Lost Rivers

One league under the Annex

Plans afoot to celebrate our buried city

By Tom G. Kernaghan

The last time you took a stroll, you may not have been aware you were walking over history. Maybe you saw some evidence of Toronto’s lost rivers, but didn’t know it: dead end streets, flooded basements, tilting houses, oddly shaped parks, dips in the road.

Wendigo Way

Naturalist’s legacy is close-knit community

A history of life in the valley

By Tom G. Kernaghan

One of the city’s most unique streets lies hidden in a valley in northeast Swansea. Sheltered by Bloor Street, Ellis Park Road, and High Park, Wendigo Way for generations has been treasured for its dramatic topography, deep seclusion, and enchanting sylvan beauty.

St. Anne’s

St. Anne’s resilient soul

Century-old church’s struggle to maintain building and relevancy

By Tom G. Kernaghan

St. Anne’s Anglican Church has endured bad weather, controversy, financial difficulties, and demographic shifts.

Now, as it approaches the 100th anniversary of its construction, the beautiful church that Group of Seven artist J.E.H. MacDonald once described as the “home for the soul of a wide neighbourhood,” is struggling to stay relevant.

Fort York

Speaking from the garrison

Meet David O’Hara, Fort York’s new administrator

By Tom G. Kernaghan

David O’Hara is clear about what is important to him in his role as Fort York’s new administrator. The former City of Toronto planner hopes to bring the museum and the city closer together.

“The whole context is changing down here,” says the 36-year-old O’Hara, who has a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Guelph and a master’s of science in urban planning from the University of Toronto. “We are strengthening connections to existing neighbourhoods.”

Roy Singh

Little West Indian Culture in BWV

Guyana native Roy Singh reflects on life in Toronto

By Tom G. Kernaghan

Roy Singh remembers the weather when he arrived in Canada at the age of 16.

“There was lots of snow, and I loved it,” says Singh, who emigrated from Guyana with his family in 1963. He stayed briefly with his aunt in North York before his family settled in central Etobicoke, where Singh went to high school and still lives today.

Paul Stewart, Busker

Singing the street story

Gospel and traditional country music inspire Village busker

By Tom G. Kernaghan

Local busker Paul Stewart knows about being away from home. Since 1992, Stewart has been singing songs in the Village. Day after day, the Etobicoke resident and his 13-year-old Seeing Eye dog, Roadie (named after Rhode Island), make their way to Bloor Street, where Stewart spends hours strumming his guitar and wailing tales of life for the busy Village burghers.

York Region Character Community

Article appeared in the April 2007 issue of Municipal World magazine

By Tom G. Kernaghan

“The better a State is constituted, the more do public affairs intrude upon private affairs in the minds of the citizens.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau
The Social Contract

Character is working in York Region. For the past five years, the nine municipalities that constitute the vast and vibrant region to the north of Toronto, Ontario, have been taking bold steps toward a better future.