Boundaries: South of the CN rail line from Victoria Park to Warden, north of Gerrard and Clonmore.
The Toronto Brick Company operated a gravel pit and quarry on this land from the 1930s to the early 1950s. Subsequent to this the land was used as a garbage dump for both legal and illegal dumping, until it was closed in 1960. Today you can see numerous vents on the property designed to prevent a buildup of explosive methane gas.
In the 40s, 50s and early 60s the political mindset was focused on the car culture and the building of expressways was thought to be the solution to mobility. The Scarborough Expressway was conceived in the 1940s and detailed plans were begun in 1967. It called for the demolition of 1200 homes – something that generated opposition by the homeowners. The planned route was revised in 1973 to run mainly alongside the CN rail line, reducing the number of homes slated for demolition to 706. Nevertheless opposition continued and the Expressway was cancelled in 1974. However, before that cancellation, the quarry lands were rezoned for high density apartment buildings next to the expressway where an interchange was planned, and that zoning was never revised.
Since the closure of the landfill, the area gradually renaturalized with trees and meadows, making it a nice place to go for a walk. A golf driving range and mini-putt course was established off Victoria Park which further added to its recreational value. However revenue generating building pressures continued on the site. City operated ‘Build Toronto’ is moving forward with a major development proposal, and a private firm still has plans for a massive apartment tower complex on the property. While the Build Toronto project is largely in keeping with neighbourhood concerns, the private apartment tower complex proposal has widespread ongoing opposition.
City of Toronto Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment – Preliminary Report
Build Toronto 411 Victoria Park Avenue
Lucy Barnett (Oct 23, 2012) Kiss the Quarry Goodbye
Andrew Hudson (April 2, 2014) Quarry lands park planned