HISTORY OF CEDARVALE
Cedarvale’s residential development began in 1912 when Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, the builder of Toronto’s famous Casa Loma registered a plan of subdivision for the south end of this neighbourhood under the name “Cedar Vale”. Vale denoted the ravine that runs through the centre of this neighbourhood and the Cedar part of the name makes reference to the many cedars that grew in the wet lowlands of the ravine.
The Cedarvale Ravine which has long been the foundation of this neighbourhood was threatened in 1966, when the proposed Spadina Expressway was slated to run straight through the ravine on its way downtown. Some Cedarvale houses were expropriated and the floor of the ravine was clearcut to make room for the expressway.
Fortunately strong opposition to the expressway was voiced throughout the city and in 1974 the decision was made to stop the Spadina Expressway (officially called the W.R. Allen Road) at Eglinton Avenue, thus preserving the centrerpiece of this popular Toronto neighbourhood.
The defining feature of this neighbourhood is the Cedarvale Ravine, which cuts a wide diagonal swath through the middle of Cedarvale. This ravine provides numerous recreational opportunities.
Cedarvale has an established Jewish community that has grown up around the Holy Blossom Temple and Beth Tzedec Synagogue, which are both situated on Bathurst Street.
HOMES IN CEDARVALE
Cedarvale’s Tudor and Georgian style houses were built mostly between 1920 and 1950. The bigger and more expensive Cedarvale homes are on premium lots overlooking the ravine.
Cedarvale’s interior streets contain a mix of good size family homes and sturdy little starter homes. There are also a number of multi-plex houses and walk-up apartment buildings located on the periphery of this neighbourhood.
SCHOOLS IN CEDARVALE
(P) Arlington Middle, 501 Arlington Avenue, (416) 394-2200
(P) Cedarvale Community, 145 Ava Road, (416) 394-2244
(P) J.R. Wilcox Community, 231 Ava Road, (416) 394-2388
(PH) Vaughan Road C.I. 529 Vaughan Road, (416) 394-3222
(PH) Forest Hill C.I., 730 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-1860
(CA) St. Alphonsus, 60 Atlas Avenue, (416) 393-5326
(PJ) Leo Baeck Day School, 1950 Bathurst Street, (905) 709-3636
(PJ) United Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst Street, (416) 781-5658
(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 CEDARVALE
Eglinton Avenue West is one of Toronto’s most glamorous and ritzy shopping districts. Included in the mix are high end fashion stores, gift and home improvement stores, specialty food shops, professional services and an excellent variety of restaurants.
The shopping district further west along Eglinton Avenue and on Vaughan Road between Oakwood Avenue and Dufferin Street features the largest concentration of Caribbean shops, restaurants, and services in Toronto.
RECREATION IN CEDARVALE
The Cedarvale Ravine can be accessed through Cedarvale Park at Ava and Everden Roads. This ravine is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, joggers, bird watchers and in the wintertime cross country skiers. Cedarvale Ravine is part of the historic Belt Line Railway path – an old commuter railway right of way – that dates back to the 1880’s.
Cedarvale Park located at the north end of the ravine provides local residents with a multi-use recreational space that includes tennis courts, playing fields and the Phil White indoor ice arena.
TRANSPORTATION IN CEDARVALE
Bus service on Bathurst Street, and Vaughan Road connects passengers to the Bathurst station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Eglinton Avenue Road West bus connects passengers to the Eglinton station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
Motorists are just minutes from the Allen Road Expressway at Eglinton Avenue. This expressway feeds into Highway 401 and its network of commuter highways. Bathurst Street is a main arterial road that provides quick and convenient access into the core.
PARKS AND RECREATION IN THE CEDARVALE AREA
Cedarvale Park – 443 Arlington Avenue
Cedarvale Park (originally known as Cedar Vale) is a park located in Toronto,Ontario, Canada. It is bordered by very steep hills, and is located in the Cedarvale neighbourhood of Toronto. The Spadina subway line tunnels underneath it, between St. Clair West and Eglinton West stations. The north end of the park contains the Phil White (Cedarvale) Arena and The Leo Baeck Day School, formerly Arlington Middle School. It is commonly used for dog walkers and students returning from the nearby school and the large open fields are heavily used by the community for everything from cricket games to flying kites.
South of the fields, the park angles southeast, and becomes more of a deep, naturalized ravine with steep sides, with a heavily-used footpath down the middle. Cedarvale ravine contains very sizable wetlands east of Bathurst Street in Forest Hill; the remainder of the natural portion is young regrowth forest (the ravine was largely clearcut during the construction of the Spadina Subway in the 1970s). The path is heavily used and remains passable even in winter, with foot traffic packing snow down despite the lack of plowing, especially after drainage works in 2006 fixed water pooling and subsequent ice buildup.
The park benefits from its proximity to the Beltline trail in the north and the Nordheimer Ravine to the south; these join together to form a large trail system through midtown Toronto.
Glen Cedar Park – 50 Glen Cedar Rd
A small park near Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue West that features a children’s playground.
A small park with a mature tree canopy near St.Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street that features a childrens playground.
Wychwood Barns Park – 76 Wychwood Avenue
This location is the park area that surrounds the former Toronto Transit Commission Barns on three sides. Park features include a children’s play area, an open sports field with a natural ice rink in winter, a fenced in off-leash dog area, a beach volley ball court and picnic tables. In addition, approximately 150 trees, 1,500 shrubs and 900 perennials and grasses have been planted. There are circulation paths in the park aligned with the surrounding streets, such as Helena between Wychwood and Christie on the east-west axis and Slade on the north-south axis, as well as meandering paths, some of which follow the former streetcar tracks. The layout is intended to complement and create as few barriers as possible, both physical and conceptual, between the park and the buildings and between indoor and outdoor environments.
Fairbank Memorial Park – 2213 Dufferin Street
Located in the Dufferin & Eglinton Ave. West area, Fairbank M.C.C. is a multi-level facility that offers a wide variety of programs ranging from arts, dance, music, fitness and sports. The Centre is also home to the York-Fairbank Centre for Seniors which provides recreation and social programs geared to area older adults (membership required separate from the City). Fairbank takes great pride in being able to serve the community by offering programs that cater to participants of all ages from preschool, children, youth, adults and older adults.
LIBRARIES IN THE CEDARVALE AREA
- Toronto Public Library – 341 Oakwood Avenue
- Maria A. Shchuka Library – 1745 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 394-1000
- Forest Hill Library – 700 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-7706
- Dufferin/St. Clair Library -1625 Dufferin Street, (416) 393-7712
- Davenport Library – 1246 Shaw Street, (416) 393-7732