Davisville is a major commercial community in midtown Toronto and an attractive area to live in for many Torontonians. Although it is densely populated, it is also known for being very “green”. The neighbourhood is serviced by its own subway station along the Yonge subway line.
The Man Behind the Neighborhood
In 1840, John Davis, an immigrant from Staffordshire, England, was Davisville’s first postmaster. But this is not why the Village is named after him. John Davis took an active public role in the community, becoming its largest employer. He helped found the Davisville Public School and operated the Davis Pottery, originally located on Davisville Avenue.
Neither the Pottery nor the wood and paper mills that used to be mainstays of the area currently exist. However, the two-storey building that was the site of the former Davisville Post Office, once operated by John Davis and later by his grandson, is still standing on the north-east corner of Yonge & Davisville.
The south part of Davisville was subdivided in the 1860s on land owned mostly by the Davis family; at this time, the north part of the Village belonged to the Church. This latter tract of land, known as the Davisville Glebe, remained undeveloped until 1911, when it was sold to the Dovercourt Land and Building Company, the same company that oversaw the development of the Lawrence Park neighbourhood.
The city of Toronto officially divides the Davisville Village into two neighbourhoods:
Mount Pleasant West is the area west of Mount Pleasant Road, north of Merton, east of Yonge Street and south of Keewatin Ave.
Mount Pleasant East is bordered to the east by Bayview Ave, Moore Ave to the south, Yonge Street to the West and Blythwood to the north.
No matter the typical division, Davisville Village is known as a community of friends and families who are always willing to help one another. Davisville is not just a series of streets and houses that intersect; one of the greatest attributes to this community is that residents actually get to know one another. In the winter time, you see people outside catching up with one another, while in the summer, backyard barbeques or front yard gatherings are quite common.
Why is Davisville one of the most popular residential neighbourhoods? Davisville homes provide ready-access recreational facilities and greenspace, superb shopping districts, and an active nightlife of pubs, restaurants and movie theatres. Besides, while prices are not cheap, they remain reasonable for this prime location. The average sale price for a Davisville property varies greatly, because housing stock in Davisville includes everything from 1-bedroom apartments to legal duplexes. The average sold price for a detached home is in the range of $955,000; for a semi-detached, $652,000.
In Davisville, you’ll find everything from detached and semi-detached houses to walk-up apartment buildings and towering high-rises circa 1970. The majority of Davisville houses were built in the 1920s and 1930s, but newer condominium apartments and custom built homes also abound. While many of the single family homes have been renovated, it’s still common to find the original hardwood and baseboards, and beautiful leaded glass windows, verandas and porches. The Edwardians old-fashioned porches are popular in the summer months—great for relaxing, supervising kids, and people-watching!
The houses on Mount Pleasant Road West are mostly large two and three-storey English Cottage, Tudor and Edwardian-style homes, with a number of duplexes and walk-up apartment buildings also found in this area. For buyers seeking to live within the Yonge corridor, Davisville homes are an attractively-priced entry point. The vast majority of people in this neighbourhood live in low or high rise apartment/condo buildings, which makes it comparable with the high rise-ridden downtown core. The presence of affordable housing units in the area explains the lower income levels in this neighbourhood compared to the surrounding areas: over 80% of the residents in this area are renters, which is approximately 30% higher than the city average.
The houses on Mount Pleasant Road East are made up primarily of smaller detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows. This part of the neighbourhood also contains a handful of historical homes from the late 1800’s, and a growing number of custom-built homes. The very smart “stacked” townhouse condominiums between Lillian Street and Redpath Avenue offer stylish living similar to that found in newer developments along King Street West and in Liberty Village. The people in this part of Davisville Village earn an average income. and average house value is well above the norm for the city; while not the most affluent of neighbourhoods, it is comparable to the Beach in demographics and income levels.
Young and Eligible
Davisville Village contains a high density of condominium apartment units located mostly on Merton and Balliol Streets and along Eglinton Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road, many of them built in the last thirty years. This area is known as “Young and Eligible” because of the high proportion of young single professionals who live and work mid-town but crave bucolic views of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In 2008, statistics indicate that condos were the most common housing type in the area, which is not surprising given the number of young single professionals who live in Davisville.
