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The history of Alexandra Park is one that was initiated by a Polish Engineer. For some time, the biggest symbol of the neighborhood was the grand home called “The Hall”. After the development of The Hall came developments for Polish and Ukrainian immigrants around the 1920’s and 1930’s. In the 1960’s the hall was demolished to make way for public housing. The Area started to slowly be inhabited by Chinese, Vietnamese, East Africans and Caribbeans.
The neighborhood started to grow violent around the 1970’s with the uprising of the infamous African Canadian gang called the Project Originals. Drugs quickly became a problem and it wasn’t too long before members of the community turned to the government for redevelopment. With the help of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the neighbourhood is on the road to a bright future and endless opportunity.
Generally located in between Dundas St W and Queen St W from north to south, and Spadina Ave to Bathurst St from east to west, Alexandra Park is famous for its convenience and variety. A mixture of residential, commercial, and institutional buildings line the neighbourhoods’ many streets. However, there is also the 2.7 hectare Alexandra Park, the neighbourhoods’ namesake, which includes a community garden, a baseball diamond, an outdoor pool, and even an artificial ice skating rink. The park is a picturesque and convenient escape for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily city life.
As detailed below under Housing, the neighbourhood of Alexandra Park is undergoing a mass residential overhaul, with an aim to improve the quality of life for those most in need. While much of the focus has been on the housing fixes, additions, and other residential development, there is much more to look forward to for this Toronto neighbourhood.
There is to be retail space added the ground level of building developments, in order to provide residents with shopping alternatives to add to the nearby Kensington Market and Chinatown. Shopping in those districts is another advantage of life in Alexandra Park. Residents can also feel excitement for two brand new parks and new streets. The once secluded community can potentially become an integral part of Toronto.
Houses in the Alexandra park neighborhood tend to be more Victorian Style. They date back as far as the 1880’s. Bungalos are common in the neighborhood. A few semi-detached houses exist as well but the most popular type of houses are townhouses due to the developments of the Park Housing Cooperative. Prices of the privately owned houses can range anywhere from $200,000-$600,000.
Future plans for the neighborhood involving the Toronto Community Housing Corporation see extensive redevelopment, including razing and replacement of over 300 subsidized townhouses and apartments, refurbishment of nearly 500 subsidized apartments, and the addition of more 1,500 units at market value. Such exciting prospects can potentially lead to Alexandra Park, amongst the city’s worst neighbourhoods in the 1990s, becoming one of its most desirable.