Cedarvale

Cedarvale Ravine 1
Cedarvale Ravine

Cedarvale is bordered by Hillcrest Village to the south, Upper Forest Hill to the north and Lower Forest Hill to the east. The magnificent Cedarvale Ravine running diagonally through the whole neighbourhood shapes the city’s most beautiful natural landscape. Cedarvale Park, spreading around this vale, is the perfect hideaway for the numerous luxurious glass homes that enjoy the beautiful view, and it’s also a popular place for recreation. Cedarvale Ravine offers skating, toboganning, bird watching, tennis, an enclosed dog park and cross country skiing. Cedarvale Community School enjoys one of the highest provincial school ratings in the province offering superb academics and strong parental involvement. Amongst the most prominent neighbourhoods in the city, Cedarvale is also home to Toronto’s largest Jewish community. Holy Blossom Temple and Beth Tzedec Synagogue and Village Shul are only some of the many places of worship that helped shape this upscale community.

Location

Cedarvale Neighbourhood Map
Cedarvale Neighbourhood Map

This neighbourhood, historically belonging to the York borough is bordered by Vaughan Road and Maplewood Avenue to the south all the way to Eglinton Avenue to the north and from Bathurst to the east to Atlas Avenue to the west. Its housing styles vary significantly offering large homes on expansive lots built after 1920 and smaller more modest bungalows as starter homes making it affordable for younger families to live in Cedarvale.

History

The original name “Cedar Vale” was inspired by the many cedar trees that once grew in the area and paid a tribute to the vale that still shapes this neighbourhood today. Sir William Hume Blake, who owned most of the area with his private mansion located in Humewood, appointed Sir Henry Mill Pellat to build the beautiful Casa Loma and develop the surrounding area. Pellat had big plans for building a wealthy gated community in the north, so he registered a plan for the subdivision of “Cedar Vale” in 1912. After WWI, the crisis had struck hard, and with his many debts accumulated from the construction of Casa Loma, the project was stopped. The neighbourhood freely developed into the vibrant and open community as we know it today. A constant reminder of this is the still present unfinished community walls and the iron entrance gate built in the 1910s that can be found at the intersection of Claxton Boulevard and Bathurst Street.

McCaul Street Synagogue in 1920
McCaul Street Synagogue in the 1920's by Wikimedia Commons

The character of the neighbourhood had been seriously threatened in 1966, when the Cedarvale Ravine was proposed to be part of the planned Spadina Expressway. Construction had begun, and many trees were cut to make room for the expressway. Luckily, it was never fully finished due to strong public opposition from residents of the neighbourhoods that were part of its planned north/south route downtown. With the cancellation of this intrusive construction in 1974, Cedarvale was able to preserve its peaceful character.

Local attractions

  • The Hemingway House

Are you a fan of the the famous American author and Nobel prize winner, Ernest Hemingway? During his time in Canada, when he was working as a freelancer and foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, he was living in an apartment near St. Michael’s College School that is now proudly called “The Hemingway.”

The bridge near Glencedar Road is actually a replica of the original bridge built by Sir Henry Pellat to the North of the ravine to promote vehicular access and stimulate further development of the area in 1912. The new bridge was constructed according to the original drawings of the earlier reinforced bridge in 1989, its construction one of the final nails in the coffin of the Spadina Expressway.

Green Areas at your reach

Undoubtedly, the most significant feature of this neighbourhood is the huge urban green space of Cedarvale Ravine that brings a piece of nature into the very centre of metropolitan Toronto.

