News   Nov 22, 2019
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The decay of downtown Queen Street East

TheTigerMaster

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Now Toronto recently published an article about the recent development on the east side.

https://nowtoronto.com/news/downtown-east-sides-balancing-act/

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the proposed amendment to the city's official plan requiring that 10 per cent of all new units built in the downtown east be affordable housing... Why just the downtown east...
Probably because downtown east has historically housed lower/no income individuals, as the video in that Now article you sourced pointed out.

Now whether or not this policy is just is up to debate
 

jozl

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Hard to believe that I opened this thread 7 years ago and still nothing has happened at Sherbourne and Queen Streets. In fact it’s gotten much worse. Blog TO recently published the following. https://www.blogto.com/city/2019/02/moss-park-toronto/
This intersection is a blight and city hall should be ashamed that it still exists, especially considering its proximity to the downtown core. It is not a good look.

Moss Park may only span the entirety of two blocks, but the neighbourhood’s name is known citywide.
It’s not the good kind of recognition: this rundown area in and around its namesake park—a barren piece of green space which runs between Jarvis and Parliament from Dundas down to Queen—is known to be a hotbed for crime.

The Moss Park neighbourhood spans the areas between Jarvis and Parliament between Dundas and Queen.
If you’re heading west toward Schnitzel Queen or Enat Buna, you’re more than likely to witness an illicit lunchtime drug deal as you pass the corner of Queen and Sherbourne, where groups gather day and night, in all temperatures, outside the Moss Park Discount Store.
Further north past the Followers Mission just steps from the giant Dollarama, the Salvation Army-run men’s shelter Maxwell Meighen Centre is sure to be fronted by at least several people lingering in the doorway, trying their luck for the services offered there.

The neighbourhood is largely consists of low-income residents and shelters.
With the cold lines of the Moss Park Armoury making up its backdrop, there’s no pretence around the stark divide between this part of town and Toronto’s flourishing Garden District, just further west closer to Church, where students and new businesses abound.
It’s a different story for the majority of businesses on this end. Longtime businesses like Woven Treasures, which has been selling Persian rugs for over 24 years, is slated to close sometime soon due to rising rent and diminishing business, says the owner.

Longtime Persian rug purveyor Woven Treasures will soon close due to rising rents.
It wasn’t always like this: according to some longtime residents, the area has degraded noticeably over the past decade. The increase of drug litter, open drug use, and more recently, the introduction of deadly bootleg fentanyl in street heroin, sparked the creation of the unsanctioned Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) in 2017.
But the decline can even be dated back to the construction of the Armoury in the 1960s, which saw an entire strip of shops torn down to make way for the Canadian Forces facility, along with housing run by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
This massive City-led change solidified, probably intentionally, Moss Park’s identity as Toronto’s carefully quarantined area of social inequities.

The Armoury was built in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, a few shops like Longboard Haven and the apothecary Leaves of Trees have carved out spaces for themselves as niche purveyors facing Moss Park directly, creating a surprisingly sturdy frontier of local businesses trying to make it in an area with low foot traffic and a bad reputation.
“Once we moved into the location we started to see how amazing the neighbours are,” says Randy Spearing, owner of the newest store on the strip, Department Store. “Everyone is really committed to the neighbourhood and seeing it thrive.”

Department Store opened in late 2018.
Opened in late 2018, Spearing’s pop up-turned shop specializes in locally-made goods like printed city maps, accessories, and stationery that seem more fitting for West Queen West than Moss Park.
Perusing through its stylish stock of neighbourhood mugs and calf leather wallets, there’s an obvious disconnect between the store selling home goods and the street it sits on.
 

TorPronto

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With Moss Park being redeveloped and quite a few developments coming to the immediate area, it may be a completely different placed by 2029
 

jozl

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There have been numerous developments proposed for this area for over a decade. Seems to me that nothing will happen until Moss Park is rebuilt and the Maxwell Meighen flop house is removed which will take many years. It would also be nice if the Feds donated the armoury land to the city but I’m doubtful that will ever happen. My former ward councilor Pam McConnel tried to get the feds to listen for years to no avail. I’m not optimistic that any significant change will happen to this area any time soon.
 

DSC

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There have been numerous developments proposed for this area for over a decade. Seems to me that nothing will happen until Moss Park is rebuilt and the Maxwell Meighen flop house is removed which will take many years. It would also be nice if the Feds donated the armoury land to the city but I’m doubtful that will ever happen. My former ward councilor Pam McConnel tried to get the feds to listen for years to no avail. I’m not optimistic that any significant change will happen to this area any time soon.
There is a large development reaching City approval on Queen East just east of Sherbourne, See: http://urbantoronto.ca/database/projects/245-queen-street-east
The plans for the new sports centre are moving ahead. See: https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/519-sport-and-recreation-project-moss-park-arena-revitalization-mjma-west-8-public-studio-lga-svn.21431/page-4

I think the area IS changing. Yes, it would be good if the Maxwell Meighan was moved or fixed up (and if its residents were not forced outside every day.). Getting the Armoury back (I think the feds lease it from the City) is not going to happen soon; I agree that it creates a dead zone..
 

pman

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While it’s nice to see middle class residential projects being built east of Church, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s an enormous concentration of rooming houses, shelters, public housing and agencies offering services to the homeless in the neighbourhood.
 

ShonTron

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I get the need for a downtown-ish location for the Armoury, but I'd like to see it somewhere more out of the way, and Moss Park completely opened up. Perhaps the eastern end of the Portlands, near Leslie Street, would be a good spot for a relocated armoury, near Leslie Barns and the sewage treatment plant. That won't affect plans for the western Portlands, which are closer to redevelopment.

The concentration of social services and shelters in the area will always be a factor (not just the Maxwell Meighan, but also Seaton House, Fred Victor, and the agencies at Dundas and Sherbourne) but the influx of new residents in the area has changed things quite a bit. The downside (and what many are forgetting) is that the privately-owned affordable housing (rooming houses, SROs, and older apartments) in the area are disappearing, even if the publicly-owned affordable housing and supporting institutions are not.
 

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