Having been a quiet rural village just outside the City Limits until 1885, Yorkville gained notoriety as Canada’s hippie haven during the 1960s. After undergoing large-scale development between the 1980s and 1990s, it was transformed into a dynamic urban centre — a mecca of haute couture, gourmet restaurants, glamourous boutiques, postcard Victorian homes and luxe hotels. Today, Yorkville enjoys its reputation as a unique mix of wealth, luxury, and style, and maintains its own identity despite being part of a big city. Its residential area is distinguished by quaint residential streets, Victorian Mews, vibrant flower baskets, and picturesque gardens.
photo by Cria-Cow
Officially considered part of The Annex, it is bounded by Bloor Street to the south, Davenport Road to the north, Yonge Street to the east and Avenue Road to the west.
East River and UN, photo by mksfly
Named after the Town of York, as Toronto was originally named, Yorkville initially grew up around the Red Lion Inn, a noted establishment that opened in 1810, northeast of where Yonge Street crossed the Second Concession (present-day Bloor Street). In the 1830’s, Yorkville was subdivided by Joseph Bloor, a prominent brewer, and by Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis, the founder of the residential enclave of the Rosedale neighbourhood. Later, in 1853, it was incorporated as a Village and, in 1883, it became the first village to be annexed by the City of Toronto. Yorkville has since undergone many transformations.
Photo by dbking
- Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area features more than 2500 businesses as members, making the association one of the largest organizations of its kind in Canada.
- Bloor St. was recently named the 7th most expensive shopping street in the world by Fortune Magazine, claiming tenants can pull in $1,500 to $4,500 per square foot in sales.
- In 2003, Yorkville saw its 150th anniversary celebrated by a gateway marker heralding the Village of Yorkville Park.
- Yorkville has always been an excellent place for celebrity watching, especially in the Hazelton Lanes shopping complex.
- Yonge-Bloor Station is the busiest subway station in Toronto, serving approximately 368,000 people per day.
- The initials and trades of Yorkville’s first council members are displayed on the Village coat of arms which is now on the tower of the historic Yorkville Fire Hall, located at 34 Yorkville Avenue.
- In 1968, Rochdale College at the University of Toronto was opened on Bloor Street as an experiment in counterculture education.
Homes, Architecture & Real Estate
Strolling in Yorkville’s picturesque roads, you will come by gentrified Victorian houses built mainly between 1870 and 1895. Ranging from tiny workers’ cottages on Macpherson to Hazelton’s heritage homes, they exhibit features like gingerbread gables, ornamental brick patterns and richly landscaped gardens. With several of its houses listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties, Yorkville was the 25th most expensive street in the world in 2007. After an increase in real estate value in the 1990s, several buildings were demolished and new projects are now underway in the area, including the 80-stories-high “One Bloor" a landmark development at the corner of Bloor and Yonge Streets, which will be the tallest residential building in Canada.
Who Is Your Neighbour?
According to statistics, the population of Yorkville is comprised mostly of single persons (60%), between 20 and 44. The predominant ethnicities are English, Irish, and Scottish. Your Yorkville neighbour most likely owns a dog (27.38%) reads business magazines and makes a donation every year (60%).
Parks & Green Spaces
- Yorkville park is not just a park — it is an award-winning park of bizarre design combinations! In fact, it is one of Toronto’s favourite public parks, located on the south side of Cumberland stretching west from Bellair. Designed in 1994 by Oleson Worland Architects (in association with Martha Schwartz / Ken Smith / David Meyer Landscape Architects), this unique series of gardens, ranging from a wildflower meadow to a pine forest, has received the American Survey of Landscape Architects Award.
Photo by Sandytri
- Located at the north end of Yorkville, off Yonge Street, Ramsden Park was established in 1904, when the city purchased the land which used to be the location of the Yorkville Brick Yards. The park is now named after Alderman J. George Ramsden, a local resident who participated actively in city politics from 1903 until 1936, and includes an artificial ice rink. FrontPage, four tennis courts, a children’s playground and a wading pool.
Photo by Shreyans Bhansali
- Spacious, beautifully maintained, and without recreational facilities other than picnic tables, Queen’s Park is one of Toronto’s quietest parks. If you are in search of a quiet stroll, Queen’s Park is the ideal destination, resting right behind the Provincial Legislature. Tours are offered every weekday year-round and on weekends during the summer.
Photo by Jimmy Emerson
Recreation & Culture
- The Yorkville Club (Gym) 55 Avenue Rd, (416) 961-8400
- Izzy Fitness, 91 Scollard St, (647) 235-9225
- GoodLife Fitness, 55 Bloor St W, (416) 964-0412
- Extreme Fitness, 80 Bloor St W, (416) 960-2434
- Pilates For Life, 27 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 922-0387
- 889 Yonge (Yoga), 889 Yonge St, (416) 925-7206
- Champion Martial Arts & Health Centre, 1086 Yonge Street, (416) 935-1258
Schools, Colleges & Universities
- Jesse Ketchum Jr. & Sr., 61 Davenport Rd., (416) 393-1530 (Public School)
- Jarvis Collegiate Institute, 495 Jarvis St., (416) 393-0140 (Public High School, at the edge of Yorkville)
- University of Toronto School, 371 Bloor St., W., (416) 978-2011 (Private School)
- The Yorkville Public Library, at 22 Yorkville Avenue.
- The Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, at 789 Yonge Street, Canada’s largest and most extensive reference library.
