Boulevard.

The residential section of Thorncliffe Park was originally designed as a planned community for 12,500 residents, but now houses 30,000. The neighbourhood is heavily served by 24-hour public transit provided by the Toronto Transit Commission.

Planned community any community or city that was carefully planned from its inception

A planned community, planned city, or planned town is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed on previously undeveloped land. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are less frequent in these communities.

Toronto Transit Commission public transport agency

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a public transport agency that operates bus, subway, streetcar, and paratransit services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the oldest and largest of the urban transit service providers in the Greater Toronto Area, with numerous connections to systems serving its surrounding municipalities.

Although the neighbourhood is known for its low income and high unemployment, the Toronto-based The Globe and Mail newspaper reported in 2004 that it had a low crime rate [1]

<i>The Globe and Mail</i> Canadian newspaper

The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of 2,018,923 in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls slightly behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition while the Globe does not. The Globe and Mail is regarded by some as Canada's "newspaper of record". The newspaper is owned by The Woodbridge Company, based in Toronto.

The neighborhood is also home to one of Toronto's oldest community gardens. Thorncliffe Park Garden Club is located on hydro land north of Overlea Blvd. and provides garden plots to approximately 100 local residents and their families on a non-profit basis. Gardeners also donate fresh produce to local community agencies such as the Scott Mission.

History

Aerial view of East York in 1942, with Thorncliffe Park Raceway visible to the south (bottom). The race track operated from 1917 to 1953. TorontoThorncliffeAerial1942.jpg
Aerial view of East York in 1942, with Thorncliffe Park Raceway visible to the south (bottom). The race track operated from 1917 to 1953.

The site of Thorncliffe Park was a farm owned by Robert T. Davies, the wealthy founder of the Dominion Brewing Co. An avid participant in horse racing, under the banner of Thorncliffe Stable, he raced both Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses. After Davies' death in 1916 his estate sold the property to a group of investors from Baltimore, Maryland who built the Thorncliffe Park Raceway racetrack. The track was home to thoroughbred horse racing and harness racing from 1917 until 1952 when it was sold for real estate development. Today, the old racetrack site is commemorated by two streets named Grandstand Place and Milepost Place and the number of buildings that took on racetrack stable names like Churchill, Maple Glen and Wellow Glen.

Robert T. Davies was a Canadian businessman and thoroughbred and standardbred racehorse owner and breeder.

Horse racing Equestrian sport

Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.

Thoroughbred Horse breed developed for racing

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

In the 1950s, developers tore down the racetrack and created one of Toronto's first high-rise neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood embodies some standard urban planning ideas of the era high concentrations of similar housing types, strict separation of retail and residential development, and the assumption that everyone has a car. Low-rise buildings are clustered inside the enclosure created by Thorncliffe Park and Overlea, while high-rise buildings line the outside of Thorncliffe Park. Retail establishments were concentrated in a single shopping mall, now called the East York Town Centre, between the two arms of Thorncliffe Park Drive at Overlea Boulevard. Smaller retail and service plazas have recently opened along Overlea Boulevard. Many residents on Thorncliffe Park Drive are at considerable walking distance from shops, although this problem is mitigated somewhat, even in winter, by well kept sidewalks and walkways and by frequent bus service.

Urban planning technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment

Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. Urban planning deals with physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern is the public welfare, which includes considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects on social and economic activities. Urban planning is considered an interdisciplinary field that includes social, engineering and design sciences. It is closely related to the field of urban design and some urban planners provide designs for streets, parks, buildings and other urban areas. Urban planning is also referred to as urban and regional planning, regional planning, town planning, city planning, rural planning, urban development or some combination in various areas worldwide.

East York Town Centre

East York Town Centre is a shopping centre in the East York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located at 45 Overlea Boulevard.

The residential twin Leaside Towers are by far the tallest buildings in East York [ citation needed ].

Leaside Towers

The Leaside Towers are the tallest buildings in the East York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are a twin set of Brutalist-style apartment towers, with one facing north-south, and another facing east-west. Located at 85 and 95 Thorncliffe Park Drive near Overlea, it is the tallest building in East York prior to amalgamation.

