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Don Mills

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Don Mills is a mixed-use neighbourhood in the North York district of Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It was developed to be a self-supporting "new town
New town
A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

" and was at the time located outside of Toronto proper. Consisting of residential, commercial and industrial sub-districts, it was planned and developed by private enterprise. In several ways it became the blueprint for post-war suburban development in Toronto and contemporary residential neighbourhoods. It is bounded by York Mills Road
York Mills Road
York Mills Road is an east-west route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada named for the community of York Mills or Hoggs Hollow. "York" refers to York Township and "Mills" refers to the gristmill and sawmills in the Don River valley during 1804–1926. It is the former 10th concession road.York Mills runs...

 to the north, Eglinton Avenue
Eglinton Avenue
Eglinton Avenue, originally known as the Richview Sideroad within Etobicoke, is an east-west arterial thoroughfare in Toronto and Mississauga, in the Canadian province of Ontario. Within Toronto, Eglinton Avenue is the only road which crosses through all six former boroughs...

 to the south, Leslie Street to the west, and the Don Valley Parkway
Don Valley Parkway
The Don Valley Parkway is a controlled-access six-lane municipal expressway in Toronto connecting the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto with Ontario Highway 401, the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway. North of Highway 401, it continues as Ontario Highway 404. The parkway runs through...

 to the east. It is part of federal and provincial electoral district Don Valley West
Don Valley West
Don Valley West is a federal electoral district in Ontario, Canada, that has been represented in the Canadian House of Commons since 1979. Its population in 2001 was 115,539....

, and Toronto electoral wards 25: Don Valley West (North) and 26: Don Valley West (South).

Early history


The Don Mills area was first settled by Europeans in 1817. The area was a considerable distance from the town of York
York, Upper Canada
York was the name of Old Toronto between 1793 and 1834. It was the second capital of Upper Canada.- History :The town was established in 1793 by Governor John Graves Simcoe, with a new 'Fort York' on the site of the last French 'Fort Toronto'...

, but the Don River provided an easy means of transportation, and also a source of power for a number of mills along its length. While the city of Toronto steadily expanded, the Don Mills area remained rural until after the Second World War. It was cut off from the city by ravines to the south, east, and west. Only two roads connected to the area: York Mills Road
York Mills Road
York Mills Road is an east-west route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada named for the community of York Mills or Hoggs Hollow. "York" refers to York Township and "Mills" refers to the gristmill and sawmills in the Don River valley during 1804–1926. It is the former 10th concession road.York Mills runs...

 and Don Mills Road. In 1950 the area consisted of about 20 farms.

Don Mills project


Don Mills was designed as a model community between 1952 and 1965. Land use, architectural design and building materials were carefully regulated. Many aspects of its design have been imitated in suburban developments across Canada. Its planners would give people priority over industry and cars.

This combination of emptiness and proximity to the city attracted the attention of industrialist E.P. Taylor. His original plan was to erect a brewery
Brewery
A brewery is a dedicated building for the making of beer, though beer can be made at home, and has been for much of beer's history. A company which makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company....

 on the site, along with a small community to house the workers. Taylor had limited previous experience in the property development business, but had built a project named the Wrentham Estates in York Mills. Seeing the profit to be made with such projects, Taylor abandoned the brewery idea and decided to simply build a new town on the 2000 acres (8.1 km²) he had acquired.

In 1951 he began planning the Yorktown community (as it was first known), and it was announced on March 11, 1953. The community was to be built on about 8.35 km² (3.2 sq mi) of farmland centred at the intersection of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East, with an expected cost of $200 million. Development was headed by the Taylor-owned Don Mills Development Company, (known as O'Keefe Realty in the days of the brewery development).

Design principles



The design of Don Mills was influenced by Ebenezer Howard
Ebenezer Howard
Sir Ebenezer Howard is known for his publication Garden Cities of To-morrow , the description of a utopian city in which people live harmoniously together with nature. The publication resulted in the founding of the garden city movement, that realized several Garden Cities in Great Britain at the...

's Garden City
Garden city movement
The garden city movement is a method of urban planning that was initiated in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by "greenbelts" , containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and...

, and by the principles of two American town planners, Clarence Stein
Clarence Stein
Clarence Samuel Stein was an American urban planner, architect, and writer, a major proponent of the "Garden City" movement in the United States.- Biography :...

 and Henry Wright, who developed the garden city community of Radburn, New Jersey
Radburn, New Jersey
Radburn is an unincorporated planned community located within Fair Lawn, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States.Radburn was founded in 1929 as "a town for the motor age"...

