By Morgan Dumas and Diti Dumas
Just minutes from downtown Toronto, sits an exclusive enclave of approximately 115 homes in a neighbourhood called “Governor’s Bridge.” The area spans west of Bayview Avenue to the Moore Park Ravine and is bordered to the northwest by railway tracks. This desirable neighbourhood overlooks the Don Valley and Moore Park Ravine and is an ideal location for families with its excellent school district and many nearby parks.
In 1912 this neighbourhood was subdivided by William Douglas and Wallace Nesbitt, who were both distinguished lawyers in Toronto. Despite the time of the subdivision, the actual building of the homes did not begin until 1923 when the neighbourhood’s name sake bridge, “Governor’s Bridge was opened connecting this new neighbourhood with Rosedale. This bridge spanned across a large section of the Moore Park Ravine and received its name because of its closeness to the Lieutenant Governor’s residence (where Chorley Park remains today). That same year, Nesbitt and Douglas decided to change their original plan of subdivision for the neighbourhood by changing all the original street names in this new plan. The former “Southview Avenue” became “Nesbitt Drive”, “Oakdale Crescent” became “Douglas Crescent” and “Hawthorne Avenue” was changed to “Governor’s Road.” During the early years of this neighbourhood’s development it was often affectionately referred to by locals as “Little Hollywood. The reason for this nickname was because many of the first homes built in the area featured Spanish-style architectural accents, similar to the ones in California. The homes were built in all shapes and sizes and even included some bungalows that were built 50+ years ago and more recently have been demolished and new larger homes have been built in their place. The prices of these homes range from $700,000 and up. The homes on Douglas Crescent sit on the edge of the wooded hills of the Moore Park Ravine and all residences experience wildlife right outside their back door. Also on Douglas Crescent sits the historic Governor’s Manor at 67-93 Douglas Crescent. In recent years this residence has been transformed into an upscale condominium townhouse complex adding a grand quality to this already prestigious enclave of homes. At the eastern edge of the community a collection of sixty high-end three-storey homes have recently been built. Each is beautifully designed and includes many expensive finishes. These newly constructed residences are known as the “Governor’s Bridge Estates.”
At the heart of this neighbourhood is Nesbitt Park which is an ideal place for children to play and neighbours to meet one another and make new friends. For residents looking for exercise, the neighbourhood is nearby to the Rosedale Valley which has a network of pathways for joggers, walkers and cyclers. The closest shopping area to this neighbourhood is the small collection of stores found at the top of the Bayview Extension at the intersection of Bayview and Moore. The area includes a grocery store, bank, cleaners and drug store. If you travel through Rosedale you will also find the exclusive Summerhill Market which is a favourite of many Governor’s Bridge residents with their wide variety of delicacies. Residents can also travel a little bit further and enjoy the benefits of the stops in Leaside and on Bayview Avenue south of Eglinton.
Governor’s Bridge is located in one of the best school districts in the city including; Bennington Heights Public School (Kindergartan-Gr.6), Bessborough Drive Public School (Kindergarten- Gr. 8), Rosedale Heights (Gr.9-12), Leaside High (Gr. 9-12), Branksome Hall (Private: Kindergarten-Gr.12) and The York School (Private: Kindergarten- Gr. 12).
When it comes to transportation, residences have the option to catch the bus on Summerhill Avenue (just across the bridge) which will take them to the Rosedale Subways station (part of the Yonge/University/Spadina Subway line) or travel by car. When traveling by car, residences have access to the Bayview extension at the Northeast section of the neighbourhood which is one of the quickest ways to travel to downtown Toronto.
One thing about this neighbourhood is the low turnover of homes in the area. The reason for this is because once people move in they never want to leave this picture perfect neighbourhood and when a home does go on the market, it is a rare and treasured find.
Diti Dumas is a Sales Representative with Royal LePage R.E.S. Ltd./JOHNSTON & DANIEL DIVISION, Brokerage. Diti is a regular contributor to the Muddy York Blog. Diti’s website is located at www.ditidumas.com.
Morgan Dumas is an aspiring writer and journalism student from Ryerson University in Toronto.