The Danforth: How neighbourhoods become places of belonging
Image 4.1 Withrow Park, Withrow Ave, Toronto, 1960s.
Pictured from left to right): Peter, his cousin, his grandfather, and his sister.
Courtesy of the Paparizos family.
Connection to the Community
Following other family members who had settled in the Danforth area, the Paparizos’ moved to Broadview Avenue in 1968. Having chosen Toronto and the Danforth neighbourhood because of the network of established Greek migrants in the area, the family felt they could integrate more easily to life in Toronto.
Peter’s family relocated several times within the Danforth neighbourhood, moving from Broadview to Logan Avenue and finally purchasing their own home on Browning Avenue. In order to support their life in Toronto, Peter moved back to Greece with his parents to learn a trade in the late 1970s, eventually returning to their family home on Browning Avenue after living in Xanthi and Nestorio for a year.
Image 4.2 Banners and street signs on Danforth Ave. Courtesy of S. Read, 2016.
Greek Diaspora & Toronto’s Greektown
The Danforth is an important centre for the Greek community in Toronto. Although many Greeks eventually moved out of the area like Peter and his family, the connections to the community remain apparent. In Peter’s decision to send his children to school there, he has ensured lasting familial and communal bonds to the Danforth.
For many Greek migrants, like the Paparizos’ family, the Danforth was often their first stop in Toronto. The wave of Greek migration that followed the Second World War transformed the neighbourhood with the growth of Greek businesses, organizations, and the building of a Greek Orthodox Church in the area.
How does community ground itself in place and does this relationship change over time?