Yorkville

HISTORY OF YORKVILLE

Village-of-Yorkville-Park-at-NightFounded in 1830, the Village of Yorkville began as a residential suburb. The village grew enough to be connected by an omnibus service in 1849 to Toronto. By 1853, the population of the village had reached 1,000, the figure needed to incorporate as a village and theVillage of Yorkville was incorporated. In the 1960s, Yorkville flourished as Toronto’s bohemian cultural centre. It was the breeding ground for some of Canada’s most noted musical talents, including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as then-underground literary figures such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Dennis Lee. Yorkville was also known as the Canadian capital of the hippie movement.

OVERVIEW

Yorkville is a former village, annexed by the City of Toronto, which is well known for its shopping. It is roughly bounded by Bloor Street to the south, Davenport Road to the north, Yonge Street to the east and Avenue Road to the west, and is considered part of the ‘The Annex’ neighbourhood officially. It is one of Canada’s most exclusive shopping districts. In 2006, it was the 22nd most expensive street in the world, with rents of $208 per square foot.

Yorkville had rents of $300 per square foot in 2008, making it the third most expensive retail space in North America. In 2008, Bloor St. was named the seventh most expensive shopping street in the world by Fortune Magazine, claiming tenants can pull in $1,500 to $4,500 per square foot in sales.

HOMES IN  YORKVILLE

Yorkville’s gentrified Victorian houses were built mainly between 1870 and 1895. These historical homes exhibit many decorative features including ornamental brick patterns, gingerbread gables, cast iron fences, and richly landscaped gardens. Many of Yorkville’s houses are listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties.

SCHOOLS IN YORKVILLE

(P) Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School, 61 Davenport Road, (416) 393-1530
(P) Cottingham Junior Public School, 85 Birch Avenue, (416) 393-1895
(P) Jarvis Collegiate Institute, 495 Jarvis Street, (416) 393-0140
(CA) Msgr. Fraser College – Apple Secondary, 38 Hazelton Ave., 416-393-5872
(CA) Msgr. Fraser – Toronto Secondary, 146 Isabella St., 416-393-5533
(PR) Branksome Hall, 10 Elm Avenue, (416) 920-6265
(PR) McDonald International Academy – Downtown Campus, 920 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, 416) 322-1502
(PR) Blyth Academy, 146 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 960-3552
(PR) The Dragon Academy, 35 Prince Arthur Avenue, (416)323-3243
(PR) The Rosedale Day School, 131 Bloor Street West, Ste #426, (416) 923-4726
(PR) Toronto New School, 519 Jarvis Street, (416) 960-1867
(C) GEORGE BROWN – The Yorkville School of Makeup and Esthetics, 70 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 415-2000)

LEGEND:

(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 YORKVILLE

Bloor-Yorkville is generally acclaimed as Canada’s pre-eminent shopping district. Its many specialty stores, fashion boutiques, jewellery stores, antique shops, and art galleries are a destination point for tourists, as well as Torontonians from all over the city.

Yorkville’s shops and restaurants are located in pretty Victorian houses on Yorkville Avenue, Hazelton Avenue, Cumberland Street and Scollard Street. The Hazelton Lanes shopping centre located at 55 Avenue Road features over 100 exclusive shops and restaurants.

RECREATION IN YORKVILLE

The Village of Yorkville Park located at 115 Cumberland Street has won numerous design awards for its thematic landscape based on elements of Yorkville history as well as the Canadian landscape. The rock in the centre of the park is from the Canadian Shield. It weighs 650 tonnes, and is 1 billion years old.

Ramsden Park is located at the north end of Yorkville, off Yonge Street. This large city park includes four tennis courts, an artificial ice rink, a children’s playground, and a wading pool.

The Yorkville Public Library, at 22 Yorkville Avenue, is an intimate library geared towards the local community. It includes programs for both children and adults. The Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge Street is Canada’s largest and most extensive reference library.

The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the McLaughlin Planetarium are all within walking distance of this neighbourhood. The Manulife Centre situated at the south-east corner of Bay and Bloor features 12 state-of-the-art movie theatres.

PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE YORKVILLE AREA

Ramsden Park – 1020 Yonge St

Ramsden Park has a large dog’s off-leash open area, baseball diamond, two playgrounds and wading pool. There is also a large outdoor rink, which doubles as a tennis court in the summer.

Lester B. Pearson Garden for Peace and International Understanding

Lester B. Pearson is recognized for his international and national presence and roles, as well as at Victoria University where he studied and later on, became Chancellor. This garden was conceived to commemorate his life and the peace towards which he worked. The goal was to develop a green oasis where students and the general public could fi nd a quiet solace to read, contemplate, or be inspired. The small courtyard site located at the centre of the Victoria College campus is framed by historical Victorian dormitory buildings on one side, a more modernist library on the other, and a tall retaining wall at its healm.

The design concept aimed to provide an informal garden setting with the existing majestic Copper Beech as the centrepiece, and water on its edge. PMA worked with Victoria College to develop the detail design of the courtyard: a free-form garden featuring a quilt of perennial plantings, a shallow waterbasin and waterfall. Smooth straight concrete slabs and a stone-paved walkway penetrate the lush groundcover planting, providing opportunities for visitors to enter the garden, without disturbing the planting. All hardscape elements were detailed to rest on the surface of the site, to minimize further stress on the Beechs’ root system. PMA designed a custom bronze railing that would also provide a leaning balustrade on the upper promontory, which is the also to the donor’s plaque. It would be easily readable but unobtrusive of the view to the lower terrace.

Queen’s Park 

Queen’s Park is an urban park in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1860 by Edward, Prince of Wales, it was named in honour of Queen Victoria. The park is the site of the Ontario Legislative Building, which houses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and the phrase Queen’s Park is regularly used as a metonym for the Government of Ontario.

The park is nearly an enclave of the University of Toronto, which occupies most of the surrounding lands. The park itself is technically owned by the University of Toronto, but the property was leased to the Government of Ontario in 1859 for a period of 999 years, set to expire in 2858. Ministry buildings of the Ontario government occupy other properties to the east of the park, in an area between Wellesley Street and Grosvenor Street. While not directly adjacent to the park, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum are both located nearby.

LIBRARIES IN THE YORKVILLE AREA

CHURCHES IN THE YORKVILLE AREA

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