Nestled between the upscale neighbourhoods of Forest Hill, Davisville Village, Allenby and Deer Park, Chaplin Estates is a prestigious pocket within the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood. Its southern boundary is Chaplin Crescent, which runs parallel to the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, a scenic walking and biking trail. The Eglinton Way and Yonge Street shopping districts are conveniently within walking distance of the neighbourhood and offer a myriad of shops, from high end boutiques and trendy restaurants to professional services and cinemas.
Like its well established North Toronto neighbours, Chaplin Estates has the feel of a suburban enclave deposited squarely in the middle of hopping midtown. The neighbourhood is known for its desirable private schools and detached homes set well back on lots that are very large by downtown Toronto standards.
Residents enjoy the fantastic amenities at the North Toronto Community Centre, including both indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, a gymnasium, a walking track and exercise rooms; and in warmer weather, the popular outdoor facilities at Eglinton Park, including the baseball diamond, tennis courts, wading pool and artificial ice rink.
Transit access to and from Chaplin Estates is provided by the Davisville and Eglinton subway stations. Residents can drive 15 minutes drive down Avenue Road to either the Allen Expressway or the Don Valley Parkway, or reach the downtown core in about the same amount of time.
Chaplin Estates began with the Chaplin family, which had owned land in the ‘Eglinton’ neighbourhood since 1860. A plan of subdivision was registered by William John Chaplin and his son James D. Chaplin, in 1913. At that time, Chaplin Estates was marketed as a high-class residential district. The developers included a long list of building restrictions and zoning bylaws, in the sale of each property: semi-detached houses were forbidden, and stucco exteriors were not to cover more than fifty percent of the house.
Prices for the generous lots ranged from $500 to $9,000 each. Given that today, the neighbourhood’s two and three storey detached dwellings range in price from $600,000 to $1,800,000, one might wish for a time machine!
The majority of Chaplin Estates imposing homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s, and include many fine examples of Tudor, Georgian, and English Cottage style architecture as well as the ever-popular private driveways. In 2008, the average Chaplin Estates home was a 3-bedroom, 2-storey detached home valued at $922,383. There are few, if any rental units available within this neighbourhood, however, on occasion a homeowner will choose to rent out his or her home for a period of time. One such rental last year, on Hillsdale Avenue West, was a 3-bedroom, 3-bath home near Oriole Parkway, one of Chaplin Estates’ main arteries. The house boasted a full recreation/gym/play room in the basement, an award-winning kitchen with adjacent family room walking out to the professionally landscaped garden & enormous deck, award-winning powder room, custom wet-bar and office, enormous master suite with 3 double custom closets, spa like main bathroom, and stunning art and furnishings. The rental asking price for the home was $5800 per month.
Inside Chaplin Estates
This centrally located community is popular with young couples and families, who enjoy the area’s recreational facilities, parklands, outstanding shopping, and the many bars, restaurants, cinemas, and live performance theatres. It’s easy to spot couples making the transition from enjoying Yonge/Eglinton nightlife to becoming child-centred and taking advantage of Chaplin Estates’ peaceful residential scene! Of special interest to parents who wish to give their little ones an educational edge, local public schools include John Fisher, Allenby, and John Ross Robertson, all of which are very highly acclaimed and feed into equally impressive secondary schools.
Chaplin Estates residents do much of their shopping in ‘The Eglinton Way‘ shopping district along Eglinton Avenue West. This fancy shopping area includes high-end fashion boutiques, gourmet food shops, professional offices, and restaurants. Cafes and shopping also abound in nearby Forest Hill Village.
Of course, Yonge Street itself is also within walking distance of Chaplin Estates. This extremely high-density shopping area includes many one-of-a-kind stores, furniture, arts and housewares shops, and trendy Italian restaurants as well as cozy neighbourhood pubs catering to the professional crowd looking for something on tap other than the mainstream.
Chaplin Estates is known for its parks; in addition to Eglinton Park, there is easy access to Lawrence Park, Sunnybrook Park, Sherwood Park and the Blythwood and Moore Park Ravines. The historic Beltline trail at the south end of the neighbourhood is a boon to dog lovers, joggers and cyclists.
The Future of the Neighbourhood
Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhoods such as Chaplin Estates may be experiencing some fantastic new changes in the near future. The Yonge-Eglinton Centre has been identified by the City of Toronto as a location where the City would like to encourage major investment, which should lead to an increase in local property values. Recent and proposed projects include the redevelopment of the existing bus station and the homes that front on the East side of Duplex Avenue to Berwick Avenue; a new parkette off Duplex Ave; new 3 story townhouses on Duplex Ave; the new 14 story condo building that will be built on Berwick close to Yonge Street; and the new commercial retail and office space that will be built along the South side of Eglinton Avenue West of Yonge Street.