West of Downtown, beween Dufferin and Roncessvalles, and more-or-less centered on Queen street is the neighborhood of Parkdale. In the late 18OOs, Parkdale was one of the ritziest areas in the Toronto area, rivaled only by Rosedale. It had giant, expensive mansions, and direct access to the waterfront, and beach (Sunnyside pavillion) For a long time, parkdale was booming, and was known as “Toronto’s Playground” In the 30s, when the depression hit, many of the large single family homes were turned into multi tenant units. South Parkdale was labeled a slum. in 1956, Access to the lake was cut off in order to build the Gardiner Expressway and the Lakeshore. this added to the decline of the neighborhood, which it is still trying to recover from today.
Parkdale, now is going through Gentrification, and is attracting a young, edgy crowd. The art and design crowd is expanding west in search of something hipper and grittier, and they are bringing with them new galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, etc. Hopefully, Parkdale’s rich history makes it interesting, and it is a neighborhood where I want to design a home.