A vale with cedar trees is what it takes for a neighbourhood to become as dreamy as Cedarvale. Historically part of the York borough, Cedarvale has become a wealthy community with luxurious homes facing the Cedarvale Ravine and Cedarvale Park, some of the city’s most beautiful natural landscapes. You can never get fed up with being a resident of Cedarvale; it’s all about the excellent amenities, the endless recreational opportunities, the glamorous boutiques along Eglinton Avenue West, the quick access to downtown and the overall cozy atmosphere.
Eglinton Avenue West from Avenue Road by Toronto History
Cedarvale is bordered by Bathurst Street to the east, Eglinton Avenue to the north, Arlington Avenue to the west and St. Clair Avenue to the south. The community is divided into its respective parts by Vaughan Road, with Cedarvale to the northeast and Humewood to the southwest.
Photo by Greencolander
It was in 1912 that Cedarvale’s residential development began. The builder of Toronto’s famous Casa Loma, Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, registered a plan for a subdivision in the south end of this neighbourhood under the name “Cedar Vale.” “Vale” denoted the ravine that runs through the centre of this neighbourhood while the “Cedar” part of the name references the many cedars that grew in the wet lowlands of the ravine.
A few decades later, in 1966, the Cedarvale Ravine was threatened by the proposed Spadina Expressway (officially called the W.R. Allen Road), which was slated to run straight through the ravine on its way downtown. The project had already begun, resulting in the expropriation of some homes and the clear-cutting of the ravine’s floor, when strong opposition was voiced throughout the city. It was a considerable triumph when, in 1974, the cancellation of the intrusive Spadina Expressway was announced, ensuring the preservation of this popular green space.
- Cedarvale ’s Jewish atmosphere with the Holy Blossom Temple and Beth Tzedec Synagogue makes its community special. Jews make up about two-thirds of the population in Cedarvale — the highest proportion in Toronto, according to the 2001 Census. This is why there are no Catholic schools in the area except for the nearby St. Alphonsus Catholic elementary school in Oakwood-Vaughan.
- In the 1960s and 1970s, there were plans to build the Spadina Expressway through Cedarvale Park, but Jane Jacobs successfully lobbied against the government to halt its construction project.
- A creek, Castle Frank Brook, used to run through Cedarvale Park, but is now buried, except for a short section in the Cedarvale Ravine.
- At the intersection of Claxton Boulevard and Bathurst St., there is an imposing gate, built in the 1910s, which symbolized its wealth. Cedarvale was originally intended to be a gated community; however, the gates were never completed, although the columns are still there. Additionally, Claxton Boulevard was to be named Connaught Ave., but only a small street connecting Vaughan Road is so named (Connaught Circle).
- The footbridge near Glencedar Road is a replica of the one built by Sir Henry to entice potential buyers. Legend has it that when the city called for the existing bridge’s demolition in the late 1980s, students at Cedarvale School petitioned and managed not only to change the city’s mind but to have the bridge reconstructed with the modern structural designs. The Glen Cedar bridge that spans the ravine portion of the park was built during that time and restored in 1989, after being rescued from demolition.
- The plethora of one-way streets in Cedarvale may drive drivers nuts!
Homes, Architecture & Real Estate
Cedarvale is not only defined by its picturesque green scenery — it is also a neighbourhood of great architectural beauty. Built between 1920 and 1950, a variety of stunning homes ring the park, with their glass expanses peering down into the ravine. In Cedarvale, you can find anything from modest starter homes and walk-up apartment buildings to large houses on oversized lots backing onto the ravine. The main offerings are detached and semi-detached single-family abodes. Contemporary apartment buildings are found only on the major streets.
Who Is Your Neighbour?
Original owners who want to stay close to their doctors, dentists and synagogues. Many of them are young professional couples in their 30s who grew up in the area, some of whom now owning their parents’ or grandparents’ homes.
Parks & Green Spaces
If you enjoy jogging, cycling, bird watching or just walking, the Cedarvale Ravine is an ideal place for you. Cutting a wide diagonal swath through the middle of Cedarvale, it is part of the historic Belt Line Railway path, an old commuter railway dating back to the 1880s. The path is extensively used and remains passable even in winter — a source of great fun to cross-country skiers. Cedarvale Ravine can be accessed through Cedarvale Park at Ava and Everden Roads.