Arts & Entertainment
If you are passionate about art, Yorkville — with its exclusive art galleries — is the right place to be…
- Gallery One
- Beckett Fine Art
- Maslak McLeod
- Scollard Street Gallery
- Old Master Gallery
- Feheley Fine Arts
- Gallery Gevik
- Hollander York Gallery
- Kinsman Robinson Gallery
- Miriam Shiell Fine Art
- Loch Gallery
- Mira Godard Gallery
- Ingram Gallery
Or you can join the following popular festivals...
- Sante South Festival
If you appreciate good food and wine, the annual celebration Santé is the perfect destination! Every year in May, the world’s best winemakers meet with the city’s leading chefs in the most spectacular venues.
- Toronto International Film Festival
One of the most dynamic and prestigious events in Toronto is the ten-day Toronto International Film Festival which takes place every September. For 35 years, it has been the meeting point for big names, filmmakers, industry professionals and media from Hollywood, Canada and all over the world. With over 300 films and the Cumberland Theatre as a traditional participant, this glamfest in the heart of Yorkville is an absolute must!
filming Incredible Hulk, photo by ocad123
Attractions & Museums
- Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Impressive museum north of the provincial legislature and surrounded by the University of Toronto
- George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, across the street from the ROM
- The Manulife Centre, at the south-east corner of Bay and Bloor, features twelve new state-of-the-art movie theatres
Royal Ontario Museum, photo by Carol Felix
Museum of Ceramic Art, photo by End User
Lined with international and Canadian labels as well as four upscale shopping centres, Yorkville is not only Canada’s pre-eminent shopping district — it has also been placed on the internationally recognized Top Ten list for shopping destinations and is one of the most luxurious shopping streets in North America, often compared to New York’s 5th Avenue, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive. More affordable options are also available in the mid-market retailers, like Banana Republic, FCUK, Aldo, H&M, and Banana Republic — which have all recently emerged in the area.
photo by Metrix X
Locals and tourists alike visit more than 700 shops on the 27 blocks that make up the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area, including fashion boutiques, specialty stores, jewelry stores, fancy spas, antique shops, and world-class art galleries. Yorkville’s large franchise shops are located on Bloor Street from Yonge Street to Avenue Road while the smaller shops are in pretty Victorian houses on Yorkville Avenue, Hazelton Avenue, Cumberland Street and Scollard Street.
Photo by Howard Poon
More Shopping Centres...
- Cumberland Terrace, 2 Bloor St. W
- Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road
- Holt Renfrew Centre, 50 Bloor Street West
- Hudson Bay Centre, 2 Bloor St. E
- Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor West
- Sassafraz (French), 100 Cumberland St, (416) 964-2222, (reopened in 2007 after a devastating fire)
- Pangaea (Canadian), 1221 Bay St, (416) 920-2323
- Flo’s Diner, 70 Yorkville Ave, (416) 961-4333
- Vaticano (Italian), 25 Bellair St, (416) 924-4967
- Hemingway's Restaurant (American),142 Cumberland St, (416) 968-2828
- Morton's Steak House, 4 Avenue Rd, (416) 925-0648
Photo by Bitpicture
Yorkville is an ideal location for subway commuters and drivers alike, since it is just steps from both major lines, and a 5 minute drive to the Don Valley Parkway.
Photo by dbking
- Subway: The district is served by St George, Bay, and Yonge stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line and Bloor, St George, and Museum stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
- Bus: The number 6 bus line runs along Bay Street and the number 5 bus runs along Avenue Road between Eglinton subway station and the Toronto Coach Terminal
- By car: The Don Valley Parkway is approximately five minutes from Yorkville.
Medical Centres & Doctors
- Hospital, 650 Church Street, (416) 925-2251
- Canadian Blood Services, 55 Bloor St W, (888) 236-6283
- Wellpoint Health Centre, 1240 Bay St, (416) 960-8860
- Yorkville Dental Studio, 1235 Bay Street, (416) 607-5984
- Spectrum Health Care, 2 Bloor Street E, (416) 964-0322
- Wellpath Clinic, 170 Bloor St W, (416) 972-0770
- Pro Tek Dental Laboratory, 40 Scollard Street, (416) 961-2628
- Applied Biosystems, 43 Hillsboro Avenue, (416) 934-9022
53 Division, 75 Eglinton Av. W., 416-808-5300, Fax: 416-808-5302
Station #313, 441 Bloor Street East
- Bloorview Services, 20 Bloor Street E, (866) 607-6301
- Canada Post, 50 Charles Street E, (416) 413-4815
Churches & Religious Organisations
- Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor Street W, (416) 922-4948
- Eckankar, 19 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 926-8946
- Anglican Diocese of Toronto, 162 Bloor Street W, (416) 922-4948
- Kabbalah Learning Centre (Canada), 83 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 513-0030
- Stone Church, 45 Davenport Road, (416) 928-0101
- Christ Scientist First Church of, 927 Yonge Street, (416) 924-3636
- First Church Reading Room, 927 Yonge Street, (416) 924-3636
- Church of the Messiah, 240 Avenue Road, (416) 922-4371
- International Society For Krishna Conciousness (Ishc), 243 Avenue Road, (416) 922-5415
- Total Population: 3,626
- Total Households: 2,317
- Average household income: $174,420.00
- Average age: 46
- Top religion: Roman Catholic (22.44%)
- Top ethnicities: English (11.0%), Irish (9.0%), Scottish (8.0%)
- Top job types: White collar (59.6%), Grey collar (36.0)%, Blue collar (4.5)%