North York

North York is an administrative area and former city in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located directly north of Old Toronto, between Etobicoke to the west and Scarborough to the east. As of the 2011 Census, it had a population of 655,913. It was first created as a township in 1922 out of the northern part of the former city of York, a municipality that was located along the western border of Old Toronto. Following its inclusion in Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, it was one of the fastest growing parts of the region due to its proximity to Old Toronto. It was declared a borough in 1967, and later became a city in 1979, attracting high-density residences, rapid transit, and a number of corporate headquarters in North York City Centre, its central business district. In 1998, North York was amalgamated with the rest of Metropolitan Toronto to form the new city of Toronto, and has since been a secondary economic hub outside Downtown Toronto.

North York
Suburban district
North York skyline in May 2009.
North York skyline in May 2009.
Motto(s): The City with Heart
Location of North York (red) within the rest of Toronto.

Location of North York (red) within the rest of Toronto.
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Municipality Toronto Toronto
Incorporated June 13, 1922 (Township)
1967 (Borough)
February 14, 1979 (City)
Changed Region 1954 Flag of Metropolitan Toronto.svg Metropolitan Toronto from York County
Amalgamated January 1, 1998 into Toronto
 • Councillors Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, John Filion, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Parker, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz
 • MPs Michael Levitt, Rob Oliphant, Yasmin Ratansi, Ali Ehsassi, Marco Mendicino, Judy Sgro, Ahmed Hussen, Geng Tan
 • MPPs Laura Albanese, Mike Colle, Michael Coteau, Monte Kwinter, Mario Sergio, Kathleen Wynne, David Zimmer
 • Total 176.87 km2 (68.29 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 672,955
 • Density 3,804.8/km2 (9,854/sq mi)
Area code(s) 416, 647


The Township of North York was formed on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York. The rapidly growing parts of the township remained in that township. As North York became more populous, it became the Borough of North York in 1967, and then on February 14, 1979, the City of North York. To commemorate receiving its city charter on St. Valentine's Day, the city's corporate slogan was "The City with Heart". It now forms the largest part of the area served by the "North York Community Council", a committee of Toronto City Council.

North York used to be known as a regional agricultural hub composed of scattered villages. The area boomed following World War II, and by the 1950s and 1960s, it resembled many other sprawling North American suburbs.

On August 10, 2008, a massive explosion occurred at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases propane facility just southwest of the Toronto-Downsview Airport. This destroyed the depot and damaged several homes nearby. About 13,000 residents were evacuated for several days before being allowed back home. One employee at the company was killed in the blast and one firefighter died while attending to the scene of the accident.[1] A follow-up investigation to the incident made several recommendations concerning propane supply depots. It asked for a review of setback distances between depots and nearby residential areas but didn't call for restrictions on where they can be located.[2]


North York residents are highly multicultural. In 2006, 57% of North York's residents were not born in Canada, and 52% were classified as belonging to a visible minority:[3]

North York has diverse neighbourhoods inhabited by people of many different cultures. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of visible minorities in North York is the Grandravine-Yorkwoods area in Jane and Finch with 93%. The western half of North York is culturally different from the eastern half.

Chinese cultural groups dominate the eastern half of North York making up 22% of the population from Yonge Street to Victoria Park Avenue. Nearly 30% of the residents in the Willowdale electoral district are of Chinese descent, and the neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Chinese Canadians in North York is the Aspenwood area in Hillcrest Village with 57%.

South Asians are mainly spread out evenly in North York. There are large South Asian communities in Emery and Flemingdon Park. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of South Asians in North York Gateway-Glenway area is Flemingdon Park with 46%.

Black Canadians appear in the western half of North York, making up 19% of the population past Allen Road. Most of North York's Black community is along Jane Street and areas around it. Smaller areas such as Jane and Finch, Lawrence Heights, and Trethewey had more than 40% of its population identified as Black. Most are from the Caribbean but there is also a large west African population. The Jane & Wilson neighbourhood has the largest Ghanaian community in Toronto. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Caribbean/west African people in North York is the Black Creek area in Amesbury with 45%.

