Weston, Toronto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High rises along Weston Road from the Humber River
High rises along Weston Road from the Humber River
Weston map.png
Weston, Toronto is located in Toronto
Weston, Toronto
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
Settledc. 1790s
Incorporated1881 (Village)
1914 (Town)
Changed municipality1954 Metropolitan Toronto from York County
Annexed1967 into Borough of York
Changed municipality1998 Toronto from York
 • MPAhmed Hussen (York South—Weston)
 • MPPMichael Ford (York South—Weston)
 • CouncillorFrances Nunziata (Ward 11 York South-Weston)
 • Total17,992

Weston is a neighbourhood and former village in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The neighbourhood is situated in the northwest of the city, south of Highway 401, east of the Humber River, north of Eglinton Avenue, and west of Jane Street.[1] Weston Road just north of Lawrence Avenue is the commercial 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.


Weston consists of Victorian-era homes east of the railway, and apartments on Weston Road.

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 area has a noteworthy library (previously a Mechanics' Institute and Carnegie library). The community is dotted with grand old churches with architectural significance. There has been a recent move in Weston to designate certain areas as a historical district.[2]

Most streets in Weston are lined with tall 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 first European settlement in the Weston area took place in the 1790s, when a saw mill was built in Etobicoke Township 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]

The first post office was opened in 1842. The first library opened in 1858, a Mechanic's Institute. In 1865, the Trinity College School opened, founded by William Arthur Johnson. It was located in Weston near the old Mill and at a home further north until 1867. It relocated to Port Hope, Ontario in 1868.[citation needed]

In 1869, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn visited Weston to attend the sod turning ceremony for the construction of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway.

A second railway company arrived in 1869. 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The Weston Branch of the Toronto Public Library. The building was erected as a Carnegie library in 1914.

Weston was incorporated as a village in 1881, and then as a town in 1914. In 1914, the town also saw the opening of Weston Public Library, a Carnegie library. This building is now recognized with heritage status.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Airport link controversy[edit]

The Union Pearson Express between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station downtown was 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 additional airport trains would stop there. The link would see the construction of three additional tracks through the neighbourhood and increased rail traffic more than fourfold. Community activists worried about how the link would sever the community (vehicle traffic on John 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.[citation needed]

Union Pearson Express train at Weston GO Station. Worries that the airport rail link's tracks would bisect the community eventually led to the tracks going into a trench, with bridges overhead to prevent the bisecting.

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 was 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. The Weston Community Coalition (WCC) had 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.[citation needed]

In the end, the tracks went into a trench with bridges overhead to prevent bisecting the neighbourhood.[5] A "rail deck park" allowed the expansion of a Toronto Catholic school playground over the tracks.[6]


In 2016, the Weston neighbourhood was home to 17,992 residents.[7] 60% of the population speak English as their first language, 6.4% speak Spanish, 4.8% speak Portuguese, 4.3% speak Somali and 3.1% speak Italian.

Major racial and ethnic populations (2016):


Main throughfares serving Weston are Lawrence Avenue West and Weston Road. A number of local roads in Weston resulted in name duplication after Toronto amalgamation in 1998:

  • John Street - a residential street from Jane Street to Weston Road has same name as the more famous John Street. The section just east of S Station Street is now cut off after Union Pearson Express was built; the previous level crossing replaced with pedestrian bridge over trench with tracks below.
  • King Street - a residential street from Jane Street to Weston Road has same name as the more famous King Street downtown.
  • Church Street - a residential street from Jane Street to Weston Road has same name as the more famous Church Street downtown.

Public transportation[edit]

The 89 Weston Toronto Transit Commission bus along Weston Road. The 89 Weston is one of several bus routes that pass through Weston.

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,[8] 35 Jane,[9] 52 Lawrence West,[10] 59 Maple Leaf,[11] 73 Royal York,[12] 79 Scarlett,[13] and 89 Weston[14] all pass through the boundaries of Weston.

