Danforth – East York

Former Cameo Theatre
989 Pape Avenue
Now a bank branch, this building used to be home to the Cameo Theatre, a mainstay of culture on Pape Avenue. Owned and operated by the Strashin family, the Cameo Theatre opened in November 1934 and was family-run until 1957, when the building was sold to a private company. The theatre was designed by architects Kaplan and Sprachman in the Art Deco style, and its auditorium had 743 seats. The Cameo Theatre got its name from its two small oval-shaped designs, each containing a profile silhouette of a woman (known as a cameo). One stood at the top of the cinema marquee and the other above the box office on the sidewalk. Traces of the theatre's past are visible at the top of the building, with the original Art Deco elements still on the cornice.

Aldwych Park
134 Aldwych Avenue
Aldwych Park contains a children's playground, a sandbox, a small picnic area, and a splash pad.

Dieppe Park & Memorial
455 Cosburn Avenue
Dieppe Park was named for the 1942 raid on the German-occupied French resort town of the same name during the Second World War. The Dieppe attack was an abject failure for the Allies, with over 3,000 casualties. The vast majority of the almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers involved in the offensive were taken prisoner, wounded, or killed. In January 1943, just four months after the Dieppe raid, the East York Township Council named this park, in honour of the soldiers' sacrifice and to commemorate the 916 Canadians who lost their lives. The plaque at the park is a permanent memorial to the losses suffered. Today, the park has one of four pleasure ice skating trails in the City of Toronto, notable for its winding figure-8 form. Dieppe Park also boasts a lit baseball diamond, multipurpose sports field, a children's playground, and a splash pad.

Cosburn Park
115 Roosevelt Road
Cosburn Park features two lit lawn bowling greens and is home to the Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club. The park also has a club house and five lit tennis courts. Cosburn Park is named after the nearby street of the same name. Originally named Bee Avenue, it was designated Cosburn Avenue after a local market gardener in early East York.

True Davidson Park & Plaque
160 Memorial Park Avenue
This park is named for Jean Gertrude 'True' Davidson, an active member of the East York community since arriving there in 1947. An enthusiastic supporter of enriched educational programming, she became the first female Chair of the East York Board of Education in 1952. On the East York Township Council in 1958 she argued against amalgamation into Toronto. The township instead merged with Leaside to create the Borough of East York and Davidson was elected its first mayor. A staunch defender of heritage preservation, she founded the East York Foundation, creating the Todmorden Mills museum as a community-sponsored Centennial project in 1967. Also elected President of the Association of Mayors and Reeves of Ontario in 1969, Davidson was a founding member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, receiving the Order of Canada and the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. Her favourite title came from the Toronto media: 'Grandmother of East York'.

Greek Pontian Memorial - Panagia Soumela
160 Memorial Park Avenue
The Panagia Soumela Memorial was commissioned in 2000 by the Greek Pontian Memorial Committee to commemorate the lives of the 353,000 Pontian Greeks who died or were displaced between 1914 and 1923 during the Greko-Turko War. This monument, a stone ionic column with a black granite base, pays respects to the Greek citizens who lost their lives and families in the mass genocide. The Memorial Committee members are descendants of the Pontic Greek refugees who were uprooted and resettled in this area during the 1960s. Greek community members have shaped the neighbourhood culture in Toronto's East End ever since.

Gerald Gladstone 'Pylon' Art Installation
Southeast corner of True Davidson Park
'Pylon' has stood near the library since 1960. An avant-garde installation by Toronto-born sculptor and painter Gerald Gladstone (1929-2005), its two 35-foot tall columns are made of curved concrete and weigh over 100 tons. Gladstone, the only artist to have received three commissions for Expo '67 in Montreal, stated that the two columns are meant to highlight humans' relationship with the undiscovered galaxy. Gladstone has created international installations such as a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Los Angeles, and a sculpture titled 'Galaxy' in Canberra, Australia.