One of the neighbourhood’s biggest parks, Cedarvale Park spreads over 35.7 acres of land and creates the natural border between the posh Cedarvale neighbourhood to the north and the trendy neighbourhood of Hillcrest to the south. Cut diagonally by the Cedarvale Ravine, this beautiful green oasis is used for many forms of recreation. With more than enough space for multiple teams on the many playing fields and soccer pitches, there is also the Phil White indoor ice rink and tennis courts in the nearby community centre. The latest additions to the recreational activities in the park are the enclosed off-leash area for dogs and the progressive educational program, “Families in Nature”, run by over 300 volunteers, that conducts its activities in the middle of the park. The meadow has been converted to a wetland habitat that provides the perfect conditions for local ecosystems. The program is helping to take care of the wetlands and create a set of educational signs with information about its plants, birds, and animals for visitors walking along the footpaths. Throughout the year, you can join the organized Yoga Walks on the many trails in Cedarvale Ravine.

Parks in Toronto
  Toronto Parks by Vlad Litvinov

Sir Winston Churchill Park is located at the south-east corner of Spadina Road and St. Clair Avenue. If running is your thing, this park offers a popular jogging route of a little less than 2 miles, which starts on Spadina with a number of stairs to test your fitness. Running down the gravel path, you pass along a big fenced-in dog park, a busy tennis court, and a little playground. Wrapping all around the park is the Nordheimer Ravine, which offers some quality picnic spots and a rustic wood path for a lovely walk.

More nearby parks:

  • Viewmount Park off Viewmount Avenue
  • Fairbanks Memorial Park at 2213 Dufferin Street
  • Relmar Gardens off Spadina Road
  • Suydam Park off Spadina Road

Sports and Recreation

Cedarvale Ravine

The centre point of the recreational activities and sports in the neighbourhood is the Cedarvale Ravine, which was once part of the historic Belt Line Railway path, an old commuter railway dating back to the 1880s. The ravine offers something for everyone‘s taste — from power walking, cycling, jogging, and bird watching in the summer to cross-country skiing during the winter. The ravine can be accessed via Cedarvale Park at Ava and Everden Roads. The local community enjoys the park as a meeting point for many social and educational activities:

This non-profit event is a celebration of organic produce promoting the idea through many wonderful activities such as an open market, live music, and programs for kids. Come and see for yourself in the summer.

The community network organizes numerous free events and workshops in the park, the most popular of them being the Community Garden Potluck Picnic.

This community project discusses the issue of electronic waste. Help organize activities to raise awareness for this issue or join one of their educational programs in the field.

Fitness:

Arts and Entertainment

Eglinton Grand

Formerly known as the Eglinton Theatre, this important landmark and former destination for Hollywood glitz and glamour was a work of the Sicillian immigrant Agosto Arrigo who arrived to Toronto in the early 1900s. This unique theatre had its grand opening in 1936 and saw its biggest fame through the Golden Age of American cinematography. As extraordinary as it is, with its stunning art deco interiors and massive chandeliers, statues, and hand-painted murals, it started to lose the battle against the newly opened megaplex cinemas, closing its doors in 2002. Today, it belongs among the important historical landmarks of the city. Its grand style of the 1930s is available for hospitality and entertainment events for everyone to enjoy once again. If you ever get a chance to peek in, do not hesitate!

This festival brings you more than 100 top movies from many countries around the world. Screenings are in local cinemas all around the city. Today, it has seven venues: the Bloor Cinema, the Al Green Theatre, the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Centre Cinemas, the SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas, the Underground Cinema, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and the Cineplex Odeon Canada Square. Don’t miss out on the touching stories and some of the best pieces of the year!

Galleries & Art Studios:

Renee Klein Art Studio, 181 Dewbourne Avenue, (416) 781-0835
Fran Hill Gallery, 285 Rushton Road, (416) 363-1333
Petroff Gallery, 1016 Eglinton Avenue, (416) 782-1696
Forest Hill Art Club‎, 666 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 783-5388

