Wallace Emerson is a mixed-use residential and industrial area. This is a neighbourhood in transition however, as former industrial land continues to be converted to non-industrial use. Ultimately, these changes are strengthening the residential character and the desirability of the Wallace Emerson neighbourhood.
The Wallace Emerson neighbourhood owes its development to the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railway lines which began freight services to this area in the late 1800's. The railways attracted industries to the Wallace Emerson area which in turn led to the residential development of what historically has been a working class neighbourhood.
Wallace Emerson did not become a clearly defined neighbourhood until 1970. In fact city planners identified it only for the sake of convenience, making reference to the two major cross-streets - Wallace and Emerson - that intersect the middle of this Toronto neighbourhood.
The modest size brick houses in this neighbourhood were built in the late 1800's and early 1900's. They include a mix of detached and semi-detached houses. Wallace Emerson's narrow streets and narrow lots are supported by an extensive network of laneways that provide additional parking options for area residents.
The Bloordale Village Business Improvement Area holds a major community street festival in July called Big On Bloor which showcases the eclectic mix of international restaurants and artists that proliferate in this area.
The Dufferin Mall at Bloor and Dufferin Streets, and the Galleria Shopping Centre located on the south-east corner of Dufferin and Dupont Streets, both include department stores, small retail shops and medical and dental offices. Together these two shopping centres provide a strong shopping base for Wallace Emerson residents.
Street shopping is also available at the intersections of Wallace and Lansdowne Avenues, and at the recently revitalized Dufferin and Dupont area. There are also a fair number of variety stores that are conveniently dispersed throughout this neighbourhood.
The Wallace Emerson Community Centre is located off Dufferin Street, south of Dupont Street. This modern facility includes an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium, a games room, a large children's playground and an active seniors lounge.
Wallace Emerson Park located next to the community centre features four floodlit tennis courts, and a twin surface artificial ice rink that offers pleasure skating, permit hockey, shinny hockey, learn to skate programs, an ice hockey house league, and parent and children skating programs.
The Bloor/Gladstone Public Library, on Bloor Street east of Dufferin Street, offers programs for adults and children.
The Wallace Emerson neighbourhood is very well served by public transit, with every home in the neighbourhood being located within a few minutes walk of a public transit line. The Bloor-Danforth subway has stations at Dufferin and at Lansdowne. There is also bus routes along Dufferin and Dupont Streets, as well as Lansdowne Avenue.
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