Welcome to The Beaches (The Beach):
This tiny, eastern stretch of the mighty Danforth is home to a quiet community with good shopping options, active residents’ and business associations and a rich history – not to mention a super-speedy commute into the core thanks to the local Go Train station. It’s a good neighbourhood for those looking for well-priced homes that are still within striking distance of urban Toronto.
Danforth Village runs along Danforth Avenue, from Woodbine Avenue on the west to Victoria Park on the east. The northern and southern edges of the neighbourhood are a bit more complex: The northern boundary traces along Newmarket Avenue across onto Balfour Avenue; the southern boundary traces the CN Rail line (just south of Oak Crest Avenue, and just north of Whistle Post Street and Drummondville Lane).
People of all ages live in Danforth Village, with lots of families, children and seniors living in the community. The average after-tax household income is just over $71,000 per year. Buyers can still find good value for money in Danforth Village.
What you'll fall in love with:
A stone’s throw from booming Greektown and the famous Taste of the Danforth festival, this grittier part of Toronto’s main eastern artery has only recently been touched by the gentrification that has enveloped areas closer to the core. Still in transition, you’ll have to hunt for the local gems and eccentric hole-in-the-wall bars. Locals are working together to bring new life to this neighbourhood, while enjoying lower home and condo prices.
A little bit of history:
Danforth Avenue was built in 1851. By the 1870s the area near Danforth Avenue and Dawes Road was known as Coleman’s Corner, named after Charles Coleman, who ran a hotel and general store there and was appointed the first postman for the area. The Grand Trunk railway was built through the neighbourhood in 1883, and the establishment of a rail sorting yard triggered local development and a population boom. It later became known as Little York. The area was fully annexed by the City of Toronto in 1908, and the Prince Edward Viaduct was completed in 1918, further opening the neighbourhood to development. Then, in the early 1920s, the city extended the streetcar route to Luttrell Avenue, opening up the area to daily commuters and ushering in an era of rapid development. Ford Motor Company opened an assembly plant at the corner of Danforth and Victoria Park, where the company produced the Model T and Model A cars for Canadians. The neighbourhood grew, with houses going up both north and south of the Danforth. The area was first populated by English, Irish and Scottish immigrants, followed by Greeks and Italians in the 1950s and 1960s. The Ford Company shuttered its factory in 1953, and 10 years later the building was transformed into the Shopper’s World Plaza, which is now home to 40 stores. In 1966, the Bloor-Danforth subway line was constructed, replacing the streetcar route that had served the area for half a century.
Danforth Village is home to three small but lovely parks: Stephenson Park, Oakcrest Park and Coleman Park. All have nice playgrounds for kids and offer a bit of green space off the main drag, which is populated by a variety of stores and car dealerships. Locals enjoy shopping at the Shoppers World complex at the intersection of Danforth Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue, which has 40 stores ranging from a Metro grocery store to a Wishy Washy Laundromat. The western part of the community, from Main Street to Woodbine Avenue, is represented by the very active Danforth East Community Association. The organization hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market through the summer and fall months, along with a community yard sale that draws more than 160 households and businesses. In the fall, the association hosts the Danforth East Arts Fair in East Lynn Park, just a few blocks east of Danforth Village, and in the winter they organize a festival of lights. The association has also fostered an adopt-a-tree program in the surrounding community. The Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area is also active in part of the neighbourhood, hosting a free weekly music festival throughout the month of July. The Danny Loves Music Festival has welcomed great Canadian acts like the Julian Taylor Band – “pilgrims of funk, soul and roll” and singer Stephen Stanley. The BIA also issues a newsletter for small businesses in the community.
The easiest way to commute from Danforth Village into Union Station is to take the GO Train, which will have you there in under 20 minutes – about the same amount of time it takes to drive. The Bloor-Danforth Subway Line also runs through the neighbourhood, but the TTC will take 30-35 minutes or so. You can cycle from the Danforth to Union Station in about 45 minutes. The trip to Yonge and Bloor is a bit faster, just 20 minutes on the TTC and 30 minutes by bike.
There is just one elementary school in Danforth Village: Gledhill Junior Public, which scored 5.7/10 on the Fraser Institute’s 2015/16 review of Canadian schools. Nearby alternatives include George Webster Elementary (6.2), Secord Elementary and St. Brigid Catholic (not ranked). The closest high schools are Malvern Collegiate Institute and Notre Dame Catholic school.
The Danforth (Greektown) on a map
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