Golden Mile, Toronto

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Golden Mile
Commercial district
The Golden Mile along Eglinton
The Golden Mile along Eglinton
The industrial areas of the Golden Mile
The industrial areas of the Golden Mile
Coordinates: 43°43′32″N 79°17′50″W / 43.72556°N 79.29722°W / 43.72556; -79.29722
Country Canada
Province Ontario
CityToronto Toronto
CommunityScarborough
Changed Municipality1998 Toronto from Flag of Scarborough, Ontario.svg Scarborough
Government
 • MPBill Blair (Scarborough Southwest)
 • MPPLorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest)
 • CouncillorMichelle Berardinetti, Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest & Michael Thompson, Ward 37 Scarborough Centre

The Golden Mile is a commercial district in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Situated along Eglinton Avenue East, east of Victoria Park Avenue, it was one of Canada's first model industrial parks. The original Golden Mile of Industry ran along Eglinton from Pharmacy Avenue east to Birchmount Road.

The area was farmland prior to World War II with settlement by Scottish immigrants beginning in the 1820s (notably by the likes of the McCowans and Thompsons) and prior to settlements by Europeans in the late 18th century was mostly covered by forests.

History[edit]

In the 1940s, 250 acres (100 ha) was acquired by the Government of Canada to build munitions plants for Canada's involvement in World War II. In 1941 General Engineering Company of Ontario (GECO) a massive munitions plant was constructed covering the area northwest of Eglinton and Warden. The facility was located in the area, which was then far from the city, to protect against accidental detonations. At its peak, 5,300 people worked at the plant and 256,567,485 munitions were produced over the course of the war.[1] Following the war, under the leadership of Scarborough reeve, Oliver Crockford, the area and 14 buildings were purchased from the Government of Canada by the Township of Scarborough. The township built municipal offices and a library[2] along Eglinton and sold the rest to private industry to develop the area as "The Golden Mile", patterned after the Golden Mile in London, England. In the 1950s and 1960s, numerous factories producing mostly consumer goods operated along the Golden Mile including a 34 hectare General Motors van assembly plant.[3]

Further west, retail uses developed, including the Golden Mile Plaza and the Eglinton Square Shopping Centre. Surrounding the industrial area, suburban residential development infilled former agricultural or industrial uses. Today, little or no industrial uses exist on Eglinton Avenue, while some industrial uses remain off Eglinton on side streets. On Eglinton, both sides of the street have been redeveloped into "big box" retail uses.

In 2014, the City of Toronto and Metrolinx conducted a preplanning exercise called Eglinton Connects to create walkable, mixed-use developments along the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. One area for such development is the Golden Mile site between Victoria Park Avenue and Pharmacy Avenue, which will be served by two LRT stops. City planning officials said that, although there is weak demand for new condos in central Scarborough, the LRT is stimulating demand for development.[4]

Economy[edit]

List of businesses[edit]

Eglinton Square Shopping Centre is one of several shopping centres located in the Golden Mile.

The Golden Mile is home to a number of shopping malls and plazas, including:

Golden Mile Mall[edit]

Golden Mile Plaza was added west of the industrial "mile" in 1954 and was visited in 1959 [5] by Queen Elizabeth II marking the further transformation of the area into a series of strip malls.

The original strip mall on the north of Eglinton Avenue was anchored by a Famous Players movie theatre located at Pharmacy Avenue and Eglinton. The west section of the strip was severely damaged by a fire in 1986, which hastened the beginning of the transformation of the area into one of Toronto's largest concentrations of power centres and big box stores.

The plaza was replaced with the Golden Mile Mall at the same location. The mall is anchored by a No Frills grocery store and a small number of other stores, at first including a Fabricland and a Zellers. These closed in the 2000s. Toronto Employment and Social Services, popular retailer Joe Fresh, Fit 4 Less, and a dollar store opened new premises at the Golden Mile Mall in 2010, taking up the space that Zellers and Fabricland had previously occupied.

In 2017, the property owner Choice Properties REIT announced a redevelopment of the 19-acre site into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. It will include a mix of buildings of various heights and a new Loblaws supermarket. The development will create new streets surrounding nine city blocks and include a public park and a public square. The first phase will entail the construction of the new supermarket, the demolition of the existing mall, and the construction of new streets through the project.[6]

Merchant's Flea Market[edit]

Located at 1921 is the Merchant Flea Market, a Flea market selling used and cheap goods, like many of the Great Toronto Area flea market that cater to ethnic communities in the area.

Institutions[edit]

The Toronto East Detention Centre is a remand centre operated by the provincial government.

The Golden Mile is home to several services operated the municipal government of Toronto, including the Toronto Public Library, whose Eglinton Square branch is located in the neighbourhood. The provincial government also operates several institutions in the neighbourhood, including a provincial courthouse, as well as the Toronto East Detention Centre. The Toronto East Detention Centre is a remand centre operated by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The General Engineering Company of Ontario
  2. ^ "Scarborough's Golden Mile Historical Plaque". Torontoplaques.com. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "General Motors and the Golden Mile". Toronto's Historical Plaques. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  4. ^ John Lorinc (February 8, 2017). "New life for Eglinton Avenue East". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  5. ^ Scarborough Archives
  6. ^ "Choice Properties to redevelop block at Eglinton Crosstown". Daily Commercial News. January 12, 2017. p. 3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°43′34″N 79°17′17″W / 43.726°N 79.288°W / 43.726; -79.288