Cedarvale by Agatha Barc
Centred on one of the most iconic parks in the city, the Cedarvale neighbourhood provides access to a breathtaking park in the Cedarvale Ravine, wonderful outdoor areas, and residents driving a strong sense of communities.
The older homes in the area bring with them a rich history matched by the area. With direct access to the TTC subway system, the neighbourhood provides a great mix of outdoor activity and direct access to the downtown core.
Cedarvale is in Midtown Toronto. It was part of the City of York prior to amalgamation. The neighbourhood almost tapers to a point, bordered on the north by Eglinton Avenue, and by Bathurst Street to the east, St. Clair Avenue West to the south, and by Oakwood Avenue and Vaughan Road, respectively, to the west and south.
Cedarvale is the northern half of the combined neighbourhood of Humewood-Cedarvale, with Humewood south of Vaughan Road down to St. Clair Avenue West.
Artscape Wychwood Barns by Paul Henman
The area’s beginnings date back to the early 1900s, when Sir Henry Pellatt, the builder of Casa Loma, registered the plan for a subdivision under the name “Cedar Vale”; “cedar” named for the cedar trees in the area and “vale” for the large ravine in the middle of the neighbourhood. Eventually, it became one word instead of the two-word “Cedar Vale.” Sadly, financial crisis–stricken Pellatt following WWI, caused mostly by the huge debts accrued in the Casa Loma construction. The progress on the castle ceased.
The neighbourhood would not be a gated community as originally planned, but it was open to the Toronto public to develop. This has produced the community that Cedarvale is today. If you look at the intersection of Claxton Boulevard and Bathurst Street, you can see the original iron gate and the incomplete walls that would have contained the community, originally built in the 1910s.
Not unlike the Annex, the neighbourhood was threatened in 1966 with the proposal that the Cedarvale Ravine was to house part of the Spadina Expressway. Some initial tree removal took place in order to accommodate the expressway, but like what happened among the residents of the Annex, strong public opinion and organization against the expressway stopped its development.
The Hemingway by Suzanne Long
- Early in the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway lived at 1599 Bathurst Street while he worked at the Toronto Star, where he befriended fellow (then) journalists Morley Callaghan and Gordon Sinclair. As a result, 1599 Bathurst Street is now named “The Hemingway.”
- The Glen Cedar Bridge (found near Glen Cedar Road) is a replica of the original bridge Ser Henry Pellatt, built in hopes of developing the area in 1912. This new bridge was erected in 1989 from the original drawings. It was the creation of this bridge that finally put to rest any further discussion for the Spadina Expressway that still carried on at the time.
- The ravine was once part of the Belt Line Railway path, which was a commuter railway that ran in the 1880s.
Cedarvale Ravine by Agatha Barc
The Good News
Cedarvale residents are very active in their community’s ecology and are environmentally friendly. The Families in Nature program focuses on a grassy wetland habitat found in the centre of Cedarvale Park. The program has been assisted by over 300 volunteers in the community. These volunteers have helped with the upkeep of the area, planting trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.
This work has also promoted great educational opportunities for young and old, with many signs indicating various plants, birds, and animals. The wetland also helps to mitigate drought and flooding.
The Bad News
Because of the beautiful views in the Cedarvale Ravine and park, much of the surrounding real estate can be very expensive with price tags in the multi-millions.
This is contrasted by the Humewood neighbourhood to the south, where Humewood Park is now used for social housing.
Cedarvale by Agatha Barc
Homes, Architecture & Real Estate
The typical Cedarvale home is a two-storey detached solid brick home, built in the late 1930s to the early 1950s. For example, a 1,700 square foot centre-hall three-bedroom home goes for no less than $850,000. Side-hall homes of the same size cost $600,000 and upward.
Before buying, ensure that wiring and plumbing are up-to-date as knob-and-tube wiring may still exist in the older homes. Many homes have add-ons, such as additions to the main floor kitchen and family room updates.
Homes are also more expensive closer to the ravine ($1,000,000-plus) and less expensive closer to Eglinton Avenue ($700,000 and up). Many ravine-fronted homes are above the $4,000,000 value, where other smaller bungalows can run from $400,000 to $600,000, depending on their condition.
Who Is Your Neighbour?
Cedarvale has a well-established Jewish community (approximately 66% of the community population, the highest proportion in Toronto) that supports both the Holy Blossom Temple and the Tzedec Synagogue. Many of this community are original homeowners who wish to remain close to their doctors, dentists, and places of worship.
That said, the community is shifting somewhat as older properties are coming available. Now you can find young professionals who grew up in the neighbourhood returning to the community, or in some cases taking over the homes of their parents or grandparents.
Cedarvale park sign by Soupysales
Parks & Green Spaces
The obvious centrepiece for the neighbourhood is Cedarvale Park. This large expanse of green space runs diagonally through the neighbourhood, following the Vaughan Road border to the south. Cedarvale Park houses fantastic facilities such as baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, and the Phil White Arena, one of the best-equipped skating rinks in the city. Parents of young children can also take advantage of the Markdale Preschool. Dog owners can let their pets enjoy the newly created off-leash area for dogs.
