A Drive Through The Port Lands
Commissioners Street was one of the earliest roads established by the Toronto Harbour Commission for the Port Lands Industrial Area. It’s where the earlier history of the area took place. At one time, Commissioners Street carried a railway line for the Toronto Suburban Railway to Cherry Street.
Keating Channel (formerly Don Diversion Channel).
The Keating Channel runs east-west in the Port Lands, created in 1912 when the Don River was diverted, actually straightened, toward the harbour. The Channel was proposed by a city engineer in the 1890’s and was originally created to address unsanitary conditions in the bay. Keating Channel took over 20 years to complete but when finished, ships were able to access various Port Land industries and not get stuck in the silt and marsh of the river mouth.
From Toronto's is the major north-south road and provided the most direct access to the Port Lands District. Cherry Street ran into the Port Lands along the route of an earlier road that led to the Toronto Islands lighthouse.
The second oldest building in the Port Lands is a warehouse, now used by Cherry Beach Sound/The Factory. It originally was the location of the former Queen‘s City Foundry, built in 1917. It has a two-storey center section with a gable roof and a one-storey, shed with roof wings on each side.
At 312 Cherry Street you can find a prominent landmark, tall silos that mark the Keating Channel entrance. These were completed in 1920. Although today they are known as Essroc Toronto Terminal, many would recognize their earlier names: Century Coal Company Limited and Lake Ontario Port Land Cement Company.
The historic building at 275 Cherry Street was built in 1907 as the Dominion Bank, one of the first banks to be established in Canada. It was first converted into a restaurant in the 1940s but underwent a complete restoration in 2010 before it reopened as the Cherry Street Restaurant. Today, the venue provides a unique scenic view of Toronto’s skyline and some of the best jazz music in the city.
In 1899, a wooden drawbridge was used to cross the Don at Cherry Street (which became Keating Channel). It meant that you could cross the ship channel at Toronto Harbour and when ships needed to access the channel and the turning basin beyond, they could open. In 1931, a more substantial bridge was built by the company of Joseph Strauss and the Dominion Bridge Company.
Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project Cultural Heritage Properties, Waterfront Toronto The Archaeological Master Plan of the Central Waterfront City of Toronto, Ontario Heritage Preservation Services, Toronto City Hall Urban Toronto Waterfront Toronto Toronto Port Lands Company Toronto Port Authority
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