In December 2010, Riverdale Hub kick-started the process of revitalizing Gerrard Bazaar. Community consultations were held, bringing together a variety of stakeholders (some for the first time). While Gerrard Bazaar was once a key tourist attraction in the 1980s, it has since declined in popularity due to a downturn in economic activity and the emigration of South Asian businesses to the suburbs. Through various community revitalization initiatives that will promote safety and beautification, we hope to stimulate local economic development and attract more visitors interested in rediscovering the sights, smells and tastes this unique East Toronto area has to offer.
Considered to be one of downtown Toronto’s “Main Streets”, Gerrard Street passes through several distinctive communities along its east-west route. Centered between the communities of Riverdale, Leslieville, the Beaches and Lower Danforth, this neighbourhood is extraordinary and culturally diverse with a broad mix of housing types, age groups, income earners, and municipal services. Easily accessible by public transit, our community is a pleasant, safe, stable and affordable place to live and subsequently, a destination for many new immigrants to Canada.
Gerrard Bazaar is a neighbourhood on the cusp of change. Like other Toronto neighbourhoods, this transition brings with it the challenge of gentrification, particularly to the area’s diverse collection of ethnicities and class. As a catalyst for change, the Hub allows businesses, workers, artists, environmentalists and residents to work and grow together in a space that is reflective of Toronto’s diversity and aspiring to create a unique model of progressive revitalization, based on values of sustainability, equality, and social justice. By fostering meaningful interaction among residents and community members, the Hub helps to retain Gerrard Bazaar’s unique South Asian identity and builds on it, making it an attractive destination for Toronto residents, newcomers and visitors alike.
On December 10th, 2009, Riverdale Hub launched the revitalization of the neighbourhood with a community consultation which was extremely well-attended by artists, businesses, residents, community activists and volunteers, city agencies and officials, academics and urban planning experts amongst others.
If you would like to get involved in the revitalization process of this vibrant neighbourhood, please call us at 416-465-6021.