Christie Pits (Willowdale Park)


Books one book

Christie Pits, originally Willowvale Park, is a Toronto public recreational area located at 750 Bloor Street West at Christie Street, just west of the Toronto Transit Commission Christie subway station. The park was named after the Christie Sand Pits which were on the location until the early 1900s.

On August 16, 1933, Christie Pits was the scene of a six-hour riot, mostly between the Anglo-Canadian Pit Gang (also called the Swastika-Club) and the a group of young men and boys, who were mostly Jewish with some Italians and Ukrainians. One of the baseball diamonds was being used for a series of softball games between two local amateur teams, one of which predominantly consisted of Jewish players. Two nights earlier, at the first game of the series, there had been a display of a swastika and police were warned that there could be trouble at the second game. Those warnings were ignored, and after the second game, a blanket with a large swastika painted on it was displayed by members of the Pit Gang. The Jewish youths at the game responded to the display, supporters of both sides poured in from the surrounding streets and a riot ensued.

A Heritage Toronto plaque was installed at Christie Pits Park on the 75th anniversary of the riot in August 2008.

Travel Instructions

 Remember my address for next time