Nortown (Ledbury Park) Properties and Neighbourhood Guide

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Nortown (Ledbury Park) Properties and Neighbourhood Guide

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Nortown (Ledbury Park) Neighbourhood Guide

Welcome to Nortown (Ledbury Park):

Ledbury Park is a place for families. Eclectic and affluent, the south-west part of the community is a middle-class neighbourhood in the late stages of transition, with wealthy Torontonians moving in, knocking down the tiny mid-century bungalows and constructing outsize modern homes. Around the cricket club in the north-east, you’ll find distinguished Georgian century homes and manicured lawns, giving the neighbourhood streets an old-world ambiance. Regardless of where you live, the neighbourhood offers so much for families, from excellent schools and award-winning parks to exceptional shopping and unparalleled transit options. A solid choice for young families.

What you'll fall in love with:

The community’s namesake, Ledbury Park is an award-winning three-acre public park that features a stunning skating canal that melts into a meditative reflecting pond in the summer. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a waterfall and a splash pad for children, along with a fantastic fenced dog run for neighbourhood canines. The park was designed by architects Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, and in 1999 they won a Governor-General’s Medal for Architecture for directing this $2.5 million transformation. Today, the park is a magnet for local children, dog walkers and locals who love to get outside.

Neighbours:

The Nortown neighbourhood stretches across Highway 401 in the north, and the southern boundary runs across Lawrence Avenue, up Avenue Road and across Brooke Avenue. The western edge is Bathurst Street and the eastern edge is Yonge Street. More than anything else, this is a family community: Most couples here have children, and there are more kids than most urban Toronto neighbourhoods. Most families here live in single-family detached homes, but there are lots of condominiums in the neighbourhood, too. The average after-tax household income is nearly $130,000.

Highlight:

The beautifully rebuilt Ledbury Park offers skating in the winter and a great place to have a picnic in the summer; year-round, it’s the perfect park for walking your dog.

House Style:

In the southern part of the community, developers have razed whole streets of post-war bungalows and used the big lots to build expansive modern homes. In the north-east area, you’ll find century Georgian homes in brick, with , canopied streets.

Price:

The average price of a single detached home is $2.45 million, while condominiums generally run from $249,000 to just under $2.4 million, averaging $846,000.

Local Schools:

There are several respected and well-ranked schools in the community. Armour Heights Public School received an 8/10 in the Fraser Institute’s 2015-16 review of Canadian schools, while Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School received a 7/10. St. Margaret Catholic has not been ranked, but the historic Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School received a 7.1/10. There is no public high school in the community, but Lawrence Park Collegiate is right across the street, and received an excellent 8.7/10 from the Fraser Institute.

The commute:

Getting to the downtown core for work will take about 35 minutes by car, or 40 minutes on the TTC; biking isn’t an option unless you’re willing to ride at least an hour in city traffic. Getting to Yonge and Bloor will take about 25 minutes by car, or half an hour on the TTC; it’s a 40 minute urban bike ride, not for the faint of heart.

Life Style:

