About Harbord Village — a work in progress
As you will have likely seen by the time you get here, the HVRA website is a dynamic and exciting place to explore this fine neighbourhood and community.
This site represents countless hours of volunteer time — from the publication of the newsletters, to reports from the Tree Committees, to our various Green Initiatives, to the many hours that our webmaster Wendy Smith has devoted to putting this enormous amount of material up on to the site for the benefit of all of us.
When the website was originally set up, we thought that we needed a section that might describe Harbord Village from its original plan of subdivision in the 1870s right up to the present — with a view to chronicling changes in history, demographics and as much as possible changes in things like architecture, the coming and goings of businesses and housing stock.
As you can imagine, this is a big project. It could be the foundation for a book on the social history of Harbord Village, as has already been done, for example, for Kensington Market and the Toronto Islands. The Board is exploring various ideas and options for getting this done.
Some suggestions have come forward and here are two. HVRA could sponsor an Essay Contest with prize money and then could amalgamate the submissions into either a single article or simply let the original articles stand. Another suggestion might be to commission a writer to do the research and actually write the article. But nothing has been decided and indeed we would interested in hearing any suggestions from you our members.
Stay tuned to this page for developments.
Meanwhile, here is a historical gem concerning the northern part of Harbord Village, then known as the Sussex Area (bounded by Harbord to the south, Bathurst, Bloor, and Spadina).
In 1966, the City wanted to demolish all the homes in the Sussex Area, replacing them with numerous high-rise apartment buildings and parks.This proposal was linked to the plan to turn Spadina Road and Spadina Avenue into an expressway. The document available below announced a meeting to discuss the City's proposal for the Sussex Area, held on November 28, 1966. The City's plan for the Sussex Area appears to have died at the meeting. The plan for the Spadina Expressway did not die until 1971.