Eastern & Bayview

View towards downtown
View towards downtown from the Eastern Avenue bridge over the Don River.

Morning commuters exit off the Don Valley Parkway onto Richmond Street on their way downtown. In the afternoon, they return to the DVP via Adelaide Street. Few find any reason to stop in the east end, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.

To the north is Regent Park. In the 1940's, blocks of poorly maintained houses were demolished and replaced by Canada's first major public housing project. Although it was much praised on its completion in 1957, it quickly went downhill, and now 72% of the residents live below the poverty line.

Queen Street East
Dilapidated building on Queen Street East.

Today, some planners propose fixing the resulting social problems by bulldozing the apartment blocks and replacing them by something better-designed. Who knows what social problems would result from that experiment?

Don Valley Parkway
Don Valley Parkway, south of Eastern Avenue.

To the south are vacant industrial tracts. For years, there have been proposals for housing on those lands, but no one can agree on who pays the bill for cleaning up the contaminated soil.

Bayview Avenue
Railroad tracks crossing Bayview Avenue, at Eastern Avenue. (1982)

There has even been a proposal to redirect the channel of the lower Don River to follow its original natural course. But of course, who'll pay for the work?

Bayview Avenue
Warehouses and railroad sidings, now long gone. (1982)