Welcome to Yorkville!
Yorkville promises a life in the very lap of luxury. Here, discriminating buyers find the most exclusive urban real estate in Toronto, surrounded by the finest retailers in the world. A wealthy enclave where prices can top $13 million for a two-bedroom sub-penthouse suite, this is a neighbourhood that has it all: Enviable proximity to the best of the city, shopping that rivals Paris and New York, and the cozy feeling of being part of a tiny, exclusive community at the very centre of Canada’s most vibrant city.
You'll fall in love with:
There’s a lot to like about Yorkville, but you’ll fall in love with the shopping. The “mink mile” is the most expensive strip of retail space in Canada, and among the most expensive in the world. Here, shoppers will find Prada and Porsche, Cartier and Chanel, Hermes and Holt Renfrew. With the introduction of upmarket grocery store Whole Foods and discount retailers like Winners and Labels 4 Less, Yorkville shoppers now enjoy more selection than ever.
Yorkville is just north of downtown, with its southern boundary running along Bloor Street. The neighbourhood stretches north to Davenport Road, and runs from Avenue Road in the west to Aylmer Avenue and Rosedale Valley Road in the east. It’s hard to characterize the average Yorkville resident, because the neighbourhood is captured with the Annex for Census purposes, and the Annex is home to many University of Toronto students and Toronto families who are priced out of the luxury homes and condominiums in Yorkville. Suffice it to say, then, that the neighbourhood is wealthy: The average home price is $2.9 million, and condominium prices run from $1.1 million to $5.2 million, with asking prices running as high as $13 million for the most exclusive penthouses.
There is one school in Yorkville, Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public, which has the area’s largest park beside it. Just outside the borders of the community, families will find a host of the country’s best private schools, including Rosedale Day School, Cornerstone Montessori Prep, Abelard School, Braemar College, St. Michael’s College School, Bishop Strachan, Upper Canada College and Branksome Hall.
It doesn’t get more urban than this. Yorkville locals love to shop, of course, and the neighbourhood boasts some of the best restaurants in the city (including the luxe Sassafraz, where celebrities like Robert DeNiro and Colin Firth pop up now and then). But the real reason folks love to live in Yorkville is not because of what’s in the neighbourhood, it’s because of what’s just outside the borders of this luxury nabe: Everything.
The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are within walking distance, while Roy Thompson Hall and the entire entertainment district are just 10 minutes away by cab. For local shops and restaurants with a unique Toronto flavour, scoot down to the trendy Distillery District on the shores of Lake Ontario, try the St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday morning, or head over to West Queen West, the gritty urban home to some of Toronto’s most colourful creatives. Head north and find Casa Loma, head south to get lost in The Eaton Centre. The Toronto International Film Festival will happen on your doorstep, and some of the greatest writers, artists and intellectuals of our time will read or speak at the nearby University of Toronto and in the Discovery District to the south.
When you’re tired of the concrete jungle and want to enjoy a little green space, Yorkville offers four small urban parks. The biggest one is the Jesse Ketchum Park, which is attached to a school and has a playground in it. Smaller mini-parks include Town Hall Square, Frank Stollery Parkette and the Village of Yorkville Park, which boasts a massive chunk of billion-year-old granite from the Canadian Shield. Locals looking for more park space can head to neighbouring Rosedale, which has vast swaths of green ravines that link up to the Don River trails.
A little bit of history:
Like much of Toronto, Yorkville was founded in the early 1800s, a tiny constellation of homes and businesses on the outskirts of the city – the first suburb. This is where, in 1832, rabble-rousing reformer William Lyon Mackenzie was re-elected and carried from the Red Lion Hotel down Yonge Street, bagpipes wailing. Businessman and builder James Dobson largely orchestrated the development of the area: He designed the neighbourhood’s first subdivision, became the first postmaster, operated the area’s general store, acted as the village’s first Reeve and then ordered the construction of a police station and a Town Hall. By the mid-1800s, the village had transit service to downtown and before the turn of the century, it was annexed by the city. Yorkville had a second counter-cultural heyday in the 1960s, drawing hippies, musicians and writers from across the country and around the world. One city councilor called the neighbourhood a “festering sore in the middle of the city.” Music clubs and coffee houses like the Riverboat, the Penny Farthing and the Mynah Bird hosted up-and-coming young acts like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simons and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Great Canadian writers like Margaret Atwood and Dennis Lee got their start here. Nearby Rochdale College, a student-run free university, was established in 1968 but succumbed to drug-fueled chaos and was closed just seven years later. In the years that followed, real estate values increased and older buildings were demolished to make room for the upscale retailers and condominiums that dominate the neighbourhood today.
The intersection of Yonge and Bloor is right in your neighbourhood, within easy walking distance. The trip to the financial district around Union Station will take a little more than 10 minutes by car, 15 minutes on the TTC and about 20 minutes by bike. You can get to work on foot in about 45 minutes.
Yorkville (Yonge & Bloor) on a map
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