Parkdale is a neighbourhood of Toronto that has a very interesting history. In the late 1800s, Parkdale was actually an elite suburb of Toronto wherein many of Toronto’s wealthy and affluent families lived. In 1922, the Sunnyside Amusement Park and Bathing Pavilion opened in Parkdale’s waterfront and at this time, it was a very popular place that many young Torontonians frequented. Unfortunately, these early glory days of Parkdale ended in the mid 50s when Sunnyside was shut down and the Gardiner Expressway was built. The building of the Gardiner Expressway essentially cut off Parkdale from its waterfront and the whole area went into a period of decline.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, many low-income houses and rental properties were built in Parkdale and as such, it experienced a large influx of new immigrants. At the same time, the Ontario government introduced a new program aimed at integrating many long-term care mental illness patients into the Parkdale community. Parkdale declined greatly in this time and it wasn’t until the 90s that the area started to change once again as the hip restaurants and shops of Queen Street spread west.
Today, Parkdale is an area teeming with yummy restaurants, fun live music venues and a wide variety of interesting shops.