Welcome To Our Neighbourhood - Deer Park - A History Lesson!

November 9, 2010

Welcome To Our Neighbourhood... Deer Park


Deer Park is a vibrant neighbourhood in Toronto, centered at the intersection of Yonge and St Clair and  'sandwiched' between Moore Park/Rosedale and Forest Hills. 


Originally known as the Third Concession Line, with what is now Queen being the First and Bloor the Second, the area name dates back to 1837 when Agnes Heath and her children moved onto a 40-acre plot of land, noticed a lot of deer milling about and called it Deer Park. 


By the 1850s the neighbourhood included a racetrack, a school and a hotel, where guests could feed deer which roamed the Heath's property. By 1874 the property had been subdivided and entirely sold off and as transportation to the wild north started to improve in the 1890s, more and more people began settling here. 


Deer Park was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1908 and by the 1930s it had become an upper middle class residential district, which it remains to this day, with the intersection of Yonge and St Clair also the site of extensive commercial development. The tide shifted again in 1954, when the subway brought businesses north, and office towers, such as the Imperial Oil and Mutual Life buildings, started sprouting up. 


We’re now seeing a return to the way things were, as a couple of years ago the Mutual Life building reopened as One12 St. Clair, a high-end condo with million penthouses. The Avenue and Churchill Park, both new construction,  are following close behind. The architecturally acclaimed Imperial Oil building across the street from One12, which sat empty and forlorn for years, has finally been rescued by its condo prince! David Feldman, of Camrost-Feldcorp is excited about  his new project, "The Imperial Plaza" coming soon to the Forest Hill Escarpment just east of Avenue Road. The iconic building, once completed will no doubt give aging 'Forest Hillers' a nice, comfortable place to downsize to, yet in familiar surroundings. 


There’s more to Deer Park than Yonge and St. Clair, which is home to many notable addresses: 150 Balmoral, at the corner of Avenue and Balmoral, was built in 1929 by S. B. Coon and Son, and stands as one of the stateliest Gothic rental buildings this side of the Atlantic, while The Algiers apartments to the north are the very picture of swinging 1960s cocktail party pads. 


Dignified brick homes can be found on many of the streets  running off Yonge Street and Avenue Road, while many on Chaplin and Oriole Parkway facing Upper Canada College are on the more ambitious end of the price scale and set the architectural tone for the smaller homes, all of which are now being joined by an increasing number of high- and ultra-high-end condos. Older townhouses on such streets as Alcorn and Walker Avenues and two-storey brick boxes on Hillsdale Avenue West and Lawton Boulevard are in the (still comfortably high) lower end.


This narrow strip of the city, which has had more than its fair share of famous former residents, has been on the rise, both commercially and residentially, for upwards of a decade, and it shows no sign of slowing down. If you can afford it, it’s one of the most well-rounded neighbourhoods in the city, with plenty of amenities, Deer Park Public School, Deer Park Library, five places of worship, TTC subway, streetcars and buses, supermarkets, health clubs, banking, shopping, and dining. And last but not least, the beautiful David Balfour Park with it's ravine and nature walking trails.


If you are thinking of buying a home in the Deer Park Neighbourhood, or in the mid town area of Yonge and St Clair, be sure to call us... it's where we live!


Paul Magnus and Timothy J. Burke - Sales Representatives

Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty, Brokerage -416-366-8800

Tagged with: deer park yonge and st clair mid town condos paul magnus timothy j burke coldwell banker
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