Flemingdon Park

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Flemingdon Park
Neighbourhood
Skyline in Flemindon Park
Skyline in Flemindon Park
Flemingdon Park map.PNG
Coordinates: 43°43′10″N 79°20′20″W / 43.71944°N 79.33889°W / 43.71944; -79.33889
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CityToronto Toronto
CommunityNorth York
Changed Municipality1922 North York from York
1998 Toronto from North York
Government
 • MPYasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East)
 • MPPMichael Coteau(Don Valley East)
 • CouncillorDenzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 16 Don Valley East)

Flemingdon Park is a community in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located in the city's North York district. It is part of the Don Valley East federal and provincial electoral districts, and Ward 26: Don Valley East (South) municipally. In 2011, its population was 22,205.[1] The average income was $66,784.[2]

It is bordered on the north by Eglinton Avenue East, on the west by the Don River (west branch), and on the east and south by the Don River (east branch). The two branches of the river join at the neighbourhood’s southwest corner. The south border is a parkland access road that used to be known as Old Lawrence Avenue. Flemingdon Park is separated from neighbouring communities by river valleys on three sides, and a light industrial area, now mostly used as corporate offices, next to several railway lines on the north side.



The community is named after its original owner, Robert John Fleming, the Mayor of Toronto in 1892–1893 and 1896–1897, and the nearby Don River.

History[edit]

The Donlands farm, in present-day Flemingdon Park, 1925. The property was owned by former Mayor of Toronto, Robert John Fleming.

Flemingdon Park was built on farmland owned by Robert John Fleming. After his death in 1925, it was sold to become public land.

In 1958, following the trends of many other post-World War II cities, Toronto began to consider a large planned "apartment city" community for the 1950s population boom and influx of immigrants. Although there was immediate scepticism about the density of the development, the community was nevertheless built.[3] Occupancy of the new apartments began in 1961,[4] and the community was completed in the early 1970s. The community's developer was Olympia and York.

On September 26, 1969, the Ontario Science Centre opened to the public. It is a major tourist attraction in Toronto. Several commercial high rise buildings were developed in the late 20th century in Flemingdon Park including Foresters Tower, a 23-story high-rise, two 14-storey high-rises ICICI Bank Tower & De Beers Tower. Three residential high rise towers located next to the golf course were built in 1990.[5] Sony Music Canada and Intel Core later acquired the two buildings as its functioning head office. [6]

In 1969, the Ontario Science Centre was opened in Flemingdon Park.

Like many communities with a significant public housing component, Flemingdon Park has gained a reputation as a working-class community. New development has come, directed at higher-income residents, built mostly along the Don River ravines on the edges of Flemingdon Park. In 2000, this included the addition of a new section of middle-class single and semi-detached housing, and a luxury condominium apartment called "Tribeca", converted from an office building that was originally part of the Foresters complex, along the community’s north side.[5] Townhomes were along the community's east border, in a narrow strip between the Don Valley Parkway and the Don River (east), overlooking the Don Valley, located next to Flemingdon Park Golf Club.[7]

In July 2006, 17-year-old Omar Wellington was beaten and murdered by a couple of young men.[8] This rattled the neighbourhood's residents.[8] Rochefort Drive has been subject to a number of gang-related shootings and stabbings, instilling fear on residents that live on the low-income block, as well as neighbouring homes and commercial buildings on Ferrand Drive.[9][10] A new condo development called Sonic consists of two high-rise buildings of 28 and 30 storeys in height and also includes four-storey townhomes. Due to the development's proximity to Rochefort Drive, which is a low-income block of Flemingdon Park south of the condominiums, it has made the purchase of Sonic suites undesirable.

The Line 5 Eglinton, a light rapid transit line, is expected to open in 2022 with three stops in Flemingdon Park. It will connect the neighbourhood to the Line 1 Yonge–University subway and to Scarborough Town Centre. Plans are being made for a large land development at the 24-hectare former Celestica site at Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue to house thousands of people in eight condo towers, and open new offices and shops.[11]

Redevelopment[edit]

Since April 2017, plans to build an additional apartment to the existing 25 Saint Dennis Drive apartment by Preston Group was underway and later approved by the City of Toronto. Residents have continued to advocate against the redevelopment, which includes a 37-storey residential building, on the premise that residents were not adequately consulted with.[12]

Demographics[edit]

Flemingdon Park Golf Course over looking Palisades Condos.

