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Rosedale is likely the most prestigious and affluent neighbourhood in Toronto. The neighbourhood arose on the site of the former estate of William Botsford Jarvis. Rosedale was named by his wife, granddaughter of William Dummer Powell, for the wild roses that grew there in abundance.
Rosedale might just be Toronto’s most majestic neighbourhood. Tucked away and surrounded by two tranquil ravines, Rosedale’s meandering tree-lined streets can seduce you and make you quickly forget that the city centre is just moments away.
It is located north of downtown Toronto and is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. Certainly also one of the wealthiest and most highly-priced neighbourhoods in all of Canada. It is known as the area where the Toronto’s “Old Money” lives, and is home to some of Canada’s richest and most famous citizens, including Ken Thomson who was the richest man in Canada at the time of his death.
Rosedale’s boundaries consist of the CPR railway tracks to the north, Yonge Street to the west, Bloor Street to the south, and Bayview Avenue to the east. The neighbourhood is within the City of Toronto’s Rosedale-Moore Park neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is divided into a north and south portion by the Rosedale Valley.
Homes in Rosedale are grand and historic, full of distinguished character. Though they may not be as large as some newer estates found in more suburban Toronto area locales, Rosedale homes abound in exquisite details and traditional beauty.
Dating from as far back as the mid 1800s, Rosedale residences are mostly two and three storey detached designs, some of which feature carriage houses that are the size of a more typical single family Toronto home. An array of architectural styles can be found, including Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, and Tudor.
The occasional contemporary new house might catch your eye, but these tend to be constructed with carefully selected materials to blend in with the surroundings. Luxurious Rosedale condos and moderately priced co-ops complete the Rosedale real estate spectrum.
For the high net worth individual who keeps an office in downtown Toronto, Rosedale is a perfect residential address. The financial district just minutes away by car or subway, with multiple stations nearby. Shopping is plentiful in the fine establishments at Summerhill, at Yonge and Bloor and in the boutiques of nearby Yorkville. Delectable eateries also await along Yonge Street and in Yorkville. Rosedale is also home to Whitney Public School, a junior school with an excellent reputation for academics, arts, athletics, and community involvement.
South Rosedale was first settled by Sheriff William Jarvis and his wife, Mary, in the 1820s. Mary Jarvis, whose frequent walks and horseback rides blazed the trails for Rosedale’s meandering streets (which are one of the area’s trademarks), named Rosedale as a tribute to the abundance of wild roses that graced the hillsides of the Jarvis estate. The Jarvis Family sold the Rosedale homestead in 1864, which led to the residential development of the area soon after.
Rosedale is built among three ravines, preserved as parkland. Rosedale has convoluted routes through the neighbourhood and other physical boundaries, and thus it has low levels of vehicular traffic. Even though Rosedale is located in the middle of Toronto, virtually no vehicular traffic can be heard due to the abundance of trees and foliage that surround the community. The homes are mostly single family detached dwellings.
A noteworthy piece of Rosedale’s History, is that is was home to Ontario’s fourth Government House. The house was called Chorley Park, and it was built for the Lieutenant Governor in 1915. Truly one of the most elegant and massive homes ever on Toronto, it was a criminal shame when it was demolished in 1960 by the city of Toronto to save money. It is now a public park of the same name.
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416−388−1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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by Amy West
Liberty Village is a unique community located in Toronto’s West End that features diversity framed within a historical district. It’s bordered by King, Dufferin, the Gardiner Expressway, and Strachan.
Liberty Village has grown significantly over the past two years, both in new residential and office spaces. Because the neighbourhood is an abandoned industrial area, these developments have primarily been built inside old factories. It has become a trendy spot for young professionals who are pushing further west into less established areas, while remaining a short ride from the city core.
Throughout its history Liberty Village has undergone social and economic transformations, but what has remained are the unique Victorian-era industrial buildings, which have made this area a memorable visual link to Toronto’s past.
Beginning in the late 19th and continuing into the 20th century, this area was a major manufacturing centre in Canada. It underwent rapid industrial growth during the mid-1800s thanks to its proximity to the railways and harbours. By the turn of the century, a mixed collection of ramshackle wooden buildings gave way to massive brick structures – the heart of Canada – industrial revolution.
The district was also home to industrial institutions. Central Prison, set back from Strachan Avenue, was built by the province in the early 1880s, not only to incarcerate inmates, but to put them to work in the hopes of profiting from their labour. It closed in 1911, but the old chapel can still be seen at the corner of Pirandello and East Liberty Streets.
The area was also the site of the Andrew Mercer Reformatory and the Ontario Reformatory Facility for Females. Ironically, Liberty Street ran between the two prisons. The Mercer Reformatory was torn down after being condemned in 1969 and is now the location of Lamport Stadium.
North of Liberty Street on Dufferin was a factory built in 1916 by the Russell Motorcar Company that manufactured fuses used in bomb shells in World War I. South of Liberty Street was the Dufferin Liberty Centre. It manufactured electrical lights to send overseas during and after World War I.
In 1881 John Inglis and Sons opened facilities on Strachan and Hanna avenues, thus expanding its successful business of building machinery for grist and flour mills. In 1902 it switched to manufacturing marine steam engines and waterworks pumping engines.
Two years later, an American named Major J.E. Hahn purchased the company and manufactured the Bren lightweight machine gun used by British and Canadian infantries during World War II. In 2003 Lifetime Urban Development Group purchased the building and is transforming it into a retail and commercial complex called the Liberty Market Building.
The site at 43 Hanna Avenue was the head office of Irwin Toy. It was transformed by Lanterra Developments into the Toy Factory Lofts, which won the 2005 Greater Toronto Home Builders Association award for Condominium Project of the Year.
Until 1858, Liberty Village was also the site of Toronto’s Industrial Exhibition, which later moved south and was renamed the Canadian National Exhibition.
Today Liberty Village is alive with new companies, new people, and new style – a hotbed of high tech and culture in the new economy, enjoying a revival as one of the fastest-growing employment centres in the city combined with new urban living. The village is an example of smart growth, with residents and businesses expanding together, supported by accessible transportation and a growing retail community.
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