Sport & Leisure
From the 1920s to the 1950s, Sunnyside Amusement Park was one of the best sites for sports and entertainment in Canada. It boasted, among other attractions, a roller coaster, merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, a well-used lakeside boardwalk, the Palais Royale dance hall, a band shell and a softball stadium. All that remains is the Bathing Pavilion and swimming pool, and the Palais Royale.
The arrival of the Great Western Railway in the mid-1850s set up a conflict that would intensify over the years between public amenities and private interests. Highways followed. Most of Sunnyside was lost through the widening of Lakeshore Boulevard and the construction of the Gardiner Expressway in the 1950s. A network of pedestrian/cycling bridges over the transportation corridor now connects the old shoreline to the new park system and lakeshore.
Sports clubs emerged as the growth of the financial, commercial and industrial sectors combined with a rapidly expanding population, provided both the funds to start such organizations and the audiences to enjoy them. Toronto has had its fair share of sports triumphs (and failures), many of which happened on or near the waterfront.
A selection of sites from this theme is laid out in the trail The Active Waterfront.
A Whale of a Tale at Toronto’s First Zoo , 1881
Front St. W. and York St.
Babe Ruth Hits First Pro Homer at Hanlan’s Point , September 05, 1914
Before the Muskokas There Was Longbranch , 1923
Five-Year-Old Rows Across Toronto Bay to see Prince of Wales , September 07, 1860
Greatest Team and Stadium in Minor League Sports , April 29, 1926
Bathurst St. and Lake Shore Blvd W.
Marilyn Bell Swims Lake Ontario , September 08, 1954
“Of all the World’s Great Heroes, There’s None that Can Compare” , 1812
Grenadier Pond, High Park
Riverdale Farm: A Turn-of-the-Century Ontario Farm in the City , 1880
201 Winchester St.
SkyDome Opens to a Downpour , June 03, 1989
1 Blue Jays Way
The Inside Track: The First Queen’s Plate , June 27, 1860
High Park Ave and Humberside Ave
The Maple Leafs’ Last Stanley Cup and the Hillman Hex , May 02, 1967
Nathan Phillips Square
The Playground by the Lake , 1920
Tom Longboat: Long-distance Superstar , 1907
Simcoe St. and Wellington St. W.
Toronto's Historic Sporting Arena , November 12, 1931
60 Carlton St.