Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

North York

Ledbury Park

Lifestyle in Ledbury Park

Avenue Road is one of Toronto's most popular shopping districts. There is a tremendous mix of shopping here including gourmet food shops, two large video stores, gift shops, fashion stores, home design and furnishing shops, a discount supermarket, pharmacies, children's stores, sports stores, beauty salons, antique shops, professional offices and a large variety of restaurants.

The Bathurst Street shopping district is much different in tone than Avenue Road. This shopping district includes Jewish food and gift shops, delicatessens, restaurants, and a handful of popular bakeries that serve up freshly baked Montreal style bagels.

The Province of Ontario has identified five Urban Growth Centres in the City of Toronto. They are: Downtown/Waterfront, Scarborough Centre, North York Centre, Etobicoke Centre, and Yonge-Eglinton.

Yonge-Eglinton in North Toronto has been identified as such thanks to its excellent public transit access where jobs, housing and services are all concentrated in a dynamic, mixed-use setting.

Yonge and Eglinton affectionately referred as “Young and Eligible” has been an important intersection for over a hundred years. This area was originally part of EglintonVillage, which amalgamated with DavisvilleVillage to the south and North Toronto to the north to form the Town of North Toronto in 1890. The Town of North Toronto was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1912.

The City of Toronto planning division has identified the Yonge and Eglinton intersection as having potential for new development through infill and redevelopment of key sites, including the TTC Eglinton Bus terminal lands. Lower-scale development along Eglinton Avenue further from the intersection is also planned; mixed-use residential with street-level retail is recommened. The subway station is also slated for improvements, as is an overall enhancement of the streetscape.

The northwest quadrant of the Yonge-Eglinton intersection is occupied by the Yonge Eglinton Centre, a mixed-use retail and office complex built in the 1970s that has long been a landmark and pillar in the North Toronto community. Upgrades to the open-space pedestrian square of the Yonge Eglinton centre are contemplated and under review with input from the community.

The northeast quadrant of Yonge-Eglinton has more of a main-street village feel with two-storey commercial buildings. One larger building with a set-back for an open-space pedestrian square has been suggested for this corner.

The southeast quadrant has already been transformed by the recently built Minto Midtown project, which consists of two residential towers with retail. The open space between the two buildings is designed to improve pedestrian space in the area.

The southwest quadrant is largely occupied by the TTC Eglinton bus terminal lands, which the city has targeted for public realm improvements, better public transit infrastructure and new park space.

Also notable is the redevelopment of North Toronto Collegiate (east of Yonge Street between Roehampton and Broadway). This historic school is being rebuilt with a new playing field and will open in 2011. “The Republic” condominium development abutting the new school has been very popular with homebuyers seeking this prime midtown location.

The proposed redevelopment of Yonge-Eglinton marks a shift in attitudes towards city planning with a new focus on sustainability and an opportunity for city building that will create new homes and jobs as well as improve the public realm. The implementation of this plan will help to ensure that Yonge-Eglinton remains a vibrant and successful focal point of Toronto.


Yonge-Eglinton is one of Toronto’s most vibrant locations.

Improvements in store for “Upper Avenue” between Lawrence and Wilson

 

Avenue Road is certainly one of the signature streets in Toronto and yet it seems a little bit like the uppermost stretch of this important city street has been somewhat neglected and underutilized for some time now. That is about to change as the city of Toronto has recently completed a Study of Avenue Road between Lawrence and Wilson.

 

The Avenue Road study conducted by the city of Toronto was led by the firm of Brook Mcllroy Planning + Urban Design/Pace Architects in association with Poulos + Chung Limited. The study sought input from the local community by conducting three public open houses and seven Local Advisory Committee meetings. The Local Advisory Committee was comprised of: area residents, business owners, and property owners.

The Avenue Road Study produced five main recommendations as follows: Maintain village atmosphere and pedestrian friendly streetscape. Encourage more mixed-use development incorporating retail together with commercial and residential uses. “Greening” of Avenue Road to include the creation of new parks and open spaces and green development. Build on the brand “Upper Avenue” through gateways, public art, street signage, street furniture, and overall streetscaping and landscaping along Avenue Road.

 

The Avenue Road Study concluded that this two kilometer stretch from Lawrence Avenue West to Wilson Avenue should retain its predominantly retail character but that it should better integrate into the surrounding neighbourhoods and provide a focal point for local residents not just as a place to shop but also as a hub for social interaction and pride of ownership within the community. The next few years will provide significant changes to this stretch of Avenue Road. If all goes as well as expected the “Upper Avenue” will be a model for revitalization for other Avenues across the city of Toronto.

 


The Shoppers Drug Mart situated on the north-west corner of Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue has tree planters and park benches out front and incorporates a sleek urban friendly look blending in nicely with the surrounding streetscape.

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