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Islington-Six Points
—  Neighbourhood  —
Towers in Etobicoke's Downtown
Location of neighbourhood within Toronto
Coordinates: 43°38′55″N 79°31′43″W / 43.64861°N 79.52861°W / 43.64861; -79.52861
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Toronto
Community Etobicoke-York
Established 1830s Settled 'Mimico'
1860 (Postal village) 'Islington'
Changed Municipality 1998 Toronto from Etobicoke
Government
 - MP Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore)
 - MPP Laurel Broten (Etobicoke-Lakeshore)
 - Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore)

Islington-Six Points, known by the city as Islington-City Centre West, is a neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the historic central commercial neighbourhood of the former City of Etobicoke. Islinton is bounded on the north by Rathburn Road, on the east by Kipling Avenue, Mimico Creek, and Islington Avenue, on the south by the Gardiner Expressway, and on the west by Etobicoke Creek and Highway 427.

Montgomery's Inn

Contents

History

Mimico roadside community

Islington centres on a commercial stip along Dundas Street (the first highway connecting Toronto to the west) which runs along an escarpment (the Iroquois Shoreline, ancient shore of Lake Iroquois, now Lake Ontario) across the width of Etobicoke. To the west where Kipling crosses Dundas (and Bloor) is the Six Points intersection, the central point in Etobicoke's grid. To the east, Dundas crosses the Mimico Creek. A community called Mimico grew around Montgomery's Inn which was built in 1832[1] at Dundas and Islington (beside the Mimico Creek) to serve travellers coming or going from Toronto to western Ontario along Dundas. Unlike the better known Montgomery's Tavern (fomerly in North York, now demolished), Montgomery's Inn was used by soldiers remaining loyal to the government during the 1837 rebellion. Etobicoke was officially incorporated as a township in 1850 first using Montgomery's Inn for its meetings until the nearby original Methodist Church was purchased. Etobicoke's first cemetery began with the burial of a traveller on Dundas who died on his way to Toronto just before reaching Montgomery's Inn. Despite the dying man's request to be buried in Toronto, he was buried beside the Methodist Church (later the Etobicoke Council Offices) in Islington. This cemetery remains a prominent historic site in the heart of Etobicoke where many of Etobicoke's early families are buried.

Administrative centre of Etobicoke
Former Etobicoke Council Offices

With the building of the first railway to Toronto in 1855, Mimico-on-the-Lake petitioned the government for a post office to be called Mimico in 1858. In 1860 northern Mimico petitioned for its own post office, choosing the name Islington, a name suggested by the wife of Montgomery's Innkeeper who was born in Islington, England (now a part of London). A second railway was built at the bottom of the escarpment (just south of Dundas) preventing the collapse of Islington during the railway age. This neighbourhood was also the site Etobicoke's annual rural fair. In the early 1900s Etobicoke's urbanising lakeshore communities separated to become independent municipalities while Islington remained a postal village, the administrative centre of rural Etobicoke. The Etobicoke municipal offices were greatly enlarged at this time.

Urbanisation
Historic Mural on Dundas

Urbanisation began in central Etobicoke in the 1950s post war boom with growing residential areas in Islington and to the north and industrial growth to the south. This lead to Etobicoke's incorporation as a Borough which separated from the County of York to form a part of the new Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, reincorporating the lakeshore municipalities. With growing traffic along Dundas and increasing traffic fatalities in Islington, the intersections of Royal York and Kipling with Dundas were redesigned as highway style interchanges with bridges. The new Borough of Etobicoke created several plans to raise the level of commercial and residential density in Islington with the aim of creating a western 'downtown' for Metropolitan Toronto. The Toronto Transit Commission's Bloor-Danforth line was extended into Etobicoke as far as Islington in 1968 with the establishment of Islington station at Islington Avenue and Bloor Street West. After the station was constructed, there was a boom in high-density office and residential development. In 1980, the Bloor-Danforth line was extended one stop west from Islington to Kipling and GO Transit's Kipling GO Station, further enhancing the neighbourhood's access to Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.

Redevelopment
Former Legion Hall on Bloor in Islington

The physical segregation of Islington with the redesigning of the surrounding interchanges on Dundas (at Kipling and at Royal York) and the redevelopment of much of the industrial areas as suburban style commercial (Big-box stores) as well as the Borough council's move in 1958 from the historic Etobicoke Council Offices to a new complex beside the new Highway 427 limited the success of plans for the area to be developed as a western downtown[2]. Recent plans have called for the levelling of the Kipling and Dundas intersection (Six Points), possibly as a roundabout, with a view to increasing the density there. A heated debate over the demolition of the Montgomery's home (Briarly) beside Montgomery's Inn in the 1980s led to a greater emphasis on the historic nature of the area[3]. Montgomery's Inn has been preserved as the Etobicoke Community Museum and is open to the public and Islington has been designated a Business Improvement Area known as the Historic Village of Islington[4] which has commissioned a large number of historic wall murals along Dundas.

Character

Historic Home on Dundas at Six Points

Islington-Six Points is a very diverse part of the city. It is dominated by Highway 427 and the QEW/Gardiner Expressway, as well as the railyards of the CPR. Along the highways are a mix of shopping malls and light industrial buildings. There is a mix of single family homes in the south western area with numerous apartment towers along Bloor Street. The area north of the Bloor-Dundas intersection is also known as "Six Points". The Six Points area is a mix of single family bungalows and commercial storefronts along the main streets.

Schools

Institutions

  • Old Etobicoke Township Hall (now Fox & the Fiddle)
  • Islington Post Office
  • Islington Legion Hall (closed)
  • Montgomery's Inn
  • Islington Golf Club
  • Six Points Plaza
  • Westown Plaza
  • Kipling GO Station
Churches
Islington United Church on Burnamthorpe near Dundas
  • Islington United Church[5]
  • St Andrew's Presbyterian Church[6]
  • St George's-on-the-Hill Anglican Church[7]
  • St Matthew's Anglican Church
  • Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church

Notes

External links

Coordinates: 43°38′28″N 79°32′06″W / 43.641°N 79.535°W / 43.641; -79.535

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