Shopping

Healthy Butcher, 298 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 489-3430
Bottega Bertolucci, 875 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 783-7896
Madison Shoes, 333 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 932-9978
La Compana (Home Decorations), 367 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 487-7747
Honey, 460 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 485-0070
Obsession Boutique, 482 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 544-8900
Homefront Decor, 371 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 488-3189
Nortown Foods (Meat & Fish), 892 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 789-2921
Exquisite Jewels‎, 1660 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 782-1867
Andrew’s Formal Rentals Ltd‎, 1558 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 783-8181
Valencienne Bridal‎, 1104 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 781-6885
Custom Jewellery Outlet, 821 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 782-9898
Eglinton Greenhouse And Florist, 2016 Bathurst Street, (416) 782-3195
Playful Minds Toys, 657 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-4028

Restaurants and Eateries

Pizza Pazza, 1007 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 785-8784
Il Mulino Restaurant (Italian), 1060 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 780-1173
Marron Bistro (Kosher), 948 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 784-0128
King Falafel (Middle Eastern), 875 Eglinton Avenue, (416) 782-0650
Jerusalem Restaurant (Middle Eastern), 955 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 783-6494
House Of Chan, 876 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 781-5575
Piazzetta Trattoria, 936 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 781-1717
Frida Restaurant and Bar (Mexican)‎, 999 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 787-2221
Randy’s Take-Out (Caribbean), 1569 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 781-5313
Raps Authentic Jamaican, 1541 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 782-7277
Sushi Ocean, 1010 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 783-8811
Sala Thai Restaurant, 1100 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 785-1727
Taste of Thai House, 62 Vaughan Road, (416) 652-0200
Mad Bean, 519 Eglinton Avenue West, (647) 235-2456
King Falafel, 875 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 782-0650
Phipps Bakery, 420 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 481-9111
Ferraro Restaurant, 502 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 488-7729
Hotel Gelato, 532 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 932-2663
Bistro Grande, 1000 Eglintonn Avenue West, (416) 782-3302
Flour, 883 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 789-0222
St. Urbain Bagel, 895 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 787-6955

Education

Schools:

J.R. Wilcox Community School (Public) 231 Ava Road, (416) 394-2388
Cedarvale Community School
(Public) 145 Ava Road, (416) 394-2244
North Toronto Collegiate Institute (Public High School), (rank) 70 Roehampton Avenue, (416) 393-9180
Bishop Strachan School (Private), 298 Lonsdale Road, (416) 483-4325
St Clement’s School (Private), 21 Saint Clements Avenue, (416) 483-4835
Upper Canada College (Private), 220 Lonsdale Road, (416) 488-1125

Daycares

Centennial Infant And Child Centre, 1580 Yonge Street, (416) 935-0200
Central Eglinton Childrens’ Centre, 223 Eglinton Avenue East, (416) 440-0383
Children’s Magic Moments Child Care And Nursery School Inc., 98 Braemar Avenue, (416) 488-0114
Cottingham Child Care Centre, 85 Birch Avenue, (416) 966-5939
Davisville Care Programme Inc., 43 Millwood Road, (416) 489-2620
Davisville Child Care Centre, 41 Millwood Road, (416) 392-5694

Libraries:

Northern District, 40 Orchard View Boulevard, (416) 393-7610
Forest Hill, 700 Eglinton Avenue West, (416) 393-7706
Mt. Pleasant, 599 Mount Pleasant Road, (416) 393-7737
Deer Park, 40 Saint Clair Avenue East, (416) 393-7657
Locke, 3083 Yonge Street, (416) 393-7730

Transportation

By Car: When driving by car, you are just minutes away from the financial and commercial district. The Allen Road Expressway at Eglinton Avenue connects you quickly to the 401 and other commuter highways.

By Bus: Passengers can be conveniently taken to Bathurst Station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line with the regular bus services on Bathurst Street and Vaughan Road. The Eglinton Avenue Road West bus connects passengers to Bathurst Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Bathurst Street, one of the main roads in the area, provides quick access to downtown.

By Streetcar: There is regular streetcar service on St. Clair Avenue West.

By Subway: The two subway stations in the neighbourhood are Eglinton West and St. Clair West.

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