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Neighbourhood Watch: Kingsview / Dixon

Posted by Sameer / December 3, 2006

Neighbourhood Watch: Kingsview Dixon

At a UN conference in Washington DC about five years ago, the delegate from Somalia came to me and asked, "you're from Toronto?" Assuring him that I did, indeed, call this great city my home, he went on to say that, "my whole family wants to move to Toronto. We want to move to a place called Kipling and Dixon. Do you know where that is?"

I chuckled when I told him that not only did I know where Kipling and Dixon (or what we locals affectionately just call 'Dixon') was, but that I lived there as well. Sure, it may not have the fashionable cultural cachet that places like Trinity Bellwoods, West Queen West, or Dufferin Grove may have, but I guarantee you that you'll never get bored.

The Dixon and Kingsview area is sandwiched between Kingsview Boulevard to the north, Islington to the east, Dixon Road to the south (sometimes taken to extend until The Westway), and Kipling to the West. Sitting just south of the border of the area known as Rexdale, Kingsview / Dixon serves as a gateway into North Etobicoke and is only minutes away from the airport — Dixon Road in fact turns into Airport Road about two kilometres west of the neighbourhood.

The proximity to the airport has meant that the neighbourhood has been populated predominantly by minority immigrants for the past two decades. Initially the hub of Somalian immigration into Toronto (a documentary once referred to the area as Canada's Mogadishu), the apartment buildings in the area have also served as home to several minority influxes, such as a wave of Pakistani immigration a few years ago, and a more recent wave of immigrants from Mauritius and other parts of Africa.

Neighbourhood Watch: Kingsview Dixon

Major landmarks of the neighbourhood include the six "Dixon buildings" which surround Dixon Park, the focal point of the area. Kingsview Village Community School serves as the central junior school — with older children heading down Kipling Avenue to Dixon Grove Junior Middle School — as well as the main recreation and community hub for the neighbourhood. Across the street from the Dixon buildings is the locally-famous Westway Centre, a popular hangout for all ages.

The plaza features a Food Basics (everyone's favorite grocery store) as well as a McDonald's and Pizza Pizza, both of which not only employ several local youth, but also act as gathering places for young people in the area. The recent addition of a Country Style has also given rise to a meeting place for some of the elderly gentlemen in the neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood Watch: Kingsview Dixon

Being in North Etobicoke, the name Dixon has been associated with crime and violence, though not to the same extent as some other parts of Rexdale. Of course, many of the good aspects of the neighbourhood have been ignored by local media, but are still celebrated by the local population.

Now Magazine last year named the basketball court in Dixon Park as the best outdoor court in the city, and certainly the court has become a great community unifier. Opened by Vince Carter in 2003 and maintained by Toronto Parks & Recreation, the court and the surrounding park host recreation events and tournaments throughout the summer.

The local Parks & Recreation community centre, Kingsview Village Community School, offers nightly programs throughout the year, including sports, martial arts, and skill development. Best of all, all the programs are offered for free. The yearly summer camps held at the recreation centre fill up within minutes on registration day, and KVCS also offers free drop-in programs at Dixon Park.

In addition, the neighbourhood high school, Kipling Collegiate Institute, was recently featured in Maclean's magazine as one of the best high schools in Canada.

Neighbourhood Watch: Kingsview Dixon

I'm not ashamed to admit that I love living in Dixon. The community is vibrant, most people know each other — at least by face — and interact well, and quite frankly, everything is so nearby. I have a grocery store and a drug store across the street, two separate workout facilities, a post office, two banks, three two coffee stores, four gas stations, a full medical centre, and the best darn barber in the city (okay, maybe second best) all within a five-minute walk. There's always something going on, and the community is so diverse that I'm learning something new every day.

Kingsview / Dixon may not have the glamor or the prestige associated with other neighbourhoods in Toronto, but for me, it's home, and a quick bus ride from Kipling Station. Hop on the 45 North and take a ride sometime: you'll be surprised at what neat things you'll see.