Silver Creek Georgetowns Cedarvale Park by Shane Usher
The 35.7-acre Cedarvale Park, located at the north end of the ravine, provides local residents with a multi-use recreational space, including playing fields, tennis courts and the Phil White indoor ice arena. Dog walkers and students returning from the nearby school are its everyday visitors. From cricket games, tobogganing, tennis and baseball to flying kites, bird watching, frog finding, and day camps, the community of Cedarvale does not miss the chance to enjoy the park. Recently, the park added an enclosed off-leash area for dogs and an innovative environmental education program called “Families In Nature.”
With its traditional and modern recreational amenities, as well as the renaturalization projects on slopes near its north end, Cedarvale Park has become a progressive urban green space and should be a model for urban parks across Toronto.
Recreation & Culture
You can always join one of the following "green" events and groups...
- The “Families In Nature” Program is situated in the middle of the park, in a meadow with a stream running through it. This watercourse is a tributary of the Don River. “Families In Nature” has been assisted by over 300 volunteers from the community. Some of the initiatives have included planting native trees shrubs, wildflowers and grasses.
- The Cedarvale Wet Meadow Development is an initiative to create a wildlife habitat where the community can come together and learn about the natural environment that surrounds their neighbourhood.
- Strawberries & Asparagus Festival
- Toronto Community Garden Network
- Inorganic Market
In Cedarvale, there are no public libraries, but you can visit the following nearby ones:
- The Oakwood Village Library
- The Maria Shchuka Library
- The Wychwood Library
- The St. Clair-Dufferin Library
- The Forest Hill Library
Schools, Colleges & Universities
- Arlington Middle, 501 Arlington Ave., (416) 394-2200
- Cedravale Community, 145 Ava Rd., (416) 394-2244
- J.R. Wilcox Community, 231 Ava Rd., (416) 394-2388
- Vaughan Road C.I., 529 Vaughan Rd., (416) 394-3222
- Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 991 St. Clair Ave West,
- Forest Hill C.I., 730 Eglinton Ave., W., (416) 393-1860
- St. Alphonsus, 60 Atlas Ave., (416) 393-5326
- Leo Baeck Day School, 1950 Bathurst St., (905) 709-3636
- United Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst St., (416) 781-5658
CLRV Rounds the Connaught Laboratories by Robert Taylor
Arts & Entertainment
- Renee Klein Art Studio, 181 Dewbourne Avenue, (416) 781-0835
- Apostolis Art Gallery, 285 Rushton Road, (416) 652-1417
- Fran Hill Gallery, 143 Arlington Avenue, (416) 363-1333
- Petroff Gallery, 1016 Av Eglinton O, (416) 782-1696
- Ellington's Music & Cafe (Jazz & Blues), 805 St Clair Ave W, (416) 652-9111
- Fuzion 99 (Music Venue), 810 St. Clair Ave W, (416) 827-0627
Attractions & Museums
- Eglinton Theatre at 400 Eglinton W. is a historic landmark and an awe-inspiring example of Art Deco architecture that first opened in 1936. Today, the elegant venue has been restored and operates as the Eglinton Grand, with a spectacular ballroom suitable for special occasions like weddings. The venue is not open to the public, so you may want to call ahead if you are interested in viewing the inside of this historic gem.
- Beth Tzedec Congregation is the amalgamation of two of the first and oldest Jewish pioneer congregations in Toronto, Goel Tzedec and Beth Hamidrash Hagadol.
- Holy Blossom Temple, founded in 1856, is the oldest synagogue in Canada and the largest Reform congregation.
- “The Hemingway” building, at 1599 Bathurst St, where Ernest Hemingway lived in during his stay in Canada in the early 1920s while working as a journalist for the Toronto Star. The building now bears a plaque about its famous resident.
The vogued-out strip of Eglinton Avenue West is one of Toronto’s most glamorous shopping districts. Strolling along its pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares, you can indulge yourself in window shopping or visit the high-end fashion stores, gift shops, home improvement stores, specialty food shops, professional services and excellent variety of restaurants. Further west along Eglinton Avenue and Vaughan Road between Oakwood Avenue and Dufferin Street, you find the largest concentration of Caribbean shops, restaurants, and services in Toronto.
