North York, Ontario: Wikis


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North York
—  Dissolved Municipality  —
North York skyline in 2009
Motto: The City with Heart
Location of North York (red) compared to the rest of Toronto.
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Municipality Toronto Toronto
Incorporated June 13, 1922 (Township)
1967 (Borough)
Feb 14, 1979 (City)
Changed Region 1954 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 Ken Dryden, John Godfrey, Martha Hall Findlay, Yasmin Ratansi, Judy Sgro, Alan Tonks, Joe Volpe
 - MPPs Laura Albanese, Mike Colle, David Caplan, Monte Kwinter, Mario Sergio, Peter Shurman, Kathleen Wynne
Area [1]
 - Total 176.87 km2 (68.3 sq mi)
Population (2006)[1]
 - Total 635,370
 Density 3,439.2/km2 (8,907.5/sq mi)
Area code(s) 416, 647

North York forms the central part of the northern half of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of the 2006 Census, it has a population of 635,370. The official 2001 census count was 608,288. Until 1998, it was the second-largest of six municipalities that comprised another larger municipal structure called Metropolitan Toronto. The previous year, the provincial Government of Ontario passed legislation to merge these municipalities into a single, new amalgamated City of Toronto. North York is one of the most diverse areas of Toronto, as it contains some of the richest areas of the city (The Bridle Path, Hogg's Hollow, Willowdale, York Mills, Lawrence Park) and some of the poorest (Jane and Finch and Flemingdon Park).



The Township of North York was formed on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. The rapidly-urbanizing parts of the Township remained in that township. As North York itself became more urbanized, it became the Borough of North York in 1967, and then on February 14, 1979, the City of North York. To commemorate receiving its city charter on St. Valentine's Day, the city's corporate slogan was "The City with Heart". It now forms the largest part of the area served by the "North York Community Council", a committee of Toronto City Council.

Originally, North York was known as a regional agricultural hub composed of scattered villages. The area boomed following World War II, and by the 1950s and 1960s, it resembled many other sprawling North American suburbs. Of note is the community of Don Mills.

On August 10, 2008, a massive explosion occurred at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases propane facility just south of the old Downsview Airport. This destroyed the depot and damaged several homes nearby. About 13,000 residents were evacuated for several days before being allowed back home. One employee at the company was killed in the blast and one firefighter died while attending to the scene of the accident.[1] A followup investigation to the incident made several recommendations concerning propane supply depots. It asked for a review of setback distances between depots and nearby residential areas but didn't call for restrictions on where they can be located.[2]


North York is a very multicultural place. In 2006, 57% of North York's residents were not born in Canada. 52% of the people in North York were classified as a visible minority.

North York is full of different neighbourhoods that represent different cultures. The western half of North York is different in cultures than the eastern half.

The Chinese dominate the eastern half of North York making up 22% of the population from Yonge Street to Victoria Park Avenue.

South Asians are mainly spreaded out evenly in North York. The neighbourhoods with the biggest percentage of South Asians was Flemingdon Park (35% of the population was South Asian), and Emery (28% was South Asian).

Black Canadians dominate the western half of North York making up 19% of the population past Allen Road. Most of North York's Black community are along Jane Street and areas around it. Smaller areas such as Jane and Finch, Lawrence Heights, and Trethewey had more than 40% of its population identified as Black. Most are West Indians but there is also a large Black African population. The Jane & Wilson neighbourhood has the largest Ghanaian community in Toronto.

West Asians and Arabs concentrate in the eastern half of North York. Most are Iranians and it is very distinctive on the north end of Yonge Street. There is also a large percentage of Middle Easterns along Don Mills Road.

Filipinos are centred around Bathurst Street making up 10% of the population of the neighbourhoods along Bathurst in North York. The Bathurst & Wilson area will soon officially be the first Little Philippines in Canada. Flemingdon Park also has a sizable Filipino community.

Latin Americans in North York are predominantly in the western half of North York along Jane Street, Weston Road, and Keele Street. They make up 10% of North York's population past Dufferin Street. Areas such as the Jane & Sheppard area have approximately 25% of its population being Latin American. They are from different countries in Latin America with not one country being a dominant one, but many are from Ecuador, El Salvador, Argentina, and Colombia.

Koreans are mostly in the eastern half of North York, especially in the Willowdale neighbourhood (10% of Willowdale was Korean, making it the largest Korean community in Toronto).

Southeast Asians are predominant in the western half of North York. Most are from Vietnam.

Although non-visible minorities are slowly declining over the years moving into the suburbs, Europeans still show a big presence. The largest European community in North York are Italians. Most live in the houses in the western half of North York, from Bathurst Street to Weston Road. Jewish Canadians are centred around Bathurst Street which has the largest Jewish community in Toronto. Russians make up a large percentage of the population along the northern end of Bathurst Street between Sheppard Avenue and Steeles Avenue. The area is also the largest Russian community in Toronto, and is sometimes referred to as "Little Moscow". Old generation Canadians dominate the southern end of North York from Bathurst Street to the west, Leslie Street to the east, Highway 401 to the north and Lawrence Avenue to the south. 73% of the population there is White.

Mayors and reeves of North York

The following is a list of reeves and mayors of North York.

