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    Don Mills, New Town

    Aerial View of Don Mills 1968 - Toronto Modern
    0 visual documentation
    featuring content from:
    depicted item: Aerial View of Don Mills 1968 - Toronto Modern
    source: Toronto Modern
    date accessed: August 4, 2014

    more visuals
    1 identity of building, group of buildings, urban scheme, or landscape/garden
    address: Lawrence Avenue & Don Mills Road, North York, ON., Canada
    2 history of building

    original brief/purpose:

    Create a new town for 32,000 people, located seven miles from downtown Toronto. The new community was to combine three programmatic elements: housing, commerce and industry.

    commission/completion dates: 1952-1965
    architect(s): , , , , , ,
    3 description

    general description:

    Don Mills is a community which was designed for a popUlation of 32,000 people.

    It occupies a 2,000 acre site between two forks of the Don River approximately seven miles north-east of downtown Toronto. It was originally surrounded by a green-belt formed by the natural ravines and valleys as well as farms and a golf course. The town is bisected by a major north-south arterial road, Don Mills Road, and an east-west one, Lawrence Avenue, thus forming four neighborhood quadrants.

    Each neighborhood contains a variety of housing types, its own church, elementary school, and park. The streets within each quadrant are comprised of winding roads and cul-de-sacs designed to slow vehicular traffic in quiet residential areas. Pedestrian paths are given careful attention in a park system linking all areas to the town centre and surrounding greenbelt.

    Significant Buildings
    Housing
    -South Hills Village (James A. Murray & Henry Fleiss, 1956)
    -Greenbelt Heights Village (Belcourt & Blair, 1958)
    -Flemingdon Village (Irving Grossman, 1965)
    -Yorkwoods Village, Phase I (Klein & Sears, 1963)
    -Yorkwoods Village, Phase" (Klein & Sears, 1965)

    Commerce
    Don Mills Convenience Centre (John B. Parkin Associates, Macklin Hancock Landscape Architect, 1955)
    John B Parkin & Associates Offices (John B. Parkin & Associates, 1956). Demoiished

    Industry
    Ortho Pharmaceutical, Plant and Offices (John B. Parkin & Associates, 1955), 19 Greenbelt Drive
    Barber-Greene Canada Ltd. (John Layng, 1953) Demolished
    Hugh C. McClean Publications Ltd. (Weir & Cripps, 1954)

    Education
    Don Mills Collegiate Institute and Junior High School (John B. Parkin & Associates, 1958) 15-17the Donway East

    4 evaluation

    social:

    -Aspired to be a self-sufficient community accommodating all aspects of Modern life: housing, commerce, industries, schools, libraries, churches, and parks
    - A variety of low to medium density housing including detached single-family homes to low-income rental units were provided to ensure a mixed community promoting family life, the planners designed each neighborhood quadrant with Its own school, church and park
    - Pedestrian and vehicular traffic are separat~reen spaces link a system of parks throughout all parts of the town
    -The Town Centre, a shopping mall, Is the focal point of the community, shared by the neighborhood quadrants
    -Industry was an important aspect of the blend of programmatic elements.
    -By including employment opportunities within the town, Don Mills Was meant to be a true garden-city as opposed to merely a dormitory suburb - the community,developed by private enterprise, is not an autonomous political entity and as such offers no civic administration or democratic arena within its boundaries.

    cultural & aesthetic:

    -Don Mills planners actively promoted modern archlteclure: all of the buildings are designed in a modern aesthetic by a young generation of post-World War II Toronto architeclural firms.

    historical:

    The design of Don Mills adheres to five modern principles of town planning:
    1. Neighborhoods (with a common town centre)
    2, Separation of pedestrians and vehicles
    3, Industrial development and a variety of housing types to foster a self-sufficient community
    4. Integration of green spaces
    5. Promotion of modern architecture

    5 documentation

    principal references:

    James Ashby rapporteur/date:

    principal publications (chronological order)
    -Press release for New Town of Don Mills, for Don Mills Development Ltd" March 16, 1953. Municipal Reference Library, City of Toronto.
    periodicals
    -"Eleven Best Buildings Since the War", The Canadian Architect, October 1959.
    books
    -"Don Mills, New Town", Brigitte Shim, from Toronto Modern: Architecture 1945-1965, Bureau of Architecture and Urbanism, Coach House Press, Toronto, 1987.
    -"The Canadian Experiment in the Modern Neighbourhood; Don Mills, Ontario 1952-1955", Jay Carroll, from Docomorno Conference Proceedings Second International Conference September 16~19 1992, Karl Heinz Burmeister, Wessel de Jonge eds., Docomomo Organizing Committee, Dessau, Germany, 1994, pgs. 86-88.

    image sources:

    Panda Archives, University of Calgary

    Toronto Modern

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    online resources

    Toronto Modern

    RLTD news
    20
    August
    2014

    The Don Mills Curling Rink is a lost modernist gem

    In aerial photos from the 1960s and 70s, the Don Mills Curling Rink looks like an bright white spaceship at the corner of Don Mills and The Donway, a glorious modernist centrepiece to an unprecedented modernist community. Don Mills was North America’s largest planned satellite town of the post-war era. In the boom years of […]

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    documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement