Weston, Ontario

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Weston
Neighbourhood
Weston Road at John
Weston Road at John
Weston map.png
Weston, Ontario is located in Toronto
Weston, Ontario
Location within Toronto
Coordinates: 43°42′3.56″N 79°31′10.92″W / 43.7009889°N 79.5197000°W / 43.7009889; -79.5197000Coordinates: 43°42′3.56″N 79°31′10.92″W / 43.7009889°N 79.5197000°W / 43.7009889; -79.5197000
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Toronto
Community York
Settled ca 1790s
Incorporated 1881 (Village)
1914 (Town)
Changed Municipality 1954 Metropolitan Toronto from York County
1998 Toronto from York
Annexed 1967 into York
Government
 • MP Mike Sullivan (York South—Weston)
 • MPP Laura Albanese (York South—Weston)
 • Councillor Frances Nunziata (Ward 11 York South-Weston)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 16,470
Website welcometoweston.ca

Weston is a neighbourhood and former village in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The neighbourhood generally lies in the northwest end of the city, south of Highway 401, east of the Humber River, north of Eglinton Avenue, and west of Jane Street.[2] Weston Road just north of Lawrence Avenue is the downtown core of Weston, with many small businesses and services. Weston was incorporated as a village in the 19th century and was absorbed into the Borough of York in the late 1960s. York itself was amalgamated into Toronto in 1998.

History[edit]

The first European settlement in the Weston area took place in the 1790s, when a saw mill was built on an old native trading path along the west side of the Humber River, named after the well-known Humber estuary in Yorkshire, England. In 1815 James Farr, a prominent local mill owner, named the growing settlement "Weston" after his birthplace, Weston, Hertfordshire. Weston initially developed along both sides of the river until a disastrous flood in 1850 destroyed the west bank settlement.[3] The former west bank settlement is now the site of the Weston Golf and Country Club.[4] Improvements to the Main Street, now Weston Road, and the 1856 arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway brought growth on the east side.[3] On October 5, 1869, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn attended the sod turning ceremony for the construction of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway. The spade which he used for the event is kept in the public library.

1869, Prince Arthur Arriving for the Ceremony of Turning the First Sod of the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway, Weston.

The town of Weston grew, and over the 19th century became an important industrial centre for the Toronto area. The symbol adopted for the town, an outline of an old-fashioned bicycle, was based on this history of manufacturing and especially the old CCM bicycle factory on Lawrence Avenue just east of Weston Road. Models of bicycles now hang from the streetlights along Weston Road.

In October 1954, Hurricane Hazel flooded the Humber River valley, causing death and destruction of property.[4] In response, low-lying areas in the Humber River valley were converted to parkland and property zoning standards were changed across Ontario to avoid building encroachment on floodplains. There is a memorial in the south end of Lions Park near a pedestrian bridge which incorporates the original footing of a bridge that once crossed the Humber. The other footing of the bridge is the square chunk of concrete that is in the middle of the river nearby.

Weston was incorporated as a village in 1881, and then as a town in 1914. In 1967, it became part of the Borough (later City) of York. In 1998, York was in turn amalgamated with the five other members of Metropolitan Toronto, (Toronto, Etobicoke, North York, East York, and Scarborough) in the new "megacity" of Toronto. Vocal lobbying at the time allowed Weston to retain many street names which are exact duplicates of downtown streets, including Church Street, King Street and John Street.

Some street signs in the area pay tribute to the historical Town of Weston.

Although the Town of Weston has not existed as a legal reality since 1967, the area continues to be known as "Weston" and Weston is still a valid mailing address.[5]

Today[edit]

Central United Church was built in 1887.

Weston's building stock consists mostly of Victorian homes east of the railway with apartment and condominium towers on Weston Road overlooking the Humber River valley. Weston's main shopping district is located on Weston Road between Church Street in the north and Wilby Crescent (just south of Lawrence Avenue) in the south. Most buildings in this area reflect early-mid-20th century Ontario town architecture, brick buildings with decorative masonry. The town has a historic library (previously a Mechanics' Institute and Carnegie library). The community is also dotted with grand old churches with historical architectural significance. There has been a recent move in Weston to designate certain areas as a historical district.[6] Most streets in Weston are lined with huge mature trees, some well over 100 years old. This is more common east of the railway tracks. Recently,[when?] there has been some infill development on former industrial and commercial lands bringing some new housing stock to the area. On April 26, 2013, a fire was accidentally started at 2304 Weston Road, due to tar during roof construction.

The Weston Farmers' Market opens weekly from mid-May to the end of October near the centre of Weston.[7] The Weston BIA also hosts a Harvest Festival around Thanksgiving in October, and the Weston Santa Claus Parade each November.[8]

Public transportation[edit]

Southbound 89 Weston bus just north of Lawrence Avenue on Weston Road.

Weston falls within the service area of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Transit is provided entirely by buses linking to the subway system. The 32 Eglinton West,[9] 35 Jane,[10] 52 Lawrence,[11] 58 Malton,[12] 59 Maple Leaf,[13] 73 Royal York,[14] 79 Scarlett,[15] and 89 Weston[16] all pass through the boundaries of Weston.