West Asians and Arabs concentrate in the eastern half of North York. Iranians have a distinctive presence on the north end of Yonge Street. There is also a large percentage of Middle Easterners along Don Mills Road. The neighbourhoods with the largest percentage of Middle Eastern people in North York are Graydon Hall and the Shaughnessy area in Don Valley Village with 17%.

Filipinos are centred on Bathurst Street, making up 10% of the population of the neighbourhoods along Bathurst in North York. Flemingdon Park also has a sizable Filipino community. The Kababayan Multicultural Centre, located near Bathurst and Finch, is one of the longest running community centres. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Filipino people in North York is the Neptune area in Lawrence Manor with 24%.

Latin Americans in North York are predominantly in the western half of North York along Jane Street, Weston Road, and Keele Street. They make up 10% of North York's population past Dufferin Street. They are from different countries in Latin America with not one country being a dominant one, but many are from Ecuador, El Salvador, Argentina, and Colombia. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Latin Americans in North York is the Oakdale-Stanley Park area in Elia with 22%.

Koreans are mostly in the eastern half of North York, especially in the Willowdale neighbourhood (10% of Willowdale was Korean, making it the largest Korean community in Toronto). The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Koreans in North York is the Mitchell Field area in Willowdale with 14%.

Southeast Asians are predominant in the western half of North York. Vietnamese cultural groups can be found all over North York. There is also a growing Cambodian population concentrated in the Jane and Finch community. The neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Southeast Asians in North York is the Grassways-Eddystone area in Jane and Finch with 18%.

Although non-visible minorities are slowly declining over the years moving into the suburbs, Europeans still show a significant presence. The largest European community in North York are Italians. Most live in the houses in the western half of North York from Bathurst Street to Weston Road. Jewish Canadians are centred on Bathurst Street, which has the largest Jewish community in Toronto. Russians make up a large percentage of the population along the northern end of Bathurst Street between Sheppard Avenue and Steeles Avenue. The area is also the largest Russian community in Toronto, and is sometimes referred to as "Little Moscow". Eastern European companies such as Lada have had a presence in North York, and Eastern European financial institutions such as Bellridge Capital.[4] Old generation Canadians dominate the southern end of North York from Bathurst Street to the west, Leslie Street to the east, Highway 401 to the north and Lawrence Avenue to the south. The largest percentage of non-visible minorities in North York is Old Orchard in Ledbury Park with 92%.


Photograph of Yonge Street in downtown North York taken outside the Toronto Centre for the Arts and the Toronto District School Board Education Centre.

The district's central business district is known as North York Centre, which was the location of the former city's government and major corporate headquarters. North York Centre continues to be one of Toronto's major corporate areas with many office buildings and businesses. The former city hall is now the North York Civic Centre.

The section of Highway 401 which traverses North York is the busiest section of freeway in North America, exceeding 400,000 vehicles per day. Finch station, the terminus of the Yonge Street branch of the Yonge–University line, is the busiest TTC bus station and the sixth-busiest subway station, serving around 97,460 people per day. The Sheppard Subway which runs from its intersection with the Yonge-University line at Sheppard Avenue easterly to Fairview Mall at Don Mills Road, is entirely in North York, averaging around 55,000 riders per day.

