A history of barley, war effort and business – Toronto’s Golden Mile enters new era with Crosstown development

In our ongoing Progress series, exploring every stop and station along the Crosstown light rail transit system, we’re visiting an area that boasts an important and colourful Canadian history. The Golden Mile, which helped to arm Canadian soldiers during a time of war, is preparing to welcome next-generation transit to Toronto.

Places, like people, come with plenty of unique character and their own background story.

Toronto’s Golden Mile holds a special place in the development of Canada. You can almost chart each chapter of the nation’s history, and Toronto’s growth, in this one relatively small corner of Scarborough.

After spending millennium as a deep forest, it was turned into farmland in the early 1800s, where the soil was cultivated by Scottish immigrants helping to feed their families – and later, a young country. Then it was home to a munitions factory for the Second World War. At that time, the Golden Mile was considered far from the actual city of Toronto – a safety buffer during any accidental explosion.

By the middle of the 20th Century, it was taking shape as one of Canada’s first commercial industrial parks.

Now, it’s on the move again.

Located at the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Warden Avenue, Golden Mile will be a surface level stop for the Crosstown light rail transit line. It will be accessible and will be a far side platform stop. The stop will be complete with a covered waiting area with benches and automated Presto payment machines to pay your fare before you board.

A large tractor moves a large concrete barrier over rail lines.

Crews work on barriers while preparing tracks in the Golden Mile.

Construction of this stop began in 2017, with utility relocations and the removal of medians down the centre of the roadway. Guideway work has started and will continue into this fall, with completion scheduled for 2020.

Construction material and concrete barriers line the centre position, between Eglinton Avenue East roadway.

Guideway work has started for the Golden Mile stop.

There’s a lot more to the history of the Golden Mile, and the new transit line – which will lead to even more future development.

Looking down at an artist concept of the Golden Mile stop, cars continue on either side of the Golden Mile stop.

The stop will be complete with a covered waiting area with benches and automated Presto payment machines to pay your fare before you board.

In an artist concept, a customer walks across a crosswalk to get to the Golden Mile light rail transit stop.

The Golden Mile stop will be located at the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Warden Avenue.

Your chance to learn all about this is coming up as we have partnered with Heritage Toronto to host free walking tours of the Golden Mile area. Sign up online today and check out the Crosstown progress for yourself.

Until our light rail vehicles start rolling, it’s a good walk through Canadian history.

Want to continue the Crosstown Progress tour to the next stop? Click here.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.