Thursday, February 11, 2016

5 reasons why we love our neighbourhood

There are a million reasons why we love our neighbourhood, but to write them all out would take way too long. Being perched on the corner of Yonge and Gerrard, there is so much going on around us in Downtown Yonge that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. Our neighbourhood is filled with amazing shops, restaurants, activities, public spaces - you name it - and we’re so happy to call it home.

It was difficult, but we managed to narrow down the 5 things we love the most about living here:

  1. The History
    Yonge Street has been and likely always will be the most important street in Toronto. The construction of Yonge has even been designated an ‘Event of National Historical Significance’ in Canada - it played a major role in the original planning and settlement of western Upper Canada. Construction began on Yonge Street in the 1790s. As many of you know, it’s also home to the first subway line in Canada - the Yonge line. Construction on the subway line began in 1949 and officially opened in March of 1954, and Torontonians couldn’t get enough of their new rapid transit line.
  2. Record-Breaking Length
    For a long time Yonge Street held the title of longest street in the world at an amazing 86 kilometres in length. In 1999, the title was taken away when a debate arose about whether or not Highway 11 was officially a part of Yonge Street. Even still, Yonge Street is insanely huge and remains the longest street in Canada.
  3. Pedestrian-Friendly Initiatives
    Did you know that back in the early 1970s the City of Toronto would shut down a portion of Yonge and make it entirely pedestrian-friendly? The streets would be packed and patios spilling out onto the street, making it one of the best spots to explore during the summer. In 1974 the initiative was unfortunately cancelled, but years later Open Streets TO stepped in and brought the idea back to life. Now for the past two years they’ve pedestrianized Yonge Street for a few weekends each summer in an attempt to show the City how beneficial initiatives like this are.

  1. Yonge-Dundas Square
    Our neighbourhood is home to Toronto’s most famous public space, Yonge-Dundas Square. Having the square so close by means that the neighbourhood is constantly buzzing with different events, shows, and activities. Everything from outdoor movie nights during the summer to NXNE concerts, Buskerfest, Toronto Pride, Nuit Blanche, and so much more. Having Yonge-Dundas Square so close is the best.
  2. Downtown Yonge BIA Last but certainly not least, we’ve got the best BIA in the whole city. Thanks to the Downtown Yonge BIA there is never a lack of amazing events and activities going on in our neighbourhood, and they’re constantly working to improve the area and make it the best it can be for the people who live there (like us!). They went above and beyond in 2015 by organizing the Yonge Love campaign which surveyed thousands and thousands of people who live and work in the area, asking why they love it here and what they’d like to see come out of the neighbourhood in the near future.