Category Archives: Rosedale

Keeping Your Toronto Luxury Home Safe And Sound: Preventing Break-Ins

The Post City website recently featured a story on its website called Break-in All The Rules: Confessions of a Rosedale Burglar, an interview with a reformed thief who’s burgled more than 300 homes and condominiums in the City of Toronto’s nicer neighbourhoods, like Rosedale, Bayview, Lawrence Park and Forest Hill.

In the article, the former burglar makes some recommendations to homeowners looking to make their homes less appealing to those looking for some place to break in:

– Keep your windows locked when you’re not home, even if you’re only leaving for less than an hour. If you regularly leave the home during the lunch hour or to pick up the kids from school, your routine might become obvious to someone staking out the home who might choose this time to try and break in through unlocked windows.

– Be diligent if someone comes to your door and when you answer, says they were looking for someone else or asks if someone (who doesn’t live in your home) is there. This is a common tactic for seeing someone is in the house before breaking in (and was was central to the plot of the movie The Strangers).

– Consider decorative bars or tempered glass on lower-level windows and sliding doors. They make it difficult for someone to break in, and upon seeing these a burglar may just decide your home isn’t worth the trouble.

– Living in a high-rise condominium does not necessarily guarantee your belongings are safe. Lock windows and balcony doors incase a burglar decides to pull a Spiderman.

– Use deadbolts on exterior doors, because according to the former burglar, “if you don’t have good locks, you might as well leave your door wide open because that’s what you’re doing.”

– Don’t let your landscaping provide cover to would-be criminals. Avoid planting large shrubs near windows and doors and if you do use motion-sensor lights, place them up high so no one can break them or unscrew the bulbs.

– If you’ve got a working alarm system, place stickers in your windows as a deterrent. Don’t allow these stickers to fade or look old, because a burglar may suspect the alarm system is no longer there.

Post City is a collection of newspapers that focus on much of the Toronto Area, from Midtown to North York and further North to Richmond Hill. The Post City website is a collection of stories from these areas. The full story is available here.

Rosedale Heritage Conservation Districts Provide a Lasting Legacy

By David Dunkelman

At present, the City of Toronto has 15 heritage conservation districts, including both South Rosedale and North Rosedale in Midtown. The path to designation as a heritage conservation district begins with a background study into the historical, architectural and character-defining features that make an area special. Following a general review — if the study area merits designation — comes approval by the Toronto Preservation Board. City Council then passes a by-law that establishes the heritage conservation district.

South Rosedale’s designation as a heritage conservation district was spearheaded by the South Rosedale Ratepayers’ Association (which was formed in 1931 and is the oldest such association in Toronto). The ratepayers’ association was naturally concerned that the neighbourhood’s Garden Suburb characteristics and grand old houses would be preserved. Thanks to the group’s efforts South Rosedale was granted heritage conservation district status in 2003.

In 1824, Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis purchased a 110-acre estate in what is now South Rosedale. Mary Jarvis was said to be impressed by the profusion of roses that dotted the hillsides around her estate, which led to the name Rosedale. Mary Jarvis’s daily horserides through Rosedale blazed the way for some of the present-day Rosedale streets.

North Rosedale followed the lead of South Rosedale, receiving its heritage conservation district designation in 2005. It also has a storied history, beginning in 1881 when the Glen Road bridge was constructed. Scottish Highland shareholders were quick to register a plan of subdivision named Rosedale Park in 1884, which named many of the streets after principles in the development and prominent Onatrio citizens.

Saint Andrews College, a prominent boys private school now located in Aurora, called North Rosedale home from 1905 to 1927. Rosedale Golf Club also originated in North Rosedale before moving to its present location in Teddington Park. The former Toronto Lacrosse Grounds — now known as Rosedale Park — were the venue for the inaugral Grey Cup football game in 1909.

North Rosedale’s development was sporadic. The neighbourhood was largely built by the late 1920s and early 1930s. North Rosedale’s Frederick Law Olmstead-inspired Garden Suburb street pattern, ravine topography, grand old homes, and classical architecture made it an easy choice for heritage conservation district status.

To explore Rosedale on foot, consider a Heritage Toronto walking tour. For more details visit

CAPTION: A classic Rosedale home. Grand, historic residences are a hallmark of South and North Rosedale, both heritage conservation districts.

David Dunkelman is a Broker and ABR* with Royal Lepage R.E.S.Ltd/Johnston and Daniel Division.  David is also the Author of “Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods”. *ABR* The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.