(Images: Sameer Vasta and Guled Hussein)



Sam / December 3, 2006 at 03:30 pm
Very interesting, it's good to hear about less talked about parts of the city.
jerrold / December 3, 2006 at 03:40 pm
Thanks for showing us your neighbourhood, Sameer. It's great to learn about places we don't often (if ever) get to visit in Toronto. Etobicoke, represents!
Sameer Vasta / December 4, 2006 at 11:20 am
Ah, there's a whole world of wonders here in North Etobicoke. And we're nice people too, come visit! =)
Harris I. Qureshi / February 6, 2007 at 06:52 pm
Wow; I used to live there so many years ago. I spent some of the greatest years of my life there, and I can relate to your story. I remember the barbers! Ah...& the schools with the best teachers. As for the cultural diversity it was as plainly said by yourself a hub for somalian & pakistany immigrants; my grandparents & father being immigrants themselve. My mother actually grew up in the areas in the 80's, having gone to Kipling Collegiate Institute. She still talks about it today. Not to mention the fact that I was there during the resurection of the basketball court.

I could probably go on forever, but It feels great knowing someone took the time to say this.

TT / February 28, 2007 at 03:24 pm
I grew up in 370 Dixon during the 70's and 80's. After living in Barrie for 10 years I find myself moving back Dixon and Kipling. I'm sure a lot has changed over the years and my son who is 10 will find different (culturally)from Barrie. I look forward to moving back and I hope we get to know some of the people in our future neighbourhood.
Salina / July 29, 2007 at 09:27 pm
<p>i loveeeeeeee dixon its just that there is one problem.and they are the Somalians!!</p><p>Fucken Somalians! bitches! they cant even mind there fucken beez wax!</p>
cindy / August 8, 2007 at 01:35 pm
hey sameer..i grew up in this neighbourhood (340 dixon)..and i went to kingsview village...ahhhh the memories!! and i was really happy to see&nbsp;this article about the community. I was wondering if you can put up more pics of the the convenient store still there??? it was in the building right beside the right.
cindy / August 8, 2007 at 01:35 pm
hey sameer..i grew up in this neighbourhood (340 dixon)..and i went to kingsview village...ahhhh the memories!! and i was really happy to see&nbsp;this article about the community. I was wondering if you can put up more pics of the the convenient store still there??? it was in the building right beside the right.
leyla / February 28, 2009 at 05:45 pm
Hi i lived in neighbourhood when i came to
canada, it is the best place to live, they say place to go people to see is Dixon Rd!!!!
FRANK GUIANCAIO / January 31, 2010 at 04:10 pm
This is the worst neighbourhood in Toronto, there is not a single positive about it. Totally disgusting. Dirty, and extremely dangerous. Little Somalia is nothing like a community, unless you wanna pretend your actually in the slums of Somalia, I'm also sure 9/10 of people in those buildings carry AK47s just like Somalia.
AKEEF / January 31, 2010 at 04:16 pm
I LOVE IT, me and 24 of my brothers and cousins and their parents all live in one stinky apartment. We only get to shower once and a while and dont really get a bed. Its the best experience i love toronto. Best perk, its east to rob people at night in the trees, and they make food at a store called pizza pizza where you can just steal it and actually eat.REMINDS OF ME SOMALIA!!
me / February 27, 2010 at 12:13 am
Look at the EQAO ratings for Kingsview Village, Dixon Grove and Kipling Collegiate. They stink. Why? because most Somali's don't give a care about education.

You say the community is "diverse"? How on earth can you say that when the overwhelming majority are Somali, by your own admission?

You say that Kipling Collegiate received honours from Maclean's magazine for being one of the top high schools in Canada? The only reason why they got that is because the administration refuses to give out suspensions and expulsions! Making it look like the student's behaviour is getting better. So students are stealing under the teacher's and other student's noses and they can't do a thing about it!

Oh and the basketball court that is world class. Well the kids are afraid to go there because it is frequented by gang members.

