HISTORY OF LAWRENCE PARK
The Lawrence Park subdivision was assembled in 1907 by the Dovercourt Land Building and Saving Company. The Dovercourt Land Company acquired the north parcel of Lawrence Park from John Lawrence, after whom this neighbourhood is named. Wilfred Servington Dinnick was the president of the Dovercourt Land Company. It was under Dinnick’s direction that Lawrence Park was developed as a suburb for the ‘well to do’. The first advertisement for Lawrence Park trumpeted it as an ‘aristocratic neighbourhood’, ‘four hundred feet above Lake Ontario’, and ‘Far from the Lake Winds in Winter’. Despite all its fanfare, Lawrence Park’s development was sporadic. The building of houses was interrupted by two world wars, a recession, and a depression. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that this neighbourhood was completely developed.
Lawrence Park is one of Toronto’s most exclusive residential neighbourhoods. It is located in a very peaceful and tranquil setting that includes gently rolling hills, winding roads and a lush topography. Lawrence Park’s shops, schools, and recreational facilities are located on its periphery, which keeps traffic on the residential streets to a minimum.
HOMES IN LAWRENCE PARK
Lawrence Park’s whimsical houses include a variety of architectural styles including English Cottage, Tudor Revival and Georgian and Colonial style designs. Lawrence Park houses were built between 1910 and the late 1940’s. Lawrence Park is a good place to find a house that blends the old with the new. Renovations in this neighbourhood have been sensitive to preserve the old world charm of these houses including leaded glass windows, wood trims around the door and window frames, decorative fireplace mantels and rich hardwood floors.
SCHOOLS IN THE LAWRENCE PARK AREA
(P) Blythwood Jr., 2 Strathgowan Crescent, (416) 393-9105
(P) Sunny View Jr. & Sr., 450 Blythwood Rd, (416) 393-9275
(PH) Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, 125 Chatsworth Dr, (416) 393-9500
(PH) North Toronto Collegiate Institute, 70 Roehampton Ave, (416) 393-9180
(PH) Northern Secondary, 851 Mt. Pleasant Rd, (416) 393-0270
(PR) St. Clements School, 21 St. Clements Ave, (416) 483-4835
(PR) Havergal College, 1451 Avenue Rd, (416) 483-3519
(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 LAWRENCE PARK
Most of this neighbourhood’s recreational facilities centre around Lawrence Park, east of Yonge Street, and south of Lawrence. This park has three clay surface tennis courts, a lawn bowling club, and the Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens, an award winning multi level strolling garden. This park also provides access to the Lawrence Park Ravine footpath, that is popular with fitness and nature enthusiasts. The George Locke Public Library at the north west corner of Lawrence Park offers a variety of programs for adults, children, and preschoolers.
TRANSPORTATION IN LAWRENCE PARK
Most Lawrence Park residents are within walking distance of bus routes that run along Yonge Street, Mount Pleasant Road, Bayview Avenue, and Lawrence Avenue. The Lawrence subway station, located at the intersection of Yonge and Lawrence, is part of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Yonge Street on-ramp to Highway 401 is a five to ten minute drive from Lawrence Park.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE LAWRENCE PARK AREA
Sunnybrook Park – 1132 Leslie St.
Sunnybrook Farm was the 154-hectare country estate of Joseph Kilgour in the late 1800s. It is located north of Leaside and south of the Bridle Path areas of the city. After Kilgour’s passing, his wife Alice donated Sunnybrook Farms to the city in 1928 to be used as a park. The Kilgour barns were preserved and currently serve as a public riding school. The Metropolitan Police stabled here up until their move down to the stables at Exhibition Place in 2005. The park is home to many bike trails, dog parks, and Sunnybrook Stables with the fields now used for sports and recreation.
Toronto is home to a number of forested ravines found throughout the City. These ravines provide a beautiful escape from our urban environment and provide homes for local wildlife. Blythwood Ravine Park is bordered by Alexander Muir Gardens to the west and Sherwood Park on the east. The Park is a beautiful stretch of forested trail that is part of the Northern Ravines and Gardens Discovery Walk. Follow the trail from the beautiful Alexander Muir Gardens, along the creek and under Mount Pleasant Rd. to Sherwood Park. There you will find a Wading Pool, playground, Dog Off-Leash Area and baseball diamond. It’s a beautiful shaded walk on a hot and sunny day in the City.
Wanless Park – 250 Wanless Avenue
Located in the Yonge and Lawrence neighbourhood, Wanless Park wading pool can be described as a community meeting spot. In addition to the Wading Pool, Wanless Park has several a baseball/softball diamond, a large play structure, and bathroom facilities. If travelling by car, you may find parking spots on the adjacent streets surrounding Wanless Park.
Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens – 2901 Yonge Street
These formal gardens are named after the famed composer Alexander Muir, the man who wrote the patriotic song ‘The Maple Leaf Forever’ in 1867. The maple leaf appears throughout the gardens in various decorative and natural forms. The multi-level Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens act as a gateway into the peaceful ravine system that features walking trails which are open year-round. Stroll among the herbs and flowers that bloom in Alexander Muir’s magnificent setting, located along the Northern Ravines and Gardens Discovery Walk Route. Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens are a beautiful spot to spend a quite summer afternoon. The gardens are also the western gateway to a long trail that eventually leads to Sunnybrook Park. Walking trails open all year.
Sherwood Park – 190 Sherwood Avenue
Located in the valley of Sherwood Park, this picturesque wooded environment has two wading pools, great walking or running trails, public bathrooms, picnic tables, and a large playground. Our wading pools are spacious and have several spray features for all to enjoy. Free parking is available at the front of the park and the wading pools are located downhill from the park entrance.
LIBRARIES IN THE LAWRENCE PARK AREA
- Toronto Public Library – 3083 Yonge Street, (416) 393-7730
- Mount Pleasant Branch Library – 599 Mount Pleasant Road, (416) 393-7737
- Don Mills Library – 888 Lawrence Avenue East, (416) 395-5710
- Forest Hill Library – 700 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-7706
- Barbara Frum Library – 20 Covington Road, (416) 395-5440
CHURCHES IN THE LAWRENCE PARK AREA
- Lawrence Park Community Church – 2180 Bayview, (416) 489-1551
- St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church – 1847 Bayview Avenue, (416) 485-2656
- Christian Reformed Churches – 67 Taunton Road, (416) 481-4912
- Blythwood Road Baptist Church – 80 Blythwood Road, (416) 487-4571
- Glenview Presbyterian Church – 1 Glenview Avenue, (416) 488-1156
- Blessed Sacrament Church – 24 Cheritan Avenue
- St. Leonard’s Church – 25 Wanless Avenue, (416) 485-7278
- Fairlawn Avenue United Church – 28 Fairlawn Avenue, (416) 481-6848
- Eglinton St. George’s United Church – 35 Lytton Boulevard, (416) 481-1141