Regal Heights

regal heights
 

Regal Heights is a small unique character filled neighbourhood with a strong sense of community. The hilly area, with its iconic streetcars and winding, tree-lined streets, boasts a number of shops and restaurants as well as the renowned Ontario School of Ballet. Because of its proximity to Corso Italia, a neighbourhood inhabited by many descendants of Italian immigrants, the shops, restaurants, markets, and cafes are designed with an Italian flair. This neighbourhood is one of few in Toronto that is 50 to 75 feet above Lake Ontario and thus allows stunning views of Toronto as well as the lake. The Regal Heights Residents’ Association has been active in the neighbourhood for decades and encourages community involvement through annual activities such as the Garden Tour of homes, carol singing at Christmas time and coaching kids in their hockey skills.

Location

Regal Heights
Regal Heights
Situated on the western crest of the Davenport escarpment, this neighbourhood offers its inhabitants unforgettable views of the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario. The district in the West Central heart of Toronto bounded by St. Clair Avenue West, Alberta Avenue, Dufferin Street, and Davenport Road, Regal Heights cannot help but absorb some of the Italian flavour that spills over from Corso Italia, its neighbour to the west. Beautiful arts and crafts homes of various styles adorn the area. Large threes storey accomodate big families and smaller semi detached ones for younger families starting out.

History

Davenport Road by Wikimedia Commons
Davenport Road by Wikimedia Commons

The neighbourhood has a rich history that dates back to 1824, when this region was first settled by an Irishman named Bartholomew Bull. Mr. Bull was responsible for building Davenport Road, which was originally known as Bull’s Road. He also built the first log cabin, which was later used as the first school in the area. Later on, it served as the first church in Regal Heights where travelling Methodist clergy could preach. Bull built his house, Springmount, in 1860. It was the first brick building in York Township. The homestead was named after a small water course that meandered in front of it. By the 1890s, Springmount was sold to developers. Roads were surveyed and schools built following 1910; however, the widespread construction of homes did not occur until the 1920s.

Green Areas at Your Reach

Even though you would not find a single large park in Regal Heights, the neighbourhood does not lack for scenic beauty. For the past thirty-four years, local inhabitants have been consistently encouraged by The Regal Heights Residents’ Association, an informal organization that seeks to address issues and concerns that are relevant to the residents of this community, to participate in a variety of yearly activities and meetings to make their neighbourhood a truly unique place within Toronto and within Canada. People of different ages, incomes, and cultural backgrounds have worked together and managed to establish smaller community gardens alongside the local library and on Rosemount at Oakwood Avenue to show their local emphasis on gardening, preserving natural beauty, and community beautification. The natural greenery, many trees, and well-kept gardens divided by hedges make the area the perfect place for walking and recreation.

The individual interesting gardens are a result of the effort of the community as a whole. It is a well-known fact that the soil in the Regal Heights neighbourhood is very fertile. It is largely composed of heavy clay, which present-day residents with green thumbs truly appreciate. Every year, tree-planting campaigns are a big success with local residents.

Recreation & Sports

For recreational activities, there’s a variety of things to do without having to go far from home.

  • Axe Capoeira, 1069 St. Clair Ave. West, (647) 340-2293  For fitness or for fun, Capoeira is hard to beat. This studio offers classes from preschool through adult including women only classes. 
  • Northern Karate, 756 St. Clair Ave. West, (416) 651-6000 Leaders in the field of martial arts education and personal development for more than three decades, Northern Karate Schools have been Voted #1 by eye, Now, City Parent, News4Kids, toronto.com, Toronto Life and the Toronto Sun.
  • Joseph J. Piccininni Community Recreation Centre
    Located west of Dufferin this centre is equipped with a modern 25-metre swimming pool offering various swimming programs and lessons, as well as aqua fitness, leisure swimming, and much more for everyone from preschoolers to older adults. Their B facility Health Club has all-new cardio, muscular strength, and free weight equipment. This recreation centre includes a large gymnasium, soccer fields, a baseball diamond, four tennis courts, an artificial skating rink, and a seniors’ lounge.
  • Hillcrest Park

    Located at the north-west corner of Davenport Road and Christie Street, this park covers an area measuring 125 × 165 metres and is known for four floodlit tennis courts, a children’s playground, a drinking fountain, and a wading pool. It is a leash-free zone so dogs can legally run off-leash and play with other dogs under the supervision of their owners. An attractive woodland area takes up about one quarter of the park’s total area. Moreover, this park also has perhaps the most spectacular view of the Toronto skyline and of Lake Ontario.