. Design of the project was entrusted to Macklin Hancock, the son-in-law of Taylor's executive assistant. Still in his mid-20s, Hancock was a graduate student at Harvard when approached for the job. At Harvard Hancock had studied under a number of the founders of modernism and new town planning including Walter Gropius
Walter Gropius
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture....

, William Holford
William Holford, Baron Holford
William Graham Holford, Baron Holford was a British architect and town planner.-Biography:He was born in South Africa and educated at Diocesan College, Cape Town. He studied architecture at Liverpool University, where he won the Rome Scholarship in Architecture to the British School at Rome in 1930...

, and Hideo Sasaki
Hideo Sasaki
Sasaki Hideo was an influential American landscape architect.-Biography:Sasaki Hideo was born in Reedley, California, on 25 November 1919. He grew up working on his family's California truck farm, and harvesting crops on Arizona farms. He began his college studies at the University of California,...

. These studies lead Hancock to envision a self-contained community distinguished by consistent design principles and a modernist
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 style. Several names were proposed for the new development, including Eptown after Taylor. It was called Yorktown at its initial unveiling, but the name Don Mills was finally adopted at the suggestion of Hancock.

The design was based on five planning principles, which had not been implemented in Canada before:
  1. The neighbourhood principle – which broke down the community into four neighbourhood quadrants, all surrounding a regional shopping centre, Don Mills Centre
    Don Mills Centre
    The Don Mills Centre was a shopping centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was located on a 44-acre commercial site, at the southwest corner of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East in the planned community of Don Mills. There were at least 98 stores during the height of the mall's existence...

    , at the southwest corner of Don Mills and Lawrence. Each quadrant was to contain a school, a church, and a park.
  2. Separation of pedestrian and vehicle traffic – which was accomplished through the creation of a network of pedestrian paths providing easy access through parks to area schools and the town centre, while roads were designed to slow vehicular traffic through the use of winding roads, T-intersections, and cul-de-sacs.
  3. Promotion of modernist architecture and the modern aesthetic – Don Mills Development controlled the architectural design, colours, and materials of all buildings in Don Mills. As well, the corporation insisted that builders use company-approved architects who had been educated according to Bauhaus
    Bauhaus
    ', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

     principles, to prevent the project from deteriorating into a typical post-war subdivision of builder's homes.
  4. Creation of a greenbelt – linked to a system of neighbourhood parks that would preserve the beauty of the surrounding ravines.
  5. Integration of industry into the community – which followed Howard's ideals for the Garden City. Planners felt that it was important for residents to live and work in the same satellite town so that Don Mills would not become a bedroom community. A sizable number of high residential densities—rental townhouses and low-rise apartments—was essential if the town were to attract a cross-section of residents working in local industries.


Home situation design was also influential to subsequent subdivisions in Canada. The homes were located on square lots with long street frontages. Houses were previously situated on rectangular lots, narrow end to the street. The square lots meant that houses faced the street with their long side, but has less deep backyards.

The developers also affected two highway projects being developed concurrently. The 'Toronto Bypass', now known as Ontario Highway 401 does not have an interchange at Don Mills Road due to the development. The Don Valley Parkway
Don Valley Parkway
The Don Valley Parkway is a controlled-access six-lane municipal expressway in Toronto connecting the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto with Ontario Highway 401, the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway. North of Highway 401, it continues as Ontario Highway 404. The parkway runs through...

, built in part to service the community, was originally to be built on Don Mills Road, but was moved east to the Woodbine Avenue right-of-way north of Lawrence.

Landmarks



The local high school is the Don Mills Collegiate Institute
Don Mills Collegiate Institute
Don Mills Collegiate Institute is a high school in the community of Don Mills in Toronto. It serves an ethnically diverse student population of approximately 1000. As of 2006, 66% of students speak a first language other than English...

, which opened in 1959. In 2003, the parkette at the corner of Don Mills and Lawrence was renamed the Macklin Hancock Parkette. An area elementary public school is Norman Ingram Memorial School, located on Duncairn Rd.

The main shopping centre is the Shops at Don Mills
Shops at Don Mills
The Shops at Don Mills is a lifestyle centre - type shopping centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located at Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East.There are 72 retail stores with a total floor space of 47,550 square metres ....

, a large mall located at the southwest corner of Lawrence Avenue
Lawrence Avenue
Lawrence Avenue is a major east-west thoroughfare in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is divided into east and west portions by Yonge Street, the dividing line of east-west streets in Toronto....

 and Don Mills Road on the site of the former Don Mills Centre
Don Mills Centre
The Don Mills Centre was a shopping centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was located on a 44-acre commercial site, at the southwest corner of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East in the planned community of Don Mills. There were at least 98 stores during the height of the mall's existence...