Toronto Public Library - S. Walter Stewart Branch
170 Memorial Park Avenue
The S. Walter Stewart branch of the Toronto Public Library system was named for a chief advocate for library services within the community of East York. S. Walter Stewart served on the East York Public Library Board from its inception in 1946 to his own death. At the time of its opening in 1960, the library's circular design - by architects Parrot, Tambling and Witmer - was unique in Toronto and said to be only one of four circular libraries in the world. The design was inspired by space exploration and was meant to resemble a flying saucer. Stewart donated nine A.Y. Jackson paintings to the library, which remain at the branch today. The library received a Certificate of Recognition in 1998 from Mayor Mel Lastman for outstanding service to children. Today, the branch features a children's literacy space, exhibition space, a youth hub, and the John S. Ridout Auditorium.

East York Civic Centre & Cenotaph
850 Coxwell Avenue
Designed in the postmodern architectural style, the East York Civic Centre was built in 1990. It was the municipal centre of the Borough of East York before the Borough's amalgamation into Toronto in 1998. The former council chambers have not been used for official municipal functions since, but the chambers are named True Davidson Chambers after East York's first mayor. The building is now used for various City of Toronto meetings and administrative functions. A weekly farmer's market takes place at the centre from spring to fall. In the park behind the Civic Centre, the East York Cenotaph commemorates the 120 Canadians who have lost their lives while on Canadian Peacekeeping missions. Canada's contributions to peacekeeping are unsurpassed by any other nation, with almost 125,000 Canadians participating in United Nations Peacekeeping missions to date.

Century Schoolhouse: Toronto Urban Studies Centre
502 Sammon Avenue
The Century Schoolhouse is a replica of a typical one-room brick schoolhouse that would have existed between 1860 and 1890. While this was never an actual schoolhouse itself, it was built as a bicentennial project to commemorate the Borough of East York. The replica schoolhouse is currently the Toronto Urban Studies Centre, run by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). With its late Victorian architecture, the schoolhouse cuts a pleasant figure in the neighbourhood, offering a glimpse of what single-room schools would have looked like in this once-rural community during that time. Educators use the space to simulate a day in the life of schoolchildren in the 1890s, with immersive historical programming for students.

Michael Garron Hospital
825 Coxwell Avenue
Michael Garron Hospital is a community teaching hospital that has stood within East York since 1929. It is affiliated with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, the University of Toronto Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and other institutions. Originally named Toronto East General Hospital, the hospital was named Michael Garron Hospital in 2015 after a donation from Myron and Berna Garron in memory of their son Michael, who passed away from a rare cancer at age 13. In 2019, the hospital opened an Indigenous sweat lodge called The Bear's Den, under the direction of the local hospital's Indigenous Elder Little Brown Bear and in consultation with community members from the hospital's Aboriginal Healing Program. The hospital has also added an Indigenous healing room in its pediatric unit.

Craig White 'Birds of a Feather' Artbox
Southwest corner of Coxwell Avenue & Mortimer Avenue
Craig White is a Toronto-based graphic designer. His work 'Birds of a Feather' stands at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues, a key intersection within the neighbourhood. A resident of East Toronto, White runs his own graphic design business, having commemorated Toronto Raptors basketball legend Vince Carter and served major clients such as the Canadian Football League (CFL). 'Birds of a Feather' was inspired by a talk White had with an elderly neighbour who liked to watch the local birds zipping to and from their nests, comparing them to the traits of all the people who have made Toronto their home: hardworking, resourceful and collaborative.

Les Anthony Parkette
5 Dunkirk Road
Les Anthony Parkette is a shaded green space named for Leslie Anthony, a long-time East York resident and dedicated volunteer to the community who passed away in 2003. A veteran of the Second World War, Anthony descended from the original Anthony settlers of Markham, Ontario. He was a member of the East York Foundation, President and Life Member of the East York Danforth Lions Club and Chairman of both the East York Canada Day Committee and the Stan Wadlow Recreational Board of Management.

Explore Danforth – East York

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Hiba Abdallah
Toronto Public Library: Gerrard/Ashdale Branch
1432 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1Z6

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

This stroll offers a dynamic overview of East York's diverse history, from its wartime roots to present-day cultural hubs. Explore some of the oldest buildings in the area, learn about community leaders and war veterans, and discover the hidden artistic gems of the neighbourhood and local Pape Village BIA.