    One of the busiest parks in the city of Toronto is located along St. Clair Avenue West.

Arts & Entertainment

A mosaic studio, an art gallery, and a gift shop in one offers day and evening mosaic classes for adults and children over eight years. You can start your class any time you like and come the day and time that’s convenient for you. The studio also carries how-to books, tools, and supplies for the mosaic hobbyist.

In the heart of the St. Clair West hip strip, this place is a hub for cultural and artistic activities. The facilities consist of a dance studio with a 1,200-square-foot sprung dance floor, a 400-square-foot, multi-use studio, a reception area, change rooms with showers, a soundproof music studio, and private offices.

The Hermit’s Lamp is a spiritual wellness centre in Toronto. It is the creation of Andrew McGregor: tarot reader, coach, and artist. He specializes in helping people through reading tarot. Each reading is tailored to fit a particular individual. He uses the cards to help people choose directions in their life, figure out what is blocking their progress, resolve relationship issues, overcome insecurities, fear, and self-doubt, connect with their spirit more deeply, make career choices, etc. The centre also sells organic and wildcraft herbs, a large selection of crystals — including some jewellery and a set for the chakras, tarot, and more.

Canvas Gallery is a vibrant visual arts venue with a constantly changing inventory of about 1,200 original works by more than 120 established and emerging Canadian artists. It presents fine art in a new, modern way.

Ontario School of Ballet & Related Arts, 1133 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-9568

One of Canada’s leading dance training institutions, the school was established in 1979 by Sarah Lockett and offers dance classes in jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and more. All classes are taught by expert accredited dance educators.

Shopping

Men’s Fashion

Genesis, 1188 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-1386
Gino’s Fashion, 1294 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8710
La Scala (Italian), 1190 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-1606
Oggi Jeans, 1237 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 653-3440
Ok’d Moda Giovane, 1233 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8444
Tuxedo Gallery, 1199 St. Clair Avenue West, (416)654-2112

Women’s Fashion

Adelle’s Boutique, 1296 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8049
Bella Boutique, 1197 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-2761
Carmen’s Designs, 1272/1274 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-1022
Christian Boutique, 1236 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-2931
Daniel Boutique, 1269 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-9408
Diva Boutique, 1194/1196 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-7667
Gino’s Fashion, 1294 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8710
Jasmine (Jewellery), 1211 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-7070
La Duchessa Boutique, 1285A St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-1108
Lena Fashion, 1253A St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 653-2935
S&S Fashions, 1183 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-8188
Signorina E Signora Inc., 1291 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 849-0691
Sole Mio, 1242 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-4429
Una Boutique, 1235 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-8211

Children’s Clothing

Carmen’s Designs, 1272/1274 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-1022
Gino’s Fashion, 1294 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8710
Luisella Children’s Wear, 1263A St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-0541
Natasha Babies Boutique, 1181 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-2232
St Clair Dry Goods, 1247 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-2726

Other stores

Rainbow Caterpillar Bookstore, 165 Lauder Avenue, (647)975-8800
Galleria Shopping Centre, 1245 Dupont Street
Tanya’s Furniture Gallery, 1327 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-0763
Consiglio’s Kitchenware & Gift, 1217 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 653-6622
Grace Textiles, 1279 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8837
St Clair Home Hardware, 4 St. Clair Gardens, (416) 657-1733
Ital Records, 1339 St Clair Ave W, (416) 654-8272
Portugese Bookstore Inc., 1331 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 538-0330
Lifestyle Wireless – Rogers, 1348 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-2000
Rogers/ABO Business Machines, 1268 St Clair Ave W, (416) 652-2288
Amar Flowers, 1268A St Clair Avenue West, (416) 645-0180
San Remo Florist, 1151/1153 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-1822
Verdi Florist, 1380 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-6767
Paul’s Jewellers, 1298 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8148
Pepe’s Fine Jewellery, 1308 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-3988

