Rosedale is one of Toronto’s oldest and wealthiest suburbs, located north of downtown. With its narrow, tree-filled streets and turn-of-the-century mansions, Rosedale is where some of Canada’s richest and most famous citizens reside.
Rosedale is conveniently located a very short distance from Toronto’s major business and financial core, entertainment, and shopping districts. Virtually no vehicular traffic can be heard due to the abundance of trees and foliage on the winding residential streets are lined with turn-of-the-century mansions and large front gardens. On the other hand, Yonge Street is alive with many upscale shops, fine restaurants neighbourhood pubs. Many public and private schools for all ages are situated in the neighbourhood, South Rosedale is currently home to the historic exclusive all-girls school Branksome Hall.
It has a unique location between three beautiful ravines preserved as parkland Moore Park, the Vale of Avoca, and Rosedale Ravine. Along with the natural beauty of the ravines and gorges which pleasantly seclude Rosedale from the rest of the city, there are many recreational opportunities in Rosedale Park, Ramsden Park and Mooredale House offering outdoor sports, play areas and community programs.
No wonder it has been among the most fashionable addresses for more than a century!
In 1824, Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis purchased a 110-acre estate and settled on a homestead which would later become South Rosedale. His wife, Mary Jarvis, came up with the Rosedale name, impressed by the profusion of roses that graced the hillsides around their estate. Mary Jarvis’ daily walks and frequent horse rides through Rosedale blazed a trail for its present-day meandering streets. The Rosedale homestead was sold in 1864, leading to the subdivision and residential development of South Rosedale shortly thereafter.
The construction of Glen Road Bridge across the Park Drive Ravine marked the beginning of North Rosedale’s development in 1909. Prior to its development, from 1899 to 1924, North Rosedale was the home of St. Andrew’s College, an all-boys boarding school which was moved to Aurora in 1924. It was also the original location of the Rosedale Golf Club which was later moved to its new grounds in Teddington Park. The golf club’s former lacrosse field is famous for being the site of the first Canadian Football League’s first Grey Cup game.
North Rosedale’s development was sporadic until it was mostly completed by the late 1920s and early 1930s. Scottish Highland shareholders had already registered a plan of subdivision named Rosedale Park in 1884, which named many of the streets after the development’s principles and prominent Ontario citizens.
Walking through Rosedale is like walking through history. Built between 1860 and 1930, many of Rosedale’s large and stately homes are constructed in Victorian, Georgian, Tudor and Edwardian styles. Rosedale is an enclave for some of the city’s most prestigious mansions, where many notable Torontonians, movie stars, and other local celebrities reside. These estates maintain their architectural integrity to this day thanks to high quality renovations and reconstructions are preserving Rosedale’s past. More than half of the thousand residential properties in North Rosedale are listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties.
South Rosedale and North Rosedale are among the 15 heritage conservation districts in the City of Toronto. South Rosedale’s designation as a heritage conservation district was spearheaded by the South Rosedale Ratepayers’ Association which was formed in 1931 and is the oldest such association in Toronto. Thanks to the group’s efforts, South Rosedale was granted heritage conservation district status in 2003. North Rosedale’s Frederick Law Olmstead-inspired Garden Suburb street pattern, ravine topography, grand old homes, and classical architecture made it an easy choice for heritage conservation district status.
South Rosedale has become home to a number of luxurious condominiums, as well as co-operative and co-ownership apartment buildings.
Shopping and Lifestyle
The stretch of Yonge Street belonging to Rosedale from Crescent Road all the way to Summerhill is vibrant with many pubs, fine restaurants and cafes. It serves as the area’s main street filled with exclusive amenities and upscale shopping during the day and coming alive after dark to buzz with local nightlife.
North Rosedale residents, east of Mount Pleasant Road, can obtain all of their household needs within a small commercial block on Summerhill Avenue, at the very north end of Rosedale.
Parks and Recreation
Rosedale Park, which has been a part of the neighbourhood for over 120 years, was originally the home of the Toronto Argonauts. It is now the venue of the annual spring park party “Mayfair” which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May. Festivities consist of rides, games, flea market and other carnival-type activities which is organized and funded by the local community centre Mooredale House. Located off Sholfield Avenue, Rosedale Park has a sports field, eight tennis courts, a wading pool and an artificial ice rink.
Chorley Park is equally rich with Toronto history. During the Great Depression, the parkland was the location of an elaborate government building which was home to the Lieutenant Governor of the province. The residents of Rosedale who were struggling with the severe economic crisis of the time resented the overhead that went into its upkeep, and as a result it was closed in 1937. In 1960 the historic structure was torn down and the land added to the municipal parks system. Today Chorley Park is a beautiful plot of land filled with trails and beautiful views of the Don River Valley. The Belt Line trail runs along its centre.
The Park Drive Reservation Trail and David A. Balfour Trail are popular destinations for longer walks and jogging. Heading down these trails, seeing the ravine closing in, you quickly forget about the city especially when you get to the small waterfall further into the ravine. Walking up the steep paths is made easier by wooden steps. The Don Valley’s Evergreen Brick Works, a former quarry and industrial site that is now a bustling local produce farmer’s market, is just three kilometres from the main entrance to the park.
Other parks in the Rosedale/Moore Park area offer a beautiful range of trails, scenery, and opportunities for outdoor activity such as Craigleigh Gardens and Beaumont Park. For family fun, the community centre Mooredale House at 146 Crescent Road offers, for a small annual fee, sports, fitness, arts and music programs for children and adults.
|Rosedale Jr. (Public School)||22 South Drive||(416) 393-1330|
|Whitney Jr. (Public School)||119 Rosedale Heights Drive||(416) 393-9380|
|Rosedale Heights Secondary School (Public HS)||711 Bloor Street East||(416) 393-1580|
|Jarvis Collegiate Institute (Public High School)||495 Jarvis Street||(416) 393-0140|
|Branksome Hall (Private all-girls school)||10 Elm Avenue||(416) 920-9741|
|Bishop Strachan School (Private all-girls school)||298 Lonsdale Road||(416) 483-4325|
|Upper Canada College (Private all-boys School)||200-220 Lonsdale Road||(416) 488-1125|
|The York School||1320 Yonge Street||(416) 926-1325|
Rosedale buses run on South Drive, Crescent Road, and Glen Road as well as Summerhill, Maclennan, Highland, and Elm Avenues. The Rosedale buses connect with Rosedale Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line and Sherbourne Station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists are just minutes away from the Don Valley Parkway and a ten minute drive to the downtown financial district.