Treasure Hunt | York-Eglinton BIA

York-Eglinton BIA Treasure Hunt!!

Follow the clues and discover neighbourhood treasures

The Treasure Hunt, prepared by the York Eglinton BIA, is available for your amusement.  You are welcome to play at any time.  We re-ordered prizes!

How to participate in the Treasure Hunt?

1. Get a Copy of the York Eglinton BIA Treasure Hunt – click here to print a PDF copy, or go to any of these businesses to collect a hard copy. Participating businesses.

2. Answer all questions to find the secret phrase which is our neighbourhood treasure.  Beginning at Dufferin Ave, use the map as your guide to answer the riddles.  The designated letter in each answer is a key to unlocking the Treasure.

3. Claim your prize by emailing the York Eglinton BIA with a photo of your answer

To claim prizes

Take a photo of your answers and email it to  with your name, phone number and your preferred pick up location.

Prizes can be collected on arrangement at any of the participating business or the BIA office at 605 Oakwood Ave. Please bring your hard copy with you to collect the prize.

Rules and Regulations

To be eligible for a prize, all questions must be answered and the final treasure revealed.  There will be one prize per submission and one submission per person. For those playing in groups, there is a limit of 3 prizes per group.

WIN Eglinton West Swag – #eglintontwest #cityofneighbourhoods

treasure hunt  

WIN prizes from Romans N Care, Entertainment Kitchen and Dr. Wireless

Explore the neighbourhood – York Eglinton welcomes you any time.

The Treasure Hunt will remain accessible for the curious to peruse and explore at anytime.

The Trouble with “Urban Development” & Thoughts on Celebrating Blackness

The Trouble with “Urban development” & Thoughts on Celebrating Blackness


In the past few weeks there are have been several conversations among businesses and stakeholders on the long term impact of construction and the Eglinton LRT on our nieghbourhood.

While the anticipated outcome is largely positive, there is some concern among the people with respect to the impact development will have on cost of commercial rental and to what extent businesses struggling to survive construction will be able to sustain future changes to property values.

One story that emerges within the context of urban development in Toronto and other North American cities is the economic displacement of people as a result of the increasing market value of real estate.

Displacement of the working classes and those on the margins of economic sustainability as a result of ‘development’ is a common theme throughout history. So is the correlation between class and colour.

Emilie Jabouin, a new resident to the York Eglinton neighbourhood, reflects on the vibrancy of Blackness in Toronto and laments the adverse impacts of development on two Toronto neighbourhoods that have had a history of black culture and economic activity.

Emilie Jabouin is a guest blogger.  The York Eglinton BIA is opening its blog to guest writers from the community. Please email If you would like to contribute.

The Trouble with “Urban Development” & Thoughts on Celebrating Blackness

By Emilie Jabouin

I didn’t know the Eglinton West area, nor “Little Jamaica” until I moved here from outside of Toronto. Similarly to “Blackhurst”, this area seems to be forgotten in regard to its long and strong history of black presence, black businesses and the vibrancy of “Blackness”.

Having spent some time in Washington, D.C., some comparisons come to mind. In the same way that Black people are pushed to the outskirts, with an attempt to confine them to Baltimore, Black people in Toronto neighbourhoods like Bathurst/Bloor/Mirvish Village and Eglinton West/Oakwood are slowly being erased from the history of Toronto. Its populations are being pushed towards Brampton and other areas disconnected from the urban center, disconnected from the top economic areas of opportunity of the Great Lakes region.


On that point of removing Black people from spaces historically occupied by them, removing signs of blackness has been a historical, political, social and cultural agenda of many societies including ours.

The “re-financialization” (rather than gentrification) – Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, a professor at the University of Toronto calls it – affects communities of colour and Black people. The raising of rent for businesses, the multiple re-development of areas, the perceived and pursued “hyping up” of a neighbourhood with construction and revamping of a landscape to “look” more “polished” is killing Black businesses. Yes – shops are open for business, but does construction interfere with the general, quick, one stop or random business these stores profit from? Of course.

Eglinton West/Oakwood is a business and busy area, but it is also a quick stop area, an area where you don’t worry too much about where to go, where to put yourself. Recent developments impact parking, causes
confusion and unnecessary car traffic!

Furthermore, the yearly street festival is something I was really looking forward to. It is cancelled this year. I don’t know for sure, but the sense that I get is that construction will affect the running of the festival for the next while. It was meant to take place on the part of the street, that is very lively, that is now heavily under construction. The city clearly did not take into account the everyday implications on local businesses of their development/construction plans. It overlooked the necessity to keep the businesses thriving as part of the heritage of the area.

Developing Communities

In my eyes, urban development should be collaborative, consensual (locals should be consulted), fruitful/lucrative on a social, financial, cultural levels for local, government, community partners. Developing an area should be about developing community, rather than about feeding into luxurious wants in the place of the needs of those living there.

Traffic is never enjoyable – four year long construction that will interrupt the flow of people, activities, money, celebration is simply an aggravating thought and proves poor consideration and holistic planning from the city.

The period of 2015-2024 is marked as the international decade for people of African descent by the United Nations. In light of this, it is important to think of the meaning of the historical preservation of black presence in the GTA, whether it be in the Jane-Finch area; the downtown core where thrived the Black Press in the 19th century; “Blackhurst” that housed Caribbean students and communities from various backgrounds, home to the “Contrast” newspaper in the 1960s, and from which A Different BookList currently still thrives; and “Little Jamaica”. They are areas of heritage for all of us that should be preserved and remembered in celebration of blackness.

