Parkdale Real Estate Neighbourhood Guide
Known as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Toronto, and holding the Best Neighborhood Watch Group award, Parkdale bears a positive character. On the streets of what was once Toronto’s most wealthy neighborhood, Parkdale has beautiful and affordable victorian style homes lined with large attractive trees. There are also a number of apartment buildings to suit the areas diverse population. Impressively, the area holds one of North America’s largest outdoor photo installations along Jameson Avenue; known as ‘Impressions’. On this route, view local Parkdale residents and the neighborhood itself photographed and placed on concrete tree planters. There are nearly 600 photos, all taken by Kate Young; a photographer working with Jim Bravo, an artist. The two created the photo installment to better communities through art. It was organized by Mural Routes; a non-profit organization. History of the neighborhood lies in these photos spread along the route.
Before becoming what it is today, Parkdale was known as a former village supporting an elite suburb during the late 1800s. There was controversy stirring around Parkdale remaining a small village around the 1870s, and was later amalgamated with the city of Toronto in 1889 and became St Albans Ward. The neighborhoods original name made a comeback soon after a division was made from Dowling to Atlantic streets while railways were moved, changing their names back to Parkdale. During the early 20th century, many exciting places were being built in the area. In 1922 Sunnyside Amusement Park had opened, which had a number of roller coasters that attracted tourists. It was located on the waterfront of Lake Ontario, but had to later be demolished to make room for the Gardiner Expressway. Along with the building of the amusement park was Palais Royale; originally built as a boat house, soon to be made into a nightclub for jazz bands. Since the amusement park was demolished, it is now used for concerts and special occasions.
The neighborhood now has a vibrant shopping district along Queen St West, a short walk from the neighborhood. There are many shops and restaurants along this street, including decor, clothing, food markets and independent retailers. There is streetcar service along the street as well, bringing in lots of traffic to the nearby shops. Streetcars also run along King, Dundas St, and Roncesvalles Ave. They connect towards the downtown area and to the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Closer to the North Roncesvalles area, there is a large Polish community which habits delis, bakeries, and other retailers.
There are many schools in the neighborhood suiting all ages and interests. They include Parkdale Junior & Senior Public School, Parkdale Collegiate Institute, Queen Victoria Junior Public School, Garden Avenue Junior Public School, Fern Avenue Junior & Senior Public School, and Holy Family Catholic School; part of Holy Family Parish. Some of the schools offer different programs, like Parkdale Collegiate, which offers a International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. There are also a couple daycares in the area, being Parkdale Child Care Centre, Sunflower House Child Care Centre, and Parkdale Early Learning Centre.
The Parkdale neighborhood is home to many recreational services for the community to enjoy. Holy Family Community Centre has a variety of drop-in and registered programs, such as children’s camps, sports and arts programs. They also provide after school care for children. The Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre offers free programs, both registered and drop-in. Take part in art, music, fitness, sports and camp programs. The community centre offers programs for both children and adults. The Mary McCormick Recreation Centre offers similar programs with the addition of fitness care memberships and swimming programs. The Parkdale Community Recreation Centre has a pool, wading pool, gymnasiums and community room for special events that families can enjoy. Last is the Parkdale Public Library, offering programs such as Baby Time, Friday Night Movie, and Homework Help for Teens. They also offer services like 3D Printer Certification; teaching how to use 3D printers.
As Parkdale was once Toronto’s most desirable neighborhood, it still holds many positive attributes. The area is extremely diverse, and is home to beautiful victorian homes, which remain affordable. The Impressions photo installation showcases history in the neighborhood, bringing the community together. Parkdale is abundant with schools and recreational activities for all ages to partake in and Major streets like Queen St West and King St make the area accessible by public transit or vehicle. This neighborhood is like no other, and is extremely suitable for those looking to feel included in a close community.
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