Demographics

In 2001, immigrants constituted 66% of the population of the Community Planning Area, and recent immigrants constituted 87%.[ dubious ] Twenty-eight per cent of the residents spoke a language other than English or French at home, with the most frequent being Urdu and Gujarati. [2] In Toronto as a whole, immigrants constituted 49% of the population, and recent immigrants 11%; 19% spoke a language other than English or French at home. [3] Median household income in 2001 was $38,404 Cdn.; the median income in the entire city was $45,251. Twelve per cent of the families in the Community Planning Area were officially classified as having low household incomes, while 5% of the families throughout Toronto were so classified. [4] [5]

Many religious backgrounds are represented in Thorncliffe Park by religious meeting places such as Greek Orthodox Metropolis, Thorncliffe Park United Church, Saint Edith Stein Catholic Church, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Islamic Society of Toronto, and more.

English is the most popular language.

Education

Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute is a public secondary school in Thorncliffe Park. It is operated by the Toronto District School Board. Marc Garneau Collegiate Inst.JPG
Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute is a public secondary school in Thorncliffe Park. It is operated by the Toronto District School Board.

The Toronto District School Board is a secular English public school board that operates several schools in Thorncliffe Park. Thorncliffe Park Public School and Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy are the two schools in the residential area. Valley Park Middle School serves as the middle school from grades 6-8 for both the Thorncliffe Park and the Flemingdon Park area to the east. The high school that also serves both communities is Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute They are all within a 20-minute walk or 5-minute (or shorter) drive of pupils' residences, while buses take pupils to (Catholic) separate schools and also the middle and high schools. In 1998, the middle school, Valley Park Middle School located in Flemingdon Park, an adjacent neighbourhood to Thorncliffe Park, stood at around 1,000 students. As of 2007, the school has in excess of 1,200 students.[ citation needed ]

In addition to the Toronto District School Board, three other public school boards also operate in the city. The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), is a public English separate school board; Conseil scolaire Viamonde is a secular French public school board; and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud is a French separate public school board. However, neither French school boards operate a school on the Thorncliffe Park.

Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy

Opened in 2009, Francis Mustard Early Learning Academy is a public Junior and Senior Kindergarten-only school operated by the Toronto District School Board. Fraser mustard learning academy 22-01-2016.jpg
Opened in 2009, Francis Mustard Early Learning Academy is a public Junior and Senior Kindergarten-only school operated by the Toronto District School Board.

On June 16, 2009 Education Minister and local MPP Kathleen Wynne announced 12 million dollars in provincial funding to rebuild the school so the students would not have to be in portables. In 2013, the rebuild was almost complete, with the Fraser Mustard Early Learning Academy almost ready to house almost 700 kindergarteners and 85 staff members. The Academy is a kindergarten-only school, with 26 classrooms covering 80,000 square feet, and cost around $24.6 million to complete.

The school features a large muscle area and exercise/play courtyard for Kindergarten students; three gymnasiums; an advanced library system with indoor / outdoor theatre; and several enclosed courtyards with gardens for hands-on environmental studies.

Thorncliffe Park Public School

The local elementary school, Thorncliffe Park Public School was built in 1961. It is a K−5 school that began seeing signs of overpopulation in the late 1990s. It was largely overpopulated when in 1998 it had a student population of 1,500 and as many as 40 portables filled the schoolyard. The following year students had to be sent to the nearby Don Mills school due to a lack of space. Parents objected to this and Thorncliffe Public School began a massive addition. In October, 2003 the new addition opened and now Thorncliffe Park Public School is the largest elementary school in North America with a staggering 1900 students. [6]

In the summer of 2008 the soccer field and baseball diamond were paved over and 20 new portables were erected in their place prompting fears of further overcrowding. Thorncliffe Park P.S. has grown to over 2,000 students since 2003 and continues to be the largest elementary school in North America. [7]

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References

  1. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040220.wthorncliff0220/BNStory/Front/?query=
  2. Toronto, City of (14 July 2017). "Data, Research & Maps" (PDF). toronto.ca. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. Toronto, City of (14 July 2017). "Data, Research & Maps" (PDF). toronto.ca. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. Toronto, City of (14 July 2017). "Data, Research & Maps" (PDF). toronto.ca. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. Toronto, City of (14 July 2017). "Data, Research & Maps" (PDF). toronto.ca. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. https://nationalpost.com/m/story.html?id=1288785&s=Related+Topics&is=Education&it=Topic
  7. "Thorncliffe's all-day kindergarten school offers bright, purpose-built space for 700 - The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.