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Thread: Toronto's Parkdale Neighborhood

  1. #1
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Since I have been growing ever sick of advertising of late, I have begun watching the Documentary Channel on my Dish (if I watch anything at all). This morning the dog was extra hungry and woke me up early (I don't know why she doesn't wake my fiance up... ) so I got up and watched a fascinating documentary on Toronto's Parkdale Neighborhood, called Nine Months, Six Blocks. It seems like Parkdale isn't Toronto's best neighborhood, but it still looked very quaint and I would like to take a closer look.
    What are some insights the T.O. contingent has on the Parkdale neighborhood? I would be curious to hear the Planning perspective on it.
    This will deserve its own thread...

    I saw this documentary last year, it was great. They even had some of the people their to talk about it. The old guy who thought moving from the beaches to parkdale would change his life was great. I see a photo essay coming on.

    Parkdale is a neighbourhood under serious gentrification pressures right now. The housing stock varies from 1880 victorian to 1920 streetcar suburb. I live just on the fringe of it. The area was home to many rooming houses, and very poor people until recently. The gentrification of queen west west (dufferin st) is leaking into this area's main drag and back streets.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    This will deserve its own thread...
    Well, perhaps the MODS could move our posts to the Cities and Places, and therefore begin the thread.

    Thanks for the insight. Just from the photos of T.O. I have seen that is definetly a city where I would like to take a lot of time walking, experiencing, existing, and abosorbing all the pockets fo the city have to offer.
    (I will even leave my Habs hat in the hotel room, so that I will be accepted as I walk )

    Seems the old guy in the Doc evokes almost a stereotypical Canadianness. I found him and his story fascinating, even the way he spoke.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Well, perhaps the MODS could move our posts to the Cities and Places, and therefore begin the thread.
    Moderator note:
    Done. Split off from Random Thoughts.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I'll try to get som epictures and explain things more on the weekend.

    This is the best I can do for now

    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Can't wait. I hope that DOC Channel replays this, and others similar. I'll wait patiently for the photos.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  6. #6
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Can't wait. I hope that DOC Channel replays this, and others similar. I'll wait patiently for the photos.
    Any requests?

    I'll get the drunks, rooming houses and other old timers as well as the gentrified areas.

    Parkdale is a really interesting place. I wish I could have bought there 5-8 years ago, the appreciation is insane.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Started going through my photos

    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    As promised here is my interpretation of Parkdale.

    First it is located about 2 miles west from downtown mostly between King and Queen Streets.




    It has figuratively and literally been on the wrong side of the tracks




    These are the tracks with the Go train shown in the movie.

    Its 2 main streets Queen and King are very different.

    Queen is the continuation of the gentrification and art scene to the east, while king is a bit rougher around the edges.

    King Street









    Queen Street is more interesting and diversified

    Within 2 blocks here is what you'll see



















    Some typical Queen Street Scenes










    The BIA is working hard to improve parkdale's image






    Residential areas next
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Typical Residential uses on the side streets



    Too bad this place is missing its trees



    Typical "before" gentrification

    Painted brick - 3-5 apartments in the house





    Each of the smaller neighbourhoods has these former corner stores



    The area also has its share of high rises



    Final point for now, I'll be watching this development with interest.

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/200...ews_story4.php
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

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    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    What?! No pictures of all those fantastic retro antiques stores along Queen Street West at and near Roncesvalles Avenue? Donk, your last picture looks like it was taken from this cluster of stores. Is it?

    Before examining the map that you provided, I thought Parkdale was centred at the Trinity-Bellwoods Park, east of the GO Train railway bridge. Or is that area now considered as West Queen St West?

    Is Liberty Village part or separate from Parkdale?

    And, one more question, is King St W worth a stroll or should I stick with the West Queen St W corridor? I was actually thinking of going down there sometimes soon.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hceux
    What?! No pictures of all those fantastic retro antiques stores along Queen Street West at and near Roncesvalles Avenue? Donk, your last picture looks like it was taken from this cluster of stores. Is it?
    My route did not take me to the antique shop area. That area is considered parkdale. I'll snap some pictures of that area and add them. I forgot how interesting that block is as I walk by it once a week. The picture is taken from beneath the dufferin street bridge.

    As for the boundary of Parkdale, defining neighbourhoods is difficult. The map generally shows what I consider Parkdale and is based on the location of street signs.

    Before examining the map that you provided, I thought Parkdale was centred at the Trinity-Bellwoods Park, east of the GO Train railway bridge. Or is that area now considered as West Queen St West?
    Yes, TB Park is not in Parkdale. That area is Queen West West. The Gladstone and Drake are on the fringe of Parkdale and try to play up that they are Parkdale, but they really are not.

    Is Liberty Village part or separate from Parkdale?
    While it is kind of in Parkdale, it has a different feel. It is the around the old Massey-Harris Corporate Offices and casting plant. The conversion of the industrial area to new condos differentiates it from parkdale.

    And, one more question, is King St W worth a stroll or should I stick with the West Queen St W corridor? I was actually thinking of going down there sometimes soon.
    The Queen west corridor is more interesting, what I would do is take the King Car from downtown, so you can see it, then get off at Ronce and Queen and walk back along Queen.

    More pics to come.
    Last edited by donk; 14 Jul 2006 at 9:30 AM.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    My route did not take me to the antique shop area. That area is considered parkdale. I'll snap some pictures of that area and add them. I forgot how interesting that block is as I walk by it once a week. The picture is taken from beneath the dufferin street bridge.

    As for the boundary of Parkdale, defining neighbourhoods is difficult. The map generally shows what I consider Parkdale and is based on the location of street signs.



    Yes, TB Park is not in Parkdale. That area is Queen West West. The Gladstone and Drake are on the fringe of Parkdale and try to play up that they are Parkdale, but they really are not.



    While it is kind of in Parkdale, it has a different feel. It is the around the old Massey-Harris Corporate Offices and casting plant. The conversion of the industrial area to new condos differentiates it from parkdale.



    The Queen west corridor is more interesting, what I would do is take the King Car from downtown, so you can see it, then get off at Ronce and Queen and walk back along Queen.

    More pics to come.
    Donk, thanks a bunch for your speedy response to my curiousities about Parkdale and its area.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    As requested

    Antique Row. For about a block on both sides of Queen Street there is a bunch of stores selling various quality and types of antiques (some is just junk)



    Here is another apartment building looming large over the neighbourhood.



    The westerly "entrance" to Parkdale. Where Queen turns into the Queensway and King turns into Roncesvalles. Each of the four corner's signs has a different permutation of the possible east west / north south combos

    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    Ha, Donk, thanks for granting my wish.

    I like that photo of all the streetcar cables intersecting with each other.

    Isn't that McDonald's and Day's Inn at that corner a blast from the past?

    Until this weekend, I never noticed the pedestrian walkway to the Sunnyside Beach from the Queensway. And, I noticed that there are a few new stores in this block. They're all lifestyle stores. What a disappointment. I wonder where the old stores have gone off to...

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