Seaton Village is actually named after Lord Seaton. Born in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, he was a former Lieutenant Governor of Canada. However, the original settlers of Seaton Village were Colonel David Shank and Captain Samuel Smith, firends of the Lieutenant and loyalists serving in the Queens Rangers. Years after they settled, their farm lots were acquired by a successful merchant from New York City named George Crookshank. In the 1850s, the Village was laid out on the old Crookshank farm, at the foot of Bathurst Street. Most of the early residents of the village were English, so Seaton was known as the “English Village”. Others still mis-pronounced the name as “Satan’s Village”.
Residential development in the area commenced around 1888, when Seaton Village was annexed by the City of Toronto. Although the name Seaton is known, most people associate it to the “Greater Annex” area. It is surprising that the neighbourhood has managed to maintain the feel of a small town village, even though it is situated in a very busy part of the city. Its proximity to public transit at Bathurst and Christie Stations makes this neighborhood even more desirable for all potential residents. This area attracts not only young families in the quest for a central quiet environment, but also young professionals, people who have migrated from the Annex and University of Toronto students, who look for affordable houses to live in during the school year.
Architecture and Real Estate
Walking on the beautiful streets of Seaton Village, you will probably marvel at the whimsical Victorian semi-detached homes with solid brick construction or brick facades built in the 1890s and early 1900s. These single family homes are shaded by a canopy of storybook silver maple trees that are even older than the neighbourhood itself and stand as a visual front line of defence against the encroachment of more urban and modern styles.
In 2007, homes in the Seaton Village area were sold at an average price of $572,157. In 2006, homes were sold at an average price of $536,550. They went up in value by 6.3% over this period of time. The increase in Seaton Village’s home prices has led to many buyers moving further west to Christie Pits, Bickford and Dovercourt Park. This in turn has nearly leveled out the prices from Seaton Village through to Ossington.
Carreira’s Urban Myth
If you find yourself on Clinton Street, a unique house will probably catch your eye. The house is a menagerie of toy figurines, little plastic animals and insects, wood cutouts of colourful leaves, stickers, and lacquered wooden discs that Carreira, the owner, calls “woodcakes”. Coloured glass bottles refract light that filters through the garden. There is a fountain under a real tree and ladders specifically built for raccoons. A lot of the components decorating the exterior have stories, coming from neighbours, friends, visitors and fans from around the world.
The man behind the house is a Portugese who worked in construction until 1993, when a terrible accident changed his fate and left him with a broken neck and spine. Recovering from surgery, he realized was unable to work again, so he started making useful things for his house, and later on he began to make wonderful decorations. Now, 17 years later, the house is a continually growing, living sculpture that inspires the curious to photograph and even knock on its elaborately decorated door. On the side of the house is a letter from former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall recognizing Carreira for “best eccentric garden”. The certificate reads “Our community is truly fortunate to have people like you whose hard work and dedication enhance our surroundings.”
Don’t hesitate to talk to Carreira if you see him! He is always happy to tell the story of his house.
Vermont Square Park
When you ’d like to relax in nature, you don’t need to go far—just take a stroll in Vermont Square Park. It is the focal point of Seaton Village, where children can play in the playground or enjoy a variety of social and recreational programs offered by the community agency St. Alban’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club. The park is also home to Bill Bolton hockey arena.
In October 2010, the revitalization of Vermont Square Park was discussed in a meeting where the Vermont Square Park Renewal Committee (the VSPRC, which is comprised of area residents), the City Councilor and the PLANT Architect Inc. were present.
Christie Pits Park
Another wonderful park you can visit is the Christie Pits Park, located at the corner of Bloor and Christie Streets. It is one of Toronto’s busiest parks, with an area of 21.9 acres (8.9 ha), about half of which is grassed picnic areas, the rest being various sports fields. You ‘ll find many facilities in the park, such as an artificial ice rink, a children’s playground, an outdoor pool, and a wading pool. The main draws of the park, however, are its baseball diamonds. One of them is full-sized, fenced, and named “Dominico Field” after Jack Dominico, the owner of the semi-professional Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club who use the diamond for their Intercounty Baseball League games.