Traditionally, the neighbourhood served as affordable housing for new immigrants to Canada. Today, the neighbourhood's population is mainly immigrants, who accounting for approximately two-thirds of residents (Canada 2011 Census). Though quite diverse in composition, the majority of immigrants originate from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe (Census 2006, Census 2011). Statistics Canada 2011 census has reported that the population of Flemingdon Park consists of residents born in various places around the world, including Germans, Romanians, Kenyans and Sri Lankans.[13]

Crime[edit]

Due to a large increase in the number of upper & middle-class families moving into the area, crime rates are below-average in comparison with most areas in the city. Police raids have been commonplace in recent years in the community and have contributed to the increase in safety..[14] [15]

Education[edit]

Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute is a secondary school situated in Flemingdon Park.

Two public school boards operate schools in Flemingdon Park, the separate Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), and the secular Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

Both TCDSB, and TDSB operate public primary education institutions in the neighbourhood. TCDSB operates two elementary schools, St. Augustine Secondary School, and St. John XXIII Catholic School; whereas TDSB operates three primary institutions, Gateway Public School, Grenoble Public School, and Valley Park Middle School. Gateway and Grenoble Public School provide schooling for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6, whereas Valley Park offers schooling for students in Grade 7 and 8. Valley Park is the largest middle school in Canada, with over 1,200 students, and features a multi-sports field, completed in June 2015.

TDSB operates one secondary school in the neighbourhood, Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute. Named after Marc Garneau, the school was originally named "Overlea Secondary School" opened by the East York Board of Education. The high school offers a "Talented Offerings for Programs in the Sciences" or TOPS program for students in the school that meet its standards. The school has more than 1500 students in Grades 9-12. It has three floors, a greenhouse and approximately 12 portable classrooms. This school is defined to have been built on North York land as opposed to East York, despite the majority of its student population residing in Thorncliffe Park, which is an East York community.

TCDSB does not operate a secondary school in the neighbourhood, with TCDSB secondary school students residing in Flemingdon Park attending institutions in adjacent neighbourhoods. The French first language public secular school board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, and its separate counterpart, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir also offers schooling to applicable residents of Flemingdon Park, although they do not operate a school in the neighbourhood. CSCM and CSV students attend schools situated in other neighborhoods in Toronto.

Recreation[edit]

The Flemingdon Park branch of the Toronto Public Library is situated in the neighbourhood.

Flemingdon Park is home to a number of municipal parks including the Gateway Greenbelt, E.T. Seton Park, Flemingdon Park, and Linewood Lane Park. Many of these parks are situated either beneath hydro-electric power lines, or in the ravine valley of the Don River, a waterway that splits into two parts south of the neighbourhood. The ravine system itself forms a part of the larger Toronto ravine system. A shared use path situated along the west Don Valley runs all the way to Downtown Toronto.[citation needed] In addition to municipal parks, a city executive 9-hole course "Flemingdon Park Golf Club" was established next to the ravine system in the early 1960s.

The neighbourhood is also home to one community centre, the Dennis R. Timbrell Resource Centre. Community centres and municipal parks in Flemingdon Park are maintained by the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division. Other public amenities located in the neighbourhood include the Flemingdon Park branch of the Toronto Public Library. In July 2019, the City of Toronto created a motion to schedule demolition and revitalization of the Dennis R. Timbrell Recreation in 2025. The motion was passed to conform with the idea of accommodating the growing community's need for a larger community space. Resultatively, the Don Mills Community Centre, which is pending construction on the north-west corner of Don Mills and Eglinton, will serve as the community's new hub in lieu of Dennis R. Timbrell Recreation Centre.

