Dizzying Pace of Change

Contibuted by Duncan Fremlin,Broker, RE/MAX
As someone who has lived and worked in many of Toronto’s finest neighbourhoods, I’m often surprised at how little I know about them.  Walking to my favourite convenience store or driving around looking for a parking spot does not constitute any deep knowledge of a community.
About 47 years ago, I moved into the Regent Park community (some called it Cabbagetown) only to discover it was the most exotic place in the world…rooming houses in the old Victorian area north of Gerrard and 25 year old townhouses on the south side.   Both areas were busy with hard working families trying to live a happy and normal life.  The area was rough around the edges but then, the same could be said for most of the downtown neighbourhoods in those days.
The two sides of Gerrard Street decided at some point to grow in different directions and we all know what happened next.
The pace of change, particularly in the old Regent Park community has been dizzying.  So, to fully understand what was going on at the street level,  I recently took a walk down Parliament Street from Wellesley to the Distillery.  A beverage at Balzac’s Coffee seemed like a good idea so I set off one sunny afternoon, alert to the changes I was about to experience.
It was a very pleasant stroll indeed, but it was a shock.  My memory of this strip will always be the summer of 1972 when I worked the night shift on a city garbage truck.  Rather than hookers and drunks wandering the street, I was invited to buy something at the new and bright drug store, or Tim Horton’s.
Well, here we are in 2016 and Parliament Street is now a destination. I would never have imagined this 10 years ago. The shops north of Gerrard are diverse and as interesting as any in the city. The wasteland of poorly designed housing called Regent Park is mostly gone. The sidewalks are clean and safe. Feel like a Tim’s? Or a Starbucks?  No problem. Need a few items at a fully stocked grocery store for your gourmet dinner? No problem.
Oh, and that abandoned industrial complex called the Distillery that housed the pigeons and the homeless? Well, it’s simply become one of the most beautiful building complexes in Canada.

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News

Pumpkin-Parade-image-Oct-18-IMG_6194---potential-banner

PUMPKIN PARADE

Contributed by Carolyn Jarman. Show up, show off and shine on one more night. The 6th annual Cabbagetown Pumpkin Parade is held every November 1st from 5-9pm in Riverdale Park West.  This fun filled … [Read More...]

Alumnae theartre photo of cast Oct 18

FireWorks Festival

The Alumnae Theatre offers three fresh plays, innovatively staged for its FireWorks Festival, running from 7-25 November.   These three plays, The Pigeon by Chloë Whitehorn, Moving On by … [Read More...]

Self Esteem vs Self Compassion…

Contributed by Katie Mead. I work with a lot of young adults. And a common theme is emerging: self-esteem. Considered developmental nirvana, we all know we need it. But what exactly is … [Read More...]

ROAD SAFETY TIPS IN SCHOOL ZONES

Contributed by Tony Lafazanis – Personal Injury and Disability Insurance Lawyer. During the school year, it’s important to be extra cautious when driving in school zones. The following are some road … [Read More...]

Spruce--New-Roots-Dinner-Series-image

New Roots Dinner Series

Oh what a night! Contributed by Kim Alke – owner of Spruce Cabbagetown. The First Annual New Roots Dinner Series, created by Daniel et Daniel as a fundraiser for Green Thumbs Growing Kids, was held … [Read More...]

trick-or-treat-image---Jen-Shearer-article-Oct-18-IMG_7070-(002)

Teaching our kids about balance…

Contributed by Jennifer Shearer. Fall is such a wonderful time a year. Food begins to shift from light and leafy to warm and hearty. October shows up, kids get excited for Halloween and parents begin … [Read More...]

lucy-trois-sign

Why I am voting for Lucy Troisi

Contributed by Carmine, Cabbagetown South Resident. In 10 short months we’ve seen Lucy fight for our neighbourhood safety and well being more so than any other candidate, incumbent, or past … [Read More...]

Katie-Mead-

What is Gestalt Psychotherapy?

Contributed by Katie Mead. I fancy myself a pretty good writer. But when I sat down to write the copy for my website, I was flummoxed. Damn, it was hard! Where to start? Who am I? What do I stand for? … [Read More...]

Reap What You Sow with Green

Contributed by Kevin from Kendall & Co. Tuesday October 2nd, Cabbagetown’s creative businesses play host to a fundraiser benefitting Green Thumbs Growing Kids.   Green Thumbs Growing … [Read More...]

Momentum Montessori