Stretching between Allan Gardens to the north and Moss Park to the south, the Garden District Heritage Conservation District (HCD) contains not only a number of homes from the late 1800s, but a long history of Indigenous activity, horticulture, and activism. Coming out of the Downtown East Planning Study that I initiated in 2011, the Garden District HCD is an important tool to protect both the physical and cultural history.
The Garden District HCD responds to current and future development within the area, protecting not only historical homes on George, Pembroke and Sherbourne streets, but also Allan Gardens and Moss Park. The HCD area contains many facilities that aim to help our poor and vulnerable, including Seaton House, which is itself set to be revitalized. As the HCD contains two of the larger parks in Downtown Toronto, the area has been the site of numerous protests, from free speech and war protests in Allan Gardens in the 1930s, to more recent poverty activism in Moss Park.
Council approved the Garden District HCD on January 31, 2017. The designation has been appealed to the former Ontario Municipal Board/Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and currently remains under appeal.