In the early 1970's, a McDonald's was introduced to Flemingdon Park, being situated on the east facade of the Flemingdon Plaza. In 1996, the restaurant was demolished and relocated to the northeast corner of the plaza property, across from the 200 Gateway Boulevard residence.[16]

In 2009, Food Basics, the plaza's anchor store, was demolished following a gradual decrease of both demand and, as a result, profit. The property was soon acquired by Shoppers Drug Mart.

The neighbourhood is also home to two shopping centres. Flemingdon Park Shopping Centre is an outdoor mini mall, and features Shoppers Drug Mart, McDonald's, and a number of other retailers. In 2011, Dongate Plaza was built, and includes a Tim Hortons, Subway, and other retailers. The Flemingdon Park Shopping Centre welcomed a new ServiceOntario government office on August 6, 2019 which offers driver's licence renewal and photo identification services.

Transportation[edit]

Don Mills Road is a major thoroughfare that runs north-south in Flemingdon Park.

Three major roadways pass through Flemingdon Park, including the Don Valley Parkway, a major north-south controlled access highway, and Eglinton Avenue, a major east-west thoroughfare that also marks the neighbourhood's northern boundary. Don Mills Road is another major north-south thoroughfare, that splits the neighbourhood into two halves, with the more developed portion of the neighbourhood to the east, and the ravine system to the west of the roadway.

Public transportation in the neighbourhood is provided by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The Toronto Transit Commission is responsible for providing transit to Flemingdon Park. Operating the 100 Flemingdon Park route, it connects residents to both Broadview Station and Eglinton Station.

The TTC operates several bus routes in the neighbourhood. In addition, the TTC plans to open Line 5 Eglinton, a light rail line to be operated as a part of the Toronto subway system. Line 5 is expected to open in 2022, with three stops planned, Aga Khan Park & Museum stop, Science Centre station, and Wynford stop. All stops and stations are situated along the northern boundary of the neighbourhood, along Eglinton Avenue.

In popular culture[edit]

"Flemington Park" was a recurring parody soap opera sketch on Nightcap, CBC Television's late-night satirical sketch shop in the 1960s, which described that neighbourhood as "A cesspool of desire in the heart of suburbia".[17] In 1967, the sketch was spun-off as a six-part series on CBC Television.

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Social Profile #1 Age & Gender". 2011 City of Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles Flemington Park (44). Toronto: City of Toronto. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  2. ^ "Statistics Canada". Statistics Canada 2011. This information is only for part of this neighbourhood, since for census purpose areas are subdivided into census tracts. The number of the census tract is 5350260.03. Retrieved Apr 7, 2016.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Toronto Map - Toronto Neighbourhood Guide". www.torontoneighbourhoods.net.
  4. ^ "NFB documentary, Flemingdon Park: The Global Village, 2002".
  5. ^ a b "Condos for Sale in Toronto". Condos.ca.
  6. ^ https://www.canpages.ca/page/ON/north-york/sony-music-entertainment-canada-inc/7130760
  7. ^ "Flemingdon Park Golf Club". flemingdonparkgolfclub.com/.
  8. ^ a b "Slayings rattle Flemingdon Park's outward calm".
  9. ^ "2 men shot, 1 in life-threatening condition, after daylight shooting in North York". Global News.
  10. ^ "Teen shot multiple times in Flemingdon Park parking garage". toronto.citynews.ca.
  11. ^ Toronto, Posted (August 6, 2014). "Plan proposing condos, shops at site of Celestica plant in Don Mills faces city hall resistance | National Post".
  12. ^ https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/11/25/flemingdon-park-residents-fear-planned-highrises-will-cause-overcrowding-and-displace-vulnerable-communities.html
  13. ^ Statistics Canada, 2011 Census, Data for Census Tract 5350260.03
  14. ^ "Toronto Police Service Public Safety Data Portal". torontopolice.on.ca.
  15. ^ "Man released after police search 2 homes in Flemingdon Park weapons probe | CBC News". cbc.ca.
  16. ^ https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/452471093813056882/
  17. ^ Peredo, Sandra. "Nightcap | Maclean's | December 17 1966". Maclean's | The Complete Archive. Retrieved 2021-04-14.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°42′47″N 79°20′02″W / 43.713°N 79.334°W / 43.713; -79.334