Main Streets: Pape Avenue, Coxwell Avenue, Cosburn Avenue and Woodbine Avenue
  1. Former Cameo Theatre
    989 Pape Avenue
    Now a bank branch, this building used to be home to the Cameo Theatre, a mainstay of culture on Pape Avenue. Owned and operated by the Strashin family, the Cameo Theatre opened in November 1934 and was family-run until 1957, when the building was sold to a private company. The theatre was designed by architects Kaplan and Sprachman in the Art Deco style, and its auditorium had 743 seats. The Cameo Theatre got its name from its two small oval-shaped designs, each containing a profile silhouette of a woman (known as a cameo). One stood at the top of the cinema marquee and the other above the box office on the sidewalk. Traces of the theatre's past are visible at the top of the building, with the original Art Deco elements still on the cornice.
  2. Aldwych Park
    134 Aldwych Avenue
    Aldwych Park contains a children's playground, a sandbox, a small picnic area, and a splash pad.
  3. Dieppe Park & Memorial
    455 Cosburn Avenue
    Dieppe Park was named for the 1942 raid on the German-occupied French resort town of the same name during the Second World War. The Dieppe attack was an abject failure for the Allies, with over 3,000 casualties. The vast majority of the almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers involved in the offensive were taken prisoner, wounded, or killed. In January 1943, just four months after the Dieppe raid, the East York Township Council named this park, in honour of the soldiers' sacrifice and to commemorate the 916 Canadians who lost their lives. The plaque at the park is a permanent memorial to the losses suffered. Today, the park has one of four pleasure ice skating trails in the City of Toronto, notable for its winding figure-8 form. Dieppe Park also boasts a lit baseball diamond, multipurpose sports field, a children's playground, and a splash pad.
  4. Cosburn Park
    115 Roosevelt Road
    Cosburn Park features two lit lawn bowling greens and is home to the Cosburn Park Lawn Bowling Club. The park also has a club house and five lit tennis courts. Cosburn Park is named after the nearby street of the same name. Originally named Bee Avenue, it was designated Cosburn Avenue after a local market gardener in early East York.
  5. True Davidson Park & Plaque
    160 Memorial Park Avenue
    This park is named for Jean Gertrude 'True' Davidson, an active member of the East York community since arriving there in 1947. An enthusiastic supporter of enriched educational programming, she became the first female Chair of the East York Board of Education in 1952. On the East York Township Council in 1958 she argued against amalgamation into Toronto. The township instead merged with Leaside to create the Borough of East York and Davidson was elected its first mayor. A staunch defender of heritage preservation, she founded the East York Foundation, creating the Todmorden Mills museum as a community-sponsored Centennial project in 1967. Also elected President of the Association of Mayors and Reeves of Ontario in 1969, Davidson was a founding member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, receiving the Order of Canada and the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal. Her favourite title came from the Toronto media: 'Grandmother of East York'.
  6. Greek Pontian Memorial - Panagia Soumela
    160 Memorial Park Avenue
    The Panagia Soumela Memorial was commissioned in 2000 by the Greek Pontian Memorial Committee to commemorate the lives of the 353,000 Pontian Greeks who died or were displaced between 1914 and 1923 during the Greko-Turko War. This monument, a stone ionic column with a black granite base, pays respects to the Greek citizens who lost their lives and families in the mass genocide. The Memorial Committee members are descendants of the Pontic Greek refugees who were uprooted and resettled in this area during the 1960s. Greek community members have shaped the neighbourhood culture in Toronto's East End ever since.
  7. Gerald Gladstone 'Pylon' Art Installation
    Southeast corner of True Davidson Park
    'Pylon' has stood near the library since 1960. An avant-garde installation by Toronto-born sculptor and painter Gerald Gladstone (1929-2005), its two 35-foot tall columns are made of curved concrete and weigh over 100 tons. Gladstone, the only artist to have received three commissions for Expo '67 in Montreal, stated that the two columns are meant to highlight humans' relationship with the undiscovered galaxy. Gladstone has created international installations such as a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Los Angeles, and a sculpture titled 'Galaxy' in Canberra, Australia.
  8. Toronto Public Library - S. Walter Stewart Branch
    170 Memorial Park Avenue