As of January 2012,[15] 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.[citation needed]

The Metrolinx Weston GO Station is located at Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue. The station is served by the Kitchener line (which connects Kitchener, Ontario to downtown Toronto during rush hours) and the Union Pearson Express (all-day service between Toronto Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto). The Weston GO Station is wheelchair accessible.[citation needed]


The Weston Farmers' Market opens weekly from mid-May to the end of October near the centre of Weston.[16] The Weston BIA also hosts a Harvest Festival around Thanksgiving in October, and the Weston Santa Claus Parade each November.[17]

View of the Humber River footbridge south of Lawrence Avenue. Weston has a number of small parks along the 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.[citation needed] The park has a population of beaver as can be seen from the tell-tale marks left behind on trees.[citation needed] In order to protect some trees, park staff have wrapped the tree trunks with wire screen in some areas.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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 20,000 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.[citation needed]

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]

Weston Arena[edit]

Originally as Weston Arena, it is now known as either Weston Lions Arena or Weston Lions Recreation Arena. The arena was proposed on what was the Weston Fairgrounds in 1944, opened in 1949 and gained a pool in 1959.[20]

The arena hosted the Toronto Dixie Beehives of the Ontario Junior Hockey League from 2007 to 2009. The arena currently hosts the Weston Minor Hockey League and Weston Dodgers.

Reeves of the Village of Weston[edit]

Mayors of the Town of Weston[edit]

The mayor and council sat at Weston Town Hall (Dufferin Hall) at corner of Little Avenue and Weston Road (since demolished and now a parking lot).

  • 1914-1918 Dr. W. J. Charlton
  • 1919-1920 John Gardhouse - prominent cattle breeder who was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, and co-founder of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Served on Etobicoke's town council, including three terms as reeve, prior to moving to Weston, and as Warden of York County. Later served as chair of the Toronto Board of Education in 1917.[42][43] In 2003, his neighbourhood organized to have his home and stable designated a heritage site and save it from demolition.[44][45]
  • 1921-1925 Robert John Flynn
  • 1926-1928 George Sainsbury
  • 1929-1930 A. Lorne Coulter
  • 1931 W. J. Pollett
  • 1932-1934 Sam J. Totten
  • 1935-1936 Frank Walton Mertens
  • 1937-1939 George Benjamin Evans
  • 1940-1942 Gordon S. Harris
  • 1942-1945 John P. Allan
  • 1946-1948 Thomas Dougherty
  • 1949 Kenneth L. Thompson - first elected to Weston council in 1939. Served a term as Warden of York County in 1948. Ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in the 1949, 1953, and 1957 federal elections. Thompson owned his own insurance company and was an underwriter for Canada Life. While warden, he was instrumental in introducing trolley buses into Toronto's transit system. He served as chairman of the York Planning Board in the 1960s.[46][47]
  • 1950-1954 Richard C. Seagrave- born in London, England, Seagrave came to Canada at the age of 2. At 15, he started working for the Great North-Western Telegraph Company (later CN Telegraph) rising from office boy to administrative assistant to the general manager. He was also on the board of the Canadian National Exhibition.[48]
  • 1955-1958 Harry Clark - Clark suggested renaming the Lakeshore Expressway after Metro Chairman Fred Gardiner[49]
  • 1959-1960 Jack L. Holley - a pilot with Trans-Canada Airlines, Holley retired from office as his job did provide him enough time to spend on his mayoralty duties.[50]
  • 1961-1964 George W. Bull - a local lawyer, Bull was a member of one of Weston's founding families[51]
  • 1965-1966 Charles Wesley Boddington - after amalgamation, he served on York's Board of Control for a term.[52] Boddington lost an arm and a leg during World War II after the bomber he was flying exploded over Düsseldorf, and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. He set up a motor vehicle licensing bureau in Weston in 1947 which he ran until his death in 1984. He ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in York West in the 1968 Canadian federal election, placing third. In 1969, he ran for mayor of York, but lost to Phil White. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1977.[53]