Who do you think you are you trying to fool? Certainly not Torontonians.
Hassan / March 2, 2010 at 01:28 pm
I was driving with my kids on kingsview last night around 8:30PM and at the stop sign just east of kipling, my car was hit by rocks and when I stopped, these kids were taunting me with rocks in their hands and they were coming from the tall buildings on Dixon. I was on the north side of these buildings. when I drove towards them, they run away into an entrance and towards these buildings. I think there should be security or at least frequent police patrols. by the way at the stop sign I saw a lot of rocks which tells me other cars were also hit.
Aaliyah / March 19, 2010 at 03:10 am
The comments on this board really sadden me. Please don't paint all Somalis with the same brush. Every community has good and bad people. Not all Somalis are rotten people.
ryan / June 11, 2010 at 07:05 pm
i agree
KuKhullainn / July 11, 2010 at 05:10 pm
ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? me and my wife lived in the dixon area for most of our lives and all we can remember is non stop fighting with the somalians (We were WHITE minority in this neighbourhood) constantly being threatened with weapons , being robbed and attacked by groups of these people , going to the plaza and seeing dried up pools of blood from stabbings the night previous , country style windows getting shot out at somali teens sitting inside in the summer of 2008 , and as for kipling collegiate being rated as one of the best schools in Canada ...... thats a Fukking joke if i ever heard one , if u were a white kid , your life was in danger on a daily basis.....that documentary calling the neighbourhood "Canada's Mogadishu" isnt a joke either ......considering Mogadishu is a war torn shithole.......these bastards come here and turn it into the exact same thing they were trying to get away from my opinion , they should all be lined up against a wall and have theyr fukking heads blown off......and when u complain about somthing that they did , they pretend they dont speak english ; meanwhile they were speaking english to each other a moment the years that we lived there , it was nothing but hell for us and its certainly not a place i would like to raise my children......
Joe / September 17, 2010 at 07:11 am
Couldn't agree with you more. I'd take out every one of them. We let them come to our country and they destroy it. Please every Somalian in this once great city...get the hell out.
miram / April 1, 2011 at 08:09 pm
I live a Dixon and Kiping with my mom and six borthers and 5 sisters. My mom works sometimes at the plaza across the road.
My dad lives with his other wife and my other 4 sisters and 3 brothers. My dad comes and visit us and gives us money somethimes.

My moms brother will come to stay with us, he is back home right now and he will bring my cousins with him I am happy to have so many playmates.

I don't like my teacher at school, he is white and looks funnjy, He never gives me good marks, only to the white kids get good marks.

I know he does not like the way I dress, but I am proud of who I am.
Sudhir / July 5, 2011 at 02:43 pm
The problem is not only community . there are no control of condo management . All management staff family member are controlling 370 , 380 and 390 building and showing lawyer in there meeting to push you not talk anything against condo management . The employee is all retire age and not taking any young person in office . The security is always very harsh in behavior . The owner never fell they own the apartment in these building . The management spending 2 million on windows replacement but not having any website to give information to there residence . They spend 100,000 on pool and other thing . but they can create email or internet based communication with management .

Lot of family cannot afford the window replacement which is building management responsibly because anything outside on building maintenance by condo management But they moved to court and spent owner money to win the case and then they are charging monies to change the windows . The windows was in aluminium getting 2 layer iron plate windows.

They are taking heavy aluminium windows and putting very thin strip iron windows .

