The Blake-Jones neighbourhood is named after two parallel streets that run through its centre. The area west of Jones is predominantly a Toronto Community Housing project with some row housing, while east of Jones, you enter what is known as 'The Pocket', a tight-knit community with proud resident volunteers. The TTC yard on the eastern border cuts off traffic and the resulting dead-end streets give this green 'pocket' neighbourhood the feel of a oasis in the middle of the city. Resident volunteers promote community spirit through the organization of street-parties and neighbourhood clean-ups and have gained a reputation for beautifying and enriching an already coveted neighbourhood.
Many of the Blake-Jones homes' are semi-detached examples from the mid-1900's. One can also find townhouse complexes and public housing apartments in the south-west. Grander brick homes with spacious verandas and large windows are mostly found towards the West but there are definitely some deals to be had around the neighbourhood as long as buyers understand that older homes in Blake-Jones will ask for a little tender loving care and ingenuity from their new owners.
The area has a large muslim community which can be evidenced by the variety of halal pizza joints and butcher shops and one of the major mosques in the area is undergoing a large renovation which includes an 86-foot minaret. The community volunteers in the neighbourhood have been responsible for a great many improvements made to Phin Park: they planted a number of mature trees along the central walkway and an outdoor ice rink is built each winter, not to mention a gazebo was installed next to the playground for parents who want to beat the summer heat while they watch their kids play. There are events held in the park throughout the year including movie nights and a fireworks show on Victoria Day; another project that was initiated was the building of a small orchard and community garden north of the Greenwood TTC yard.
There are three local elementary schools in the area: Pape Avenue, Blake Street and Earl Grey; the local high school is Riverdale Collegiate and Eastern Commerce is an alternative high school. While the Blake-Jones area is not one of the most well-known of Toronto neighbourhoods on the move, it is a proud and inclusive community that has been doing the little things right for many years. It's a lesson in community planning that any neighbourhood could learn from.