HISTORY OF WANLESS PARK
In 1912, Toronto Suburbs Ltd., guided by George Kappele and D.F. Crowagen registered a plan of subdivision for the old Waverley farm at Mount Pleasant Road and Lawrence Avenue. The developers named this new subdivision Waverley Park.
Like other Toronto neighbourhoods from this era, the actual building of homes in Waverley Park was stalled initially by the First World War and then by the depression.
In 1931 the City of Toronto expropriated the properties in the centre of Waverley Park for the creation of a public park. The Park was named Wanless Park, and eventually the entire neighbourhood adopted this name.
Wanless Park, Wanless Road, Wanless Avenue, and Wanless Crescent are all named after John Wanless, a former Toronto alderman and educator.
Wanless Park is a very popular neighbourhood among families with young children. The main attraction is Wanless Park, an island of green space right in the centre of the neighbourhood.
Wanless Park residents enjoy the convenience of being able to walk to all the local amenities including the Bedford Park Public School and Community Centre, the George Locke Public Library, Yonge Street shopping and the Lawrence subway station.
HOMES IN WANLESS PARK
Wanless Park’s solid brick detached houses were built mostly in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Most of the houses are two storey, however there is a sprinkling of bungalows in this neighbourhood as well.
Overall the property sizes in Wanless Park are excellent with most homes having at least a thirty foot frontage and either amutual or private driveway. The majority of Wanless Park houses either face the park or back onto the Riverview Drive ravine.
SCHOOLS IN THE WANLESS PARK AREA
(P) Bedford Park Jr., 81 Ranleigh Avenue, (416) 393-9424
(P) Glenview Sr., 401 Rosewell Avenue, (416) 393-9390
(PH) Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute, 125 Chatsworth Drive, (416) 393-2500
(PH) North Toronto Collegiate Institute, 70 Roehampton Avenue, (416) 393-9180
(PH) Northern Secondary School, 851 Mt. Pleasant Road, (416) 393-0270
(PR) Toronto French School, 296 Lawrence Avenue E., (416) 484-6533
(CA) Blessed Sacrament, 24 Bedford Park Avenue, (416) 393-5226
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (PH) Public High School (PH) Public High School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
RECREATION IN WANLESS PARK
Wanless Park is the social and recreational hub of this neighbourhood. Its facilities include five floodlit tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a basketball court, a wading pool, and a children’s playground.
Indoor recreational facilities are available at the Bedford Park Community Centre, located on Ranleigh Avenue, inside the Bedford Park Public School. This recreation centre has a gymnasium and an indoor pool.
The George Locke Public Library at Yonge and Lawrence has a variety of programs for preschoolers, children, and adults.
TRANSPORTATION IN WANLESS PARK
The Lawrence subway station on Yonge Street is within walking distance of this neighbourhood. This station is part of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Bus routes on Mount Pleasant Road and on Lawrence Avenue also make connections to the Yonge subway line.
It is approximately twenty minutes by car to downtown Toronto. The Yonge Street on-ramp to Highway 401 is approximately five minutes from Wanless Park.
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE WANLESS PARK AREA
Wanless Park – 250 Wanless Ave
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.
Cheltenham Park – 43 Mildenhall Road
A small park near Lawrence Avenue East and Bayview Avenue features a ball diamond and amulti-purpose sports field.
Lawrence Park – 3055 Yonge Street
A 4.6-hectare park at Lawrence Avenue and Yonge Street that features a children’s playground, three lighted outdoor tennis courts and two lawn bowling greens. The park is home to the Lawrence Park Tennis Club and the Lawrence Park Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club and is adjecnt to the Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens.
Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens – 2901 Yonge St.
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.
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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.
Sherwood Park – 190 Sherwood Avenue
Sherwood Park is a narrow stretch of largely wilderness park stretching west from Bayview Avenue to Blythwood Road. In part of the park, dogs are allowed to run off leash.
LIBRARIES IN THE WANLESS PARK AREA
- Toronto Public Library – 3083 Yonge Street
- 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 WANLESS PARK AREA
- Lawrence Park Community Church – 2180 Bayview, 416-489-1551
- St. Leonard’s Church – 25 Wanless Avenue, 416-485-7278
- Blessed Sacrament Church – 24 Cheritan Avenue
- Glenview Presbyterian – 1 Glenview Ave, 416-488-1156
- Blythwood Road Baptist Church – 80 Blythwood Road, 416-487-4571
- Eglinton St. George’s United Church – 35 Lytton Boulevard, 416-481-1141
- St. Timothy’s Anglican Church – 40 Ridley Boulevard
- Dewi Sant Welsh United Church – 33 Melrose Ave, 416-485-7583
- Christian Reformed Churches – 67 Taunton Road, 416-481-4912
- Fairlawn Avenue United Church – 28 Fairlawn Avenue, 416-481-6848