Where to Shop, Where to Relax
Davisville’s main shopping district is on Mount Pleasant Road. For people who like to browse through antique and collectible shops, many boutiques offer treasures of bygone eras and contemporary pieces by local and national artisans. The miniature furnishings in the largest dollhouse shop in the country will catch your eye for sure. Home decorating stores, children’s clothing and toy stores and convenience stores supplying last-minute essentials all add to the ambience of this street. Here, you will also find a selection of fine restaurants and many family-oriented specialty shops. In addition, you can enjoy a movie at the historic Regent Theatre on 551 Mount Pleasant Road, built in 1927 for both motion pictures and vaudeville acts.
Yonge Street by Defkreationz
For a plethora of gift shops, clothing and accessory stores, don’t forget to visit Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue. When you spend some time south of the bustling Yonge & Eglinton corridor, you may also discover the neihbourhood’s amazing hidden gems that are off the beaten path. Bustling Yonge Street in either direction – north to Eglinton or south to St. Clair – offers entertainment options like movie theatres and clubs with comedy or live entertainment, as well as fine dining. You will also find bakeries, cafes, and coffee shops along the strip. Business and professional services, such as banking, health and dental care, and printing are widely available in this area as well.
Recreation & Green Spaces
June Rowlands Park (formerly Davisville Park) at Mount Pleasant and Davisville is truly the social and recreational hub of the neighbourhood, just a short drive from downtown via either Mount Pleasant Road or Yonge Street. During the day, preschoolers enjoy the playground and wading pool, dogs play fetch, and spontaneous soccer and Frisbee fun often breaks out.
In the park, there are six tennis courts used by the Davisville Tennis Club on evenings and weekends. The club has an active house league and tournament schedule. Especially in the summer, the tennis club comes alive with excitement for a new season, as players reunite with old friends. Adjacent to the tennis courts is the baseball diamond, which is extensively used by children and adult baseball leagues.
Other parks that are easily accessible from the Davisville Village neighbourhood include:
- David A. Balfour Park-Blythwood Ravine
- Sherwood Park-Sunnybrook Park
- Lawrence Park-Moore Park Ravine
You can also find recreation in the following establishments:
Mooredale House, a non-profit charitable organization on 146 Crescent Road. Membership at Mooredale enables families or individuals, whether or not they are residents in the boundaries of the Rosedale-Moore Park area, to enrol in courses, activities, and clubs.
- Davisville/Metro School for the Deaf (with a Summer Fun Fair every June)
- Maurice Cody School (with a Spring Fair each May)
- John Fisher Jr. School
- Deer Park Jr & Sr. School
- Blythwood School
- Rolph Road School
- Bessborough Drive School
- Northern Secondary
- North Toronto C.I.
- Lawrence Park C.I.
- Marc Garneau C.I.
- Forest Hill C.I.
South of Davisville is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, which is a place of great natural beauty containing one of the finest arboretums in North America, with large flower gardens, birds, wildlife, and many artistic sculptures and memorials. In the early 19th century, the only authorized cemeteries within the city of Toronto (then known as York) were limited to the members of either the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England. In 1876, Mount Pleasant Cemetery was opened to serve all citizens, regardless of their religious background. As the final resting place of more than 168,000 persons, Mount Pleasant Cemetery contains remarkable architecture amongst its many monuments. The cemetery was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2000
Mount Pleasant Cemetery by Renato Lorini
On the Map
Davisville Village stretches from Bayview Avenue across to Yonge Street, and from the Mount Pleasant Cemetery north to Eglinton Avenue East. Homes in Davisville Village can be found in Toronto Real Estate District C10.
There is local bus service on Mount Pleasant Road, Yonge Street, Davisville Avenue and Eglinton Avenue. These bus routes connect passengers to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Davisville and the Eglinton subway stations on Yonge Street are within reasonable walking distance in this neighbourhood. Davisville station is also where you will find the TTC head office.
This area offers motorists quick access to downtown Toronto via either Mount Pleasant Road or Yonge Street. Toronto’s highways and expressways are located within a twenty minute drive of Davisville Village.
Interested in living in the neighbourhood? Browse the MLS Listings for the perfect house or condominium available in this area.