Bob Aaron email@example.com
October 29 2011
Turf war over who names the neighbourhoods
Toronto residents who are proud to live in areas such as Harbourfront, Davisville Village, Leslieville, Chaplin Estates, Hogg’s Hollow and Corktown are bound to be disappointed to learn that their neighbourhood names have been wiped off the map by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Real Estate Board.
This also applies to the neighbourhoods of Baby Point, Rathnelly,
The confusion arises in the wake of a decision by the Board in July to replace its old district map to simplify searching for properties on the Multiple Listing Toronto Real Estate Service (MLS) and its public site, www.realtor.ca.
As a result, there are now at least four different authoritative
sources for naming and defining
• The “official”
• The newly adopted Toronto Real Estate Board maps are
found at www.torontomls.net/BingCommunitiesMap/map.html.
TREB says that there are 144
• In his landmark book Your Guide to Toronto
Neighbourhoods, now in its fifth edition, (http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/book-orders
) David Dunkelman provides a detailed description of 164
The book is
well-researched, detailed, and up-to-date. Dunkelman's neighbourhood
descriptions are online at
The book is well-researched, detailed, and up-to-date. Dunkelman's neighbourhood descriptions are online athttp://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/.
• My personal favourite, and the one with the most
neighbourhood listings, is the brainchild of
The Realosophy terminology uses area names that are in common use by real people — not ones invented by a TREB committee or municipal bureaucrats.
Not only are we now left with four different lists ranging from 140 to 167 neighbourhood names, no one seems to agree on the names or boundaries of the neighbourhoods.
This results in what I refer to as “neighbourhood creep.” (I’m not, of course, referring to the strange guy in the trench coat who hangs out at the local doughnut shop.) I mean the tendency of real estate agents, homeowners and developers to expand the traditional limits of upscale neighbourhoods into adjacent but less desirable areas for marketing purposes.
Neighbourhood creep occurs when the commonly accepted boundaries
of trendy areas like
This also happened when Forest Hill Lofts was built in an area considerably west of the limits of Forest Hill.
Areas next to the traditional limits of Cabbagetown, too, have
morphed into names like
Invented names like
“It’s all aspirational,” says Pasalis.
Similarly, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board,
Even when the authorities agree on the neighbourhoods, not
everyone agrees on their names. The City and TREB, for example, call the east
waterfront The Beaches, while the locals call it The Beach. Forest Hill North
and Forest Hill South are used instead of the local usage of
Maybe it’s time for a stakeholder consultation group to agree on
standardizing the names for the areas and boundaries of all