I hope god save us from legal oriented management from king-view 370,380and 390 Dixon.
MAUREEN SOMERS / January 29, 2013 at 11:21 am
the gangs of somalis teenagers running in this area is a disgrace. They are ruining our homes, are dirty people with no respect for the tax payers that pay for them to have their rent paid for them. I never felt hate for a race as I do for them. They need to go back to their own counrty before they ruin ours. Why did we let them it. Why did we allow them to have all these rotten children. Why are they such a burden on our health system.
We need to look after our own people before we open the doors to these ungrateful people. They just take and give nothing back.
frank / March 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm
I grew up in the townhouses west of dixon and kipling. I had a great childhood, our community was safe! We had a pool, numerous playgrounds and a huge park with a baseball diamond. We never locked our doors. Everyone knew everyone older kids looked out for us young ones. But there came a time when as a teen we noticed that our hood was changing. Shortly after the somali infestation of the dixon buildings, I guess they ran out of room over there and started to move into the townhouses where I lived. Needless to say the community lost the parks,pool and diamond. But gained graffiti, robberys, breakins and disrespect. My mother still lives there and when I'm visiting I can't get over how messy the somalian people keep there units. They never hold doors for you, never say thank you when I hold it for them, but I make sure to say your welcome anyway. Maybe they'll catch on. But I doubt it. There are a lot of minorities in that area and no one, no one is more disrespectfull then these sons of bitches. I know there are a few good ones. But to me they are all pieces of shit untill they prove otherwise. Wish that we could have our community back.
unknown / April 8, 2013 at 07:18 pm
I was just playing at the park a somalia gang comes to get me out of there we could share but they have no respect only for somalians and people who speak somailia. They dont care about school only fighting. But its our fault to we should bring these people on the right path. We should become friends with them. They are humans as well. Lets make this a multicultral society not mogdishu.
Sonia / April 8, 2013 at 07:46 pm
While walking on Dixon and Islington a few weeks ago, a group of Somali kids started throwing rocks and dirt at me, they called me white bitch and started spitting.

This must be the strength of diversity in Canada now.
William / August 30, 2013 at 03:25 pm
If you can wear out your welcome in Canada you've got to be pretty bad. It's not a surprise though. The Somalians are not liked anywhere. Not here, not the US, not Mexico, not South America, not Europe, not Asia, not the Middle East or and not even Africa. I have friends from Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria and all have negative stories to tell about Somalia. It's not even a country like Canada is. It's a cobbled together mess with parts of it run by terrorists. Canada is a great country. So many living side by side peacefully. But Somalian society just isn't compatible with Canadian society. Somalia has been characterized as chaotic, violent, and insecure by the UN. Sorry Canada, we've just got to say no. You can't bring home every stray you find on the global street. What about our refugee commitments under the UN charter? Jeez, Spain, Japan, and Ireland are is a signatores to the same convention. How many Somolis go there? Given 'em the bureaucratic screw around and shut the door.
Shamsa / March 9, 2015 at 01:42 am
Frankly, most of these comments are racist and full of prejudice. You cannot judge an entire peoples based on what little you know about them and their lives. Personally, I think the area is in need of healing, appreciation, and acknowledgement. This article is such a positive thing. Why try to ruin that? I could (and certainly did) get angry at the anti-Somali sentiments stated above, however I'm a firm believer that love accomplishes more than hate. We should love the Dixon area, obviously it is lacking in that department, and not judge the people that are the way they are because of circumstance. As an educated Somali woman, I think what is wrong with the area is the lack of empowerment amongst the members of the diaspora and the absence of recognition. The issue is NOBODY CARES. This article was gracious enough to shed some positive light onto an unpopular, and admittedly slightly frightening, area of Toronto. I am wholly disheartened by most of these comments that disparage an entire ethnicity due to ignorance and racist beliefs.

How the hell can any Somali person, in any part of Canada, properly integrate into Canadian society if there are racist sentiments galore? Those sentiments are a part of the problem. All those sentiments do is hinder as well as inhibit. Empowering is necessary in an area such as Dixon, not further disinterest and disdain.

By the way, Somalia itself is not a war-torn and ravaged nation. Unfortunately, it lacks stability because it also lacks self-agency and capital. Historical circumstances and the after-effects of decolonization are the issues that still affect it today. Like the Somali diaspora, Somalia is in need of stability and investment.

