Bloor West Village is a popular neighbourhood for families. It has many excellent schools and is within walking distance of High Park – Toronto’s biggest and best known park.This west end neighbourhood is highlighted by the Bloor West Village retail district which attracts shoppers from all over the city.
HISTORY OF BLOOR WEST
In the 1850’s, the area now known as Bloor West Village was the property of Lieutenant Colonel William Smith Durie, the first commanding officer of the Queens Own Rifles. The street that ran through his estate is now known as Durie Street.
The present day neighbourhood began to be developed in 1909 when this district became part of the City of Toronto. Soon after amalgamation with Toronto, Bloor West’s roads were paved and city services were made available.
Bloor West’s first residents were immigrants of Eastern European background. These are the residents who helped found the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area, the first of its kind in Canada. This shopping district has helped make Bloor West Village one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods.
HOMES IN BLOOR WEST
Bloor West Village homes are all fairly similar in size and style having been built in a relatively short period of time between 1912 and 1923.
Bloor West Village houses feature deep front porches that are well shaded by the majestic Oak and Maple trees that line the streets of this neighbourhood.
The majority of houses feature decorative oak accents, hardwood floors, and fireplaces.
SCHOOLS IN THE BLOOR WEST AREA
(P) Runnymede Junior and Senior Public School, 357 Runnymede Road
(P) Annette Street Junior and Senior Public School, 265 Annette Street
(P) Keele Street Junior Public School, 99 Mountview Avenue
(P) Mountview Alternative Junior School, 99 Mountview Avenue
(P) Humbercrest Public School, 14 Saint Marks Road
(P) Warren Park Junior Public School, 135 Varsity Road York
(P) King George Junior Public School, 25 Rexford Road York
(PH) Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent
(PH) Humberside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Avenue
(PH) THE STUDENT SCHOOL, 125 Evelyn Crescent
(PH) Ursula Franklin Academy, 146 Glendonwynne Road
(PH) Runnymede Collegiate Institute, 569 Jane Street York
(CA) St. Pius X, 71 Jane St.
(CA) St. James, 230 Humbercrest Blvd., 416-393-5275
(CA) James Culnan, 605 Willard Ave., 605 Willard Ave.,
(CA) St. Cecilia, 355 Annette St., 416-393-5218
(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
LIFESTYLE IN BLOOR WEST
The Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area is the oldest and most successful BIA in Canada. With over 400 shops, restaurants and professional services, local residents are well served and can acquire all their shopping needs right in their own neighbourhood.
The Bloor West Village shopping district is as much about eating as it is about shopping. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of bakeries, delicatessens, specialty food shops, cafes and restaurants.
Convenience stores, fruit and vegetable markets, dry cleaners, video stores, and other shops catering to everyday household needs, can also be found on Jane and Annette Streets.
RECREATION IN BLOOR WEST
The Bloor West Village (BIA) hosts many family-oriented festivals and events throughout the year. There is a June Sidewalk Sale, a July Festival, Ukranian Festival and Sidewalk Sale, Halloween Festival, Calvacade of Lights, and Christmas in the Village.
High Park, a 399 acre parkland, is within walking distance of Bloor West Village. This Toronto landmark contains picnic areas, flower gardens, animal paddocks, a restaurant, an outdoor amphitheatre, sports facilities, a trackless train, an adventure playground and a large pond.
Annette Recreation Centre is attached to the Annette Street public school. This Centre has an indoor pool, a small gymnasium and a baseball diamond. A little bit east of the Annette Centre is the Annette Street Public Library which offers programs for adults, children, and preschoolers.
Bloor West Village also has one movie theatre Ü the Humber Ü which is conveniently located on Bloor Street, just west of Jane Street.
TRANSPORTATION IN BLOOR WEST
The Jane and Runnymede subway stations, are part of the Bloor-Danforth subway line. They are both within walking distance of the homes in Bloor West Village. The Annette Street bus connects passengers to the Dupont subway station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. There are additional bus routes on Jane Street and Runnymede Road.
Motorists are approximately ten minutes from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard. Both these routes provide quick access into and out of the city.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE BLOOR WEST AREA
George Chater Park – 266 Durie St
Kennedy-Margdon Parkette – 40 Margdon Road
High Park – 1873 Bloor Street West
High Park encompasses 399 acres of public parkland. This city park includes a fishing pond, an outdoor theatre, an animal paddocks, picnic grounds, playgrounds, a restaurant, an historic museum, flower gardens, an adventure playground and a trackless train.
High Park’s sports facilities include tennis, baseball, soccer, lawn bowling, swimming, and skating, as well as walking, jogging and cycling paths found throughout the park.
Rennie Park – 1 Rennie Terrace
A 9.7 hectare park near Bloors Street West and the South Kingsway features four lighted tennis courts, shuffle board an artificial ice rink, a gazebo, two picnic areas, a wading pool, a children’s playground and a dog off leash area.
Ravina Gardens Park – 290 Clendenan Avenue
Lessard Park – 52 Lessard Avenue
King’s Mill Park – 105 Riverwood Parkway
Kings Mill Park, located South of Bloor and the Old Mill Inn, is one of a chain of parks along the Humber River leading to Lake Ontario. King’s Mill is the original name of the Old Mill at the north end of the Park. It’s an excellent park for hiking, biking and bird watching. You can also reward your dog after a good long hike with a chance to play with friends in the off-leash area. Whether you want to have a picnic, or just take a stroll along the banks of the Humber River, this park is a great spot to refresh and renew. Kings Mill Park is also a part of the Humber River, Old Mill and Marshes Discovery Walk.
LIBRARIES IN THE BLOOR WEST AREA
- Runnymede Library – 2178 Bloor Street West, (416) 393-7697
- Swansea Memorial Library – 95 Lavinia Avenue, (416) 393-7695
- High Park Library – 228 Roncesvalles Avenue, (416) 393-7671
- Annette Street Library – 145 Annette Street, (416) 393-7692
- Jane/Dundas Library – 620 Jane Street, (416) 394-1014
CHURCHES IN THE BLOOR WEST AREA
- All Saints Church (Anglican) Kingsway – 2850 Bloor Street West,
- Kingsway Lambton United Church – 85 The Kingsway, (416) 234-8224
- Humbercrest United Church – 16 Baby Rd PT
- St. Paul’s Runnymede Anglican Church – 404 Willard Avenue, stpaulsrunnymede.ca
- Runnymede Presbyterian Church – 680 Annette Street,
- St. James Catholic Church – 728 Annette Street, (416) 767-6451
- Our Lady of Sorrows Church – 3055 Bloor Street West, (416) 231-6016