    The S. Walter Stewart branch of the Toronto Public Library system was named for a chief advocate for library services within the community of East York. S. Walter Stewart served on the East York Public Library Board from its inception in 1946 to his own death. At the time of its opening in 1960, the library's circular design - by architects Parrot, Tambling and Witmer - was unique in Toronto and said to be only one of four circular libraries in the world. The design was inspired by space exploration and was meant to resemble a flying saucer. Stewart donated nine A.Y. Jackson paintings to the library, which remain at the branch today. The library received a Certificate of Recognition in 1998 from Mayor Mel Lastman for outstanding service to children. Today, the branch features a children's literacy space, exhibition space, a youth hub, and the John S. Ridout Auditorium.
  9. East York Civic Centre & Cenotaph
    850 Coxwell Avenue
    Designed in the postmodern architectural style, the East York Civic Centre was built in 1990. It was the municipal centre of the Borough of East York before the Borough's amalgamation into Toronto in 1998. The former council chambers have not been used for official municipal functions since, but the chambers are named True Davidson Chambers after East York's first mayor. The building is now used for various City of Toronto meetings and administrative functions. A weekly farmer's market takes place at the centre from spring to fall. In the park behind the Civic Centre, the East York Cenotaph commemorates the 120 Canadians who have lost their lives while on Canadian Peacekeeping missions. Canada's contributions to peacekeeping are unsurpassed by any other nation, with almost 125,000 Canadians participating in United Nations Peacekeeping missions to date.
  10. Century Schoolhouse: Toronto Urban Studies Centre
    502 Sammon Avenue
    The Century Schoolhouse is a replica of a typical one-room brick schoolhouse that would have existed between 1860 and 1890. While this was never an actual schoolhouse itself, it was built as a bicentennial project to commemorate the Borough of East York. The replica schoolhouse is currently the Toronto Urban Studies Centre, run by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). With its late Victorian architecture, the schoolhouse cuts a pleasant figure in the neighbourhood, offering a glimpse of what single-room schools would have looked like in this once-rural community during that time. Educators use the space to simulate a day in the life of schoolchildren in the 1890s, with immersive historical programming for students.
  11. Michael Garron Hospital
    825 Coxwell Avenue
    Michael Garron Hospital is a community teaching hospital that has stood within East York since 1929. It is affiliated with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, the University of Toronto Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and other institutions. Originally named Toronto East General Hospital, the hospital was named Michael Garron Hospital in 2015 after a donation from Myron and Berna Garron in memory of their son Michael, who passed away from a rare cancer at age 13. In 2019, the hospital opened an Indigenous sweat lodge called The Bear's Den, under the direction of the local hospital's Indigenous Elder Little Brown Bear and in consultation with community members from the hospital's Aboriginal Healing Program. The hospital has also added an Indigenous healing room in its pediatric unit.
  12. Craig White 'Birds of a Feather' Artbox
    Southwest corner of Coxwell Avenue & Mortimer Avenue
    Craig White is a Toronto-based graphic designer. His work 'Birds of a Feather' stands at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues, a key intersection within the neighbourhood. A resident of East Toronto, White runs his own graphic design business, having commemorated Toronto Raptors basketball legend Vince Carter and served major clients such as the Canadian Football League (CFL). 'Birds of a Feather' was inspired by a talk White had with an elderly neighbour who liked to watch the local birds zipping to and from their nests, comparing them to the traits of all the people who have made Toronto their home: hardworking, resourceful and collaborative.
  13. Les Anthony Parkette
    5 Dunkirk Road
    Les Anthony Parkette is a shaded green space named for Leslie Anthony, a long-time East York resident and dedicated volunteer to the community who passed away in 2003. A veteran of the Second World War, Anthony descended from the original Anthony settlers of Markham, Ontario. He was a member of the East York Foundation, President and Life Member of the East York Danforth Lions Club and Chairman of both the East York Canada Day Committee and the Stan Wadlow Recreational Board of Management.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are viewable from paved sidewalks or paved park trails.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.