This pretty North York community offers an astonishing variety of local parks for families to enjoy. In addition to Ledbury Park, the canopied Brookdale Park offers three acres of winding paths through urban forest stretching all the way from Fairlawn Avenue down to Woburn Avenue. There’s a children’s park near the south end of the green space and locals love to wander here with their pups in summer and winter. A few blocks away, Woburn Park offers a second long, rambling walking path, reaching four full blocks from Cranbrooke Avenue all the way down to Glengarry Avenue; it also offers a playground and an off-leash dog park for neighbourhood pooches. The Old Orchard Park at the centre of the community provides a third place for children to play, while the Bedford and Grey Parkettes provide a nice public green spaces to sit and rest while out for a stroll. The private Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club in the north-east corner of the community bills itself as a family-oriented club and offers world-class competitive training, sports activities and social events for affluent locals. Established in 1827, the storied club boasts “Canada’s best and most-renowned cricket facility,” which is sanctioned for international play and serves five league and social teams. The organization offers croquet as well, and hosts the annual Canadian Golf Croquet Championships; there are nine squash courts, 13 tennis courts, eight lawn bowling greens, six sheets of curling ice and a 25-metre swimming pool with a retractable roof and walls. Members also have privileges at the private Georgian Peaks Club, for skiing. The Joy Miller Park, also in the north-east corner, stretches up into the Don Valley golf course, which offers a challenging 18-hole course right in the neighbourhood. In the other direction, the park stretches down into York Mills Valley Park, which has five public tennis courts and paved path for biking, hiking and even snowshoeing in winter. The commercial district along Avenue Road is vibrant and busy, with everything from equestrian supplies and furs to interior decorating stores and a home hardware. Pusateri’s high-end gourmet food store is just south of the neighbourhood, and Bruno’s Fine Foods is on the northern edge. Locals love Rossini Restaurant for handmade Italian pasta, The Copper Chimney for Indian and Thai dishes and Safari Bar and Grill for a casual drink after work. There’s no better place than Issmi to get your sushi fix, and your sweet tooth will meet its match at La Bamboche, a unique bakery that offers a fusion of French and Japanese items. And of course, Yorkdale Mall is minutes away, one of the best malls in Canada with all of the biggest names in fashion and retail. A portion of the community, along the northern edge, is represented by the South Armour Heights Residents’ Association, which keeps tabs on development in the community and hosts community consultations about urban projects. There are no other resident or business groups active in the neighbourhood, though the Hoggs Hollow association captures the shared stretch of Avenue Road.

A little bit of history:

For more nearly 200 years, the people of Ledbury Park have been swilling beer in the same spot, and for 150 of those years, they’ve been carousing in the very same building. The Miller Tavern may be dressed up like a classy eatery these days, but boy oh boy, if those walls could talk. It wasn’t the first hotel in the neighbourhood – that privilege goes to an establishment dating back to 1812 known only as Madam Valliere’s Inn. But the Hogg family built the first hotel on this patch of land back in 1836, when it was still the “new” Yonge Street, and the area was still known as Heron’s Bridge or Milford. James Hogg, a miller, established a post office in his new hotel and renamed the area York Mills, owing to the many mills that were operating in the valley at the time. Hogg was a reformer, and a good friend of William Lyon Mackenzie, a fellow Scotsman and newspaper publisher who was a fierce critic of the elite Family Compact that ran the colony. The year after Hogg’s hotel opened, Mackenzie stopped in on his way north. He told Hogg about his plan to initiate a violent rebellion to liberate Canada from the British. Hogg thought Mackenzie was going too far, and he rushed into the city to warn the government – but the government didn’t believe him. They were surprised when, later that year, Mackenzie and 1,000 armed farmers waged a violent uprising. The rebellion triggered the Durham Report, which eventually led to the creation of Canada in 1841, and the introduction of responsible government. Had they believed Hogg, Canada’s story might have been very different. That first hotel burned down in 1856 and was rebuilt by Hogg’s sons – this 1856 building is the one that still stands today. From 1889 to 1925, it was run by David Birrell and called Birrell’s Hotel. It was getting rundown and sleazy by the time Bill Cox bought it in 1930, renamed it the Jolly Miller and turned it into a swanky dance club with an orchestra. But the stock market crashed, and he went out of business in a year. The hotel got seedy and rowdy again, so that a guard would be posted at the front door, sitting on a stool attached to the top of a ladder, holding a sawed-off shotgun over the crowd. Police raided in 1934 and again in 1935, when they arrested more than 100 people for gambling. The place was closed. A replica of the guard’s stool now stands at the entrance to the tavern. The building changed hands again. There was a skating rink for some years in the 1950s. In 1964 the hotel stopped taking guests. Multiple redevelopment attempts failed. There was a fire in 1973 that destroyed the Hogg store. In 1997, the city purchased the derelict property and closed the Jolly Miller. Finally, the building was restored to its former glory, and reopened as the Miller Tavern in 2004.

Nortown (Ledbury Park) on a map