New street in Toronto's east end honours the city's baseball past

Photo: Toronto Public Library archives

Photo: Toronto Public Library archives


Long before Rogers Centre (and SkyDome), and prior to Exhibition Stadium, Maple Leaf Stadium and even Hanlan's Point Ballpark, there was The Toronto Baseball Grounds. Home to the city’s first pro baseball team, The Torontos, the stadium was located just off the Don Valley in the city’s east end.

A new street in Riverside Square near Queen East and Broadview Ave. has been named Baseball Place in recognition of the original Toronto Baseball Grounds.

The street is located in almost the same spot as the former Baseball Place, a leftover legacy of the roadway that provided access to the city’s first baseball stadium. The original street disappeared decades ago.

When the stadium opened in 1886, admission was a quarter and its grandstand, which overlooked the Don Valley, could seat 2,000 fans. The name eventually changed to Sunlight Park, in honour of the nearby soap factory, and it stayed in operation until 1913 when baseball moved to the Island.

A plaque attached to the building at 655 Queen St. E honours Sunlight Park and the Toronto Baseball Grounds.