Re-Imagine the Danforth: The SoDa* Barns

* South of Danforth avenue 

The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) invites you to join us on Tuesday May 18th at 7:30 pm online for “Re-Imagine the Danforth: The SoDa Barns”. This grassroots visioning exercise for our community will generate a list of program suggestions for the buildings and spaces on the SoDa Barns site. This local knowledge will contribute to the creative discussion on this development and articulate a vision for our community!  

Following on from the successful DECA event “Imagine the Danforth” in 2014, we seek to again bring to the table a discussion of the significant economic, cultural and community deficits in our neighbourhood. 

As this development project enters the second phase under the continued leadership of CreateTO and DTAH Architects, we are inspired to re-visit the heritage of the Barns buildings on the site. 

The original building was constructed as a streetcar maintenance building in 1915. The skylights from this original structure remain today and it is the second oldest building in this part of Toronto. The building was expanded to become the main carhouse in 1921. (Wychwood Barns was built at this time) These vast, industrial structures have proved resilient since that time as they have adapted to the changes in their use. Today we again re-imagine their role in our community. 

The Masterplan approved by City Council in 2019 provides the structure for future development plans. The locations of interior and exterior public spaces and buildings for the three main site tenants, the Toronto Public Library expanded Coxwell Branch, The TPS Divisions 54 & 55 and Housing Now, as well as locations for additional new buildings, are mapped out in the Masterplan. The massing of these structures was also illustrated as part of the planning, as shown in the diagram below. 

DECA Visioning began the exercise of compiling suggestions for program uses on the site. Some suggestions on the list are as follows: 

– office space 

– a space/ stage for community meetings and live theatre performances & rehearsals 

– programmable public-event space both inside and outside, for the community and  revenue-generating events 

– arts & culture incubator 

–  light industry (jewelry, art production, food, fashion…) 

– community centre 

– skating rink 

– startup incubator and innovation hub 

– community gardens 

This event’s contributions will be distributed to those involved in this development. If you cannot attend, please email your suggestions to until May 25th 2021. Further information for participation in this event will be posted closer to the date. 

We look forward to Re-Imagining with you!