HISTORY OF CARIBOU PARK
Caribou Park was formerly part of a farm owned by a pioneer named Thomas Snider who resided here from the 1830’s to the 1870’s. The Snider farm took in the entire present day neighbourhood and also included land west of Bathurst Street.
Remarkably, the Snider farm house is still standing on the western edge of this neighbourhood at 519 Glengrove Avenue. The Snider house is hidden from the street by two towering blue spruce trees that stand guard over this historic house.
Following Thomas Snider, the next name to appear on city maps of this area is that of John H. Watson, whose family resided here from the 1870’s up until the early 1900’s.
Another house which was built when this area was still farmland is number 43 Kimbark Boulevard. This cobblestone house was built in 1906 by a stone mason from Scotland, and is listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties.
The rest of the present day neighbourhood was laid out in two separate plans of subdivision registered in 1910 and 1912. However the actual building of houses in Caribou Park did not commence until the 1930’s.
CARIBOU PARK OVERVIEW
Caribou Park street names – including Otter, Caribou, and Kimbark (originally called Beaver Street) – are appropriate for a neighbourhood that features many mature trees, lush landscapes and a small ravine with a creek running through it. Discovering this neighbourhood for the first time one can’t help but feel that one has taken a surprise turn out of the city and into the country.
This neighbourhood is in big demand for its rustic charm, fine selection of houses, close proximity to private and public schools, and convenience to the upscale Avenue Road shopping district.
HOMES IN CARIBOU PARK
Caribou Park has two very distinct residential pockets. The Georgian, Tudor, and English Cottage style houses closer to Avenue Road and east of Caribou Park were built in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The houses along Otter Crescent that back onto the ravine and the Otter Creek are generally situated on premium lots that command the highest prices in the neighbourhood.
The split-level houses and ranch style bungalows located west of Caribou Park and closer to Bathurst Street were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Some of these houses have been replaced by modern custom built homes. Many of the homeowners in this area are members of Toronto’s Jewish orthodox community that is centred along Bathurst Street.
SCHOOLS IN CARIBOU PARK
(P) John Ross Robertson Jr., 130 Glencairn Avenue West, (416) 393-9400
(P) Glenview Senior Public School, 401 Rosewell Avenue, (416) 393-9350
(P) Ledbury Park Middle School, 95 Falkirk Avenue, (416) 395-2630
(PH) Lawrence Park C.I., 125 Chatsworth Drive, (416) 393-9500
(CA) St. Margaret, 85 Carmichael Avenue, (416) 393-5249
(PR) Havergal College, 1451
(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 CARIBOU PARK
Caribou Park residents enjoy the luxury of being able to walk to the popular shops and restaurants on Avenue Road, north of Lawrence Avenue. This shopping district is anchored by the Pusateri’s Food shop which attracts shoppers from all over the city. The mix of stores along Avenue Road includes children’s shops, home decorating and furniture stores, clothing stores, antique shops, two large video rental stores, and family style restaurants.
Caribou Park residents can also walk to the Bathurst and Lawrence shopping district which is anchored by the Lawrence Plaza at the north-west corner of Bathurst and Lawrence. This shopping plaza attracts shoppers from far and wide to its outstanding collection of discount and outlet stores. Bathurst Street itself contains many fine Jewish food shops and bakeries featuring some of the finest bagels in town.
RECREATION IN CARIBOU PARK
The Caribou neighbourhood park is conveniently located right in the centre of this neighbourhood off Caribou Drive. This park features a popular children’s playground.
Otter Creek Park is located just east of Avenue Road off Cheritan Avenue. This fitness oriented park includes four tennis courts that are retrofitted for use as an artificial ice rink in the wintertime. Otter Creek also provides access to the Chatsworth ravine which contains a nature trail.
The ultra-modern Barbara Frum Public Library at 20 Covington Road includes a children’s storyroom, French and multicultural collections, and an auditorium with a 150 person seating capacity. This library is combined with a 10,000 square foot recreation centre that contains multi-purpose rooms, a kitchen/craft room and meeting rooms.
TRANSPORTATION IN CARIBOU PARK
Caribou Park is a centrally located neighbourhood that is well served by public transit. The Lawrence and Avenue Road buses connect passengers to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Lawrence subway station is within walking distance for those seeking a bit of exercise.
Avenue Road provides motorists with a direct route downtown in approximately twenty minutes. A five minute drive north on Avenue Road will link commuters to Highway 401.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE CARIBOU PARK AREA
Caribou Park – 99 Caribou Road
A small park near Lawrence Avenue West and Avenue Road that features a children’s playground.
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.
Dell Park – 84 Dell Park Avenue
A small tree line park near Bathurst Street an Lawrence Avenue West featuring a children`s playgorund and an open green space.
Lytton Park – 200 Lytton Blvd
A 1.7-heactare park on Avenue Road south of Glencairn Avenue that features three lighted outdoor tennis courts with a club house, 2 lighted lawn bowling greens with a clubhouse and a children’s playground. The park is home to the North Toronto Tennis Club and the North Toronto Lawn Bowling & Croquet Club.
The park has two baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a splash pool, and a kids playground. Outdoor tennis courts are turned into skating rinks in the winter. Also located in the park is the North Toronto Community Memorial Centre with an indoor pool, outdoor pool, water slides, gymnasium, walking track, and exercise rooms. There is also an indoor skating rink. It als has a cricket ground that has hosted ICC trophy games
LIBRARIES IN THE CARIBOU PARK AREA
- Barbara Frum Library – 20 Covington Road, (416) 395-5440
- Toronto Public Library – 3083 Yonge Street, (416) 393-7730
- Forest Hill Library – 700 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-7706