Lawrence Park, Toronto

Lawrence Park is the wealthiest neighbourhood in all of Canada. It is Toronto, Canada's most affluent residential neighbourhood, Toronto, Canada's other wealthy neighbourhood's include Rosedale, the Bridle Path, and Forest Hill. It is bordered by Yonge Street to the west and Bayview Avenue to the east, and from Blythwood Ravine on the south to Lawrence Avenue on the north. Lawrence Park was one of Toronto's first planned garden suburbs. Began in the early part of the 20th century, it did not fully develop until after the Second World War.

Centred on Mount Pleasant Road, the neighbourhood grew slowly with medium-sized houses on narrow but deep lots. There are few commercial businesses, within a five minute walk. The closest grocery stores are close to Yonge and Lawrence. Toronto Transit Commission streetcars ran on Mount Pleasant and Yonge Street until they were replaced by the Yonge subway and buses in the 1970s. Demographically, the neighbourhood still retains largely Anglo-Protestant population.

 

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History

The assembly of Lawrence Park began in 1907 by the Dovercourt Land Building and Saving Company. They acquired the north parcel of the park from John Lawrence, after whom this neighbourhood is named. The president of the Dovercourt Land Company was Wilfred Servington Dinnick. It was under Dinnick’s direction that Lawrence Park was developed as a suburb for the “well to do”. The first advertisement for Lawrence Park trumpeted it as an “aristocratic neighbourhood”, “four hundred feet above Lake Ontario, and Far from the Lake Winds in Winter”. However, Lawrence Park’s development was sporadic. The building of houses was interrupted by two world wars, a recession and a depression. It wasn’t until the 1950s that this neighbourhood was completed.

 

Community

Lawrence Park is one of Toronto’s most exclusive residential neighbourhoods. In 2010, Canadian Business magazine named it the wealthiest postal code in Canada by household net worth, averaged at $3.88 million. The Blythwood cluster of the neighbourhood, along Bayview Avenue, has an average household income of $622,238, while the West side centered around Mount Pleasant Road has an average household income of $469,448. The neighbourhood is located in a very peaceful and tranquil setting that includes gently rolling hills, several parks, a ravine, winding roads, many that don’t have sidewalks and a lush topography. It maintains the charm and affluence of its founding principles and has the reputation as the most family friendly of the city's super affluent neighbourhoods.

Lawrence Park’s shops, schools and recreational facilities are located on its periphery, which keeps traffic on the residential streets to a minimum. Many of the residents belong to the prestigious Granite Club, a sports and recreation centre on Bayview Avenue north of Lawrence Avenue. The high profile shops and restaurants in the Yonge and Lawrence area, are well patronized by Lawrence Park residents. This shopping district includes fashion stores, children’s stores, sporting goods stores, gift shops, bakeries, gourmet dining, casual restaurants plus the ever popular coffee shops. Notable institutions located in Lawrence Park are Crescent School, Toronto French School, the Rosedale Golf Club, and The Granite Club.

 

Homes

Lawrence Park’s whimsical houses include a variety of architectural styles including English Cottage, Tudor Revival, Georgian and Colonial style designs. Most of these homes were built between 1910 and the late 1940s. For the last few years parts of Lawrence Park have been redeveloped with some differing opinions, some call new homes magnificent homes that complement old and new, some call them simply monster homes that mar the old style common to the neighbourhood. In the first part of 2011, the average resale house price in the neighbourhood was $2,421,036, higher than any Toronto neighbourhood other than the Bridle Path.

The Lawrence Park Ratepayers Association has been active for several decades. Its mandate is to promote all matters regarding the welfare of Lawrence Park and its preservation as a residential park. The LPRA serves the residents of the old City of Toronto bounded by Lawrence Avenue East, Yonge Street, Blythwood Road and St. Ives. Its annual newsletter and website provide information about activities and issues in the neighbourhood.
 

Schools

  • Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute
  • Blythwood Jr. 2 Strathgowan Crescent (416) 393-9105 (public)
  • Sunny View Jr. & Sr. 450 Blythwood Road (416) 393-9275 (public)
  • Bedford Park Public School 81 Ranleigh Avenue (416) 393-9424 (public)
  • North Toronto Collegiate Institute 70 Roehampton Ave. (416) 393-9180 (public HS)
  • Northern Secondary School 851 Mt. Pleasant Road (416) 393-0270 (public HS)
  • The Toronto French School 296 Lawrence Avenue E (416) 484-6522 (private)
  • Crescent School 2365 Bayview Ave. (416) 449-2556 (private)
  • Crestwood School 411 Lawrence Ave. E (416) 444-5858 (private)
  • Crestwood College 411 Lawrence Ave. E (416) 391-1441 (private HS)
  • Loretto Abbey 101 Mason Blvd. (416) 393-5510 (Catholic separate HS for girls)
  • Blessed Sacrament 24 Bedford Park Ave. (416) 393-5226 (separate)
  • York University's Glendon campus. 2275 Bayview Ave. (416) 487-6710 (University)
  • SOLA - School Of Liberal Arts (private) 

Notable residents

  • Paul Beeston, former president of Major League Baseball and current president of the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Roberta Bondar, first Canadian female astronaut
  • Isadore Sharp, Founder and Chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Steve Stavro, late owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • John A. Tory, late Canadian lawyer and corporate executive, former president of The Woodbridge Company
  • John Tory, Canadian businessman and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario

Important buildings in Rosedale

Crescent School

Toronto French School

Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute

York University's Glendon Campus

Information and images courtesy of wikipedia.org


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