Sunday 5 May 2019

Jane's Walk - Exploring Toronto's Niagara Neighbourhood, Toronto, ON

I did a Jane's Walk this afternoon.  I've done Jane's Walks in the past and have always enjoyed them.  There are hundreds of walks scheduled for this weekend every May.

Jane's Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), a writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighbourhood planning and city-building. It encourages people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their neighbours.

I did the Exploring Toronto's Niagara Neighbourhood walk, which is my 'hood.  It was led by Brett Willemsen.

On this walk, we'll be exploring Toronto's Niagara Neighbourhood, its history and the importance of park space in the area. Learn about the history of the Massey-Harris Manufacturing Company, the Smarties Company, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). As well as see some examples of great and not-so-great park spaces.

The walk started at 905 King Street W, the former Toronto head office of Massey Harris.  Only the building on the bottom right remains and it's now condos and the surrounding area are full of condos.


We then walked to Massey Harris Park, on the west side of the building.

We headed towards Douro Street and King Street W.

Here's the pedestrian bridge that will soon connect Liberty Village to King Street W ... much needed as it's a pain to get to Liberty Village and back!  It's supposed to finished by the end of the summer.

At the corner of Douro Street and King Street W, Brett told us about Garrison Creek.

We walked to Joseph Workman Park (Shank Street, west of Shaw Street), a park named for a former medical superintendent of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum (now CAMH) which is on the north side of the park and wall.

We walked around the corner to CAMH and spent  some time by the wall (at Strachan Avenue, just south of Queen Street W) that was built by former patients as part of their "cure".

We then walked to the Candy Factory Lofts (SW corner of Queen Street W/Crawford Street), which used to house the Ce De Candy Company where they made Rockets (called Smarties in the U.S.).

Then we were off to Trinity-Bellwoods ParkTrinity College was there until 1925.  There are only two things that remain of the college.  One is the gates.

We walked through the park to get to the other remainder.  It was such a nice day and the park was jammed!

I couldn't go through the park without saying hello to KC's tree

The second thing remaining of the college is the former St. Hilda's College, which was the women's residence, and is now a seniors' residence.

The last stop on our walk was the Crawford Street Bridge, which used to be at Dundas Street W/Crawford Street.  It was buried in the 1960s.


The tour was interesting. Brett had explained Jane's and the City of Toronto's rule for parks and let us know when the parks we visited met these rules and which rules they didn't.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

What a beautiful day for a historic stroll.