Monday, May 9, 2016


Anyone who lives, drives or walks along Toronto's Craven Road eventually has two questions:
  1. Why the tiny houses?
  2. Why the huge fence?

View Larger Map

To find out, read on!
Here's a list of all posts to date, in order of publication:

Posting is sporadic, but comments are always welcome: oncravenroad [at] gmail [dot] com.

Craven Road by the Numbers

More Jane's Walk gems from Joanne Doucette!
"Are you interested in a particular address on Craven Road? I have posted my sources for my walk in numerical order from 1 Craven Road on up. 
I will be updating this with more material later today and as I find it or as people send it to me by email at liatris52 AT sympatico DOT ca"
Check out her new post here:

And don't miss: 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Joanne's Talk, Jane's Walk

Jane Jacobs and the Craven Road fence both celebrate their centenary this year.
Artwork by Joanne Doucette
Yesterday's memorable Jane's Walk, "Erie Terrace to Craven Road: Tiny Houses, Tall Tales and a 100-Year Fence," drew nearly a hundred walkers and dozens of stories shared both by local historian Joanne Doucette and by longtime residents.

The capacity crowd spilled off the sidewalk and into the road (parted with the occasional street-hockey cry of "Car!") as the tour progressed northwards along Craven from Jonathan Ashbridge Park to the train tracks.

One enterprising young resident had the foresight to set up a stand to sell cupcakes and fresh-squeezed orange juice partway along the route. Hungry walkers bought up the entire stock.

An insightful, entertaining and generous raconteur, Joanne carried a sheaf of notes featuring stories on "about every second house," and whenever an occupant was present, she would hand that page to them once the story had been shared.

Today she posted her extensive Craven Road research, some of it newly unearthed for this walk, on her website:

Many thanks to all who came out to share the road!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Take a Jane's Walk along a 100-Year Fence

Local historian Joanne Doucette has just announced she will be leading a Jane's Walk next month, in celebration of the Craven Road fence's 100th anniversary! Titled "Erie Terrace to Craven Road: Tiny Houses, Tall Tales and a 100-Year Fence," the walk will begin near the foot of the road, and will travel northward through the ages to finish at Danforth Avenue.

Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Meet at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Queen Street East

For more details, see the Jane's Walk website:

For Doucette's latest historical opus on Craven's history, see her blog Leslieville History:

And on this site, see these two posts:

"On the Fence" for the origin story of the Great Wooden Wall of Craven:

"Craven Road in Archive Photos" for rare 1916 photos taken by the City in preparation for the widening and paving of the former farm lane, and the building of the mile-and-a-half-long fence:

Erie Terrace, looking south, 1916 (Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 2243)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Duggan Develops a "Shacktown"

Historian Joanne Doucette has just posted another magnificent epic on her site Leslieville History, titled "From Farm to Shacktown to Bungalowland: Gerrard-Coxwell." It's chock-full of colourful maps from the 1800s, plus details on E. Henry Duggan's founding development of Coxwell, Rhodes and Craven:
Duggan intentionally developed Erie Terrace as a “shacktown” with tiny houses on tiny lots and no infrastructure. At the same time, he held back the farm to the west, intending it to be developed later for more lucrative lots with more substantial houses. That is why the west side of Erie Terrace (Craven Road) was not built on.
The opening of Erie Terrace (Reid Ave was the original name of Rhodes Ave). Toronto Star, May 29, 1906
To see all the maps, plus the Toronto Star's Jan. 24, 1924 announcement of Erie Terrace's name change to Craven Road, read Joanne's full post here!