Picture Perfect Neighbourhood: Governor’s Bridge

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

Morgan Dumas is an aspiring writer and journalism student from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Rosedale’s Chorley Park: Rich In History

By Morgan Dumas and Diti Dumas

Nestled in the heart of Rosedale, Chorley Park was not always just the beautiful park that is located there today. The history of Chorley Park began when the Ontario Government was searching for a new location to build a residence for the Lieutenant Governor of the province who had been living in the Government House at King and Simcoe. In and around 1909, a site on Bloor St. was bought but shortly after sold when officials felt the area would soon be overpopulated with commercial buildings.chorley park map

Two years later, in 1911 the site was changed to Douglas Dr. in Rosedale and new designs for the property were drawn up by Frances R. Heaks whose designs were modeled after chateaus in the Loire Valley. It was built during 1911-1915 in French Renaissance style and cost four times the initial budget of $215,000. Soon after the property was built, The Great Depression occurred and the maintenance began to get very costly and a subject of complaint at Queen’s Park, especially by politician and premiere at the time, Mitchell Hepburn.

He stated that he was going to close the building as soon as the Lieutenant-Governor left office. In 1937, the building closed after 22 years of use. In June of that year, the province of Ontario auctioned off most of the furniture found within the house. The Hospital for Sick Children accepted the property in July, but didn’t make very much use out of it except for replacing the building’s leaky roof.

In 1940, the property regained its purpose when it was transferred to the military and turned into a hospital and a convalescent home for soldiers. The military maintained this hospital for an additional decade after WW2 ended and used the building as a training and recruitment centre during the Korean War. In 1955, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police attained the use of Chorley Park for their administration staff. Then the property was used as a temporary home (under the University of Toronto) for refugee students from Hungary, who had left their homes in anticipation of the Hungarian Revolution.

Over the next three years, there were lots of different negotiations between the city and the federal government over transferring the property as it was quickly deteriorating before their eyes. A deal was finally reached in 1959 when the city purchased the property at Chorley Park for $100,000. Fred Beavis and many of the city councilors were in agreement that the building should be demolished due to the cost of repairs, which were estimated at $250,000. They believed this money could be better spent, such as in the preservation of the St. Lawrence Hall.

The Parks Committee voted 6-4 to allow the demolition to begin after a year of debate in 1960. Afterwards, pieces of this historic building were used as restaurant décor, chimney pieces were integrated into Les Cavaliers Church and some of the gas lamps were added to the décor of Tom Jones Steak House in 1966.

If you visit Chorley Park today, it still boasts the same gorgeous and breath-taking greenery and secluded acres of Rosedale land that it did all those years ago and as you enter the park you will see a commemorative plaque on a rock at 245 Douglas Dr. This plaque reads: “Chorley Park was originally the property of Toronto Alderman John Hallam, born in Chorley Lancashire. In 1911 the garden provided the setting for Ontario’s last government, which was designed by F.R. Heaks and built of Credit Valley stone in French Chateau style.

The house stood at the end of a curving approach from Roxborough Drive. From 1915 it was imposing official residence for 5 Lieutenant-Governors, where distinguished visitors and Toronto citizens attended levees, receptions, charity balls, until closed for financial reasons in 1937. Acquired by the government of Canada, it served as a military hospital from 1940 to 1953 and later as a RCMP headquarters for Toronto Militia purposes. Chorley Park was purchased by the City of Toronto in 1960 and the building was demolished a year later when the site was developed as a public park.”

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

Morgan Dumas is an aspiring writer and journalism student from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Mayfair Memories

By Diti Dumas and Morgan Dumas

I can’t believe it’s been eighteen years since I took my three-year-old daughter to her first Mayfair at Rosedale Park with her best friend. They spent the entire day on all the rides, eating the treats and getting their faces painted. I have a picture on my fridge of my daughter on her first ride at Mayfair.  It is quite clear by looking at this photo that the memories made on this day come from a long-standing tradition, an event that you will return to each year with your friends and neighbours to reminisce about all the fun times while making new memories.mayfari

This Saturday, the 63rd annual Rosedale and Moore Park Association’s Mayfair will be held in Rosedale Park.  This fair is the longest running community fair of its kind in Toronto and for over sixty years, the RMPA has hosted a day of fun for adults and children.  Initially it started out as a small community event but now this annual celebration is well-known and highly anticipated throughout Toronto. Each year boasts a new theme and this year, Mayfair is going “Hawaiian”.  Grab your grass skirts, leis and beach accessories and join the fun.  This years’ Mayfair Parade will begin at 8:15am (and 8:30am depending where you join the parade) and lead you on an exciting and energetic walk through Rosedale before arriving at the fairgrounds.

Mayfair will be open from 9am-5pm on Saturday May 9th.  This fabulous event is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser with exciting rides, games, a food court (featuring a new delicacy: Monster Gourmet Footlong, in addition to the regular treats: burgers, hotdogs, chips and soda pop), entrance to the beer and wine garden, a marketplace (selling all sorts of trinkets and treasures), “The Mayfair Olympic” track and field events, Bingo, face painting and to top it all off; pony rides and a petting zoo.  You can enjoy an all day pass to the fairgrounds for just $25. Advanced ticket vouchers to Mayfair will be sold until May 6th at fine neighbourhood locations including Mooredale House (146 Crescent Dr.) and Summerhill Market. (446 Summerhill Ave.)

