Moss Park may only span two blocks, but the neighbourhood’s name is known citywide. The neighbourhood is one of Toronto's largest public housing projects and is located in one of the most disadvantaged parts of the city. Moss Park is anchored on the west side by a large public park which also happens to be the home of the Moss Park Armoury, a training centre for the Canadian Armed Forces.
At just over 10,000 residents, Moss Park has a high presence of middle aged adults between 45 and 64 years and the highest proportion of single person households in the Downtown Toronto area. Over 80% of households in Moss Park are rented and it has high unemployment and social assistance rates relative to the city and Downtown Toronto averages.
According to some longtime residents, the area has degraded noticeably over the past decade. There’s no pretence around the stark divide between this part of town and Toronto’s flourishing Garden District, just further west, where students and new businesses abound. That historically troubled neighbourhood is in a state of transition, as a slew of new condos under construction directly southeast of the park. It’ll be years before the developments are complete, but by the time construction is complete, Moss Park will inevitably be flooded with the social and economic capital to affect change on how the neighbourhood operates.
This 3.4 hectare downtown park at Queen Street East and Sherbourne Street features a lit ball diamond, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a wading pool and a children's playground. On the east side of the park is the Moss Park Arena and the John Innes Community Recreation Centre.
The neighbourhood is primarily home to public housing. Around Queen Street, the buildings are predominantly low-rise, with retail stores on the main floor and stairway up apartments on upper floors. Relatively higher buildings in the neighbourhood rise along Shuter Street.