Parkdale is located in the southwest of downtown Toronto. It's a residential and commercial neighbourhood adjacent to the Roncesvalles and High Park neighbourhoods, and it includes the historic Sunnyside waterfront park. Currently home to about 50,000 people, Parkdale was founded as an independent settlement in 1850, eventually joining Toronto in 1889.
Parkdale is a quintessential mixed-use neighborhood. It contains both beautiful homes and affordable housing. Art galleries, antique shops, and fine restaurants share the streets with mom-and-pop retailers, family diners, and community centres. Parkdale is a thriving family neighbourhood that nonetheless welcomes culture, nightlife, and new development. Like many urban neighbourhoods, Parkdale is a nexus of international influences — ranging from Latin, Caribbean, Tibetan, and beyond — all adding their own distinctness to the neighbourhood's unique mosaic.
Parkdale is one of the most artistic neighbourhoods in the country, with large numbers of artists taking advantage of affordable rents and the culturally-rich environs. Writers, musicians, and visual artists showcase their work in Parkdale's many bars, cafes, and galleries. It is also a very spiritual neighbourhood, with Tibetan Buddhists, Maronite Catholics, and Muslims shaping the area's religious identity. There is also a burgeoning LGBT community in Parkdale, earning it the affectionate moniker "Queer West Village." All walks of life call Parkdale home, regardless of background, income, or political affiliation. It is a very welcoming community with something for everyone.
Because Parkdale is an old neighbourhood with a mixed population, it is constantly in danger of being overly gentrified. Planners are essential in making sure that Parkdale makes room for important investment and development opportunities without sacrificing its much admired character and affordability. Without the intervention of planners, Parkdale would quickly be bought up and sold-out, transformed into another faceless commercial neighbourhood filled with too many retail franchises and cookie-cutter condos.
Parkdale is one of the most important cultural centres in Canada's largest city. It offers art, music, nightlife and fine dining in a neighbourhood that anyone can afford to live in. It is a place where writers, merchants, and chefs live side by side with those who read their books, buy their goods, and eat their food. It's a livable neighbourhood that never fails to remind us what makes life worth living.