Contributed by Andre Bermon. Freelance writer and community enthusiast.
A conversation must be had to designate Queen Street East, from Sherbourne to River Streets, a Toronto Heritage Conservation District. In recent years, we have witnessed the consequences of unbridled condominium development undermine the unique and historic character of our city. And now an east-bound wave of zoning applications threatens to do the same in Queen East and change the physical and psychological charm of the community.
Toronto has several appointed historic districts. Their purpose as a planning tool helps guide development to protect the city’s rich social, cultural and architectural base. A distinction that contributes to the prestige and value of neighbourhoods as livable and equitable places.
From Sherbourne eastward, Queen Street has a long and industrious history as one of Toronto’s first commercial and manufacturing corridors. Buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries dot the landscape as reminders of the remarkable economic transformation that elevated Toronto to its modern metropolitan status.
Many of these buildings are now, unfortunately, dilapidated, making the land easy targets for redevelopment schemes. As a community eager to protect residents and small businesses from the perils of rising real estate, we must preserve and rehabilitate the community’s historic housing stock. A move that will not only save our city’s culture and complexity but allow for a gradual renaissance that many neighbourhoods in Queen East have long waited for.
Associations that surround this area and to contact about this topic-
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association- SLRA www.slna.ca
Corktown Residents and Business Association – CRBA www.corktown.ca
Cabbagetown South Residents Association -CSRA https://cabbagetownsouth.com
Garden District Residents Association -GRDA www.gardendistrict.ca
Yorktown/ Old Toronto- www.townofyork.com
Heritage Toronto https://hertiagetoronto.org
Toronto Historical Association