Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Adam Giambrone's #TransitHubbing Guide to #DufferinQueen

TransitHub is thrilled that former TTC Chair and avid #TransitHubber Adam Giambrone has contributed his Guide to the #DufferinQueen Hub. Take in some art, architecture, and learn about the history of this rich and engaging Transit Hub!

Dufferin & Queen

This is actually one of the newer full intersections in the City. For years, Dufferin Street dead-ended at Queen and you needed to "jog" around onto neighbouring streets to continue your trip on Dufferin. This changed in November of 2010 when the first bus and cars went through the new $45 million underpass that connected Dufferin for the first time. First proposed in the 1880's, it took over a 130 years to realize and there's still artwork that is coming to the project. Also take a look at the new parkettes created around it on the north and south sides.

The intersection of Queen and Dufferin is also interesting as a dividing point between four neighbourhoods...

There's Parkdale to the west, still a hold out from true full blown gentrification. It character is definitely worth exploring.

And on the other hand, Liberty Village to the south, is a great example of urban renewal and how a new neighbourhood can grow out of an old industrialized base.

Next you could wander a little east and turn north onto Beaconsfield to see its beautiful old historic homes and see a neighbourhood formerly dominated by new Canadians of Italian and Portuguese decent now in transition.

Back on Queen, the West Queen West neighbourhood and specifically the area south of Queen between Gladstone and Dovercourt which is a new emerging neighbourhood called the Queen West Triangle is already under construction. Sadly, the architecture is not award winning, but there's lot's for the urban enthusiast to look at.

You can also take a look at the "artists" laneway accessed by a "portico" on the south side of Queen just a little west of the Drake or the new Sudbury Street extension.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for a new park coming just south of the Canada Post station, now just a green field. It will be interesting to see how this park develops as the artist community is very engaged in the process.

Likewise, Gladstone Avenue is also getting a make over by being narrowed and greened and will take on a very different form after this is complete in the coming year.

Finally, you'll also be able to see over the coming years how the old Carnegie Library on the south side of Queen Street is transformed into a new Theatre Centre for local theatre groups.Of course, there's lots more to see in the area from small galleries to the historic Drake and Gladstone hotels.

In all this TransitHub makes for an interesting study in contrast between neighbourhoods and a good way to pass a nice afternoon of exploration.

Adam Giambrone (@Adam_Giambrone) is a former Chair of the TTC and remains a passionate advocate for transit on a local and national level. He currently works for the AMT (Agence Metropolitaine de Transport) in Montreal and splits his time between Toronto and Montreal.

Photos by John Krissilas.


Have a #TransitHubbing Adventure of your own that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Email us at and tell us about a Hub that you've visited (or one that you know like the   back of your hand). What makes it interesting? What are some relatively-unknown places or things that TransitHubbers should check out? Send us your story, along with your photos, today!

Keep #TransitHubbing!


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