Notable residents[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The 1980s children's TV series The Edison Twins was filmed and set in Weston.
  • Parts of "The Rocker" were filmed in Weston on Queens Drive
  • Parts of Stephen Kings remake "IT" were filmed around Weston
  • Canadian rapper Drake mentions Weston in his 2018 hit single "God's Plan" and has a feature song "Weston Road Flows" on his 2016 album "Views"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Weston neighbourhood profile". Toronto Neighbourhood Maps. City of Toronto. Archived from the original on November 7, 2003. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  2. ^ Heritage Conservation Districts – Weston. City of Toronto. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  3. ^ a b "About Weston". WestonPlace.ca. Archived from the original on April 14, 2003. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  4. ^ a b Remembering Hurricane Hazel. Environment Canada website. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  5. ^ Keenan, Edward (14 October 2016). "Weston's Raildeck Park was Always on the Right Track". Toronto Star. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  6. ^ Kurek, Dominik (2 November 2016). "Toronto gets a rail deck park - in Weston". Inside Toronto. Metroland Media Group. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Weston neighbourhood profile" (PDF). City of Toronto. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  8. ^ "32 Eglinton West". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  9. ^ "35 Jane". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  10. ^ "52 Lawrence West". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  11. ^ "59 Maple Leaf". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  12. ^ "73 Royal York". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  13. ^ "79 Scarlett". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  14. ^ "89 Weston". Bus Routes. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  15. ^ "Accessible Transit Network map" (PDF). TTC website. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  16. ^ Weston Farmers' Market. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  17. ^ Weston Village BIA. Accessed 2008-08-21.
  18. ^ Toronto Parks & Trails Map 2001. Accessed 2008-08-27.
  19. ^ City of Toronto: Parks and Recreation – Weston Lions Park
  20. ^ "Weston Lions Arena".
  21. ^ "Tyrrell House Historical Plaque". torontoplaques.com. Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  22. ^ COUNTY AND CITY: The Government Interviewed by a County Deputation JUDICIAL SEPARATION AMD ANNEXATION CHANGE OF VENUE CASES RIVERSIDE ANNEXATION The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]18 Feb 1884: 8.
  23. ^ MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Nominations and Elections for the Various Municipal Offices NOMINATIONS ELECTED BY ACCLAMATION The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]30 Dec 1885: 3
  24. ^ YORK COUNTY COUNCIL: First Meeting of the Year-- All the Council Present. Including 15 New Members-- The Reeve of Stouffvillee Elected Warden DECLARED ELECTED SPECIAL COMMITTEE The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]26 Jan 1887: 1.
  26. ^ THE MUNICIPALITIES: A CLOSE CONTEST FOR THE WINDSOR MAYORALTY Mr. Twomey Elected The Results of the City Elections-- County Councillors Chosen Throughout the Province London St. Catharines Belleville Brantford St. Thomas Guelph Stratford Chatham Woodstock Windsor Barrie Welland Town Mitchell Orillia Markham Village Dundas Niagara The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]08 Jan 1889: 1.
  29. ^ MEN IN POWER: Results of the Municipal Elections MR. TUCKETT'S MAJORITY Hamilton's New Mayor Polls a Big Vote MR. HENRY WINS IN BRANTFORD Elections by Acclamation in Many Places A Lively Political Contest in Kingston--Results in the Cities and Towns of the Province LONDON ST. THOMAS KINGSTON BRANTFORD STRATFORD CHATHAM GUELPH OTTAWA BELLEVILLE ST. CATHARINES PETERBORO' TOWNS The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Jan 1896: 7.
