Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
2004 - Now in our 13th Year - 2017
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Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2013
This garden at the southeast corner of Queen Street West and Brock Avenue has a plaque erected by the Parkdale Village BIA with the support of TD Green Streets. Here's what it says:
The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (PVBIA) encompasses the area along Toronto's celebrated Queen Street West from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue. Because of its close proximity to the waterfront, Parkdale was once a resort spot for Torontonians - with beautiful summer homes nestled among lush trees and plants. As Toronto blossomed into Canada's greatest city, Parkdale grew alongside it - transforming from a quaint beach-side community to the vibrant and bustling urban area we know and love today. This development has had immeasurable benefits for Parkdale; although sadly the transformation cost us many of our beautiful trees. The PVBIA, working in conjunction with local businesses, community members and proudly supported by TD Green Streets, aims to reverse this damage by planting trees and greenery within our neighbourhood, such as in these urban garden plots located at the northern corners of Brock Avenue and Queen Street West.
Originally, this land was covered in forests of sugar maples, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock. The name Parkdale, fixed upon in the 1870s, was meant to convey images of decorative gardens and fertile country-side.
In 1812, 97 ha of land surrounding Lot Street (now known as Queen) between Jameson and Dufferin Avenues were granted to James Brock for his military service. Upon Brock's death, his widow Lucy Brock commissioned a roadway along the centre-line of the length of the lot parcel. This road, built in 1850, is today known as Brock Avenue.
In 1852, writer W.H. Smith described Brock Street as "a cluster of houses, three of which are taverns". Until the late 19th century, this street was the centre of Parkdale's social and commercial activity and was the main north-south route.
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