Living in Port Union (Centennial)
Port Union (Centennial) is a neighbourhood bound on the south by the railway and to the west by Colonel Danforth Park – a well wooded ravine valley that ushers the Highland Creek on the last leg of its journey into Lake Ontario. This area grew from Port Union, which runs along the water starting below Lawrence and extending just east of Port Union Road the Go Train station.
Centennial is a neighbourhood bound on the south by the railway and to the west by Colonel Danforth Park – a well wooded ravine valley that ushers the Highland Creek on the last leg of its journey into Lake Ontario. This area grew from Port Union, which runs along the water starting below Lawrence and extending just east of Port Union Road the Go Train station.
This is a very lush area with a combination of linear and sweeping streets, lined with beautiful mature trees. West Centennial typically has larger more mature properties, while East Centennial is a new area with more symmetrical street layouts, newer homes (circa mid 60s to late 70s) and with some newer developments now in the North East pocket. At the southern point of this neighbourhood is nesteled older Port Union with an quaint historical flavour and some of the finest stands of pine trees in the City of Toronto. For more great information on this neighbouhood please visit the website.
History of Port Union (Centennial)
In the 1800’s, Port Union was a booming waterfront village with thriving ship building and commercial fishing industries, two hotels, a commercial wharf, and a variety of small businesses. In 1856, the Grand Trunk Railway opened a station in Port Union which added to the importance of this waterfront village. By 1865, Port Union’s population had reached 100 people and it was granted its own post office. The two hotels that operated in Port Union during these boom times were said to have served “knock-em stiff” whiskey and “40 Rod Whiskey.”
By the late 1800’s Port Union’s shipping industry had lost most of it’s business to the railway and subsequently shut down. Port Union then went into a period of decline that lasted until the late 1940’s, when the return of industry to this area sparked a residential housing boom. In the 1990’s, Port Union reclaimed its waterfront with a new housing subdivision that has helped connect this neighbourhood to its illustrious past. Port Union Village is now referred to as the area south of Lawrence Avenue, and surrounding, more communities grew to the north. The area is now referred to as Centennial, which makes reference to the north-south street which runs through the centre of this community. Centennial Street was named after Centennial Church, circa 1891, which still stands at the north end of Centennial Road off Kingston Road. First the West portion of Centennial was settled with larger properties and homes. By the early sixties, Centennial East had also become a popular residential area with new homes being built steadily through the sixties and seventies.
Homes in Port Union (Centennial)
This neighbourhood features a playful mix of architectural styles with elements of English, Spanish and Swiss designs woven into the tapestry of the houses found here. Many of the houses date from the 1940’s and 50’s, and include frame cottages, ranch style bungalows, split-level homes, and two-storey houses. There are also a fair number of new, custom-designed houses here. Centennial lies to the north of Lawrence and runs East to Port Union Road. The western portion was the first to be developed pre 1960s with large homes on expansive properties. In the early 60’s to late 70’s the eastern part of Centennial was further developed with smaller more uniform lots and smaller homes as well. Port Union Village – a new home subdivision located south of Lawrence Avenue features a waterfront inspired collection of semi-detached and detached houses as well as townhomes. These houses feature decorative architectural accents such as sweeping front porches, second-storey front decks and whimsical turrets that are designed to take advantage of Port Union Village’s prime location overlooking Lake Ontario.
Lifestyle in Port Union (Centennial)
Centennial Plaza, located on the north-west corner of Port Union Road and Lawrence Avenue, features a deli and bakery, a hardware store, a video store, a flower store, a hair salon, a travel agency, professional offices, a pet store and animal clinic, a coffee shop, beer and liquor stores, restaurants, convenience stores, a medical centre, professional offices, and fast food restaurants. The Lawson Road Plaza is a small shopping plaza serving the daily household needs of the residents located at the north end of this neighbourhood. This plaza includes a food market, a restaurant, banks, a hair salon, a dry cleaner, and a gas station.
Recreation in Port Union (Centennial)
The Port Union Recreation Centre and Public Library, located at 5450 Lawrence Avenue East, is a multi-use facility that includes a fitness centre, a seniors centre, two activity rooms, and a large banquet hall. A public library is situated in the west wing of this centre. Colonel Danforth Park, located along the western boundary of this neighbourhood, is a deep and heavily wooded ravine valley that is popular for family picnics, bike rides, casual strolls and hikes. Access to this park is available of Beechgrove Drive just south of Lawrence Avenue, and off Old Kingston Road just to the west of Meadowvale Road. Adams Park, situated just west of Port Union Road on Lawson Road, is a popular neighbourhood landmark for families. This park contains a wading pool, a children’s playground, sports fields, baseball diamonds, flower gardens and many excellent picnic spots.
Transportation in Port Union (Centennial)
Bus services along Lawrence Avenue, Lawson Road and Port Union Road connect passengers to the Rouge Hill Go Train station situated on Lawrence Avenue, west of Port Union Road. The Go Train provides a connecting route to downtown Toronto’s Union Station and the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists can quickly access the Highway 401 on-ramp off Port Union Road or Highway 2 at Kingston Road. These commuter highways usher motorists to Toronto’s business and entertainment districts.