  • 1922-1929 R.F. Hicks, Reeve
  • 1929-1930 James Muirhead, Reeve
  • 1931-1933 George B. Elliott, Reeve
  • 1934-1940 R. Earl Bales, Reeve
  • 1941-1949 George H. Mitchell, Reeve
  • 1950-1952 N.A. Boylen, Reeve
  • 1953-1956 Fred J. McMahon, Reeve
  • 1957-1958 Vernon M. Singer, Reeve
  • 1959-1964 Norman C. Goodhead, Reeve
  • 1965-1966 James D. Service, Reeve
  • 1967-1969 James D. Service, Mayor
  • 1970-1972 Basil H. Hall, Mayor
  • 1973-1997 Mel Lastman, Mayor

Development of North York Centre

Photograph of Yonge Street in downtown North York taken outside the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Panoramic photo of new condo construction along Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue.

While much of the area still retains a suburban nature, efforts led by former Mayor of North York and Toronto Mel Lastman were made to intensify development in the North York Centre area along Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues, coinciding with the path of the Toronto Transit Commission's Yonge subway line.

There are many stores and high-rise office and condominium apartment buildings along this central North York corridor, particularly centred around the old North York City Hall. Directly beside the old City Hall is the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Thanks to a new subway line along Sheppard Avenue, more high-rise condominiums are being built along the Sheppard East corridor.

The central area is gradually ceasing to be suburban, resembling a smaller version of the city's downtown. Major corporations have built their own office towers along Yonge Street in central North York, including the Canadian head offices of Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Cadbury Adams, Lindt & Sprüngli, Equifax, and Xerox, while the Government of Canada maintains offices north of Sheppard Avenue. McDonald's of Canada is also located in North York, although not along this corridor. This particular area is the region in the foreground of this photograph.[4] Many more office and condo towers have sprouted in the area of this photo since it was taken.

The section of Highway 401 which traverses North York is the busiest section of freeway in North America, exceeding 400,000 vehicles per day.

In the 1980s, the administration of Mel Lastman transformed North York. The former North York City Hall looks out upon a reflecting pool. Directly south of the city hall in the same complex is the former North York Board of Education building (now home to the Toronto District School Board. To the north and east of the complex are two large malls connected by an underground passage with subway access. The northern mall is connected to the North York Central Library, the largest full-service Toronto Public Library building in Toronto (second to Metro Reference in square footage). The library is a part of a much larger facility including a school board work station, swimming pool, snack bar, veterans centre and large hotel, the rooms of which look onto the inside of the mall. The more recently-built eastern mall (called "Empress Walk") is built around a large multi-storey cathedral-like hall and contains an Empire Theatres movie theatre and a Loblaws supermarket.

North York is the northern extent of the Carolinian forest zone.


Major shopping malls in North York include the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Fairview Mall. Smaller locations include Centerpoint Mall, Bayview Village, Yorkgate Mall, Steeles West Market Mall, Jane Finch Mall and Sheppard Centre. It is also home to campuses of York University, Seneca College, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Tyndale University College and Seminary.

Major health-care facilities, such as North York General Hospital, Humber River Regional Hospital (Finch Avenue Site previously called York-Finch Hospital) and the massive Sunnybrook Hospital complex which includes a veterans' residence, a regional cancer centre and regional trauma centre are located in North York.

A military base and aircraft manufacturing facility is located at Downsview, although with the end of the Cold War, much of the land is now being transformed into a park.

Black Creek Pioneer Village, an authentic nineteenth-century village, and the Ontario Science Centre, which boasts over 800 science-oriented exhibits, are North York's primary attractions. Not far from Black Creek Pioneer Village is York University's main campus, and the infamous Jane and Finch neighbourhood.

Along North York's Bathurst Street is one of the world's largest urban Jewish communities, with a significant population of Holocaust survivors.

A small plaza containing Chinese restaurants and supermarkets is located at the intersection of Finch Avenue and Leslie Street. It first developed in the 1980s to serve the ethnic Chinese community, though its patronage has now diversified.

There are a multitude of North York sports clubs including the North York Storm, a girls hockey league, Gwendolen Tennis Club in the heart of North York near Yonge and Sheppard, and the venerable North York Aquatic Club, which was founded in 1958 as the North York Lions Swim Club and has produced many Olympian swimmers.


  • Salam Toronto Bilingual Persian-English weekly paper expressing the voice/distributed of/to the Iranian Community of Thornhill, Richmond Hill, North York, Toronto and GTA.


Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Thousands returning home after massive T.O. fire. CTV News. August 10, 2008. [1]
  2. ^ Boost 'hazard distance' at propane depots: report. CTV News. November 7, 2008. [2]
  3. ^ Statistics Canada. Community Highlights for North York (dissolved). 2006. [3]
  4. ^
  5. ^ North York Storm Official site of girls hockey in North York.
  6. ^ Gwendolen Tennis Club A mainstay of North York Tennis.
  7. ^ North York Aquatic Club North York's oldest swim club, located at the swimming pool next to Mel Lastman Square
  8. ^ North York Astros Men's professional soccer playing in the Canadian Soccer League. Esther Shiner Stadium.
  9. ^ North York Fire Basketball
  10. ^ North York Hockey League
  11. ^ North York Hearts Azzurri Soccer Club
  1. ^ CityNews
  2. ^ CTV
  3. ^ Toronto Star
  4. ^ Toronto Star

External links

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