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
City Toronto Toronto
Community Scarborough
Changed Municipality 1998 Toronto from Flag of Scarborough, Ontario.svg Scarborough
Government
 • MP Bill Blair (Scarborough Southwest)
 • MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest)
 • Councillor Michelle 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 federal government 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, the area and 14 buildings was purchased from the federal government 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]

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 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]

List of businesses on the Golden Mile[edit]

See also: Eglinton Square

This list includes former and current businesses located in the area:

  • Golden Mile Chevrolet 1953-2007 - in 2008 Toyota Canada built a new dealership (Scarborough Toyota moved further west from 2000 Eglinton Avenue East)
  • Frigidaire (GM) plant 1952-1968 - became Delco (GM) plant
  • H&E Plating (Canada) Ltd 1958 - Current
  • Delco (GM) plant 1968-1974 became General Motors full size (G) van plant
  • General Motors Canada Van Assembly 1974-1993 (closed, now site of Eglinton Town Centre)
  • Alcan 1950s to 1990s - manufacturing plant now part of Eglinton Town Centre site
  • Eaton's 1960s to 1980s - later became Sears Outlet during the mid-1980s, 1997 rebuilt as Walmart and became a Lowes in 2009
  • SKF - moved to north Scarborough, site now Scotiabank call centre
  • Golden Mile Motors
  • Canadian General Electric - former site of John Inglis Company and English Electric Canada later Knob Hill Farms warehouse and later Walmart (2007) and now Rio-Can Power Centre
  • Bell Canada - shared with Teleglobe Canada 1980s
  • FMC - closed Canadian office; office now a pharmaceutical warehouse
  • Thermos Canada - office moved downtown (370 King Street West) old office torn down and site rebuilt for a new Zellers store in 2009 and now vacant
  • Warner-Lambert (office building now home to Aviva)
  • Scarborough Toyota - relocated from 2000 to 1897 Eglinton Avenue East
  • Scarborough Nissan
  • Kingscross Hyundai
  • Donway Ford
  • Scarborough Mitsubishi
  • Solarfective Products Limited - leading roller shades manufacturer[7]
  • Speedy Auto Service
  • Volkswagen Canada (75 Ashtonbee, 1950s/late 1960s - now Centennial College; moved to 1944 Eglinton 1970s/1990s - now HSBC; and then moved to 777 Bayly Street West, Ajax)
  • Frigdaire Canada
  • John Inglis Company
  • Dollar Tree
  • Future Shop

Eglinton Town Centre[edit]

Eglinton Corners[edit]

Smart Centres Scarborough West[edit]

RioCan Scarborough Centre[edit]

Provincial government[edit]

Several provincial government offices are located in the Golden Mile.

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. 
  7. ^ solarfective.com

External links[edit]

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