Welcome to Deer Park (Yonge-St Clair):
Gracious century homes and towering stone churches mix with ultramodern condominiums and a thriving commercial district in this affluent midtown area. Deer Park is near some of the most glorious green spaces in Toronto, and a neighbourhood subway station makes the commute to downtown quick and painless. Close to excellent private schools, luxury shopping and good restaurants, Deer Park is an exclusive borough that still feels like part of the city, with lots of energy and loads of urban charm.
The Deer Park neighbourhood stretches from Farnham Avenue and Jackes Avenue in the south all the way up to Davisville and Chaplin Crescent in the north. The east and west boundaries are irregular. On the west side, the boundary travels up Avenue Road, in at Lonsdale Road and up again at Oriole Parkway. The eastern boundary travels through the Rosedale reservoir, up Avoca Avenue, across St. Clair Avenue and straight up Ferndale Avenue. The neighbourhood is home to lots of young people under age 35, but there are plenty of boomers and seniors as well. There are not many children or teens in Deer Park, however: For every couple with children, there are two without. The average after-tax household income is over $111,000 per year, making this one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods. The average cost of a detached, single-family home hovers around $2.1 million, while condos range from $382,000 to $3.95 million, averaging about $990,000. Unlike other affluent communities, Deer Park boasts lots of architectural options, from Victorian and Edwardian to Colonial Revival and neo-Tudor – not to mention row houses and modern glass luxury condos with great views.
Deer Park is a true midtown neighbourhood, offering the benefits of urban life without the frenetic pace of the core. The area around Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue is a home to the corporate headquarters of big Canadian companies like George Weston Ltd. (Loblaws) and Dollarama, along with a wide selection of retailers and grocery stores. Locals can enjoy the mid-range shopping here, or head a few blocks south on Yonge Street to take advantage of the high-end boutiques between Rosedale and Summerhill.
The neighbourhood is home to the lovely Oriole Park, a gem with lots of shady trees, sports facilities and a kids’ playground for the kids, with a splash pad. The Delisle-St. Clair Parkette, Amsterdam Square and Lawton Parkette offer smaller green resting spaces on the south side. Locals also have easy access to the Rosehill Reservoir, which extends into David Balfour Park, the Vale of Avoca ravine and all the way down to Craigleigh Gardens and the green spaces alongside the Don River. It’s the best of both worlds.
The neighbourhood is home to the excellent Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School, which ranked 9.1/10 in the Fraser Institute’s 2015-16 review. There are two private schools in Deer Park as well: De La Salle College and Upper Canada College (UCC), an internationally renowned all-boys school that offers the International Baccalaureate program. Just outside the neighbourhood are even moreprivate school options, ranging from Bishop Strachan School and Branksome Hall for girls to St. Michael’s College School for boys. Co-ed schools include Braemar College and The Abelard School.
Commuting to Union Station will take about 20 minutes by car, and about five minutes longer if you jump on the subway at Yonge and St. Clair. Biking will take a little over half an hour. Deer Park locals can get to Yonge and Bloor in about 10 minutes by car, or about 15 minutes on transit.
A little bit of history:
The road up to Deer Park was cut in the late 1700s, and by 1801 the area had been divided into lots and named Drummondville – a name it would carry for the next 50 years. John Dew opened a feed store here in the 1830s, along with market gardens, a distillery and mills for both wood and grains. Most of the land was originally owned by a German baron who left to go home, and then it was owned by John Elmsley, a judge and politician. In 1837, Agnes Heath arrived with her children after a long voyage through India, Switzerland and Italy. Her husband, an officer with the East India Company, had died during the final war that established India as a British colony. She purchased 40 acres of land from the Elmsley family. Like the First Nations people before her, she noticed that deer gathered to eat in the clearings on her land. Indeed, they were so tame that they would eat out of human hands. She named the area Deer Park, and by 1851, that name had replaced Drummondville on local maps.
Development continued apace. Heath subdivided and sold off her property, and entrepreneurs built a school and a hotel surrounded with fields, where locals played football, ring toss and raced horses. St. Michael’s Cemetery was opened in 1855, making it one of Toronto’s oldest. The first post office arrived in 1878, and Upper Canada College moved to the area in 1891, along with the Deer Park Sanatorium “for the subjects of inebriety or narcomania.”
Deer Park was well-established as a residential district when it was annexed by the city in 1908; by the 1930s, it had also become well-known as an excellent shopping destination. Both of these remain true today. The arrival of the Yonge Street subway in 1954 reignited development, and many area homes were razed to make room for office towers and apartment buildings. The neighbourhood retains its mixed character, with a strong businesses and shopping districts integrated with single family homes and modern condominiums.
What you'll fall in love with:
Deer Park doesn’t feel like an enclave shut off from the city. With apartments, schools and condos nestled right up alongside stately Victorian homes and an eclectic mix of architectural styles, the community has a feeling of diversity and vibrancy that locals love. Add in great shopping and lots of nearby green space and you’ve got a perfect urban setting.
Deer Park (Yonge-St Clair) on a map
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