Living in Agincourt
Agincourt has one of the largest Asian communities in Toronto. This ethnic mix is visible in the signage of the many shopping malls that proliferate in the neighbourhood. The East Indian and Indo Pakistani community are also well established in Agincourt. The Woodside Cinemas, located at the Woodside Square Mall on McCowan Road, includes three theatres that screen East Indian, Indo-Pakistani and Chinese films, occasionally with English subtitles.
History of Agincourt
Agincourt began as a small village centred around the Knox Presbyterian Church. The original frame Knox Church, built in, 1846 was replaced in 1872 with the story-book brick church that still stands today on the north-east corner of Sheppard and Midland Avenues. In 1858, the “Agincourt” post office opened in the general store of John Hill. Hill secured this post office with the help of a Quebec member of Parliament who insisted the post office be given a French name. Hill’s customers were mostly English and Scottish and so he chose the name “Agincourt” after the French Town where King Henry the V won his famous battle in 1415. Agincourt began to boom in the late 1800’s when two railway lines opened stations here. This led to the building of the first Agincourt subdivision in 1913, on the old Paterson farm north of Sheppard Avenue, between Midland Avenue and the Railway tracks. The most significant wave of development in Agincourt took place between 1945 and 1965, when most of the present day neighbourhood was developed.
Lifestyle in Agincourt
Agincourt is filled with Asian shopping malls and shopping plazas, particularly along Sheppard Avenue and on McCowan Road north of Finch Avenue. The mix of shopping in these plazas includes Asian supermarkets, fruit stores, seafood restaurants, herbal stores, vegetarian shops, beauty salons, banks and bakeries. The largest shopping mall in this neighbourhood is the Agincourt Mall on Sheppard Avenue. This mall is anchored by both a Wal-Mart department store and a Loblaws supermarket, and features mostly national retailers and chain stores. Woodside Square, located at the north-west corner of Finch Avenue and McCowan Road is a medium-size indoor shopping mall anchored by discount department stores and a supermarket. This mall features a good mix of fashion, gift, home entertainment and food stores. There is also a large Chinese book store and a herbal and health food store.
Recreation in Agincourt
The Agincourt Community Centre, located at 31 Glen Watford Drive, offers indoor swimming programs, fitness classes and recreational skating. The Agincourt Lawn Bowling Club operates out of the park adjacent to the community centre. The Agincourt Gardening Club meets regularly at the Christian Centre of Knox United Church, 2575 Midland Avenue. This gardening club recently erected a plaque at the Donalda Park on Donalda Drive commemorating the three varieties of lilacs developed in Agincourt. These species include the “Agincourt Beauty,” which is reputed to have the largest lilac flower in the world. Brimley Woods Park, located just north of Finch Avenue, is renowned for its brilliant display of trillium flowers that bloom in early May. This park features a short wood chip nature trail underneath a tall canopy of maple trees. A chorus of bird calls serenades hikers through this beautiful trail. The Woodside Square shopping centre, located at Finch Avenue and McCowan Road, features a public library that offers year-round programming for adults as well as children.
Transportation in Agincourt
Agincourt has its own Go Transit station on the north side of Sheppard Avenue, just east of Kennedy Road. This station provides commuters with morning train service to Union Station in downtown Toronto. This train returns to Agincourt in the late afternoon from Union Station. Toronto Transit bus lines on Finch and Sheppard Avenues connect passengers to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Bus services on Kennedy, Brimley, McCowan, Bellamy and Markham Roads, as well as Midland Avenue link passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.