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The Little India section of Gerrard
A street sign for Gerrard Street West, at its terminus in the Discovery District.

Gerrard Street is a street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It consists of two separate parts, one running east from University Avenue for 6 km to Coxwell Avenue, and the other starting 300 m north along Coxwell and continuing east for another 4 km to Clonmore Avenue (between Victoria Park Avenue and Warden Avenue). In the vicinity of Coxwell Avenue the southern piece of Gerrard Street is frequently referred to as Lower Gerrard, and the northern piece is referred to as Upper Gerrard.

At University Avenue, it is surrounded by hospitals consisting of Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto Rehab, and the Hospital for Sick Children.

As is typical in Toronto, the street is divided into East and West addresses at Yonge Street.

Ryerson University is located on Gerrard Street just east of Yonge. Further to the east, at Parliament Street, where Gerrard Street East separates Cabbagetown from Regent Park, the Toronto Transit Commission's 506 Carlton streetcar turns onto Gerrard Street at Parliament Street to continue its journey east as far as Main Street. The TTC's 135 Gerrard bus serves the portion east of Main Street to Clonmore Avenue on its route to Warden Station.

After crossing over the Don River, Gerrard Street East passes through Toronto's Chinatown East which is centred on Gerrard between Broadview Avenue and Carlaw Avenue.

Contents

South Asian market and Gerrard India Bazaar

On Gerrard Street between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue, there are many Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghanistani restaurants, cafés, videos/DVD stores, clothing shops, electronic goods & home decor stores catering to the South Asian-Canadian communities. Along with Jackson Heights in New York and Devon Avenue in Chicago, it forms one of the largest South Asian marketplaces in North America. The area has never been home to a large South Asian population, rather it has served for several decades as commercial centre for South Asians living in the Toronto area. Today, it attracts visitors from the Toronto area, and from elsewhere in Canada and the United States. It celebrates the annual Festival of South Asia in late August.[1]

A group of Hindu and Sikh merchants have formed the "Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area" (BIA).[2] The BIA sponsors events that appeal to the different South Asian groups that shop in the area: in 2004, Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, and Eid, the Islamic feast day that marks the end of Ramadan, occurred around the same time in November. The BIA held a joint Diwali-Eid festival.[3] The area is also commonly referred to as "Little India", or Little Pakistan.

The neighbourhood originated in 1972 when businessman Gian Naaz purchased the Eastwood Theatre and began to show Bollywood films. This attracted large numbers of Indo-Canadians from across the GTA. This large traffic led to a number of other stores in the area to be created to cater to the South Asian community. The area expanded rapidly and features houses some 100 stores and restaurants and has spread over almost the entire length from Greenwood to Coxwell. While originally shop owners mostly spoke Hindi, Punjabi, and Bengali, in recent years a wide array of Pakistani stores have opened in the western part of the neighbourhood (near Greenwood), which is closely linked to the large Muslim community in the East Danforth area just to the north.

See also

References

  1. ^ Brouse
  2. ^ Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area
  3. ^ Brouse, Cynthia. "Indian Summer", Toronto Life, September 2005.

External links


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