For those of you who lived here in the '70's, you will remember the demise of Yonge St. during this time. One thing the article neglects mentioning is the death of Emanuel Jacques, the "Shoeshine Boy". The Portuguese Community protested in the thousands at City Hall to close down the mall after his death. You may ask what this has to do with the Trefann or Corktown area? Jacques resided on Shuter St. in the house right beside Nelson Mandela School. It was a horrible time, looking for his body and it being discovered on Yonge St.
I think until the new law legalizing prostitution is challenged in the courts, we should be concerned about any type of street closures being replaced with pedestrian traffic. Yonge Street became a very seedy street, with many people loitering and performing illegal activities. I remember the women dancing in the windows of massage parlours to lure in customers which were a front for brothels. There was excessive drinking and drug use on the streets with people moving from patio to patio.
It was a fun and exciting when it first opened but eventually became a place you didn't want to be around.
Yonge St. first went car-free in the 1970sToronto created a pedestrian space for three years until merchants began to object to handbills and loitering.
You can view this story at: http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1174740--yonge-st-...