A stately reason to call Toronto home.

What we know as North Toronto real estate includes several distinct neighbourhoods. These areas may be different in price ranges, but the amenities and accessibility of each are near similar. Excellent public and private schools, a huge ravine system, and family-oriented neighbourhoods make all three simply spectacular.

The Neighbourhoods

Click below for more about the different neighbourhoods in this area, and some local history, as well…

Lytton Park

Home to beautiful Victorian farmhouses and homes with beautiful center hall plans and gracious rooms. The lots here are generally wide (50+ feet), which lends to the lovely character and beautiful streetscape charm. There are excellent schools, educational resources (like St. Clement’s, Havergal College for girls, and John Ross Robertson Public School), and fantastic restaurants right on Yonge Street.

The oldest home in Lytton Park is still standing today. Built in 1828, the Snider residence is the oldest home in the area (located at 744 Duplex Avenue – which I have been lucky enough to see with my own eyes). This took place all before the Metropolitan Street Railway service began to bring more people, and more homes, to this storied area.

North Toronto

A much more affordable area of North Toronto, the North Toronto neighbourhood proper is filled with pre- and post-war bungalows, semi-detached and detached homes, as well as plenty of new construction projects. North Toronto Collegiate is a highly-regarded secondary school, and lots of new shops and restaurants are coming in to make this area an in-demand enclave for urban dwellers. Yonge and Eglinton, specifically, is exploding with condos and new amenities.

Originally known as the Town of North Toronto, this neighbourhood was annexed in 1912. At that point, and alongside the growth of the Metropolitan Street Railway, North Toronto’s growth increased rapidly to where it is today.

Lawrence Park

The unique element of Lawrence Park is that it resides in both Toronto and North York. For that reason, lots in North York allow for bigger construction projects – with both brick-and-stone and state-of-the-art homes dominating the landscape. Lawrence Park, as part of North Toronto real estate, is desired for its schools: Toronto French School, Crescent Boys School, and Havergal College. The highlight of the area is Sunnybrook Park and Sunnybrook Stables where you can ride horses right in the core of the city.

The plan for Lawrence Park was always to appeal to those seeking a more elegant lifestyle in the city. Advertisements dating back to the early 1900s described Lawrence Park as an “aristocratic neighbourhood” filled with “handsome houses surrounded by beautiful gardens.” The same is as true today as it was back then!

Hoggs Hollow

Much of the real estate here is dramatically set on the Don River and is full of landmark properties and custom homes. The streets are curved and winding with several quiet cul-de-sacs. The Don River flows right through the middle of the neighbourhood making for a beautiful natural view and a feeling of an oasis in the city.

The neighbourhood is named after Joseph Hogg, who in 1824 established a whisky distillery and flour mill. After he passed, in 1856 his sons subdivided the land into 141 lots, however only a few homes were initially built and it wasn't until the 1920s that development of the subdivision really took off.

St Andrew-Windfields

A stunning area of custom homes based on traditional styles. There are large mansions and modern homes with asymmetrical design. Many of the homes have dramatic architectural features such as columns, stone arch entrances or turrets. The winding streets only have a few convenient entrances and exits into the neighbourhood, dissuading traffic and promoting a peaceful setting for residents. The area offers some of Toronto's most coveted streets and is home to many of Toronto's finest schools, both public and private. There is terrific access to transit, shopping at Bayview Village, and proximity as well to Toronto's best hospitals.

In 1937, Windfields Farm was founded. It was the former estate of E.P. (Edward Plunket) Taylor, a Canadian businessman, and his wife Winnifred was the one who came up with the name. Windfields Farm was regarded as one of the top throroughbred racing stables in North America, and one famous resident of those stables was Northern Dancer, the first Canadian horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Windfields Estate now houses the Canadian Film Centre.

The Bridle Path

One of Toronto's most prestigious neighbourhoods, this elite area is home to some of the city's most affluent residents. The wide streets are lined with beautiful custom mansions that are inspired by French chateaus, colonial homes, and original contemporary design. There are also boutique condominiums - One Post Road, a French chateau inspired building with a handful of luxury suites, as well as the buildings at Chedington place that feature spectacular ravine views.

Most of the estate owners in this area were equestrians. Therefore, early plans for this neighbourhood area included a system of equestrian bridle paths to accommodate these residents. After the development of the Bayview bridge (see my "Then and Now" series on my blog), the plan for the neighbourhood was reconsidered and the paths were removed from the plans but the name of the neighbourhood and the wide streets are nostalgic of the original design.

Banbury-Don Mills

The style of architecture you'll find here is that of low slung bungalows and brand new custom homes. There are lots of parks scattered throughout the area, including Edwards Gardens, part of the Toronto Botanical Garden. The Don River runs through the neighbourhood, accompanied by several hiking trails. Easy access to downtown via the Don Valley Parkway makes this area an ideal place to live - tucked outside the downtown core but quick access to anywhere in the city.

Banbury-Don Mills was developed after the war in the 1950s, when E.P. Taylor (who owned Windfields Farm) decided to build a brand new self-sustaining town on the 2000 acres that would become Banbury-Don Mills. The idea was to build 4 quadrants (each with a school, church, and a park) with a shopping center (Shops at Don Mills) at the centre. "Canada's First Planned Community" became the blueprint for suburban development and contemporary residential neighbourhoods.

Take A Step Back

In 1829, the oldest private residence in Toronto was built, by the Snider family, right in the heart of Lytton Park.

Since then, the area has made it through two world wars, a recession, and a depression, and has come out stronger than ever before.

At one point, North Toronto was the northernmost stop of the Metropolitan Street Railway. How much did it cost to go from Downtown Toronto to this local station? All you needed was 5 cents in your pocket and some patience…