Downsview Airport, near Sheppard and Allen Road, employs 1,800 workers.[5] Downview Airport will be the location of the Centennial College Aerospace campus, a $60 million investment from the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. Private partners include Bombardier, Honeywell, MDA Corporation, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Ryerson University, Sumitomo Precision Products Canada Aircraft, Inc. and UTC Aerospace Systems.[6]

Flemingdon Park, located near Eglinton and Don Mills, is an economic hub located near the busy Don Valley Parkway and busy TTC routes. McDonald's of Canada and Celestica are located in this area, and Foresters Insurance has a major office tower and Bell has a data centre. The Concorde Corporate Centre has 550,000 square feet of leasable area and is 85% occupied with tenants such as Home Depot Canada, Sport Alliance of Ontario, TD Bank, ESRI Canada and Deloitte. Home Depot's Canadian head office is located in Flemingdon Park.[7]

The Downsview Park Sports Centre is a 45,000-square-metre (485,000-square-feet) multi-purpose facility. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owners of Toronto FC, of Major League Soccer, invested $26 million to build the Kia Training Ground, the state-of-the-art practice facility for Toronto FC. Volleyball Canada made Downsview Park its headquarters and training facility. It is connected to a TTC subway station.

The Granite Club, located at Bayview and Lawrence, is an invitation-only athletic club. In 2012, the club made a major expansion in North York for their members.

The intersection of York Mills and Yonge, located next to York Mills Station is home to an office and a TTC commuter parking lot, which was sold for $25 million. A $300-million project is expected to create about 300 jobs and bring a new hotel, perhaps a four star Marriott, to the intersection.[8]


North York houses two of Toronto's five major shopping malls: the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Fairview Mall. Other neighbourhood malls locations include Centerpoint Mall, Bayview Village, Yorkgate Mall, Shops at Don Mills, Steeles West Market Mall, Jane Finch Mall and Sheppard Centre. It is also home to campuses of York University, Seneca College, Schulich School of Business, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Tyndale University College and Seminary.

The district also has major hospitals, including the North York General Hospital, Humber River Regional Hospital and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

An aircraft manufacturing facility and a former military base are located at Downsview. With the end of the Cold War, much of the land was transformed into a large park now called Parc Downsview Park. Also located in the former airfield is Toronto Aerospace Museum.

Black Creek Pioneer Village, an authentic nineteenth-century village, and the Ontario Science Centre, which has over 800 science-oriented exhibits, are North York's primary attractions. Not far from Black Creek Pioneer Village is York University's main campus, and the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. The Aga Khan Museum, located in Wynford Drive neighbourhood, includes a collection of Islamic art from the Middle-East and Northern Africa. Along Bathurst Street in North York is one of the world's largest urban Jewish communities, with a significant population of Holocaust survivors.

There are a multitude of North York sports clubs including the North York Storm, a girls' hockey league, Gwendolen Tennis Club in the heart of North York near Yonge and Sheppard, and the North York Aquatic Club, which was founded in 1958 as the North York Lions Swim Club and has produced many Olympian swimmers. The North York Ski Centre at Earl Bales Park is one of the only urban ski centres of its kind in Canada. After several incidents involving failures of the club's two-person chairlift incited talks of closing the ski centre, the city revitalized the facilities with a new four-person chairlift.

TorontoDistrictSchoolBoardEducationCentre - 2015May30
TDSB Education Centre, the headquarters of the Toronto District School Board.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB),[9] the Conseil scolaire Viamonde,[10] the Toronto Catholic District School Board,[11] and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud all have their administrative headquarters in North York.[12] Before the formation of the TDSB, the North York Board of Education served North York.

North York Civic Centre was the home of North York City Council and now used by the City of Toronto for community council use and other city departments servicing North York.

Mayors and reeves

The following is a list of reeves (1922-1966) and mayors (1967-1997) of North York.

Township of North York

  • 1922-1929 Robert Franklin Hicks
  • 1929-1930 James Muirhead
  • 1931-1933 George B. Elliott
  • 1934-1940 Robert Earl Bales
  • 1941-1949 George H. Mitchell
  • 1950-1952 Nelson A. Boylen
  • 1953-1956 Fred J. McMahon
  • 1957-1958 Vernon M. Singer
  • 1959-1964 Norman C. Goodhead
  • 1965-1966 James Ditson Service

Borough of North York

City of North York

Board of Control

North York had a Board of Control from 1964 until it was abolished with the 1988 election and replaced by directly elected Metro Councillors. The Board of Control consisted of four Controllers elected at large and the mayor and served as the executive committee of North York Council. Controllers concurrently sat on Metropolitan Toronto Council

Names in boldface indicate Controllers that were or became Mayor of North York in other years.

