Living in Brockton
Brockton Village is a quiet, unassuming neighbourhood in west downtown Toronto. Historical street signs along Dundas Street mark the entrance way to the commercial centre of the neighbourhood. Brockton Village has a large Portuguese community. The influence of this community can be seen in Brockton’s shopping districts and in the brightly painted homes in the neighbourhood.
History of Brockton
The Village of Brockton was likely named after Captain James Brock, who held a large parcel of land in this area in the early 1800’s. Captain Brock was a cousin of Sir Issac Brock, a Canadian war hero who fought in the War of 1812. Brockton was initially settled in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants. These first settlers found employment in Brockton’s two rope making factories. They also cultivated their land and tended to their livestock as a source of income. In 1881, Brockton was incorporated as a village. However, only three years after it’s incorporation Brockton had accumulated a large debt. Brockton’s financial troubles led the residents of the village to vote in favour of amalgamation with the City of Toronto. This merger became official on March 25th, 1884.
Homes in Brockton
The majority of Brockton Village houses were built between 1880 and 1920. There are many types of homes here, but the most common is the Victorian semi-detached, or row house. Many of the houses feature a front porch with pillars, and steps with wrought iron railings, that lead to beautifully maintained gardens.
Lifestyle in Brockton
Brockton Village’s main shopping districts are on Dundas Street West and on College Street. These two shopping areas contain mostly Portuguese food shops and restaurants, which cater to the large Portuguese community in this neighbourhood. The Bloordale Village shopping district along Bloor Street has a wide range of shops and restaurants. The merchants here frequently sponsor special events for the local community. The Dufferin Mall, south of Bloor Street, includes large chain department stores and over 100 retail outlets. The houses are fairly narrow, and so are the lots. Parking is accessed from laneways at the rear of the properties.
Recreation in Brockton
The annual Big On Bloor street festival held in July is a popular community event. It takes place on Bloor Street between Dufferin and Landsdowne and is a celebration of local artists, theatre, musicians, and local restaurants. This festival includes an art fair, music festival, restaurant promotions, and a parade with entertainment for the whole family. The McCormick Recreation Centre has a gymnasium, an exercise room, a games room, and an indoor pool. The playground adjacent to the centre has a wading pool and a baseball diamond. Dufferin Grove Park has a myriad of sports facilities including tennis courts, a basketball court, a playing field, and an artificial ice rink. This park also offers some wonderful arts and crafts and nature programs.
Transportation in Brockton
Regular bus service on Landsdowne Avenue and Dufferin Street connect passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The streetcar lines on Dundas Street and College Avenue connect commuters to Toronto’s downtown business and commercial districts. Motorists are approximately fifteen minutes from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard, via Dufferin Street.