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Angel Brick Road

By Jan Schotte


Sunday, May 8



Language: English 

Area: Downtown

Theme: Arts & Architecture, History & Culture

Accessibility: Uneven Terrain, Family-friendly, Pet-friendly, Mostly residential side streets, with some gentle slopes. Walk proceeds generally downhill.


Small apartment buildings are an important part of many of our neighbourhoods, and in particular this area of the former municipality of York (Oakwood-Vaughan / Caledonia-Fairbank / Earlscourt).


The "Toronto Special" is a walk-up apartment housing typology that was built across the Greater Toronto Area (and beyond) in the 1960s and '70s. They are characterized by a glass-fronted stairwell on one side (or centre) of the building, with two to four levels of stacked apartments on the other, and angel brick a prominent feature of the cladding.


They are particularly prevalent in areas of the City that housed waves of immigrants. The small-scale size of the buildings meant that they were permitted in neighbourhoods otherwise reserved for single-family dwellings, and provided modern apartment units for large families.


This walk will pass by several examples where we will discuss the role of these buildings in providing affordable missing middle housing, and a possible inspiration for future small apartments.

  • Walk Start Location: Southwest corner of Atlas Avenue and Eglinton Avenue West

  • Nearest Public Transit: Eglinton West subway station

  • Walk End Location: Earlscourt Loop, St. Clair Avenue West and Lansdowne

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