Dundas Street: The Long Winding Road

Dundas Street has been referred to as one of Toronto arterial streets. It currently is one of the few streets within the city that links both the east and west ends of the city to the downtown core.

Dundas Street was originally an military road linking Toronto to the town of Dundas Ontario. The first part of Dundas Street was constructed in 1812, between Queen and Ossington. The image above, a map of downtown Toronto circa 1895, shows the original Dundas Street, which stops at Ossingington, and then turns into Arthur Street.

This image, the same map of downtown Toronto shows the route that the future Dundas Street would take. Later on many smaller streets such as St. Patrick and Edwards Street and Arthur Street were all renamed to Dundas to provide some continuity.

Photo courtsey of Wikipedia

Yonge and Dundas Square was constructed more recently and was designed as a long term solution to the past issues of seediness within the downtown core. Prior to the construction of the square, Yonge and Dundas was Toronto’s most policed intersection and had the highest crime rate within the city (Ruppert, 2006). The square has high security, street by-laws (such as the prohibition of site walk chalk). It is in fact operated by commercial and those who wish to use the square for any event must pay a fee.

Despite this, the Square has revitalized the busiest intersection in the city. Pedestrians have a place to meander, and relax through while enjoying the fountains and the live entertainment that can frequently be found with the square.

Developments like the Eaton center and Yonge and Dundas square show how of infrastructures can facilitate people’s interaction with parts of the city, and how lack of appropriate infrastructures can cause disharmony and chaos.

About Ryerson On Yonge

A course in the Faculty of Arts, we have been studying the history of the neighbourhood around Yonge and Dundas, and Ryerson campus, in order to consider the social context and cultural importance of the new Student Learning Centre, which will occupy 341 through 355 Yonge Street. This blog is not an official Ryerson publication, and is a student-composed analysis of campus and its neighbourhood.
This entry was posted in Permanence and Circulation: Toronto's Maleable History. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dundas Street: The Long Winding Road

  1. Pingback: Permance and Circulation: Toronto’s Maleable History | Ryerson On Yonge

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