GYRA is a leading advocate for the protection and preservation of Yorkville’s built heritage and cultural assets. GYRA works closely with Architectural Conservancy Ontario and Heritage Toronto to prevent the destruction of the few remaining heritage buildings, and to commemorating Yorkville’s heritage assets. The GYRA Board of Directors includes a distinguished heritage architect, and a highly respected historian.
To commemorate Yorkville’s rich history, GYRA embarked on a series of plaques to ensure Yorkville’s heritage and cultural assets are not forgotten.
With steward Heritage Toronto and local historians, GYRA’s first initiative was the “Village of Yorkville” and “Yorkville Town Hall” plaques, located in front of Town Hall Square, the former site of the Yorkville Town Hall.
GYRA’s next venture was the narration of the evolution of Davenport Road – from ancient trail – to rural road – to urban street. The stories are told on three double-sided glass panels, six-feet in height, installed in Frank Stollery Parkette.
Yorkville’s most colourful period was the bohemian 1960s coffee house and music scene. The Riverboat Coffee House plaque is installed on the sidewalk in front of the 5-star Hazelton Hotel, where the Riverboat introduced many of Canada’s iconic singer-songwriters. Plaques are in the works for the Purple Onion, the Penny Farthing, and an introductory plaque featuring a map of all the Yorkville coffee houses and clubs.