Carlaw & Dundas: Leslieville’s Biz & Cultural Hub

The City of Toronto has started to focus hard on the intersection of Carlaw and Dundas. With a Chief Planner like Jennifer Keesmaat who’s all-in on Urbanization we know things are going to start happening now. We are 100% with her on this movement and others throughout the City of Toronto. 

Study Area

Dundas and Carlaw Study Area

Here are the 9 Principles of the City of Toronto study

  1. Maintain the historic industrial character of the area.
  2. Re-use existing buildings and preserve heritage features
  3. Strengthen Carlaw & Dundas as a hub for small businesses
  4. Improve streetscape and public spaces
  5. Create green streets and pedestrian networks
  6. Promote active uses at street level along Carlaw and Dundas
  7. Improve TTC, bicycle and pedestrian systems and coordinate car/bike parking
  8. Ensure that new development is compatible with surrounding neighbourhoods
  9. Support use of public transit in the area

I’m absolutely in love with the idea of creating a hub for small business, the proposed improvements to the hidden little street called Dickens, and Triangle Park right at the corner of Carlaw and Dundas. These things along with the newly constructed Crows Theatre and event space at 1190 Dundas plus the neighbourhood’s most popular patio are truly going to create THE new hub of Leslieville. Watch out Queen Street!!

Dundas and Carlaw Action Plan

You can see here that the Carlaw & Dundas Triangle is tops on the list and is scheduled to complete in 2016.

Dundas and Carlaw Triangle Park

What is super exciting though is the potential for Dickens Street. The image on top is how it looks now but this dead end gem (with stair access from Logan too) can truly be transformed into something great like the character image below. A year round market, special events, and so on. I’d bet they’d tap some private funding for this project much like the Jimmy Simpson park project that’s slated to begin in a year or so.

Dundas and Carlaw Dickens StreetDundas and Carlaw Dickens Street Character

Here’s an idea of how the density has increased over the years(below). Transit is failing and driving has become a nightmare on most Toronto streets (let’s get that relief line, Tory!!) resulting in many people deciding to build their lives around where they live. People are spending more time in their chosen neighbourhoods so it only makes sense to enhance public spaces where the local population can engage and support other local businesses.

Dundas and Carlaw Completed Projects

This desire to create an energetic, walk-able neighbourhood comes with more pedestrian traffic so safety is a huge concern. Many residents along Carlaw ave have been calling for a crosswalk mid-way between Queen and Dundas. According to this slide, it’s happening as part this major study. What are your thoughts on what’s happening, what’s happened, and what’s proposed? Would love to read your comments below.

Dundas and Carlaw TTC and Crosswalk

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