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York Centre

Ward 6

Boney Bus
1035 Sheppard Avenue West
An art installation right outside Sheppard West Station designed by artist John McKinnon, the work consists of a doodle of a bus made from giant metal beams.

The Hangar
1-35 Carl Hall Road
This building was a former hangar of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada complex, which was originally constructed in the 1930s. The de Havilland Company was Canada’s largest supplier of government-owned aircraft in the 1930s, and produced 1,100 Mosquito bombers and other fighter planes for use by Allied military forces during World War II. De Havilland moved its production facilities to another newly constructed facility to the southeast of this location in the early 1950s, where aircraft are still produced to this day by Bombardier. The building is now known as “The Hangar” and is home to a multi-purpose sports recreation facility.

Downsview Park Play Zone
Across from 70 Canuck Avenue
An aviation-themed play zone featuring model aircraft, a multi-use sport and basketball court, play structures, and a sharing circle.

Downsview Park Urban Agriculture
Southeast corner of Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West
In 2011, Downsview Park launched a pilot project to determine community interest in urban farming. The project turned out to be an immense success with almost 3 acres of urban farms now being cultivated onsite by the Toronto Beekeepers Collective and Fresh City Farms.

Downsview Park Urban Forest
Mid to Southwest portion of Downsview Park (70 Canuck Avenue)
18 hectares of forestland make up the Downsview Park Urban Forest, which was created with the intention of creating a more robust forest cover and variety of vegetation over time. The forest links the park to Boake’s Grove, a woodlot that remains from a homestead of the Boake Family who lived here in the 1830s. The Forest contains a collection of black locust, silver maple and walnut trees. Some of the trees may have been originally planted by Indigenous Peoples, as the lands that now make up Downsview Park was at various times part of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississauga territories. Pre-European contact ceramic artifacts have also been found at Downsview Park over the years.

George Jackson House
2950 Keele Street
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. A heritage listed building dating to the late 1880s and inhabited by members of the Jackson Family until 1967. The building is a fine representative example of a 19th Century farmhouse, with its design blending elements of Queen Anne Revival and Richardsonian Romanesque styles popular at the time. The property is one of the few surviving buildings that reflect the development of Downsview as an agricultural community in the 1800s. The building now consists of professional offices.

Giovanni Caboto Park to Heathrow Park Path (Black Creek Trail System)
Giovanni Caboto Park – 160 Tavistock Avenue
A pathway that’s part of the Black Creek Trail System connects three separate parks in this area. Starting at Giovanni Caboto Park, the path winds its way to Exbury Park, and then ends at Heathrow Park, passeing through greenspace along the way. All parks have children’s playgrounds. Exbury Park also has two bocce courts and Heathrow Park has a splash pad.

Jane-Exbury Towers
Jane Street and Exbury Road
Five identical heritage designated towers dating from the late 1960s and designed by Toronto-based architect Uno Prii. Prii was inspired by the flying buttresses seen on medieval cathedrals in Europe when designing these towers. The towers are considered to be an example Modernist architecture.

MOTH Gardens
1092 Wilson Avenue
The design of MOTH Gardens is inspired by Downsview’s history of aviation. At the core of the gardens, a limestone sculpture refers to the first airplanes manufactured in Downsview – the Gypsy and Tiger Moths. The artwork was inspired by a photograph from the 1920s showing the word MOTH written in large white letters on the turf beside the original Downsview airstrip. The sculpture’s stone sections of varying heights, which also serve as tables and seating, coalesce into the letters M,O,T,H when seen from above. A vine covered steel arbour at the west side of the gardens incorporates various aircraft references. A row of windsocks marks the park’s eastern end. The central grassy “airstrip” is defined by a line of blue solar runway lights and blue LED light strips attached under the stones cast a soft blue outline around the MOTH letters at night. Each letter of the MOTH sculpture is surrounded by a unique garden. These rose, flowering annual, scented herb and butterfly gardens are intersected by walkways patterned on Italian Renaissance garden designs in recognition of the area’s early Italian immigrants. Downsview Memorial Parkette was originally dedicated in 1946 to honour local men and women who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War. A dedication to them is inscribed in the low stone wall that makes up one section of the O.

Vicky Bilbily Art Box
Dufferin Street and Wilson Avenue
The design of this box – part of the City of Toronto’s Outside the Box program – aims to be simple and non-intrusive, yet enthusiastic. It is reminiscent of confetti, and thus a reminder to viewers that there is always something to celebrate.

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Neighbourhood Stroll: Downsview-Roding-CFB

This stroll highlights the noteworthy aviation history of the area through The Hangar and MOTH Garden, wide open greenspace to explore in Downsview Park and the Black Creek Trail System, and heritage designated buildings such as the Jane-Exbury Towers and George Jackson House. The stroll offers a great selection of local businesses to visit as you pass through the Wilson Village BIA.

