The Allen family estate stood on the West side of Sherbourne, between Queen and Shuter, and the moss that grew on its brick walls gave the neighbourhood its name. Long since demolished in the urban renewal of the area, a large park and community centre is now in its place. This area was originally the centre of the city of Toronto's industrial area, and was comprised mostly of large factories and homes for their workers. In the 60's many of these buildings were demolished to build the Moss Park housing project, three large towers at Queen and Parliament, which was run by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. By the 1970's, almost all the factories left the area and the average income level fell but in recent years it has been met by recent gentrification. Its fashionable lofts and new shopping areas are now in higher demand.
The architecture and variety of Moss Park has many faces: along Queen Street, there are three to five-storey buildings with retail space on the ground floor and also walk-up apartments. Smaller-scale townhouses can be found in the midst of condo and loft development on King Street East. Progress has been slow in turning the area the neighbourhood from its downtrodden roots but there are examples of streets like Berkeley which proudly sport landscaped lawns along its row of gabled and pretty houses. Corktown has some newly refurbished homes that are attracting a lot of interest as well.
The majority of apartment buildings in Moss Park contain their own recreation centres including facilities such as a basketball court and playground for children. The Moss Park sits to the West of the apartment building and is one of the larger parks in Toronto. It has a multi-use sports field, a baseball diamond and two tennis courts. It is conveniently located next to the John Innes Community Recreation Centre. The centre boasts an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a running track, a weight room, a cardio room, woodworking shop, a craft and a games room; the Moss Park Arena sits next door to the centre. Further entertainment for nature-lovers: the nearby Allan Gardens is a horticultural centre that has six greenhouse and 16, 000 square feet of exotic and extremely rare plants.
Jarvis Collegiate Institute is a high school well within walking distance of the area and Inglenook school is the oldest continually operated school in Toronto and is highly regarded for it's curriculum and was named an exemplary school by the Canadian Education Association. Moss Park also has two junior schools: Regent Park/Duke Of York School and Park School which is a combined junior and senior school. St. Paul is the one Catholic school in the area. Though the Moss park area's regeneration has been slow, the area is seen as one of Toronto's best wagers for further appreciation and improvement.