- Randy's Take-Out (Caribbean), 1569 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 781-5313
- Il Mulino (Italian), 1060 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 780-1173
- Frida Restaurant (Mexican), 999 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 787-2221
- Pizza Pazza, 1007 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 785-8784
- King Falafel (Middle Eastern), 875 Av Eglinton O, (416) 782-0650
- Raps Authentic Jamaican, 1541 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 782-7277
- House of Chan Steak'n Lobster Dining Lounge, 876 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 781-5575
- Sushi Ocean, 1010 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 783-8811
- Sala Thai Restaurant, 1100 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 785-1727
- New Casa Abril Restaurant, (Seafood), 475 Oakwood Ave, (416) 654-9696
- Jerusalem Restaurant (Middle Eastern), 955 Eglinton Ave W, (416) 783-6494
- The Stockyards (American Traditional), 699 St Clair Ave W, (416) 658-9666
- Mezzetta Cafe Restaurant, 681 St Clair Ave W, (416) 658-5687
- Savera Indian Cuisine, 815 St Clair Ave W, (416) 657-2500
- Khmer Thai Restaurant, 1018 St Clair Ave W, (416) 654-0609
- Taste of Thai House, 62 Vaughan Rd, (416) 652-0200
- Churrasqueira Costa Verde B B Q Chicken (Portuguese), 370 Av Oakwood, (416) 658-9577
- El Fogon, (Peruvian), 543 St Clair Ave W, (416) 850-8041
- El Plebeyo Restaurant (Peruvian), 1453 Bathurst St, (416) 532-5627
- CocoaLatte, 671 St Clair Ave W, (416) 792-8696
- Bus service on Bathurst Street and Vaughan Road connects passengers to Bathurst station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
- The Eglinton Avenue Road West bus connects passengers to Eglinton West station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
- Motorists are just minutes from the Allen Road Expressway at Eglinton Avenue. This expressway feeds into Highway 401 and its network of commuter highways. Bathurst Street is a main arterial road that provides quick and convenient access into the core of the city.
Medical Centres & Doctors
- Singer Gordana Dental Ceramics Ltd, 2016 Bathurst Street, (416) 785-6690
- Alpha Omega Dental Laboratories, 988 Av Eglinton O, (416) 785-7905
- Provincial Laboratories, 550 Street Clair Avenue W, (416) 538-1416
- Sterling Dental Laboratories, 914 Street Clair Avenue W, (416) 656-6968
- Keat-Dent Laboratories, 949 Street Clair Avenue W, (416) 531-5121
13 Division, 1435 Eglinton Av. W., 416-808-1300
Station #341, 555 Oakwood Avenue
- Canada Post, 509 Street Clair Avenue W, (416) 535-9122
- Stationary Wychwood Park, 509 St Clair Avenue W, (416) 535-9122
Churches & Religious Organisations
- Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection, 213 Winona Drive, (416) 651-3226
- New Dawn Moravian Church, 7 Glenora Avenue, (416) 656-0473
- Jehovah's Witnesses, 402 Av Oakwood, (416) 654-5151
- First Hungarian Presbyterian Church, 439 Vaughan Road, (416) 656-1342
- Oakwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 402 Oakwood Avenue, (416) 654-5151
- Wychwood-Davenport Presbyterian Church, 155 Av Wychwood, (416) 653-6271
- Hungarian Presbyterian Church, 439 Vaughan Road, (416) 850-0970
- Karma Sönam Dargye Ling, 86 Vaughan Road, (416) 653-5371
- La-Nueva Jerusalem Spanish Church, 312 Oakwood Avenue, (416) 657-1441
- Total Population: 4,195
- Total Households: 1,685
- Average household income: $124,792.00
- Average age: 38
- Top religion: Jewish (50.8%)
- Top ethnicities: Jewish (20.0%), Polish (11.0%), Canadian (10.0%)
- Top job types: White collar (61.0%), Grey collar (30.0)%, Blue collar (9.0)%