Restaurants and Eateries

Boom Breakfast & Co., 1036 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-3447
Starving Artist, 1078 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 901-7479
Marcello’s Pizzeria 1163 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-6159
Salto Antipasto Lounge, 1138 Davenport Road, (416) 653-3077
The Big Ragu, 338 Lansdowne Avenue, (416) 654-7248
La Bruschetta Restaurant (Italian), 1317 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-8622
Drinx Resto Lounge, 992 1036 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 658-9494
The Eagle Twins Restaurant, 954 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 536-5454
Fox & Fiddle, 1085 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-3691
Khmer Thai Restaurant, 1018 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-0609
Latin Fiesta Restaurant, 1002 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-8609
Regal Heights Bistro, 1077 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-2109

Salto Restaurant, 1138  Davenport Rd. (416) 653-3077

Triple Tree Sports Bar &Grill, 1087 St. Clair Avenue West (416) 656-6222 
Vereda Latina, 958 St Clair Avenue, (416) 652-3570
Vivid Pizzeria, 1067 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-1487

After Dark

VIDA Resto Lounge (Weekend Lounge And Private Venue), 1345 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 690-1345
Dave's...on St Clair, 730 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 657-3283
Cafe/Bar 12 Forty-Eight, 1248 St Clair Ave W, (647) 351-8335
Chappa Corner Cafe, 1340 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-3784
Chateau Sports Bar & Grill, 1157 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-3784
Donato Sports Bar, 1310 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-8903
Invictus Bar & Restaurant, 1331 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-5511
La Romana Sports Bar, 1286 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-6292
Metro Toronto Bar & Grill, 1249 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-5204
Sway Bar, 1335 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 653-8777
Teasers Lounge, 1245 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 652-7544
Tricolore Bar Cafe, 1240 St Clair Ave W, (416) 654-4228

Cafes

A Bica Coffee Billiards, 1089 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-0836
Bite Me Bakery, 1034 St. Clair Avenue, (416) 651-2253
Brunchworks Cafe, 928 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-5800
L&L Cafe, 931 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 555-1212
La Paloma Gelateria, 1357 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-2340
Pain Perdu Pattiserie, 736 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 656-7246
The Royal Caribbean Cafe, 1127 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 651-9554
Tre Mari Bakery, 1311 St. Clair Avenue West, (416) 654-8960

Education

Schools:

Loterro College (Catholic School), 151 Rosemount Avenue, (416) 393-5511
Regal Road Junior, 95 Regal Road, (416) 393-1390
Winona Drive Senior, 101 Winona Drive, (416) 393-1680
Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 991 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 393-1780
St. Mary of the Angels (Catholic School), 1477 Dufferin Street, (416) 393-5228

Libraries:

The Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library, 1625 Dufferin Street, (416) 393-7712

The Dufferin Library contains the largest collection of Italian books in the city’s public library system. It also offers services, mainly for children and preschoolers.

The St. Clair-Silverthorn Library, 1748 St Clair Avenue West, (416) 393-7709

This library reflects the area’s diverse population by offering books in many languages, including Italian, Portuguese, and Greek.

Davenport Library, 1246 Shaw Street, (416) 393-7732

Transportation

By Car: Easy access to downtown in 10 minutes via Christie Street and 15 minutes to major highways.

By Bus/Streetcar: The Regal Heights neighbourhood is well served by public transit in the form of streetcars and buses. Bus service is within walking distance of every home. It is available on Oakwood Avenue, Dupont Street, and St Clair Avenue West is streetcar access with a 10 minute ride to St Clair West subway.

2 Responses to Regal Heights

  1. Thanks Josie. I am going to follow you.

    Reply
  2. John says:

    Great blog! Very informative

    Reply

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