Main Streets: Wilson Avenue & Keele Street

Note: Some neighbourhood strolls may cross over into more than one ward.

  1. Boney Bus
    1035 Sheppard Avenue West
    An art installation right outside Sheppard West Station designed by artist John McKinnon, the work consists of a doodle of a bus made from giant metal beams.

  2. The Hangar
    1-35 Carl Hall Road
    This building was a former hangar of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada complex, which was originally constructed in the 1930s. The de Havilland Company was Canada’s largest supplier of government-owned aircraft in the 1930s, and produced 1,100 Mosquito bombers and other fighter planes for use by Allied military forces during World War II. De Havilland moved its production facilities to another newly constructed facility to the southeast of this location in the early 1950s, where aircraft are still produced to this day by Bombardier. The building is now known as “The Hangar” and is home to a multi-purpose sports recreation facility.

  3. Downsview Park Play Zone
    Across from 70 Canuck Avenue
    An aviation-themed play zone featuring model aircraft, a multi-use sport and basketball court, play structures, and a sharing circle.

  4. Downsview Park Urban Agriculture
    Southeast corner of Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West
    In 2011, Downsview Park launched a pilot project to determine community interest in urban farming. The project turned out to be an immense success with almost 3 acres of urban farms now being cultivated onsite by the Toronto Beekeepers Collective and Fresh City Farms.

  5. Downsview Park Urban Forest
    Mid to Southwest portion of Downsview Park (70 Canuck Avenue)
    18 hectares of forestland make up the Downsview Park Urban Forest, which was created with the intention of creating a more robust forest cover and variety of vegetation over time. The forest links the park to Boake’s Grove, a woodlot that remains from a homestead of the Boake Family who lived here in the 1830s. The Forest contains a collection of black locust, silver maple and walnut trees. Some of the trees may have been originally planted by Indigenous Peoples, as the lands that now make up Downsview Park was at various times part of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississauga territories. Pre-European contact ceramic artifacts have also been found at Downsview Park over the years.

  6. George Jackson House
    2950 Keele Street
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. A heritage listed building dating to the late 1880s and inhabited by members of the Jackson Family until 1967. The building is a fine representative example of a 19th Century farmhouse, with its design blending elements of Queen Anne Revival and Richardsonian Romanesque styles popular at the time. The property is one of the few surviving buildings that reflect the development of Downsview as an agricultural community in the 1800s. The building now consists of professional offices.

  7. Giovanni Caboto Park to Heathrow Park Path (Black Creek Trail System)
    Giovanni Caboto Park – 160 Tavistock Avenue
    A pathway that’s part of the Black Creek Trail System connects three separate parks in this area. Starting at Giovanni Caboto Park, the path winds its way to Exbury Park, and then ends at Heathrow Park, passeing through greenspace along the way. All parks have children’s playgrounds. Exbury Park also has two bocce courts and Heathrow Park has a splash pad.

  8. Jane-Exbury Towers
    Jane Street and Exbury Road
    Five identical heritage designated towers dating from the late 1960s and designed by Toronto-based architect Uno Prii. Prii was inspired by the flying buttresses seen on medieval cathedrals in Europe when designing these towers. The towers are considered to be an example Modernist architecture.

  9. MOTH Gardens
    1092 Wilson Avenue
    The design of MOTH Gardens is inspired by Downsview’s history of aviation. At the core of the gardens, a limestone sculpture refers to the first airplanes manufactured in Downsview – the Gypsy and Tiger Moths. The artwork was inspired by a photograph from the 1920s showing the word MOTH written in large white letters on the turf beside the original Downsview airstrip. The sculpture’s stone sections of varying heights, which also serve as tables and seating, coalesce into the letters M,O,T,H when seen from above. A vine covered steel arbour at the west side of the gardens incorporates various aircraft references. A row of windsocks marks the park’s eastern end. The central grassy “airstrip” is defined by a line of blue solar runway lights and blue LED light strips attached under the stones cast a soft blue outline around the MOTH letters at night. Each letter of the MOTH sculpture is surrounded by a unique garden. These rose, flowering annual, scented herb and butterfly gardens are intersected by walkways patterned on Italian Renaissance garden designs in recognition of the area’s early Italian immigrants. Downsview Memorial Parkette was originally dedicated in 1946 to honour local men and women who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War. A dedication to them is inscribed in the low stone wall that makes up one section of the O.

  10. Vicky Bilbily Art Box
    Dufferin Street and Wilson Avenue
    The design of this box – part of the City of Toronto’s Outside the Box program – aims to be simple and non-intrusive, yet enthusiastic. It is reminiscent of confetti, and thus a reminder to viewers that there is always something to celebrate.

Accessibility information: Most of this walk takes place on streets and paved paths. However, there may be some unpaved paths and uneven surfaces in Downsview Park, and along the Black Creek Trail System between Giovanni Caboto Park and Heathrow Park.