Toronto

Toronto francophones seek French quarter

A number of francophone groups in Toronto want to see a section of Carlton Street between Yonge and Parliament streets designated as the city's French quarter.

A number of francophone groups in Toronto want to see a section of Carlton Street between Yonge and Parliament streets designated as the city’s French quarter.

From Little India in the east end to Little Italy in the west, Toronto is famous for its neighbourhoods, and Rolande Smith said francophones want a section of the city to call their own.

Smith is the president of Toronto's French History Society. She made her comments standing in front of Sacré-Coeur church on Sherbourne Street.

Some of Toronto's francophone residents would like to see the area near Sacré-Cœur Church at the northeast corner of Sherbourne Street and Carlton Street designated as the city's first French quarter. ((Google Street View))

Built in the 1930s, it's the first French church in the city, and in the future it could be in the middle of Toronto's own French quarter.

"That would anchor us," Smith told CBC News. "That'd be an anchor for a lot of activities that are scattered here and there, and give the impression that there's really nothing in French."

Toronto’s francophone community is being polled to gauge interest in the idea. More than 200 people have already filled out the survey.

Jean Pierre Bouét is the president of ACFO, the Association of Francophone Communities Ontario in Toronto. He also thinks the French-quarter idea is a good one for Toronto.

"I think there is a need because the francophone is in the essence of Canada," he said.

"French speaking, the French culture, they like to be together. They like to promote themselves, they like to speak French. So this has to be developed and helped."

According to the last census, more than 50,000 Torontonians identified themselves as francophones.