New Toronto - Then and Now
May 2, 2015, 01:30 PM
Walk Leaders: Mike James, Brian Liberty
About This Walk
We begin at the Assembly Hall at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Drive, at the foot of Kipling Ave. at Lake Shore Blvd West. We travel along the north side of Lake Shore to Fifth Street, passing the old Goodyear Plant along the way. From there we travel north to Birmingham St., stopping at the old Town Hall and at the Campbell Soup plant. From there we travel east to Dwight Ave, and then west along Birmingham to Kipling, after which we travel south to arrive back at the Assembly Hall. The early development of New Toronto, as Jane Fairburn notes in Along the Shore (2013), got a tremendous boost with the arrival of railway service in the late 1800s. Beginning on July 1, 1895, a radial railway ran from Toronto all the way to Etobicoke Creek. As a reliable and cheap form of transportation, the radial railway enabled working and middle-class people to find their way to Mimico, New Toronto, and Long Branch. What has happened in the years that followed? We can speak of a postwar era of industrial productivity and prosperity. Then came a period of deindustrialization and the attendant challenges. Now things are changing once again.