Christie Pits - Toronto Park

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Christie Pits park

Christie Pits,formerly "Willowvale Park", is a Toronto public park. It is located at 750 Bloor Street West (Bloor and Christie - TTC Chrisite Station)

The park is 22 acres, 50% is grassed picnic areas, the rest being various sports fields. The sides of the pits are steep, and are used in winter for tobogganing. Garrison Creek runs under the park, converted to a sewer at the turn of the 20th century.

The park was named after the Christie Sand Pits (left in the early 1900s) and Christie Street. William Mellis Christie was the co-founder of the Christie & Brown Cookie Company aka "Mr. Christie".


Sports facilities

  • three baseball diamonds (one full-sized and fenced named "Dominico Field")
  • basketball courts
  • a soccer/rugby/football field
  • ice rink
  • splash pad
  • pool.

Baseball diamonds

Christie Pits is best known for its baseball diamonds. A full-sized and fenced diamond was re-named "Dominico Field" in 2010 after Jack Dominico (owner of the semi-professional Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team of the Intercounty Baseball League games) Tobogganing in progress

Dominico field in northeast corner of the park has limited seating capacity - bench seats along the first and third bases. Most spectators sit along the grass hills. A wood broadcast booth is lalso present. There are no change rooms at this field.

Christie Pits Riot of 1933

Christie Pits Riot Commemorative Plaque

On 17 August 2008, Heritage Toronto commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Christie Pits Riot by publicly presenting a plaque in the southeast corner of the park. The plaque reads:

Riot at Christie Pits On August 16, 1933, at the end of a playoff game for the Toronto junior softball championship, one of the city's most violent ethnic clashes broke out in this park (then known as Willowvale Park). Toronto was a predominantly British and Protestant city struggling through the Great Depression, and youths in several neighbourhoods were harassing those they considered 'foreigners'. Widespread prejudice against Jews made them particular targets. Two nights earlier, on August 14, fans of the predominantly Jewish 'Harbord Playground' team were provoked by local 'Pit Gang members with a makeshift swastika, a symbol made familiar by the recent rise to power of the Nazi party in Germany. At the end of the game on August 16, another large swastika was displayed. Jewish fans attacked its bearers. As word of the fight spread, reinforcements - including Italian friends of Jewish youths - rushed to the area. The resulting five-hour riot involved baseball bats and iron bars, and spilled onto the streets. Though no one was killed, Torontonians were shocked by the violence. Mayor Stewart questioned the inadequate response of the Chief of Police to early warnings of impending violence, and stated that anyone displaying the swastika emblem would be liable to prosecution.


Christie pits has a garden which was started in the spring of 2009 with the hard work of the Garden Committee, Friends of Christie Pits Park group, and community volunteers.

External Links

Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre

Christie Ossington Residents Association

Seaton Village Residents Association

Additional Pictures

Christie Pits park
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