Queen Street East HCD Study: Background

The HCD Study for Queen Street East was authorized at the September 25th, 2006 meeting of City Council.  Queen Street East, from the Don River to DeGrassi Street, is a commercial area with historic ‘main street’ character.


HCD Study Authorization Report

HCD Prioritization Report

Community Consultation # 1 Presentation

Community Consultation Questionaire

Community Consultation #1 Agenda

Queen Street East History and Character

  • Queen Street (originally Lot Street) was laid out by Lt.-Gov. Simcoe in the 1790s as the base line for the lot and concession system in the Township of York.
  • The original Town of York was sited just south of Queen Street between present day George and Berkeley Streets.
  • To the east of York, Queen Street was the route which led to Kingston and was originally known as the Kingston Road.
  • The Scadding Cabin, one of the oldest buildings in Toronto, now preserved at Exhibition Place, was originally located on the east bank of the Don River, just south of Queen Street. Toronto’s first ball park was also located on Queen Street, east of the Don River.
  • In the early nineteenth century, Queen Street developed as a road of modest houses mixed with small frame and roughcast shops serving the surrounding residential properties.
  • By the late 1800’s the street had become the main east-west artery of Toronto. This was due to the fact that the Queen Street bridge was one of the few crossings over the Don River from the earliest days.
  • The streets original residential character evolved to the more recognizable commercial “main street” character of today.
Chuckmans Postcard 1979

Image Credit: Chuckman’s Toronto Postcards online

Queen Street East HCD Study Timeline

September, 2006 Queen Street East is authorized by City Council for an HCD study.
April, 2012 “HCDs in Toronto: Procedures, Policies and Terms of Reference” adopted by Council.
October, 2012 Queen Street East is identified as a high priority study area.
August, 2012 GBCA retained by the City to complete the HCD Study.
October, 2013 GBCA holds first training session for survey volunteers.
October, 2013 Preliminary public consultation to introduce community to the HCD Study.

Queen Street East Study Area Boundary

  • The study area was identified by staff in 2006 as a part of the HCD Study authorization process, and includes the properties on either side of Queen Street, from the Don River to DeGrassi Street.
  • The final boundary of the HCD has yet to be determined. The consulting team are analyzing properties just outside of the boundary and community feedback to determine the final HCD boundary.

Heritage Consultant Profile

The City of Toronto Heritage Preservation Services has retained the firm of Goldsmith Borgal and Company Ltd. Architects (GBCA) to undertake a study of the area on Queen Street East between the Don Valley Parkway and the railway bridge near Degrassi Street to identify the cultural heritage values of the area and to determine whether it warrants designation as a heritage conservation district.

The Queen Street East Heritage Conservation District Study is being undertaken by a multidisciplinary team and includes:

  • Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects – GBCA is one of the leading heritage firms in Canada providing consultancy services for projects across the country.  Principal Christopher Borgal has contributed to many HCDs and Heritage Master Plans throughout the Province of Ontario.  Associate, Sharon Vattay, has a Ph.D. in architectural history
  • Wayne Morgan, Heritage Planner – Wayne has extensive experience with preparing HCDs, both as a consultant and formerly as Senior Coordinator for Heritage Preservation Services in the City of Toronto.  While in the public sector, Wayne supervised the production of the Cabbagetown-Metcalfe HCD and the Yorkville HCD.
  • The Landplan Collaborative Ltd – Owen Scott, president of The Landplan Collaborative Ltd (Landscape Architects, Environmental Planners, Heritage Planners), is an experienced landscape architect and horticulturist specializing in landscape conservation. Landplan is assessing the as-found condition of the public realm including street trees.
  • Archaeological Services Inc. – David Robertson, Senior Archaeologist and Manager of Special Projects at ASI, specializes in the analysis of land use histories assessing archaeological potential and landscape integrity.

The purpose of the Queen Street East Heritage Conservation Study is to determine if the study area warrants designation as a Heritage Conservation District under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.  In order to do this, the Study Team is currently researching the historic development, architecture, landscape and other cultural heritage resources that define this neighbourhood.

Background archival research of the history and evolution of the area is underway and survey forms of all properties in the proposed study area are currently being completed.  For those interested in being involved in the survey process, see the Call for Volunteers.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the  Queen Street East HCD Study, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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