East York has a rich history. Formally a municipality, that was dissolved in 2005. Looking back further, East York was incorporated as a township on New Year’s Day in 1924. It’s status was changed to a borough in January, 1967, and in fact it was Canada’s only borough. East York became amalgamated into Toronto on New Year’s Day 1988. It is presently governed by the Toronto City Council.
Old East York comprises 21.26 square kilometres (8.21 sq. mi), ranging roughly from Woodbine to the east, pape to the west, O’Connor to the north and Sammon to the south. East York is proudly working-class neighbourhood with a combination of middle-class homes and a number of high-rise developments located in the heart of the neighbourhood. The Don River separates East York from what was formally considered the City of Toronto. East York used to have one of the greatest concentration of wartime bungalows in the city, but over time they have been increasingly bought up by young professionals who are building new homes in their place.
East York was originally part of the township of York. Soon after the Bloor-Danforth (Prince Edward) Viaduct opened in 1919 and York began to prosper, North York broke off and became a township. The residents of East York began to feel that their infrastructure (including sewers and roads) was being neglected by the York Township, and they subsequently voted to become part of Toronto. Many military veterans moved into the area after the war and built inexpensive homes, ie bungalows.
East York residents tended to be frugal and socially conscious. In 1967 the township of East York joined with the residential community of Leaside and became the borough of East York. Alcohol was prohibited in the restaurants and other establishments in the neighbourhood until the 1970s. Businesses serving alcohol were just over the border on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. East York later became a semi-autonomous community with upscale shops and began the evolution to what it is today.
Religion is very important to East Yorkers no matter their place of origin. Over 80% identify themselves as either Christian, Muslim or some other religious group. Sports is also a uniting passion, and East York residents have a long history of supporting hockey, soccer and baseball, and are also passionate about education.
East York has long been known for its neighbourliness and small town feel. That tradition continues today. It’s a kid-friendly area that has drawn many young professionals who appreciate a good quality of life. East York is home to one of the oldest Canada Day celebrations and the incredibly fresh fruits and vegetables at the East York Farmer’s Market. It also offers easy access to downtown Toronto’s incredibly diverse cultural hotspots and its vibrant nightlife.