You can also enjoy the following parks and green spaces in the neighbourhood:
- Glen Cedar Park: Centrally located just north of Cedarvale Park, featuring a children’s playground
- Arlington Parkette: Small parkette area west of Cedarvale Park across Arlington Avenue, featuring a children’s playground
- Connaught Circle Parkette: Small green space found in the centre of the Connaught Circle roundabout, a great parkette to car-watch in
- Ben Nobleman Parkette: Found in the north of the neighbourhood, one of the city’s first community orchards
- Laughlin Park: Small park with a playground for children
Welcome to Cedarvale Ravine Park by Paul Henman
Recreation & Culture
Using Cedarvale Park as a focal point, the Cedarvale neighbourhood holds several festivals throughout the year. The annual Strawberries and Asparagus Festival celebrates organic fruits and vegetables with food and live music.
There are also several community initiatives that have sprouted up in the neighbourhood. The Toronto Community Garden Network organizes workshops and their most popular event, the Community Garden Potluck Picnic, bringing residents together to enjoy tasty food creations.
The Inorganic Market is a community project that brings awareness about how to manage electronic waste.
There are nearby places of worship in the area:
- Holy Blossom Temple, 1950 Bathurst Street, (416) 789-3291
- Beth Tzedec Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst Street, (416) 781-3511
- Beth Sholom Congregation, 1445 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 783-6103
- Bethel Worship Centre, 611 Vaughan Road, (416) 654-7181
- New Dawn Moravian Church, 5-7 Glenora Avenue, (416) 656-0473
- First Hungarian Presbyterian Church, 439 Vaughan Road, (416) 656-1342
- Church of Jesus Christ the Apostle’s Foundation, 273 Vaughan Road, (416) 652-6209
National Championships at Cedarvale Park by Rob MacEwen
Though there’s no public library within the confines of the neighbourhood, there are two libraries in neighbouring areas: the Maria A. Shchuka Library —1745 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 394-1000) — and the Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre — 341 Oakwood Ave, (416) 394-1040.
Schools, Colleges & Universities
Many schools dot the neighbourhood to support the many families in the area:
- Vaughan Road Academy, 529 Vaughan Road, (416) 394-3222
- The Leo Baeck Day School, 501 Arlington Avenue, (416) 787-9899
- J R Wilcox Community School, 231 Ava Road, (416) 394-2388
- Cedarvale Community School, 145 Ava Road, (416) 394-2244
Arts & Entertainment
Getting away from the parks, there are several art galleries and arts venues in the neighbourhood.
- Reuben & Helene Dennis Museum, 1700 Bathurst Street, (416) 781-3514
- Making Music Together, 1445 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 833-1231
- Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre Inc, 41 Warwick Avenue, (416) 781-5527
- Front & Centre Dance Academy, 875 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 916-3687
- Making Music Together, 1445 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 833-1231
- Renee Klein Art Studio, 181 Dewbourne Avenue, (416) 781-0835
Though this is chiefly a residential area, there are a few stores along Eglinton Avenue West and Bathurst Street. People looking for more shopping hot spots can travel a short walk east on Eglinton Avenue to the “Yonge & Eg” shopping area.
Most of the neighbourhood eateries can be found along Vaughan Road and Eglinton Avenue West.
- Hot Pot Restaurant, 1545 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 785-0400
- Pazza Pazza, 1007 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 785-8784
- Jerusalem Restaurant, 955 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 783-3931
- Tokyo Sushi, 971 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 783-6342
- Paradise Place, 571 Vaughan Road, (416) 792-6727
- Greens Restaurant Bar, 509 Oakwood Avenue, (416) 656-5672
- One Stop Restaurant, 603 Oakwood Avenue, (416) 789-3107
- Randy’s Take-Out, 1569 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 781-5313
- Mainsha, 1561 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 780-0752
- RAP’S, 1541 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 784-0008
- Frida Restaurant and Bar, 999 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 787-2221
Frida Restaurant via Facebook
Subway access is available in the northwest area of the neighbourhood at Eglinton West Station, which provides north and south access on the 2 line (south to Union Station, north to Downsview). The 32 bus lines provide access west and east along Eglinton Avenue West. The 90A bus line runs along Vaughan Road to the south, with the 7 bus running north and south along Bathurst Street.
Drivers can access the 401 via the Allen Road Expressway to the west of the neighbourhood. There’s also access to the Don Valley Parkway available by heading east on Eglinton Avenue West. Driving due south on Bathurst Street is the easiest way to get to the downtown core.
Connaught Gates by Agatha Barc
Medical Centres & Doctors
The hospital servicing the neighbourhood is the Humber River Regional Hospital at 2175 Keele Street, (416) 651-6111.
Other medical centres include:
- Upper Village Walk-In Medical Centre, 901 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 781-8100
- Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre, 1007 Eglinton Avenue W, (416) 570-5050
Doctors of note include:
- Dr. G Goodwin, 315 Ava Road, (416) 921-1094
- Dr. B Simon, 989 Eglinton Street W, (416) 921-6500
- Dr. J O’Hanlon, 93 Dewbourne Avenue, (416) 789-2806
- Dr B Fidler, 1709 Bathurst Street, (416) 481-2046
- Dr. Karen Halpern, 220 Ava Road, (416) 787-2882
- Dr. Edwards, 567 Rushton Road, (416) 651-6009
13 Division, 1435 Eglinton Avenue W, 416-808-1300
Toronto Fire Station 341, 555 Oakwood Avenue