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East York
—  Dissolved Municipality  —
Location of East York (red) compared to the rest of Toronto.
Coordinates: 43°41′28.68″N 79°19′40.08″W / 43.6913°N 79.3278°W / 43.6913; -79.3278
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Municipality Toronto Toronto
Incorporated 1924 (Township)
1967 (Borough)
Changed Region 1953 Flag of Metropolitan Toronto.svg Metropolitan Toronto from York County
Amalgamated 1 January 1998 into Toronto
 - Mayor David Miller (Toronto Mayor)
 - Governing Body Toronto City Council
 - MPs Jack Layton, Maria Minna
 - MPPs Michael Prue, Peter Tabuns
 - Total 21.26 km2 (8.2 sq mi)
 - Total 112,054
 - Density 5,418/km2 (14,032.6/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span M4C, M4E, M4G, M4H

East York was formerly a semi-autonomous borough within the overall municipality of Metropolitan Toronto before East York, North York, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and Toronto were amalgamated into the new "megacity" of Toronto in 1998. One of East York's claims to fame was that, before the amalgamation, it was Canada's only borough.

It is separated by the Don River from the former City of Toronto. Traditional East York is southeast of the river, and the neighbourhoods of Leaside, Bennington Heights and densely-populated Thorncliffe Park are northwest of the river. The heart of East York is filled with middle-class and working-class homes, with extensive high-rise developments along peripheral major streets and in Crescent Town and Thorncliffe Park.



East York was originally part of York Township. Following the incorporation of the Township of North York in 1922, York Township was divided by Toronto, Leaside and North Toronto. With the rapid growth that followed the opening of the Bloor-Danforth (Prince Edward) Viaduct in 1919, the residents of the eastern half of York Township felt they had been neglected by the Township when it came to roads, sewers and other municipal services. Left with the option to either join the City of Toronto or branch out on its own, East Yorkers voted 448 affirmative and 102 negative. The Township of East York was incorporated on January 1, 1924 with a population of 19,849. The western half retained its name.

East York was originally populated by working class English people who valued the opportunity to own small homes of their own, with front lawns and back gardens. Many had immigrated from Lancashire and Yorkshire. In 1961, 71.7% of the population identified themselves as having British origins.

In the late 1940s, after World War II, East York became home to many returning veterans and their families. Many inexpensive homes were built, including the houses around Topham Park, by the government, to house the returning veterans and the baby boomers. The local government was both socially conscious and frugal, fitting the residents' self-image of East York as filled with supportive neighbours and NGOs.

For many years, the borough did not allow the serving of alcoholic beverages in any restaurants, etc. The result was a heavy concentration of alcohol-serving restaurants and bars on Danforth Avenue, a main street in the city of Toronto running east-west just south of East York. The prohibition of serving alcohol was eliminated in the 1970s.[1]

The borough of East York was established in 1967 through the amalgamation of the former township of East York and the former town of Leaside. Leaside was a planned industrial and residential community. East York has over the years been a residential enclave for senior citizens, as the original owners from the 1940s age and as younger families move out to suburbs to live in larger houses.

Recently, rapid and accelerated gentrification has changed many neighbourhoods. Many one-story bungalows have added second floors, and many shops have been converted to more upscale shops.

East York's last mayor was Michael Prue who went on to become city councillor for East York, and then a Member of Provincial Parliament for Beaches—East York in 2001. Between 2002 and 2005, the East York Civic Centre's "True Davidson Council Chamber" was used to hold the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry/Toronto External Contracts Inquiry.

List of the reeves and mayors of East York


  • 1924-1925 Robert Barker
  • 1926 R. H. Macgregor
  • 1927-1933 R. M. Leslie
  • 1934-1935 John Warren
  • 1936 Arthur Henry Williams - later a CCF MPP and MP for nearby Ontario riding.
  • 1937-1948 John Warren
  • 1950-1956 Harry G. Simpson
  • 1957-1960 Jack R. Allen
  • 1961-1966 True Davidson



Visible Minorities, 2006 [1] Population Percent
South Asian 19,315 17.4
Chinese 6,870 6.2
Filipino 4,625 4.2
Black 4,510 4.1
West Asian/Arab 2,510 2.3
Latin American 835 0.8
Southeast Asian 715 0.6
Korean 630 0.6
Japanese 610 0.5
Other visible minorities, n.i.e.[2] 1,735 1.5

East York's population was 115,185 in 2001[2]. By the 2006 census, the population had dropped slightly (-2.7%), to 112,054.[3]

Since the 1970s, the population composition has changed from predominantly British, as East York has become a major arrival point for immigrants, many of whom have established their first Canadian residence in the apartments that became plentiful in Thorncliffe Park, Crescent Town and elsewhere on or near main streets. Almost half of the population in 2001 (45.1%) was foreign-born, and of these, 49.0% had immigrated to the area between 1991 and 2001. [3] These groups include Bengalis, Indians, Pakistanis, Jamaicans, Filipinos and Sri Lankans. East York also has a well established Greek population and a growing Chinese community. In 2006 the percentage of visible minorities was 38.4%, and the percentage of immigrants was 44.4%.

The religious affiliations of the East York population are consistent with its ethnic composition. Some 63.4% of the population adheres to Christianity, with an almost even split between Catholics (23.6%) and Protestants (25.3%). Christian Orthodox and unspecified types of Christianity make up 12.0% and 2.5% respectively. The largest non-Christian religious group is Muslim, who make up 12.6% of religious adherents, followed by Hinduism (3.7%), Buddhism (1.6%), and Judaism (0.9%). A sizable percentage of the population (17.1%) has no religious affiliation. [4]

While English is the dominant language in the area, nearly half (42.6%) of the population reports that their first language was neither English nor French.


The Bulldog was chosen as the official symbol of East York due to the Bulldog's tenacity and spirit

East York is home to various sports teams. The hockey teams are the Bulldogs, playing out of East York Arena, and Victoria Village, playing out of Victoria Village arena. Both leagues offer entry level and competitive select hockey for various ages, being played in the North York Hockey League. East York is home to East York Soccer, playing out of East York Collegiate, and Clairlea Soccer, playing out of various locations, who both offer entry level and competitive soccer for all ages. Baseball wise, East York is home to organizations such as East York and Topham Park. East York provides entry level and AAA baseball for all ages, while Topham Park only provides entry level. East York is also home to a provincially-known figure skating club, a gymnastics club, a lawn bowling club, and a curling club.

Famous residents

East York has been the home of:

  • Barry Wellman's series of three studies of community, networks and (recently) the Internet are set in East York.[4]

External links


Davidson, True. 1976. The Golden Years of East York. Toronto: Centennial College Press.

Gillies, Marion and Barry Wellman. 1968. "East York: A Profile." Report to Community Studies Section, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto.

Wellman, Barry and Bernie Hogan, with Kristen Berg, Jeffrey Boase, Juan-Antonio Carrasco, Rochelle Côté, Jennifer Kayahara, Tracy L.M. Kennedy and Phouc Tran. “Connected Lives: The Project” Pp. 157–211 in Networked Neighbourhoods: The Online Community in Context, edited by Patrick Purcell. Guildford, UK: Springer, 2006.

  1. ^ Davidson, True. 1976. The Golden Years of East York. Toronto: Centennial College Press.
  2. ^ "2001 Census Data for East York".  
  3. ^ As East York is no longer a separate municipality, Statistics Canada no longer reports its population (or other statistics). The total population was obtained for this article by summing the census tracts that comprised East York before 2006.
  4. ^


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