Centrally located and popular with young professionals and families, Davisville Village is an attractive area in Midtown Toronto between St Clair and Eglinton which offers an unprecedented array of housing options. Depending on what part of the neighbourhood you are in, you will see anything from detached and semi-detached houses to walk-up apartment buildings and towering high-rises circa 1970. Newer condominium apartments and custom built homes abound, and even some original homes from the late 1800’s remain.
The shopping district on Mount Pleasant Road is a popular destination for people who like to browse through antique and collectible shops, enjoy the selection of fine restaurants or visit one of the many family oriented specialty shops. And Yonge Street itself offers a huge range of pubs, restaurants, offices and professional services to meet the daily needs of residents and visitors alike. The Davisville subway station is located within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s homes, providing not only convenient transportation but also the TTC’s head office for customer service.
June Rowlands Park (formerly Davisville Park) is the recreational hub of the area, with 6 popular tennis courts, a baseball diamond, children’s playground and wading pool. The area also directly abuts the beautifully maintained Mount Pleasant Cemetery. It is just a short drive to downtown via either Mount Pleasant Road or Yonge Street.
Davisville Village is named for John Davis, who came to Canada from Staffordshire, England in 1840. John Davis was Davisville’s first postmaster and helped found the Davisville Public School. He also operated the Davis Pottery, originally located on Davisville Avenue, which became the Village’s largest employer. Neither the Pottery nor the wood and paper mills that used to be mainstays of the area, currently exist – they made way for residences, shops and businesses long ago. However, the two-storey building that was the site of the former Davisville Post Office is still standing on the north-east corner of Yonge & Davisville.
The south part of Davisville was subdivided in the 1860’s on land owned mostly by the Davis family. The north part of the Village belonged to the Church. This latter tract of land, known as the Davisville Glebe, remained undeveloped until 1911 when it was sold to the Dovercourt Land and Building Company, the same company that oversaw the development of the Lawrence Park neighbourhood.
The majority of Davisville houses were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The houses west of Mount Pleasant Road are mostly large two and three-storey English Cottage and Edwardian-style homes, with a number of duplexes and walk-up apartment buildings also in this area.
While many of the single family homes have been renovated, it’s still common to find the original hardwood and baseboards, and beautiful leaded glass windows. The Edwardians have the old-fashioned porches popular in summer months – great for relaxing, supervising kids, and people-watching!
The average sale price for a Davisville property in 2008 was $522,126 – the range varies greatly though, because unlike many neighbourhoods where housing stock is more homogeneous, in Davisville this figure would include everything from 1-bedroom apartments to legal duplexes.
The houses east of Mount Pleasant Road are made up primarily of smaller detached houses, semi-detached houses and bungalows. This part of the neighbourhood also contains a handful of historical homes from the late 1800’s, and a growing number of new custom built homes. The very handsome “stacked” townhouse condominiums between Lillian Street and Redpath Avenue offer stylish living similar to that found in newer developments along King Street West and in Liberty Village.
Davisville Village also contains a high density of condominium apartment units located mostly on Merton and Balliol Streets and along Eglinton Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road.
Indeed, 2008 statistics indicate that condo apartments were the most common housing type in the area – not surprising, due to the number of young single professionals living and working in mid-town who crave bucolic views of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Condo prices are reasonable and have big names, like Minto, behind them; with 1-bedroom units ranging from the mid-$200’s all the way up to 4-bedroom family sized units priced in the $600’s. For those on a budget or just starting out, a plethora of rental high-rise apartment buildings managed by Greenwin are situated on Davisville Avenue.
A 2008 property listing for a typical home in Davisville Village advertised a two-storey, 3-bedroom home on Hillsdale Avenue East. The home had a large deck and private fenced yard, and was walking distance to the acclaimed Maurice Cody school, and steps away from June Rowlands Park. Interior renovations to the open concept home included an eat-in kitchen graced with natural quartz composite countertops and stainless steel appliances, new roof, updated windows and installation of an air filtration system. In addition to the classic front porch, the house had a high-demand private drive with parking for up to four vehicles. It quickly sold for $629,000.
Inside Davisville Village
The city of Toronto officially divides the Davisville Village into two neighbourhoods:
Mount Pleasant West is the area west of Mount Pleasant Road, north of Merton, east of Yonge Street and south of Keewatin Ave. The vast majority of people in this neighbourhood live in low or high rise apartment / condo buildings, which makes it comparable with the high rise-ridden downtown core. The affordable housing units in the area explain the lower income levels in this pocket compared to all the surrounding neighbourhoods: over 80% of the residents in this area are renters, which is approximately 30% higher than the city average.
Mount Pleasant East is bordered to the east by Bayview Ave, Moore Ave to the south, Yonge Street to the West and Blythwood to the north. By contrast, the people in this part of Davisville Village enjoy an average income and house value well above the norm for the city; while not the most affluent of neighbourhoods, it is comparable to the Beach in demographics and income levels.
Davisville’s main shopping district is on Mount Pleasant Road. This stretch of stores contains the antique and collectable shops that attract people from all over the city.
Home decorating stores, children’s clothing and toy stores, and an excellent selection of restaurants like Simple Bistro at 619 Mt. Pleasant (which features a wine bar and private dining room, with elegant but simple contemporary cuisine at reasonable prices – $$) all add to the family-friendly atmosphere. In fact, many of the bistros and shops would be equally at home in hip Roncesvalles Village or the Annex. Convenience stores are everywhere, supplying last-minute essentials.
course, Davisville residents also shop on Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue. These two streets contain a plethora of gift shops, clothing and accessory stores, delectable bakeries, cafes, fruit markets, and coffee shops. Bustling Yonge in either direction – north to Eglinton or south to St. Clair – also offers an active nightlife with entertainment options like movie theatres and clubs with comedy or live entertainment, as well as fine dining – Grano at 2035 Yonge serves up high-end Italian ($$$) while Coquine at 2075 Yonge is it’s French equivalent ($$$). Couples and young families flock to Davisville Village because it offers the best of both worlds: wholesome family fun and plenty to entertain adults.
June Rowlands Park (formerly Davisville Park) at Mount Pleasant and Davisville, is truly the social and recreational hub of the neighbourhood. During the day, preschoolers enjoy the playground and wading pool, dogs play fetch, and spontaneous soccer and Frisbee fun often breaks out, while the Park’s six tennis courts are used by the Davisville Tennis Club on evenings and weekends. The club has an active house league and tournament schedule. Adjacent to the tennis courts is the baseball diamond, which is extensively used by children and adult baseball leagues.
Two noteworthy schools in Davisville Village are Maurice Cody, which has a popular Spring Fair each May, and the Davisville P.S. / Metro Toronto School for the Deaf, whose Summer Fun Fair takes place every June. Both schools are very much part of the community and represent a draw for families.