How Little Jamaica Contributed To Toronto's Rich History

Plans are being made for the area to become a Heritage Conservation District.

Contributor

While the existence of Toronto's Little Jamaica may be relatively short, the historical significance of the area goes back a couple hundred years.

In this edition of Then&Now, Toronto Historian Morgan Cameron Ross takes a look back at that strip of land extending along Eglinton Avenue West from Allen Road to Keele Street.

The transformation of the Eglinton West area to what we know as Little Jamaica took place in the 1960s, when Jamaican migrants came to Toronto, eventually becoming a vibrant destination that Ross says musicians, including Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, spent time at.

But one of the significant changes this area would eventually undergo came in the form of years of construction resulting from work on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, with additional changes anticipated as the project slowly moves closer to completion.

Not all is lost, however; the historical significance of the area is closer to being protected as Toronto City Council voted last month on an initiative to determine if it should become a heritage conservation district.

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