Mark caught these two beauties in the store, repping Parkdale, a community in Toronto, pretty hard.
Parkdale was founded as an independent settlement within York County in the 1850s. It was incorporated as a village in 1879 and amalgamated with Toronto in 1889. It was an upper income residential area for the first half of the 20th century, with several notable mansions. The area changed dramatically with the building of the Gardiner Expressway in 1955, which resulted in the demolition of the southern section of the neighbourhood and the Sunnyside Amusement Park, and the creation of a barrier between the neighbourhood and the north shore of Lake Ontario. A boom in apartment building construction followed, replacing whole blocks of homes with blocks of apartment buildings. Some of the older large residential buildings remain though many were converted into rooming houses. The demographic composition changed considerably, including a higher proportion of lower income and newcomer families. Today, it is a working-class neighbourhood, with a large percentage of low-income households concentrated in South Parkdale, and an entry point for new immigrants, most recently South Asians and Tibetan. The visible minority population in North Parkdale (between Queen and Landsdowne) has changed overall to include fewer Asian, South Asian and Black residents between the census years 2006-2011 (GNR: 34%). The distribution, of said visible minorities, has changed from being predominantly Black visible minorities to predominantly South Asian (between 2006 and 2011 census).
The area has a vibrant storefront commercial strip along Queen Street West that has seen an increase in restaurants and bars in the 2010s, increasing to the point that planning controls were put in place on the opening of new restaurants and bars from 2012.
Parkdale is primarily a residential area of the city, with semi-detached homes predominating on most side streets. Many of the homes date from the 19th Century and early 20th Century. Around 1900, the area was a well-to-do suburb and many older mansions from around 1900 still exist, often converted to multi-unit buildings. Many of the residential streets have mature trees. Good examples of Victorian housing can still be found on Cowan Avenue and Dunn Avenue, south of King Street. Victorian-era row homes of Georgian Revival style with original gaslights can also be seen on Melbourne Place.
By Mark Wong
Featuring Maggie Mae Taylor (ELITE) and Alisha Ferreira
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