X = elected as Controller
A = appointed Controller to fill a vacancy
M = sitting as Reeve or Mayor

From 1964 to abolition

Elections to the Board of Control for North York (1964-1985)
Controller 1964 1966 1969 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1985
James Ditson Service M M
G. Gordon Hurlburt X X
Irving Paisley X X X
Frank Watson X X
Basil H. Hall X X M
Paul Hunt X X
Mel Lastman X M M M M M M M
John Booth* X
Paul Godfrey* A X
John Williams X
Alex McGivern X X
Barbara Greene X X X X X
William Sutherland* A X X X
Joseph Markin X
Esther Shiner** X X X X X
Ron Summers X
Robert Yuill X X X X X
Norm Gardner X X
Howard Moscoe X
Mario Gentile A

* Booth died in 1970 and was replaced by Paul Godfrey who served out the balance of his term.[13] Godfrey was relected in 1972, but resigned when he was elected Metro Chairman in 1973 following the death of Metro Chairman Albert Campbell. North York Council elected Alderman William Sutherland to replace Godfrey on the Board of Control on July 23, 1973.[14]

**Shiner died on December 19, 1987. Councillor Mario Gentile was appointed to the Board of Control in February 1988 to fill Shiner's seat.[15]



Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Thousands returning home after massive T.O. fire. CTV News. August 10, 2008. [1]
  2. ^ Boost 'hazard distance' at propane depots: report. CTV News. November 7, 2008. [2]
  3. ^ Statistics Canada. Community Highlights for North York (dissolved). 2006. [3]
  4. ^,-79.4899824,3a,75y,81.2h,96.96t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s91iA7J4uh_goufyBhnkdxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
  5. ^ Queen, Lisa. "Aerospace campus for Downsview Park?". Inside Toronto. Metroland Media. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Arnaud-Gaudet, Nicolas. "Centennial College To Build Aerospace Campus at Downsview Park". Urban Toronto. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Concorde Corporate Centre". Artis REIT. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  8. ^ Pigg, Susan. "York Mills TTC parking lot slated for hotel, office complex". Toronto Star. Torstar. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  9. ^ "5050_2.gif." (Archive) Toronto District School Board. Retrieved on March 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "English Information." Conseil scolaire Viamonde. Retrieved on March 11, 2011. "Conseil scolaire Viamonde - 116, Cornelius Parkway, Toronto ON, M6L 2K5"
  11. ^ "About Us." Toronto Catholic District School Board. Retrieved on March 11, 2011. "Administrative Offices: Toronto Catholic District School Board 80 Sheppard Avenue East, North York, ON M2N 6E8"
  12. ^ "Your French School." Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. Retrieved on March 11, 2011. "110, ave. Drewry, North York (Ontario) M2M 1C8"
  13. ^ "Godfrey captures vacant seat on North York Board of Control", The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]26 Sep 1970
  14. ^ "North York vacancy filled by Sutherland" The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]24 July 1973: 5
  15. ^ "North York seeks councillor to fill seat that Gentile vacated", Toronto Star, 2 February 1988
  16. ^ North York Storm Official site of girls hockey in North York.
  17. ^ North York Aquatic Club North York's oldest swim club, located at the swimming pool next to Mel Lastman Square
  18. ^ North York Astros Men's professional soccer playing in the Canadian Soccer League. Esther Shiner Stadium.
  19. ^ North York Fire Basketball
  20. ^ North York Hockey League
  21. ^ North York Hearts Azzurri Soccer Club
  22. ^
  1. CityNews
  2. CTV
  3. Toronto Star
  4. Toronto Star

External links

Coordinates: 43°46′47″N 79°24′56″W / 43.7797°N 79.4156°W

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.