One of several communities just north of Lawrence collectively named ‘North Toronto’, the Teddington Park neighbourhood is one of the smallest and most elite districts in Toronto. Over the years, many important and influential Torontonians have called this neighbourhood their home.
The neighbourhood is conveniently located along the Yonge Street strip, yet it is surprisingly quiet thanks to its natural boundaries, which include the Rosedale Golf Club and the Riverview Drive Ravine. The area attracts many young professionals and their families compliments of its quiet streets, good schools and parks, a community centre and library, great shopping and commercial services on Yonge Street and Avenue Road, and its proximity to the 401 and the Lawrence subway station. Many of the original homes, some with extensive renovations, still grace this exclusive area. A measure of the housing stock in the neighbourhood has been replaced with larger, more modern homes – still smaller than their extravagant Bridle Path counterparts, but with no expense spared in terms of attention to detail and modern comforts.
Teddington Park once formed the northern boundary of the City of Toronto in the early 20th century. In 1912, separate plans of subdivision were registered by two prominent Toronto businessmen, Nicholas Garland and Robert Dack, which led to the eventual construction of homes in Teddington Park. The neighbourhood’s development as a luxury residential district was inspired by the Rosedale Golf Club, which had moved from Rosedale to the Teddington Park area in 1909.
Teddington Park’s classic houses on maple-lined Riverview Drive were originally given descriptive names such as ‘Donnybrook’, ‘Silverwood’, and ‘Treetops’ in lieu of municipal addresses, which were not issued until some time after the houses were built. Some of these well-preserved homes still display their historical names, and most are in the Tudor and Gothic styles, with Edwardian and Georgian styles becoming more predominant closer to Yonge Street. Along Riverview Drive, houses have great views of the ravine and some back onto the West Don River and Rosedale Golf Club. There are newer low-rise condos and townhouses in the southwest corner, overlooking a small ravine just off Avenue Road.
The neighbourhood also boasts multiple use properties, such as the upscale seniors’ residence at Four Teddington Park Avenue. A gracious residence on this eponymous street, the home combines the traditional residential charm of the area with all the advantages and conveniences of an established retirement residence. Residents enjoy a number of amenities such as an elegant dining room, library, hair salon and beautiful landscaping as well as close proximity to local shopping, dining and churches. An all-inclusive program offers a host of services and activities, as well as trained staff to address medical and other issues of interest to seniors.
The average sale price for a Teddington Park single family home was $1,619,757 in 2007, with most homes being detached 2-storey properties featuring four bedrooms. Approaching the end of Teddington Park Avenue, which dips into a wooded lot near the Rosedale Golf Club, the homes become increasingly opulent, set far apart on wide lots. Not surprisingly, the average household income is higher in Teddington Park than the city average.
Likely the area’s most notable home is Knob Hill Farms magnate, horse breeder and former Toronto Maple Leafs owner Steve Stavro’s former home at 174 Teddington Park Avenue, known to local children as “the castle.” Built in 1930 by the architect who designed the old TSE, the RCYC and Union Station, the monumental 15,000-square-foot stone mansion set high above the Rosedale Golf Club helps make Teddington Park Avenue an anomaly; the streets on either side of it are much more modest. Highlights of the home include a spacious and formal living room, a morning room for casual entertaining, the loggia with walkout to the formal landscaped gardens and swimming pool, the ballroom where 150 guests can dine and dance, a silverware room, butler’s pantry, elevator, eight bedrooms, wine cellar, barber shop and change area. The construction includes elaborate plaster ceiling mouldings, oak floors, and stone fireplaces. The last asking price for the home was $22 million.
Inside Teddington Park
Teddington Park residents have easy access to the Yonge-Lawrence shopping district, which includes all the professional services, banking, pharmacies and health food shops, coffee shops, specialty groceries, many Italian eateries and other bistros, a Metro supermarket, two pet supply chains, and daily needs shopping on Yonge Street with additional high end restaurants and shops to be found along Avenue Road north of Lawrence. For mall shopping, residents can head west to Lawrence Square or up to the beautifully renovated Yorkdale Mall. Locals enjoy fine shopping at such neighbourhood hot spots as The Friendly Butcher on Yonge Street, which offers fresh free range meats, choice fish and seafood, and freshly prepared family favourites like shepherd’s pie, lasagna, soups, sandwiches and meatballs. The famous John Young Gallery offers high-priced English and French antiques suitable for a castle!
Access to excellent schools including Bedford Park, John Wanless, Blythwood, John Ross Robertson, Lawrence Park CI, and several French private schools is a major draw for families.
Motorists can head downtown via Yonge Street or Mount Pleasant Road and reach Highway 401 via Yonge St. The Lawrence station (on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line) is within walking distance of all the homes in the neighbourhood. There is also good bus service on Yonge Street and on Avenue Road, and rush hour service on Mount Pleasant Road.
Avid golfers who pay for the privilege can access the private Rosedale Golf Club or the public Don Valley Golf Course off Yonge Street just north of York Mills. Several Toronto Parks & Recreation community centres serve the North Toronto area including the Bedford Park Community Centre on Ranleigh, which offers a wide variety of programs and summer camps; the Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre, supported by volunteers, offers programs for babies, children and adults throughout the year. The Public Library at Yonge and Lawrence offers neighbourhood residents a quiet place for learning, in this wonderful well-regarded neighbourhood.