East Toronto, Ontario (incorporated 1888, annexed by Toronto in 1908) was an incorporated community in what is today a part of the city of Toronto, Canada. It covered much of what is today the Upper Beaches neighbourhood, stretching up to Danforth Avenue in the north. The central street in the community was Main Street, running south from Danforth to Kingston Road. The main commercial centre of the town was located at the intersection of Main and Lake View (now Main and Gerrard). As Toronto’s true main street was named Yonge, the name Main Street was maintained even after amalgamation with the city of Toronto. This explains why Toronto’s “Main Street” is far from the city centre.
The area, after being colonized by British settlers, was occupied in about 1850, when it was a considerable distance from the city of Toronto. It was incorporated as a village in 1888 when there were about 800 people living in the area. The area began to grow rapidly and in 1903 it was elevated from a village to a town. The southern part of the community by the lake became one of Toronto’s most popular travel destinations, and became home to hotels and amusement parks. The northern section, by contrast, was an industrial centre, home to the Grand Trunk Railway’s main yards. These facilities stretched along most of Gerrard Street, and employed several hundred workers.
When East Toronto was annexed to city of Toronto in 1908 it had a population of about 5,000 people. The CN freight yards closed down in that same year of 1908 and relocated to Belleville and Etobicoke, a move that forced the area into a transition from a railway-based small town into a commuter-based neighbourhood within a city. The trunk yards themselves were essentially abandoned for over 90 years until a housing development was built on most of the land they once occupied.
Today East Toronto commonly refers to the portion of the old city of Toronto east of the Don River. This includes neighbourhoods such as Upper Beaches, Riverdale & Riverside, Leslieville, East Danforth, and the Beaches.
Please explore the neighbourhoods of East Toronto:
Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.