Fashion District, Toronto
Symbols of the garment district.
The Fashion District (also known as the Garment District) is the name given to the area of Downtown Toronto between the intersection of Bathurst Street to the west, Spadina Avenue to the east, Queen Street West to the north and King Street to the south. Google Maps extends the district further east of Spadina Avenue to Peter Street.
The district's name is derived from the area's role in the garment industry. In the early 20th century, numerous textile and fabric factories and warehouses were located here due to the proximity and easy access to shipping and rail lines. Garment enterprise owners commissioned the construction of multi-story buildings to house their manufacturing operations.
Once 80% of the city's Jewish community lived in the immediate area resulting in the establishment of numerous Jewish delis, tailors, bookstores, cinemas, Yiddish theatres and synagogues. Many from this community worked in the garment industry.
After World War II, much of that Jewish community moved further north, and the factories and warehouses began to be converted into other uses. Since the late 1980s, there has been extensive revitalization the stretch of the Fashion District along Front Street between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street with disused railway land being reclaimed for high-end condominium, townhouse and retail development.
Today, many former garment warehouses house clothing outlets while others have been refurbished into artists’ studios and galleries, publishers, software and tech design offices and condos and lofts. The area is occupied by a mix of artists, musicians, designers, professionals and students.
- Benjamin Brown (architect) who designed buildings for garment manufacturers in the Fashion District.
- City Planning Department. "Queen Street District History" (PDF). City of Toronto. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
The section of Spadina between Queen and King Streets is known officially as the Garment District and more informally as home to the “rag trade.” Once an area in which 80% of the city’s Jewish population lived, Spadina today links the waterfront, with the Rogers Centre (formerly known as Skydome), Chinatown West and the University of Toronto. The area around Queen Street West continues to serve the garment industry.
- "Fashion District". Property Guide Toronto. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
- "Fashion District, Toronto, ON, Canada". Google. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
- Dave Lebranc (18 February 2016). "Touring the Garment District designs of architect Benjamin Brown". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
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