Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2013
Photo Source - Toronto Public Library Digital Archive
This garden at the northwest corner of Queen Street West and O'Hara Street has a plaque erected by the Parkdale Village BIA with the support of TD Green Streets. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.641099 -79.434264
The Parkdale Village Business Improvement Area (PVBIA) encompasses the area along Toronto's celebrated Queen Street West from Dufferin Street to Roncesvalles Avenue. Because of its close proximity to the waterfront, Parkdale was once a resort spot for Torontonians - with beautiful summer homes nestled among lush trees and plants. As Toronto blossomed into Canada's greatest city, Parkdale grew alongside it - transforming from a quaint beach-side community to the vibrant and bustling urban area we know and love today. This development has had immeasurable benefits for Parkdale; although sadly the transformation cost us many of our beautiful trees. The PVBIA, working in conjunction with local businesses, community members and proudly supported by TD Green Streets, aims to reverse this damage by planting trees and greenery within our neighbourhood, such as in this urban garden plot. Like the street it resides on, this garden is named O'Hara after Lieutenant Colonel Walter O'Hara (1789-1874), one of Parkdale's earliest settlers.
O'Hara, who once owned this land, was born in Dublin, Ireland. A career soldier, he served in the Napoleonic Peninsular War, and arrived in Canada in 1826. He was Assistant Adjutant General of the Upper Canada Militia with the rank of Colonel from 1827-1846. Walter and his wife Marion accumulated over one hundred and twenty hectares of land in Parkdale between the years of 1831 and 1840. Their home, an imposing Georgian-style building named "West Lodge", stood at the head of the street of that name until it was demolished in the 1960s to build the May Robinson Apartments.
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