  30. ^ WEST YORK FARMERS: Annual Meeting of Their Institute at Weston A SUCCESSFUL GATHERING Fruit Culture and Stock Raising Discussed Simpson Rennie, Robert Thompson and Prof, Harcourt the Principal Speakers-- Meeting at Woodbridge To-day AFTERNOON SESSION GOOD ROADS SWINE BREEDING The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]03 Jan 1895: 2.
  31. ^ EX-PUPILS OF WESTON: Friends of the High School Hold a Reunion The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]31 Aug 1900: 10.
  32. ^ CARS: The Village of Weston in a Sad Plight DEADLOCK OVER A RAILWAY Citizens Indignant at the Council By the Latter's Action the Elecric cars Stop at the Limits of the Village-- citizens Association Formed A Bit of History The Electric Railway The Cars Locked Out A Kick From the Citizens Saturday Evening's Meeting The Speeches Rights of British Citizens The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]12 Sep 1898: 5.
  33. ^ MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS: Results of the Voting All Over the Province MAYORS ELECTED Big Majorities at Hamilton and London BY-LAWS OF IMPORTANCE A Large Number of Councils Returned by Acclamation--Voting Dizchine in Kingston Special Despatch to The Globe. The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Jan 1902: 4.
  34. ^ YORK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]08 Aug 1906: 9.
  35. ^ REJECTED LOCAL OPTION The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]05 Dec 1903: 28.
  36. ^ ONCE PUT WESTON IN HANDS OF SHERIFF: Unseating of Dr. Irwin an Echo of Six Years Ago Member of Commission and High School Board Says He Will Appeal and Speaks of the Proceedings Before Judge Winchester The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Apr 1913: 9.
  37. ^ WESTON'S REEVE IS WARDEN OF COUNTY: R. J. BULL DEFEATED REEVE W. D. ANNIS OF SCARBORO--COUNCIL BEGINS THE SESSION The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 Jan 1911: 9.
  38. ^ Full TextHistorical Newspapers WOULD HAVE W. H. PUGSLEY APPOINTED TO THE SENATE: York County Council Pays a Striking Tribute to Reeve of Richmond Hill The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]30 Jan 1913: 9.
  39. ^ GIFT FOR WARDEN PUGSLEY The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]03 Dec 1910: 2.
  40. ^ WESTERN ONTARIO ALMOST A UNIT IN FAVOR OF NIAGARA POWER SCHEME: Municipal Elections ... Universal Interest OWEN SOUND ANTIS' BIG WIN Mayor Kennedy, Who is Not a Policeman, Re-elected Many By-laws Carried, Including Some For Important Public Works --Mayors of the More Important Centres-- The Vote on the Power By-law a Remarkably Heavy One The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]07 Jan 1908: 1.
  41. ^ Results in Villages The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]06 Jan 1914: 4.
  42. ^ Weston homes, sites set to make history: [York Guardian Edition] MEDITSKOS, STAVROULA. The York Guardian; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]12 Mar 2004
  43. ^ John Gardhouse Passes HON DUNCAN MARSHALL.The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]03 Jan 1930: 47.
  44. ^ Historic home saved from demolition: [York Guardian Edition] Rainford, Lisa. The York Guardian; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]13 June 2003
  45. ^ PROMINENT BREEDER PASSES AT WESTON AFTER SHORT ILLNESS: John Gardhouse Was Director of Exhibition and Famous Judge YEARS IN PUBLIC LIFE The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]01 Jan 1930: 13.
  46. ^ Kenneth Thompson, Weston mayor, Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]04 Feb 1981: A22.
  47. ^ Kenneth L. Thompson Weston mayor ran for Liberals, The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]05 Feb 1981: P.68.
  48. ^ Richard C. Seagrave: Served for Four Years As Mayor of Weston, The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]04 Aug 1955: 5
  49. ^ "City politics".
  50. ^ Not So Placid: Long Levy Riles Weston The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]25 Nov 1960: 3.
  51. ^ George Bull, 65, was Weston mayor, Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]28 May 1977: A5.
  52. ^ C.W. Boddington, The Globe and Mail (1936-2016); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]17 Jan 1984: 4
  53. ^ Wesley (Wes) Boddington, 62, was former mayor of Weston, Toronto Star (1971-2009); Toronto, Ontario [Toronto, Ontario]17 Jan 1984: A15.

External links[edit]