Celebrating Blackness

For Canada’s 100th year anniversary in 1967, Caribana was offered as a gift to Canada from its Caribbean populations, according to Dr. Rinaldo Walcott in his book, Black Like Who?: Writing Black Canada, first published in 1997. For Canada’s 150 years anniversary, Caribana or the Caribbean festival will be celebrating Caribbean-ness and Blackness for the last fifty years in Toronto. I would have hoped that we would also take the time to celebrate Blackness in all of its shapes and forms throughout the GTA. This includes the Eglinton West area without forgetting “Little Jamaica” and making sure current senior Black businesses, and newer businesses of Portuguese, Philippino, Latino ownership stay supported regardless of changes to the area.


About the Author

Although her roots are from further away, Emilie Jabouin has made the Eglinton-Oakwood area home. As an artist and educator at heart, Emilie believes in strengthening community ties through art and creative projects that speak to the needs of the people. She is invested in black History and in documenting black women’s histories that are too often forgotten and ignored in Canada. She envisions dance as a means to communicate and share these lost stories. Emilie does teaching and outreach, grant writing, editing and consulting for a living.

Gallery City on Eglinton Ave Summer 2017

Gallery City Art Crawl and Contest

The York Eglinton BIA is proud to announce that we have 14 art stops in the Gallery City Art Crawl!

The outdoor gallery

This summer Eglinton Avenue is transforming into an urban art gallery from Weston Road in the west, to Laird Drive in the east following the route of the new Metrolinx LRT stations. Showcasing art from 12 local artists, ‘Gallery City’ will run from July 3, to August 25, 2017. Participants are invited to come out, enjoy the many unique and vibrant Eglinton business communities along the corridor, and enter to win one of the more than 40 paintings on display.

Quentin VerCetty – Tshimwana Mask

Loving it local

Gallery City is a joint initiative of Metrolinx, Crosslinx Transit Solutions – Constructors (CTSC), the seven Eglinton Business Improvement Areas, and Eglinton businesses along the future LRT route from Mount Dennis Station to Laird. To secure the art for the initiative, Gallery City has partnered with all the local non-profit arts organizations along Eglinton Avenue, including Urban Arts, NIA Centre for the Arts, Art Starts and the Artbarn School.

Come visit our locations and enter the contest to win art by

Camille Lauren

Bonnie Pullan

Shirley Mpagi

Quentin VerCetty

Spend the afternoon exploring our neighbourhood and taste something new. Grab some take-aways and chill under a tree at a local park.

Where it all began

The original Gallery City concept was conceived in partnership between the York-Eglinton BIA and Hogtown Mascots, under the artistic direction of John Kernaghan, in 2013. It ran for approximately three months in the Oakwood and Eglinton community.

This year, Gallery City brings together local businesses, property owners and local artists from across Eglinton. The six designated art crawls will re-create Eglinton as a destination for Torontonians and tourists and invite new foot traffic along the corridor.

Summer in the City

“Summer is the perfect time to celebrate our city, and art, the streets and the neighbourhoods that make Toronto such a great place to be”.   (Aadila Valiallah, York Eglinton BIA Coordintor)

Eglinton Avenue is a main throughfare in the City of Toronto. We want people to come out and get reacquainted with the many historically rich and diverse neighbourhoods along Eglinton this summer.

For more information on Gallery City and an interactive map of the art displays, visit


The Feast is On: Happy Eid!

To all those who fasted, celebrated, or acknowledged Ramadan, please have a Blessed and Happy Eid this weekend as the feast begins on Sunday.

Eid marks the end of Ramadan which is a month of daily fasting from dawn until dusk and a month of giving charity.

It’s all about the food this Sunday

Muslim around the world and in Toronto will celebrate Eid this Sunday with a feast.  The food at various celebrations across will vary greatly representing the vast cultural mix of people who are Muslim.  Culinary delights rooted in tastes found across Asia, Africa, and Europe (areas such as the Mediterranean, and the Balkans) will grace the tables of homes, mosques and community centers beginning early Sunday morning. Modern mixes of juices and smoothies will be upstaged by traditional milks boiled with almonds and raisins and saffron, drinks with rose water and apricot nectar, seeds and herbs, mint and basil will be shared among friends and family. Meets and savories with varying degrees and mixes of spices will sampled and taken across to neighbours and and friends along with baked goods and desserts.

There is nothing like food to bring people together. Combined with the collective hardship of fasting there is also a unity in the celebration that begs to be shared.

The kid next door

Muslims apparently make up over 7% of the 6.4 million people in the Greater Toronto Area (link).  Like any other group of people categorized by “religion”, Muslims are a pretty diverse bunch.  For those who have been following CNN’s United Shades of America, you may have caught on to the fact that, as with many other ‘religious groups’, identity and group affiliation is as much cultural as it is based on belief.

This year the City of Toronto hosted a ‘Fast in the 6’ event at Nathan Phillips Square on June  9th to celebrate the themes of diversity, unity and prosperity,    Torontonians of all sorts gathered for a shared experience of breaking fast at sunset and fundraising for the Daily Bread Food Bank. It was an evening of arts, entertainment and, at sunset, food, hosted by G98’s Mark Strong.

While great things happen all over the City, it necessary to boast (in our blog) that our little corner of the world at Eglinton and Oakwood / Dufferin has always been a place of diversity welcoming new people and traditions and histories evolving together.  The Muslim population of our neighbourhood is not evident, however, there are two mosques within a 10 minute walk of our main corners and you can find Halal restaurants if you care to look.  If you stop for a while and chat on the street you will find more people, Muslim or not with Eid stories to share than you would have expected.

Eid Mubarak!

And as always, we invite you to visit.