If you live around Christie Pits, you can become a member of Friends of Christie Pits Park, whose philosophy is to introduce users of the park to each other. By organizing communally, a circle of Friends both for the park and for residents is built.
Shops and Restaurants
Bloor Street is home to Toronto’s Korea Town retail corridor. This vibrant shopping area is highlighted by a number of Korean restaurants, karaoke bars and gift shops. Trendy cafes and nightclubs attract students from nearby University of Toronto, as well as a diverse mix of people from all over the city.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more residential atmosphere than Bloor Street, then you should visit the Bathurst Street shopping area, where you will find small cafes, professional offices and stores that are geared towards local home-owners. For your vegetables and fruits, visit the Dupont and Christie intersection which has been recently anchored by a large national grocery store chain.
- The Korea Town Dano Spring Festival takes place in early June in Christie Pits Park.
- The Big on Bloor street festival also takes place in June, stretching from Lansdowne to Montrose on Bloor St. Please visit Big on Bloor’s official site for more info.
- The Seaton Village Resident’s Association Annual General Meeting is held in early May at Palmerston Public School.
Seaton Village Residents’ Association
After having moved into Seaton Village, you may consider becoming a member of the Seaton Village Residents’ Association (SVRA). This is a not-for-profit community organization aimed at improving living conditions in the Seaton Village Area, as well as promoting and expressing the interests of area residents through municipal representation. Participating in this association gives you the opportunity to meet your neighbours and contribute to the improvement of your community. Regular open meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.
On the Map
Seaton Village is located within the broader Annex neighbourhood, as defined by the City of Toronto, and within the political riding of Trinity—Spadina. It is bordered by Bloor Street to the south, the train tracks to the north, Christie Street to the west, and Bathurst Street to the east. Although the Korea Town shopping district is at its southern border, it is sometimes referred to as the “West Annex”.
Transportation and Parking
One of the most important advantages of Seaton Village is access to public transit. Most homes are within walking distance of either Bathurst or Christie subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, or the Dupont station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. There is also bus service on Christie and Dupont Streets and streetcar service on Bathurst Street.
On the other hand, the greatest disadvantage in the neighbourhood is the lack of private parking. This is an inconvenience common to many of Toronto’s downtown neighbourhoods. Many streets allow for street permit parking, and most houses have parking on laneways behind properties.
After English, the six most common languages spoken at home are:
- Portuguese – 5.0%
- Italian – 3.5%
- Korean – 2.0%
- Cantonese – 1.6%
- Unspecified Chinese – 1.5%
- Greek – 1.4%
- According to the 2006 census, Seaton Village has 5,259 residents. The average income is $41,506, close to the average for the Toronto CMA.
- Seaton Village is the former home of Canadian poet and children’s author Dennis Lee and Oscar-winning sound engineer (for Chicago) David Lee (no relation).
- The neighbourhood is the current home of novelist and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald and sociologist Barry Wellman.
- Palmerston Jr. School (Public), 734 Palmerston Ave.
- Delta Sr. School (Public), 301 Montrose Ave.
- Bloor Collegiate Institute (Public High School), 1141 Bloor St. W.
- Subway Academy Two (Public High School), 304 Brunswick Ave.
- Loretto College Catholic School, 391 Brunswick Ave.
- Total Population (2006): 5,673
- Total Households (2006): 2,295
- Average household income: $84,862.00
- Average age: 38
- Most common religion: Roman Catholic (33.51%)
- Most common ethnicities: English (12.0%), Irish (11.0%), Scottish (8.0%)
- Job types: White collar (48.9%), Grey collar (41.1%), Blue collar (10.0%)
Interested in living in the neighbourhood? Browse the MLS Listings for the perfect house or condominium available in this area.