The Palmerston Area Residents Association (PARA) is a volunteer organization of residents committed to strengthening and preserving the stability, distinctive character and quality of life in the Toronto neighbourhood bounded by Bloor and Bathurst, College and Grace Streets.
We hold community events that bring neighbours together, notably our AGM with speakers on city issues, Party-in-the-Park and in 2019 a laneway naming ceremony for many of our lanes. We take on significant issues, in particular a long term plan for improving the green aspects of our community and decreasing its carbon footprint. We support other community initiatives such as Planet Palmerston, one of the biggest yard sales in the city to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
We advocate for development that will improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood and ensure this can be a home for a diverse and increasing population. Our criteria for assessing development proposals is articulated in our vision statement. We have had a significant impact on the development of the Mirvish Village site.
We communicate with all our residents through a biannual newsletter and web site. Current events are advertised through our Face Book page and eblasts.
The core of PARA is a board elected at our AGM, and the many volunteers who work on the projects described on this site.
Many of the photos used in this site are courtesy of former board member Katherine Childs.
Palmerston Area Vision Statement
Palmerston Area is a rapidly gentrifying, historic, downtown mixed-use neighbourhood with a mature tree canopy. The residential streets are comprised primarily of century old brick houses that, in their origin, reflect a wide range of economic status. It has a small, well-used park, a primary and secondary school with surrounding green spaces. It is bordered by three busy avenues with many businesses and restaurants, and is divided by Harbord, a very busy east/west street.
We wish to preserve and enhance the qualities that make this neighbourhood livable for a diverse population, while recognizing the benefits of intensification to the vitality and economic health of our city.
A green canopy is vital to the health, ecology and aesthetics of our neighbourhood. New development would ideally include landscaping plans that contribute to the canopy with additional significant shade trees of diverse species.
Palmerston is a walkable neighbourhood. We need to preserve that walkability and encourage major improvements to Bathurst Street. Many residents also depend on bicycles as their chief form of transportation. We support new and existing bike lanes.
Traffic calming is necessary to support alternative modes of transportation, maintain air quality, ensure safety, and decrease noise. Developments in and around the Palmerston area that would drastically increase car traffic, add drive-thrus or surface parking would detract from the health of the neighbourhood.
Palmerston has too little public open space, which is vital to the social, civic and recreational health of all residents. We have one, well-used small park with a playground. The TDSB-owned properties at Clinton Street Junior Public School and Harbord Collegiate function as public space and should always be maintained for public use. We would enthusiastically welcome any opportunity to create more public space.
The residential neighbourhood is currently composed of historical, consistent, low-rise streetscapes. We strongly encourage development that would allow people of all ages, incomes and abilities to live in the Palmerston Area. We would also welcome development with a diversity of uses: residential, institutional and commercial (particularly small-scale, independent retail) to add to the vitality of the neighbourhood.