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Wallace Emerson, Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: Everything’s a Walk Away

Wallace Emerson, Toronto

Image of Wallace Emerson

Neighbourhood At a Glance:

Average Commute Time

Union Station can be reached in 20 minutes by car and 30 minutes by public transit.

Lifestyle

BIG on Bloor Festival is a mid-summer event and there’s an active neighbourhood community centre.

The Housing Market

Row houses and old warehouses that have recently been flipped and renovated into condos and trendy lofts.

What You’ll Love

Five-minute commute to pretty much everything in the neighbourhood.

What Not To Expect

Highrise apartments and a lively nightlife.

From modest, row houses to modern condominiums and lofts, the Wallace Emerson neighbourhood proves that there still exists hidden gems scattered throughout the Greater Toronto Area. With only a 20-minute commute to the downtown core, Wallace Emerson has something for everyone, with great restaurants throughout the area and an expansive community centre. This neighbourhood is constantly evolving from its traditionally Portuguese, Italian, and Korean roots to an artistic, culturally rich pocket west of downtown.

Neighbourhood Review

Architecture

Since this area has historically been modest, most of its red-brick homes are modest in size and were mainly constructed between the late 1800s and early 1900s. There’s a mix of detached and semi-detached houses within the neighbourhood nestled on narrow lots with equally narrow streets and laneways. The area north of Bloor Street primarily has single-family homes, though industrial space has been renovated and converted into lofts and condominiums to meet the rise in housing demand. Even with increased demand for newer, trendier homes, there are still row houses and subsidized rental space available. This change has brought new life into aged, grittier areas, combining the old with new, and peppering artsy dwellings throughout the community. While first-time homebuyers brought in a new wave of revitalization to the neighbourhood, Wallace Emerson still has some rougher areas that act as reminders of its origins.

dupont street

Things to Do in Wallace Emerson

Arts & Culture

BIG on Bloor Festival has accessible art installations scattered throughout the Wallace Emerson community along Bloor St. West from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue. The festival runs to the end of July each summer and aims to celebrate community, creativity, and diversity through arts and culture. It provides opportunities for local artists and small businesses to be showcased. There are still murals painted on buildings from previous years’ festivals that add vibrance to this industrial neighbourhood.

semi detached houses

Shopping

There are mostly grocery and convenience stores like the K Mini Market on Lansdowne and the Olympia Supermarket on Dufferin Street within the core of the neighbourhood, For clothing and house-related goods, go to Bloor Street West where you can find eclectic stores like Odd Finds General Store, a large vintage clothing store, and Nuthouse, a bulk store specializing in dry goods.

 

The largest shopping complex is the Galleria Mall, which opened in 1972. Currently, the mall is part of the Reimage Galleria Community Space redevelopment project that will be running until 2030. Plans are to reclaim and reuse the space occupied by the Galleria Mall and the Wallace Emerson Community Centre to create more housing and 27,503 square metres of retail space. The redevelopment will also create a diagonal access road connecting Dufferin and Dupont Streets.

semi detached houses

Restaurants & Dining

Restaurants and cafés are scarce in the heart of the Wallace Emerson neighbourhood. But with its proximity to Bloor Street West, Lansdowne Avenue, and Dufferin Street, a good meal and a hot cup of coffee are only minutes away. A few dining highlights from the area include Donna’s on Lansdowne Avenue. This traditional American diner boasts fairly priced home-cooked meals and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If late-night eats are more your vibe, check out Bar Neon, a local bar with a back patio, great cocktails, and Greek-inspired snacks on Bloor Street West opened from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Probably the most eclectic eating establishment in the area, Laundry & Lattes, located on Dufferin Street, provides the unique opportunity to get a soy latte and wash your clothes simultaneously. 

canadian real estate association

Parks

Restaurants and cafés are scarce in the heart of the Wallace Emerson neighbourhood. But with its proximity to Bloor Street West, Lansdowne Avenue, and Dufferin Street, a good meal and a hot cup of coffee are only minutes away. A few dining highlights from the area include Donna’s on Lansdowne Avenue. This traditional American diner boasts fairly priced home-cooked meals and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If late-night eats are more your vibe, check out Bar Neon, a local bar with a back patio, great cocktails, and Greek-inspired snacks on Bloor Street West opened from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Probably the most eclectic eating establishment in the area, Laundry & Lattes, located on Dufferin Street, provides the unique opportunity to get a soy latte and wash your clothes simultaneously. 

wallace emerson area

Recreation

The Wallace Emerson Community Centre, located off Dufferin Street south of Dupont, is currently expected to be demolished as per Phase 2 of the Reimagine Galleria project. While it remains open, the community centre includes an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, gymnasium, games room, a large playground, and an active senior’s lounge.

ice rinks

Transit & Commute Times

The Wallace Emerson Community Centre, located off Dufferin Street south of Dupont, is currently expected to be demolished as per Phase 2 of the Reimagine Galleria project. While it remains open, the community centre includes an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, gymnasium, games room, a large playground, and an active senior’s lounge.

 

semi detached houses

Where Industrial Architecture Meets Modernity

What was once a gritty and industrial community conveniently named for avenues within it, is now a treasure trove of affordable housing with expansion and redevelopment happening rapidly. The Wallace Emerson neighbourhood proves that a community doesn’t have to be flashy to be unique.

wallace emerson neighbourhood

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Wallace Emerson, Toronto, known for?

Known for its industrial roots, the neighbourhood is now noted for its great community centre and affordable housing.

Why is it called Wallace Emerson?

It’s called Wallace Emerson after the intersection of Wallace and Emerson Avenues located at the centre of the community.

 

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