The communities lie between Dufferin and Roncesvalles, south of Bloor. They are close to the recreational features of High Park, and near the CNe grounds south of Gardiner Expressway via the Dufferin Gate. Originally a village, Brockton was named for local landowner Captain James Brock, a cousin of War of 1812 hero Sir Isaac Brock.
The area was first settled by Irish immigrants who came here during the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, and worked at local factories. In 1884, Brockton was amalgamated into Toronto. Back in the late 1800s, Parkdale was a favoured residential suburb, which in 1889 was amalgamated into the City of Toronto. In 1922, the art deco Sunnyside Amusement Park and Bathing Pavilion opened beside Parkdale's beaches. Many of the streets here are narrow requiring one-way traffic, and parking on one side.
In 1956, the Gardiner Expressway was built which separated the neighbourhood from Lake Ontario and began a decline in the community's fortunes. Over the past few years Parkdale has developed a "rough" reputation, though community resident groups have been working to change that, and the area is now attracting young professionals. Brockton Village has attracted a Portuguese community, which is noticed by the brightly painted homes in the community.
Motorists are minutes from downtown vie Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway, via Lansdowne. TTC riders can take the Lansdowne Avenue and Dufferin busses to the Bloor-Danforth subway line, or take the King, Queen, Dundas or College streetcar lines into downtown
The community is served by 9 public elementary schools, 3 Catholic elementary school, 3 secondary schools, 2 Catholic high schools, and 2 public libraries. University of Toronto is accessed via the Yonge-University-Spadina subway, and Ryerson University is accessed via Lakeshore/Kings Street streetcar going east and Humber College's Lakeshore campus is accessible via the Lake Shore Blvd bus westbound.
Brockton Village is well-served by shopping districts along Dundas Street and College Street, which have many Portuguese shops and restaurants. Bloor Street west of Dufferin also has the 'Bloordale Village' shopping district and is home to the 100 store Dufferin Mall. Parkdale residents shop along Queens Street West and in the Roncesvalles Village (Little Poland) shopping district.
The community has a number of small parks, but many are cluster along or just off Landsdowne Ave down to the Lakeshore. The community is also walking distance from 161 hectare (399 acre) High Park, which has a large pond, picnic areas and gardens, an outdoor amphitheatre, a restaurant, an outdoor pool, various sports facilities (tennis, baseball, soccer, lawn bowling), and for the kids, a trackless train, a small zoo, and a playground. There is also the Allan Lamport Stadium Park, just south of King St. At the lakeshore are a beach, and outdoor pool, the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail, and the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. The CNE grounds include a number of year-round facilities, including the Ricoh Coliseum, The Direct Energy Centre, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and the Medieval Times Dinner Theatre. The community also has 3 indoor pools, 2 running tracks, 4 community centres, and q ice arena.
Parkdale, south of Queen Street, has many mansions that were built from 1875 to 1900, many of which were converted to rooming houses, though many are being converted back to single family homes. The Parkdale homes north of Queen are smaller, and on smaller lots. Homes in Brockton Village date back to 1880 and 1920 and are typically Victorian style homes, semi-detached, or row houses. Most homes here are in the low to low-medium price ranges.
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