Living in Niagara
Niagara is a mixed residential and industrial neighbourhood. As of 1994 the City of Toronto had recorded approximately 3,107 dwelling units, and 647 industrial firms in the Niagara neighbourhood. This neighbourhood is now in transition however as the trend is towards more residential accomodations and less industry. The physical and social centre of Niagara is Stanley Park, a multi-recreational facility that is well used by area residents. Niagara offers convenient access to Toronto’s business and entertainment districts. It is also very handy to the Skydome, Exhibition Place, the Harbourfront, and the Toronto Islands.
History of Niagara
The Niagara neighbourhood has a rich history that dates back to 1793, when it was part of a military garrison for the fledgling Town of York. Old Fort York, is still standing on Garrison Road, between Bathurst Street and Strachan Avenue. Street names in the Niagara neighbourhood are reminders of its military past. For example: Stanley Street is named after the former Stanley Barracks now located on the Exhibition grounds, Niagara Street is named after the former military capital of Upper Canada, and Tecumseh Street is named for the great warrior chief of the Shawnee, who fought for Canada, in the war of 1812. The second chapter in this neighbourhood’s history began in the 1850’s, when Niagara emerged as a prominent industrial centre. Niagara’s factories and mills created a demand for workers housing which led ultimately to the residential development of the Niagara neighbourhood in the mid to late 1800’s.
Lifestyle in Niagara
Queen Street West provides Niagara residents with an eclectic mix of antique shops, art galleries, bookstores, fashion stores, natural food markets and restaurants. King Street also has stores and restaurants that serve the day-to-day needs of Niagara residents.
Recreation in Niagara
Niagara is a close knit neighbourhood with its own small community centre located on the Stanley Park grounds. This centre is used for local residents meetings, community based programming and social functions. Stanley Park is a favourite neighbourhood meeting place. It contains two baseball diamonds, two tennis courts, a soccer field, a small outdoor pool, and a children’s playground. Fort York located on Garrison Road was the scene of the bloody Battle of York during the War of 1812. Today this important Toronto landmark serves as a museum where knowledgeable historical interpreters, wearing period costumes, conduct tours and demonstrate historical activities. Fort York also contains a variety of exhibits and displays.
Transportation in Niagara
Regular streetcar service runs on Queen Street, King Street, and Bathurst Street. Motorists are just minutes from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard.