The Grange Park neighbourhood has become synonymous with Toronto’s Chinatown district. Grange Park’s street signs, telephone booths, and even the local police station, all have signage in Chinese as well as English.
Grange Park was Toronto’s first elite neighbourhood. It is named after Grange House, built in 1817, by D’Arcy Boulton Jr., a member of one of early Toronto’s wealthiest and most prominent families.
Grange House Ãœ now part of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the mansions on Beverley Street, are the sole reminders of this neighbourhood’s period of affluence.
In the late 1800’s, Grange Park’s upper class gentry headed for the newer more fashionable suburbs in Parkdale, Rosedale and the Annex.
By the early 1900’s, Grange Park’s large estates had been transformed into rows of modest workers’ houses that became home to many new Canadians.
Jewish immigrants were followed by Eastern Europeans and most recently the Chinese; who migrated to Grange Park after Toronto’s first Chinatown at Dundas and Elizabeth Street was razed in the 1960’s, to make room for the new City Hall.