Weston GO station, looking south from John street.

Weston is also served by GO Transit's Weston GO Station which is a station on the Kitchener line, providing heavy interurban transit throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Public transit accessibility for the disabled[edit]

As of January 2012,[17] all TTC bus routes serving Weston are accessible. Routes 52 and 352 were the final TTC bus routes to be made accessible, with the retirement of the last GMC New Look "Fishbowl" buses in December 2011. Although all bus routes are accessible, individual stops along the routes may not meet accessibility standards.

The Weston GO Transit railway station is also wheelchair accessible.

Parkland and recreation[edit]

Weston (taken from an airplane north of St. Phillips Road bridge looking south at Weston Road and Humber River valley).

Weston has many small parks throughout but most notable is Cruickshank Park in the Humber River valley with many mature trees and paved bicycle paths[18] lined with large weeping willow trees. The bicycle path continues south to Lake Ontario. Sometimes salmon can be seen swimming upstream in the river. The park has a population of beaver as can be seen the from the tell-tale marks left behind on trees. In order to protect some trees, park staff have wrapped the tree trunks with wire screen in some areas. There are also some frogs closer to the water's edge and Garter snakes hidden away in the more secluded areas. Canada geese, loons, mallards and seagulls are a common sight. Herons have also been spotted looking for fish in the river. In some areas of the park, you can see exposed Sedimentary rock in the walls of the valley, made visible by the action of glaciers that carved out the valley during the last glacial period about 20000 years ago. The same rock was used to build many stone retaining walls throughout the town; an example of this use can be seen on the south end of the Lawrence Avenue bridge in the north end of Lions Park.

Weston Lions Park, located south of Lawrence Avenue, fills 22.13 acres (89,600 m2) and contains facilities for playing football, rugby union, soccer, tennis, and baseball, as well as an ice rink, swimming pool, basketball court and skatepark.[19]

Current issues[edit]

The Union Pearson Express under construction between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station downtown has become a hot political issue in Weston. It had originally been proposed for completion by 2009. Weston is currently a station stop on the Kitchener line operated by GO Transit and airport trains would also stop there. If approved, the link would see the construction of three additional tracks through the neighbourhood and would increase rail traffic more than fourfold. Community activists are worried about the link severing the community (vehicle traffic on one street will be permanently blocked from crossing the tracks, replaced by a pedestrian bridge) and the possibility of lower future property values due to increased noise and diesel fumes. It was an issue during the Canadian federal election held on January 23, 2006, when incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament, Alan Tonks, supported the link, while the other candidates opposed it. It is also an issue in the February 2007 provincial by-election, where all local candidates came out against the link, but which was still supported by the governing Liberals. Current plans for the link are still on the table and the project is expected to go ahead in its original form despite the various alternatives presented by the Weston Community Coalition (WCC). The WCC has proposed a subway line as an alternative to run through the Weston rail corridor to the airport that would have stops along the way which would serve many communities throughout Toronto and be operated by the TTC rather than a private company. Various other alternatives were presented by community activists such as an Eglinton subway to the airport, an LRT alternative, or a route down Highway 427.

CN Rail line in the Weston corridor looking north from King Street. In addition to the track pictured, two more tracks would be built to accommodate the Air Rail Link and GO transit double tracking of the Georgetown sub. The corridor gets significantly more narrow further up the track out of frame.

Historic gallery[edit]

People from Weston[edit]

Robert Jesse Pulford (born March 31, 1936) Pulford and his family lived on King St. in Weston from 1940-1950, and he attended school at Memorial School, prior to the family move to rural Ontario. Pulford played junior hockey in Weston, then senior hockey for the Marlboros and professional ice hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League. He was a coach and executive for the Chicago Blackhawks for the thirty years.

Jason Allison professional hockey player. He attended He attended Emery Collegiate in Weston.

Adam Oates Hall of Fame NHL hockey player and now coach of the Washington Capitals. He attended Emery Collegiate in Weston.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weston 2006 Social Profile #1". City of Toronto. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Weston neighbourhood profile". Toronto Neighbourhood Maps. City of Toronto. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  3. ^ a b "About Weston". WestonPlace.ca. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  4. ^ a b Remembering Hurricane Hazel. Environment Canada website. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  5. ^ Summary for Weston. Canada Post. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  6. ^ Heritage Conservation Districts – Weston. City of Toronto. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  7. ^ Weston Farmers' Market. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  8. ^ Weston Village BIA. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  9. ^ "32 Eglinton West". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  10. ^ "35 Jane". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  11. ^ "52 Lawrence". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  12. ^ "58 Malton". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  13. ^ "59 Maple Leaf". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  14. ^ "73 Royal York". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  15. ^ "79 Scarlett". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  16. ^ "89 Weston". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  17. ^ "Accessible Transit Network map". TTC website. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  18. ^ Toronto Parks & Trails Map 2001. Accessed 2008-08-27.
  19. ^ City of Toronto: Parks and Recreation - Weston Lions Park

External links[edit]