. There is also a strip mall southwest of Don Mills and Barber Greene Road, and a Loblaw
Loblaw Companies
Loblaw Companies Limited is the largest food retailer in Canada, with over 1,400 supermarkets operating under a variety of regional banners, including the namesake Loblaws. LCL is headquartered in Brampton, Ontario...

 Real Canadian Superstore
Real Canadian Superstore
Real Canadian Superstore is a chain of hypermarkets owned by Canadian food retailing giant Loblaw Companies. Its name is often shortened to RCSS or Superstore....

 northeast of Don Mills and Eglinton.

Parks includes Bond Park which has sports fields and an arena, and Moccasin Trail Park where a remote, undeveloped section of ravine can be reached by a pedestrian tunnel under the Don Valley Parkway
Don Valley Parkway
The Don Valley Parkway is a controlled-access six-lane municipal expressway in Toronto connecting the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto with Ontario Highway 401, the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway. North of Highway 401, it continues as Ontario Highway 404. The parkway runs through...

.

At Wynford Drive and the Don Valley Parkway, a new $300 million cultural project is being constructed on 6.8 hectares (16.8 acre). The Ismaili Centre
Ismaili Centre, Toronto
The Ismaili Centre, Toronto — currently under development — will be the sixth such centre in the world. Situated in a park that it shares with the Aga Khan Museum adjacent to the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, the Centre will represent the permanent presence of the Ismaili Muslim...

, the Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum is dedicated to the preservation of Muslim arts and culture. It is to be situated in Toronto, Canada and is expected to open in 2013. The museum is an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network...

 and a public park, will provide an exhibition space for Islamic art and history and will provide a centre for the Ismaili community in Canada. The project, whose foundation was laid on May 28, 2010 by Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 and His Highness the Aga Khan
Aga Khan IV
Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV, NPk, NI, KBE, CC, GCC, GCIH, GCM is the 49th and current Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims. He has held this position under the title of Aga Khan since July 11, 1957, when, at the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan...

, is designed by award-winning architects: India-based Charles Correa
Charles Correa
Charles Correa is an Indian architect, planner and activist.-Early life:Charles Correa was born in Hyderabad, India...

, Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki
is a Japanese architect and currently teaching at Keio University SFC.- Biography :After studying at the University of Tokyo he moved to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and then to Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1956, he took a post as assistant professor of...

, Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic and the Toronto-based Moriyama & Teshima Architects.

Demographics


The city places Don Mills in a community called Banbury-Don Mills. In 2006, it had a population of 25,435.

Major ethnic and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 groups (by ancestry) in 2001:
  • Chinese
    Chinese Canadian
    Chinese Canadians are Canadians of Chinese descent. They constitute the second-largest visible minority group in Canada, after South Asian Canadians...

     - 12%
  • English
    English Canadian
    An English Canadian is a Canadian of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but...

     - 11%
  • Canadian
    Canadian identity
    Canadian identity refers to the set of characteristics and symbols that many Canadians regard as expressing their unique place and role in the world....

     - 11%
  • Jewish - 7%
  • Scottish
    Scottish Canadian
    Scottish Canadians are people of Scottish descent or heritage living in Canada. As the third-largest ethnic group in Canada and among the first to settle in Canada, Scottish people have made a large impact on Canadian culture since colonial times...

     - 7%
  • Irish
    Irish Canadian
    Irish Canadian are immigrants and descendants of immigrants who originated in Ireland. 1.2 million Irish immigrants arrived, 1825 to 1970, at least half of those in the period from 1831-1850. By 1867, they were the second largest ethnic group , and comprised 24% of Canada's population...

     - 5%
  • East Indian
    Indo-Canadians
    Indo-Canadians are Canadians whose origins trace back to India. The terms East Indian and South Asian are used to distinguish people of ancestral origin from India, from the First Nations peoples of Canada who are often referred to as Indian, and from the people of the Caribbean, who are sometimes...

     - 4%
  • German - 3%
  • French
    French Canadian
    French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

     - 2%
  • Polish
    Polish Canadians
    Polish Canadians are Citizens of Canada with Polish ancestry, and Poles who immigrated to Canada from abroad. According to the 2001 census by Statistics Canada, 984,585 Canadians claim full or partial Polish ancestry.-History:...

     - 2%
  • Other
    Crab Nebula
    The Crab Nebula  is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus...

     - 36%

The percentage of population below the poverty line dropped from 13% (in 1996) to 12% (in 2001).

External links


A downloadable audio/video "iTour" of Don Mills from 2010 by Globe & Mail columnist Dave LeBlanc:
  • http://www.heritagetoronto.org/discover-toronto/itours/don-mills-itour