Moore Park is surrounded on all sides by lush natural barriers. To the north is the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, the railway tracks to the south, the Moore Park Ravine to the east and to the west is the Vale of Avoca Ravine. The safe winding streets help create an atmosphere of privacy, a quality valued in a neighbourhood so close to the city core. It combines the best of both worlds. With so much nature at its doorstep and easy access to acclaimed public and private schools, it is not surprising that Moore Park is one of Toronto’s most sought after neighbourhoods.
John Thomas Moore, a chartered accountant and developer, gave the name to this neighbourhood. He laid out the plans and subdivided the land in 1889 and marketed it as an exclusive suburb for the affluent members of Toronto society. To attract buyers, he built two bridges in the area. The original wooden bridge over Spring Valley Ravine (now called Moore Park Ravine) and the original steel bridge arching over the Vale of Avoca. Moore held many prominent positions in business and political circles. He was a principal in the Alberta Central Railway and its president in 1911, and vice-president of the Belt Line Railway, a commuter line which once served the rapidly expanding suburbs north and west of the City of Toronto.
Moore personally oversaw the construction of the Belt Line’s showpiece station at Moore Park, predicting it would bring many buyers to his Moore Park subdivision. However, the Belt Line’s eventual failure due to stiff competition and the economic times actually postponed the building of homes in Moore Park until the early 1900’s. Moore Park was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1912. Moore’s dream of a charming, residential area and community was definitely achieved as this area is among Toronto’s most highly sought-after neighbourhoods today.
Another piece of history in Moore Park is Toronto’s largest cemetery. Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a designated National Historic Site of Canada and it features miles of walking paths lined with an enormous variety of rare trees and is decorated with many statues, fountains, and botanical gardens. It was the only authorized burial ground within the City of Toronto in the early 19th century. Although it’s a cemetery, it’s still a pleasant place for short walks, making you feel almost like you’re strolling in the English countryside. The final resting place of many famous Canadians, there are several remarkable family crypts designed by famous architects here (such as The Massey Family crypt designed by E.J. Lennox). Today it is considered one of Toronto’s tourist attractions.
By the 1930’s, Moore Park was completely developed, with English Cottage, Georgian and Tudor-style houses being the primary construction styles of the day (although the neighbourhood now boasts many newer townhouses). Moore Park lots are generally quite large and many of the houses back on to one of the ravines that surround this neighbourhood.
For such a high end neighbourhood it is somewhat surprising that many of the houses have shared rather than private driveways. However, the streets are so quiet and uncluttered that parking is not a problem. Now combined on the map with Rosedale, which occupies the bottom half of the district, development in the area has followed the natural contours of the existing ravines.
Shopping and Lifestyle
Moore Park residents have convenient access to shopping at either the Yonge and St. Clair or the Mount Pleasant and Davisville shopping districts. Both these areas are well known for their gourmet food shops and fine dining. Also very close are the many fine shops of Bayview Avenue.
Moore Park residents who live in the more secluded south-east pocket of the neighbourhood can walk across a railway overpass to the small collection of neighbourhood stores on Summerhill Avenue.
Parks and Recreation
The Moore Park Ravine is a true city oasis for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts. Visitors enjoy the foot path operated and maintained by the City. It is an eight-kilometre trail passing through the Rosedale Ravine, the Mount Pleasant cemetery, and the old Don Valley Pressed Brickworks which finally closed its kilns in 1988 after a run as one of Canada’s oldest brick works. It’s a great place to watch birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat — all without leaving the city.
The Moorevale Park is home to the Moore Park Tennis Club. Located one block east of Mount Pleasant Road, it also has five tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and a wading pool.
David Balfour Park is named for Toronto city councillor and member of the Board of Control, David A. Balfour. This park of exquisite beauty runs from the southern tip of Mount Pleasant Cemetery to Mount Pleasant Road. This is a perfect place for a short hike through the enchanting wilderness of the Vale of Avoca Ravine. If you’re looking for a less challenging walk, take the flat path on the east side of the park
Schools and Libraries
The local library is the Deer Park Branch at 40 St. Clair Ave. E., and Mooredale House at 146 Crescent Road offers a variety of programming including a series of summer day camps.
|Deer Park Jr.||23 Ferndale Ave.||(416) 393-1550|
|Whitney Jr.||119 Rosedale Heights Dr.||(416) 393-9380|
|Our Lady of Perpetual Help||1½ Garfield Avenue||(416) 393-5239|
|North Toronto Collegiate Institute||70 Roehampton Ave.||(416) 393-9180|
|Northern Secondary||851 Mount Pleasant Road||(416) 393-0270|
Moore Park has bus service on St. Clair Avenue, Mount Pleasant Road, Welland and Moore Avenue. The Yonge and St. Clair subway station is within walking distance of many Moore park houses.