MIDTOWN YONGE BIA
HONOURING THE PAST, ANIMATING THE PRESENT AND GALLOPING INTO THE FUTURE
Part of Midtown’s Streetscape Master Plan, which is a public realm improvement and animation program, the original life-size 12-horse sculpture was designed by Robert Sprachman and brought him to prominence as a location-specific artist. Mr. Sprachman was the creator of the temporary installation unveiled on May 5, 1994, which remained in place until 1996. The permanent version will provide a dramatic visual reminder of the area’s railway history and will serve as an important new Toronto landmark.
“We are excited to bring back this much-loved public art installation that will denote the gateway to our neighbourhood,” says Jennifer Gittins, Board Chair, Midtown Yonge BIA. “Residents, visitors and new businesses alike will benefit from the transitions that will come with implementation of the Streetscape Plan we are embarking upon.”
The Kay Gardner Bridge and new Iron Horse sculpture at the southern entrance to Midtown Yonge leads to an impressive array of almost 280 member businesses (Find a Business) and local amenities. They span the gamut from restaurants, to retail venues, services and spas, and one of Toronto’s most extensive collections of dentists and other medical professionals. Frequented by members of the public from across the Greater Toronto Area, all of this is located within a quick stroll to a wealth of neighbourhood greenspace for the over 11,000 households already living here.
Midtown (Map) extends from the Kay Gardner Bridge at Merton Street, north to the Soudan Avenue, where plans are in the works for a new public park designed by multi-award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm – Janet Rosenberg & Studio. Mount Pleasant Road is the eastern boundary and Oriole Parkway the west. Over the years, the bridge morphed from an active part of the now defunct CN Beltline Railway into a well-used road crossing that is part of a 9 km, three-part cycling and walking trail system.
Continuing Evolution“Just as day-to-day travel has evolved into modern transportation options from railroad steam engines, historically referred to as the Iron Horse, Midtown continues to evolve to enhance the current quality of life, meet future needs and welcome new residents and businesses to the neighbourhood,” explains Board Chair Jennifer Gittins.Originally a trail for horses and buggies, railway tracks were laid along the bridge to accommodate steam engines. The bridge now conveys people over Yonge Street as part of the Beltline Trail.Midtown’s history goes back to the 1890s, when the oldest building in the area, the J. J. Davis General Store, was constructed on the northeast corner of Yonge and Davisville. That location is now home to a Starbucks.Founded on February 11, 2015, Toronto’s Midtown Yonge BIA is a proponent for its membership. “The purpose of a BIA is to support local retail and professional activities and encourage awareness about its effect on the economic, social and cultural aspects of the surroundings,” Ms. Gittins says.The new and improved permanent installation will be made from a Fibreglass composition comprising up to 90 per cent recycled materials, and will feature solar-powered LED lights to gently illuminate the horses and pathway, also making the sculpture more visible from the street at night.Midtown Yonge BIA invites you to visit us to more fully explore this exciting destination where you can live, work, play, shop, eat, commune with nature, plus attend to your health needs.
New Businesses to the Midtown Yonge BIA Website
- Café Plenty
- Make it Good Good
- Therapy in Toronto
- Seven Layers Medical Skin Clinic
- Dave’s Hot Chicken
- Hale Coffee Company
- Senior Helpers Toronto
- Yaksha South East Asian Eatery
- The Medley