What are the borders of downtown, midtown and uptown in Toronto?
Chatting with a friend the other day, the subject of Toronto's unofficial borders came up. Although I can't remember what precipitated the debate, our discussion centred around whether the dividing line between midtown and uptown was Eglinton or Lawrence Avenue. In the absence of official boundaries, neither of us could lay claim to being right in the absence of additional input. So that's what Twitter is for, right?
Having put the question to our followers, a general trend was visible, but not so much so that the question could easily put to rest. The majority of folks who were kind enough to respond, suggested the following boundary lines:
Downtown: South of Bloor
Midtown: Between Bloor and Eglinton
Uptown: North of Eglinton
This, of course, leaves out east/west parameters, which is another story (but as far as downtown goes, most would say Bathurst to the west and Sherbourne/Parliament to the east, I suspect). So would that mean that the Annex (part of which is north of Bloor and part of which is south) is downtown or midtown? That's a tough one to answer. Perhaps even more interesting than the east/west question, however, are some of the alternate suggestions to the above north/south dividing lines.
Forgetting our initial Eglinton/Lawrence debate, the responses that most intrigued me suggested 1) that uptown ends at York Mills (at which point North York begins), 2) that downtown should really be considered as everything south of Dundas and 3) that everything north of Bloor should be considered uptown. I'm not sure that I agree with two and three, but I also wonder if I feel like I'm particularly downtown when standing at Yonge and College. As for the first point, I completely agree. Given the city's pre-amalgamation borders, it seems silly to refer to Yonge and Sheppard as uptown. That's North York, man!
Nevertheless, these designations are subject to change over time. Take the lead photo, for example. While you wouldn't want to put all your faith in the name of a movie theatre (especially considering that in the 1940s the Bloor Cinema was still called the Midtown), it's possible to imagine a time when there'd be little debate that Yonge and Bloor was uptown. As the city grows, borders change — but it's a slow process, so we have lots of time to engage in debates like these.
Weigh in with your suggested boundaries in the comments below.
Photo of the old Uptown Theatre from the Toronto Archives