This Toronto neighbourhood's name is derived from Wallace Avenue and Emerson Avenue, an intersection in the centre of the community. The development began in earnest when the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National railway lines began freight services to the area in the late 1800's. The railways in turn attracted industries to the area which led to the residential development of a historically working class neighbourhood. It did not become clearly defined until 1970 and it was in fact only identified by city planners for the sake of convenience, referring to the neighbourhood by the intersection that it is commonly known as today.
Wallace Emerson is a good example of what is known as a mixed-use residential and industrial and is widely regarded as being in transition as what was once industrial land is being converted to non-industrial use. As far as housing examples, one can find everything from Annex-style Victorians, detached and semi-detached and newer infill houses. Many residences in the northwest corner of the area were originally constructed for workers that were employed in the factories that lined the railway. The predominant brick houses in the neighbourhood are modest in size and were mostly built in the late 1800's and early 1900's and include a mix of detached and semi-detached homes. Wallace Emerson's lots are accessed by an extended network of laneways that provide additional parking space for homeowners.
Just off Dufferin Street and south of Dupont, the Wallace Emerson Community Centre holds an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, a games room, a senior's lounge and a children's playground. Adjacent to the centre sits Wallace Emerson Park which has an artificial ice rink that hosts pleasure skating, shinny games. an ice hockey league and programs and lessons; the park also has four floodlit tennis courts. The Bloor/Gladstone Public Library, east of Dufferin on Bloor offers many educational and exciting programs for adults and children.
The Wallace Emerson area has a public high school called Brockton and two public schools: Bloor Collegiate Institute and Pauline Junior school. There are two Catholic schools: St. Anthony and St. Sebastian. As industrial land gets converted to neighbourhood use, Wallace Emerson is slowly but steadily growing an identity and a sense of neighbourhood character.