Ultimately, the larger issue facing Somali peoples in Toronto is racism and disinterest. These issues will take longer to solve than acquiring knowledge and not be uninformed. Be informed, not judgemental.
Anthony / April 1, 2015 at 01:58 pm
The people who live in this area are disgusting. We as Canadians gave you a place to live, and you thank us by spitting on us and being incredibly rude. This is the only place we have ever lived, why do we have to put up with you? It is OUR home first and you come here and make it dirty, dangerous and disgusting. I never felt true hate for a race prior to the Somali invasion in this area. All people, blacks, Chinese, Spanish, Italians, whatever, all of them are fine and work to make this a better society. Somalis do not, they are almost all just dirty scum, living off the system and contributing nothing to society. You are the dirtiest, most ungrateful people I have ever met. Why would I want to be nice to you when you are so rude to me?
Anthony / April 1, 2015 at 02:26 pm

You and your people claim that the whites are racist? Why is it then that I can think of virtually ANY other group that has immigrated to Canada and not feel any anger or hatred towards them? Because I am not a hateful person. I see people of all different backgrounds, colours, regions of the world come here and work together, to be one society, to make things better. If you saw this neighbourhood in the 1980's you would understand why so many people despise the Somalis. Because they took a peaceful, safe, clean part of our city and turned it into a dump. And then we, people who have lived our whole lives here, get called racist and intolerant. I can't imagine moving to another country and then doing to it what your people have done to ours.
Shamsa / April 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

I do not recall saying whites are racist, many Somali people would agree with me. I did say Somali people face instances of racism, however. Also, it is intolerance to hate an entire ethnicity and it certainly does make you a hateful person. Simple as that.

I'll be the first to admit Somali people have their faults. Many faults, actually, that are incompatible with "Canadians". However, I am making generalizations. IN GENERAL SOMALI PEOPLE ARE PROBLEMATIC. Although, there are decent Somali people in Canada. I think you forget environment,social class, education, and other societal factors affect communities. People are the way they are because of circumstance. These will be overcome in time as the community evolves to be more Canadian and less victimized. Remediation is possible, but never, ever, is it appropriate to insult an entire ethnicity based on troubled areas.

Furthermore. It seems like you have forgotten the history of colonization, and the arduous process of decolonization, that has actually perpetuated the displacement of the African population, namely Somali population.

I suggest you, and everyone else, stop being so ignorant and take into account the human factors associated with diaspora as opposed to bashing an entire ethnicity with demeaning generalizations.
Sylvia / April 23, 2015 at 02:58 pm
Im portuguese, on the past days i see apartments for sale, and have on at 390 dixon road, my question is!
What u thing to leave at that building?
Im affair because i lesson to many bad historic about that place!
What u guys thing about that? im portuguese, can i have a problems with a somali people?

Sorry if i say something wrong, but only say what the people talk about that place!
sorry / October 29, 2015 at 04:15 am
Did anyone ever saw a misconduct or experience misconduct with any security gaurds in the dixon buildens in 2013
Mac replying to a comment from Shamsa / November 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm
I agree with Shamsa. I moved into the Kingsview Village nieghbourhood 3 1/2 years ago and see the challenges that Somalian immigrants face everyday. I see the racist activity, however minor, or blatant it may be, it exists toward Somalian Torontonians. There needs to be more appreciation and genuine interest in diversity among this group in a place called "Dixon". I'm born and raised in Toronto with middle-eastern heritage, my wife is from South America. We teach our children everyday, that people are unique and beautiful in many different ways. Don't focus on religion, politics, and race....although understanding these fundamentals is always welcome without prejudice. Emphasize and cherish distinct cultural uniqueness throughout every immigrant community in Toronto, not just the Somalians. Lets grow Canada into the multicultural melting pot that it once was and regain a positive outlook on cultural diversity.
Helen / November 26, 2015 at 08:04 pm
We moved to a street, just north of Kingsview Blvd. Well this was a mistake! Over the years, we got my car broken into. Another car got the driver side window broken and gps and stuff inside stolen. My husband got is car keyed on the side. 2 years ago, we got a home invasion and car keys stolen, then car stolen. Few days ago, got car stolen! We are white people and yes, we are the minority!

The Somalia people are very impolite and one time walking in the park to go to the Plaza, a fight between them is very common, we just walk fast to get across and did like we did not notice they had weapon! My son got his bike stolen there and we could continue on for a long time. We hear gun shot at night. We do no walk through there anymore, we go around on Kipling.... We like where we live if it was not spoiled by theses incidents of theft.
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