Blog 17 Marketplace Culture and Urban Expansion Part 1

As early as the 1960s, homeowners, tenants and merchants faced external threats to the historical landscape and distinct marketplace culture of the neighbourhood. An early example was the 1966 Metro Expressway Plan, a joint initiative between the federal, Ontario Provincial and Toronto Municipal governments to construct a network of freeways for Metropolitan Toronto.[i] Particularly concerning to residents of Kensington Market and surrounding neighbourhoods was the proposed Spadina Expressway which was expected to direct heavy traffic through the Cedarvale Ravine and down Spadina Avenue to Bloor Street.[ii] If completed, this new route would have carried traffic off of the expressway causing congestion on local streets. Grassroots opposition began in October 1969 when a coalition of students, academics, politicians formed the “Stop Spadina, Save Our City Co-ordinating Committee” (SSSOCCC) and launched a public campaign against the expressway project.


[i] Shaw, Jennifer Lyn. University of Toronto, “Resistance amidst disorganization:Understanding the nature of community organizing in Toronto’s Kensington Market.” Last modified 2005. Accessed January 25, 2013. 63.


[ii] Bradburn, Jamie. The Canadian Encyclopedia, “Toronto Feature: Spadina Expressway.” Last modified 2012. Accessed February 7, 2013.

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