Palmerston Boulevard

Orientation & Geography

North America, Canada, Toronto

Palmerston Boulevard is a residential street located in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, two blocks west of Bathurst Street, between Koreatown and Little Italy. The Boulevard's well co-ordinated nature lends it its charm. Bounded by stone and iron gates both at Bloor Street and College Street, lined by symmetrically placed cast-iron lamps and canopied by mature silver maple trees, Palmerston is one of Toronto's finest residential streets. Formerly called Muter Street, the street's name was changed to Palmerston at the turn of the 20th century, as it was developed. Muter Street was named after Lt-Col Robert Muter of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment. Palmerston was named after Lord Palmerston, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, perhaps to promote Victorian ideals to future Torontonians. Most of the houses on Palmerston Boulevard were built between 1903 and 1910. An architectural analysis of the Boulevard was published in 1982. Palmerston Boulevard: An Evaluation of a Unique Residential Street written by landscape architects Brown+Storey covers the evolution of the street, its landscape, built form, critical evaluation of renovations, and key landscape items such as trees, porches, street lights and the gates. It also contains a comparison of Toronto streets built around the same time with Palmerston compared to Indian Road, St. George Street and High Park Boulevard. Brown and Storey place great emphasis on Palmerston's trees and lamps - "The trees and street lamps define the space of the Boulevard as a passage." The grandest house on the street is #469, the George Weston Mansion, built on 1.5 lots. Weston died in 469 Palmerston Boulevard on April 6, 1924. Former Mayors of Toronto Horatio Hocken and Samuel McBride lived at #340 and #351 respectively. Palmerston Boulevard was initially a wealthy Anglo-Saxon enclave. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the street was made up primarily of middle- and upper-middle-class Jews who were often excluded from elite WASP neighbourhoods. In the 1960s, many of the houses were subdivided into rooming houses that served university students. Today, most of the houses are divided into apartments.