Friday, May 13, 2011

Don Mills

Unfortunately I was unable to get downtown this week to take pictures of Toronto landmarks. I live in Don Mills which is a suburb of Toronto and also happens to be Canada’s first planned community. I got really excited when I found old pictures of where I grew up; it was almost my very own “Back to the Future” flash back moment. I thought I would share them with you.

Pre WW2 my neighbourhood was isolated farm land, owned by the Milne family. You can find their old abandoned farm house in Charles Sauriol Park and their grave in Edwards Gardens. It was EP Taylor who bought up this land and turned it into iconic suburbia. Don Mills Rd and Lawrence Ave East is the centre of the community with the Donway circling it. Each quadrant was built to have a Church, a School and a network of park path systems so children didn’t have to walk across major roads. At the centre was the Don Mills mall and community centre and along the periphery of the community were the industrial buildings. I live in the North West quadrant which had the Library and Norman Ingram Public school.

The thing I love about Don Mills is that a majority of the remaining buildings have a Bauhaus/Googie style to them (Think iconic television 1950’s style with a twist of the Jetson’s). You can see this in the diamond pattern roof on the library. The inside of the library nowadays looks pretty good as they have made a few renovations; unfortunately the exterior has much to be desired because the original architecture is so hidden. The image with the tunnel is cute because I remember screaming my head off going through it, so I can picture those kids doing the same. I was interested and curious to also see how they eliminated so many windows in my elementary school. I guess they are trying to save money with heating. My favourite picture is the one where my house is depicted in a barren landscape and how much the foliage has taken over. It gives me hope when I look at all the planned communities springing up that they too could develop into something more.

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