7 News Archive
Don Mount (Napier Place)

Located just east of the Don River in Riverdale, the area bordered by Queen, Broadview and Dundas Street as well as the Don Valley Parkway was slated for urban renewal in 1965. Known prior to urban renewal as Napier Place, the neighbourhood was home to a longstanding population of working-class families who worked in the industries at the mouth of the Don Valley. Toronto's city planners chose the site due to its aging houses and apparent crowded conditions, but many local residents did not want to be uprooted. Opposition to the renewal scheme only grew after local residents received offers of compensation for their homes that they felt were far below market value.

Nevertheless, by 1967 all but five homes had been vacated. The five hold-outs, however, would not move, and galvanized protesters from other neighbourhoods slated for renewal who picketed the homes of politicians and tried to prevent the expropriations. In the end the city forcibly removed all remaining resident, demolished their homes and built the Don Mount public housing project in their place, but the negative press created during the expropriation of the five hold-outs strengthened the arguments of other neighbourhood groups still fighting expropriation.

Donald Keating, The Power to Make it Happen: Mass-based Community Organizing, what it is and how it Works (Toronto: Green Tree Publishing, 1974).

Kevin Brushett, "Blots on the Face of the City: The Politics of Slum Housing and Urban Renewal in Toronto 1940-1970" (PhD diss., Queen's University, 2001)