Don’t delay! This is a once a year event that will leave you and your family with memories that will last throughout the year!

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

Morgan Dumas is an aspiring writer and journalism student from Ryerson University in Toronto.



By Richard Fiennes-Clinton

At the start of the twenty-first century, Rosedale is considered to be a very refined and elegant residential neighbourhood, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.  It has several attractive elements; it is central but also quiet, a residential space surrounded by amenities but not overburdened with the noise and distraction of a downtown neighbourhood.

However, when Rosedale began, it was considered a rustic location for rural homes, and it did not even become part of the City of Toronto until the end of the nineteenth century.  The first known resident of Rosedale was Captain George Playter.  He had served in the British military, and had fled the United States after the American Revolution because he still wanted to live under the British Crown.  For his loyalty, Captain Playter was given two hundred acres of land, north of what is now Bloor Street and east of Yonge Street.  He received this land in 1796, and the Playter family was one of the earliest to settle in the town of “Muddy York” (now Toronto).  The name for the community where he received his grant of land ~ “Rosedale” ~ would not be invented for approximately another thirty years, but the Playter family has some streets named after them, north of Danforth Avenue and east of the Don Valley Parkway.

In 1821, Playter sold a portion of his land to a man named James Small, who built a house on the property.  Three years later, in 1824, Small sold the land to William Botsford Jarvis, a cousin to Samuel Jarvis, who Jarvis Street was to be named after.  In 1828, William Jarvis married Mary Boyles Powell, and the recently wedded couple moved into a house that stood roughly where Rosedale subway station is today.  According to the legend, Mary was in the back garden, looking down the valley (or “dale”, in the older English) into what is now Rosedale Valley Road.  She saw that this “dale” was overgrown with wild roses, and it was this point that the name “Rose Dale” or “Rosedale” was born.  In the early nineteenth century, when a family of means had a large home constructed, it was traditional to give your home and the surrounding estate a name.  Thus, Rosedale, the name that Mary invented, was given to the Jarvis family estate, and would eventually go on to represent the entire community.

Among other interests, Jarvis got into land development.  An associate of his had come to Canada and worked for a time as a tavern owner, and then a brewer.  This associate was successful, and got into local politics in the town of Yorkville, which at that time was an independent community, located quite north of the City of Toronto.  Together, Jarvis and his associate built up and developed the two communities.  The name of Jarvis’ associate was Joseph Bloore, and eventually Toronto’s major east / west thoroughfare, Bloor Street, would commemorate his accomplishments.  At some point in the past, we have dropped the “e” on the end.

With the construction of the Jarvis home at Rosedale, there was hope that the neighbourhood would prosper as a residential one.  However, initally it was hard to attract people to come and settle in the area.  As mentioned, the Rosedale of today is a central community, but over 180 years ago, it was considered quite far north.  Toronto in the 1820s had a northern boundary of present day Queen Street, and the city’s “downtown core” only ran as far north as present day Adelaide Street.  People were reluctant to move north to rural Rosedale, because they thought that they would be separated from the action of city life.  Women, who in those days remained at home and had the rather daunting job of running the household, were worried that they couldn’t find or keep household staff.  There was a lack of infrastructure, of bridges and proper roads, so remaining connected could be difficult.  Of course, there were no telephones, computers, or personal communication devices to help people stay in touch with their friends.

Before 1880, only about twenty homes were built in the Rosedale area.  But in the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, Rosedale finally began to flourish.  Toronto was growing, sweeping north, and neighbourhoods like Rosedale and Yorkville were being seen less and less as rustic northern communities, and more and more as extensions of the City of Toronto.  Generally speaking, Rosedale started to develop in the southwest, and grew towards the northeast.  This spreading out of development was mirrored, in a way, in communities like the Annex, where development started in the southeast, and spread to the northwest.  Most of Rosedale was laid out before 1930, when development slowed or stopped because of the Great Depression and the Second World War.  Rosedale has managed to avoid a lot of high density residential construction, but there were some apartment buildings and townhouses that were constructed in southern Rosedale during the suburban boom of the 1950s.

A few of Rosedale’s historic homes did survive to see the twenty-first century.  The home at 5 Drumsnab Road, just northwest of Bloor and Bayview, was constructed in 1834, with a second floor added around 1850.  The second floor was added by jacking up the roof, adding a second floor and attic, and then lowering the roof again.  The house at 124 Park Drive was built in 1855, as the home to solicitor James Boyd Davis.  The house at 23 Rosedale Road was built in 1857, by Walter Brown, a land agent, broker and publisher of the Toronto General Directory.  Alas, the first really prominent home, “Rose Dale”, the estate of William and Mary Jarvis, was destroyed by 1905.  It’s location was more or less where an apartment building at 30 Rosedale Road stands today.

Richard Fiennes-Clinton is the founder of Muddy York Walking Tours, which is a company dedicated to bringing Toronto’s past back to life in fun and exciting ways. For more information on Muddy York Walking Tours visit or call 416.487.9017.