Bedford Park began as a farming hamlet centred around the crossroads of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue. This village was a popular stopover for farmers travelling to and from the markets in Toronto. It is likely that Bedford Park is named after the Bedford Park Hotel which opened in 1873 at the south west corner of Yonge Street and Fairlawn Avenue.
The residential development of Bedford Park was linked to the Metropolitan Street Railway which began service to this area in 1890. That same year Bedford Park amalgamated with the former Town of North Toronto which was then annexed by the city of Toronto in 1912. To this day Bedford Park is commonly referred to as North Toronto.
BEDFORD PARK OVERVIEW
The Bedford Park neighbourhood is geared toward families with young children. It has an excellent selection of public, private and separate schools, many parkettes and playgrounds, a community centre, a library, and convenient access to Toronto’s transit system.
BEDFORD PARK HOMES
Bedford Park has a good mix of detached and semi-detached homes. The original housing stock was built between 1890 and 1940. However, many of the bungalows in the neighbourhood have recently been torn down and replaced with custom designed houses.
The award winning Bedford Glen development on Sylvan Valley Way, is a pretty collection of low-rise terraced condominium apartments and townhouses in a private ravine setting.
SCHOOLS IN BEDFORD PARK
(P) Bedford Park Jr., 81 Ranleigh Avenue, (416) 393-9424
(P) John Wanless Jr., 250 Brookdale Avenue, (416) 393-9350
(P) Glenview Sr., 401 Rosewell Avenue, (416) 393-9390
(PH) Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, 125 Chatsworth Drive, (416) 393-9500
(CA) Blessed Sacrament, 24 Bedford Park Avenue, (416) 393-5226
(PR) Havergal College, 1451 Avenue Road, (416) 483-3519
(PR) Toronto French School, 296 Lawrence Avenue East, (416) 484-6533
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (CA) Catholic School (PR) Private School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
RECREATION IN BEDFORD PARK
Wanless Park is the largest park in the neighbourhood. It has five floodlit tennis courts, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, a tots playground and a wading pool. Wanless Park is close to the Bedford Park Community Centre. Located at the Bedford Park Public School this Community Centre includes a gymnasium and an indoor pool.
The Woburn parkette, west of Yonge street, is a popular destination point for neighbourhood parents with toddlers and preschoolers. It features a new tots playground and a wading pool. A few blocks north of the Woburn Parkette is The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre, which operates out of the Fairlawn Heights United Church. This centre includes seasonal programming for residents of all ages.
The Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre (FNC) is a unique place -offering a broad range of programming for all ages targeted to their 2500 active members. The Centre has become a hub of the community and is often the first place that new families visit when they move into the neighbourhood. You can check out their programs at www.fairlawnneighbourhoodcentre.com
The George Locke Public Library at the south-east corner of Yonge and Lawrence, offers year round programs for adults, children, and preschoolers.
TRANSPORTATION IN BEDFORD PARK
The Lawrence subway station off Yonge Street is within reasonable walking distance of all the homes in this neighbourhood. There is also regular bus service on Yonge Street, as well as limited service on both Avenue Road, and Mount Pleasant Road.
Motorists are twenty minutes from downtown and approximately five minutes from the Yonge Street on-ramp to Highway 401.
SHOPPING IN BEDFORD PARK
Yonge Lawrence Village offers a wide variety of shops and businesses for families including restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. The Avenue Road shopping district located north of Lawrence features a great selection of restaurants and stores including gourmet food shops, gift stores, fast food restaurants, home decorating stores and national chain stores.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE BEDFORD PARK AREA
Woburn Park – 75 Woburn Ave
This park includes a great splash area green space to run around and the beautiful trees. There is also a playground with swings and a sandbox, and bathrooms are on site.
Woburn Park’s off-leash dog area is located in the northwest section of the park. This area is fenced off. Woburn Park is located just east of Bathurst off of Cranbrooke Drive.
This is a very small neighbourhood park. It is fully fenced in with a single entry point.
Brookdale Park – 410 Fairlawn Ave
A 1.5 hectare park on Avenue Road north of Lawrence Avenue West. This park winds north west through the neighbourhood from Avenue Road and Woburn Avenue to Grey Road and Fairlawn Avenue. A mature tree canopy covers the trail through the park, and a children’s playground can be found at near the south end of the park.
Ledbury Park – 160 Ledbury Street
Ledbury Park has recently been redesigned and has earned a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence for its innovative approach to neighbourhood park planning. The focal point of this park is a rectangular shaped reflecting pool and skating rink that is linked to a swimming pool, and a water play area designed specifically for young children.
LIBRARIES IN THE BEDFORD PARK AREA
- Toronto Public Library – 3083 Yonge Street, (416) 393-7730
- Mount Pleasant Branch Library 599 Mount Pleasant Road, (416) 393-7737
- Barbara Frum Library – 20 Covington Road, (416) 395-5440
- North York Central Library – 5120 Yonge Street, (416) 395-5535
- Bayview Library – (416) 395-5460
CHURCHES IN THE BEDFORD PARK AREA
- Melrose Baptist Church – 375 Melrose Ave, (416) 785-1980
- St. Ansgar Lutheran Church – 1498 Rd Ave, (416) 783-3570
- Asbury West United Church – 3180 Bathurst Street, (416) 783-6503
- St Timothy’s North Toronto – 100 Old Orchard Grv, (416) 488-0079
- Dewi Sant Welsh United Church – 33 Melrose Avenue, (416) 485-7583
- Fairlawn Avenue United Church 28 Fairlawn Ave, (416) 481-6848
- St. Leonard’s Church – 25 Wanless Ave, (416) 485-7278
- Blessed Sacrament Church – 24 Cheritan Ave
- Glenview Presbyterian Church – 1 Glenview Avenue, 416-488-1156