<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=294326554740919&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Lawrence Park - Wilson Sisters

Situated between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue, and nestled between Blythwood Ravine and Lawrence Avenue, Lawrence Park features the best of both worlds with its gently winding roads, rolling hills, and picturesque ravines in an urban, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. One of Canada’s wealthiest residential neighbourhoods, Lawrence Park boasts top-notch schools, first-rate recreational facilities, and high-profile shops and restaurants you don’t want to miss out on. For Torontonians who want to escape the congestion of downtown while remaining in close proximity to the heart of the city, Lawrence Park is the perfect place to call home. Wherever you’re heading, to work or play, the TTC ­– bus and subway – is at your doorstep. For motorists heading out or across the city, both Bayview Avenue and Yonge Street connect to Highway 401 in only minutes.

Once upon a time…

The year was 1907 when the Dovercourt Land Building and Savings Company purchased northern Lawrence Park from John Lawrence and his wife Sarah. Under the visionary direction of the company’s president, Lawrence Park was purposed as a prestigious development – one of Toronto’s first planned garden suburbs. Advertising invited prospective home buyers to survey an ‘aristocratic neighbourhood’ situated ‘four hundred feet above Lake Ontario’ that was ‘far from the lake winds in winter’ — a peaceful neighbourhood outside of the rapidly growing city core. Despite the initial fanfare, development of the area was slow. World War 1, World War 2, the Recession, and the Depression saw sporadic growth until the neighbourhood’s completion in the 1950s.

Bricks and Mortar

With multi-million dollar architecture steeped in history, Lawrence Park boasts homes over a hundred years old ­– a legacy to the high standards of the original development company. The original houses were built of brick or stone, with designs approved by the official Dovercourt architects. Architectural styles ranged from English Cottage, Tudor Revival, Georgian, and Colonial; lots were narrow yet deep, with homes set well back from the street, ensuring a harmonious streetscape. Renovations have preserved the old world charm with the maintenance of many original decorative features. More recent redevelopment has resulted in lively local discussions about the newer homes, and the Lawrence Park Ratepayers Association remains active in advocating for the welfare of the Lawrence Park neighbourhood as well as its preservation as a residential park.

A breath of fresh air…

Just east of Yonge Street and south of Lawrence Street, Lawrence Park is an outdoor playland that guarantees family fun for everyone. Home to the Lawrence Park Tennis Club and the Lawrence Park Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club, the 4.6 hectare park features three outdoor clay tennis courts, two lawn bowling greens, a children’s playground, and a multi-level, award-winning strolling garden. Named after the famous composer who wrote The Maple Leaf Forever, Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens is situated along the Northern Ravines and Gardens Discovery Walk, leading all the way to Sunnybrook Park. Walk, jog, bike, or snowshoe the Lawrence Park Ravine footpath and enjoy the trails year round.

For inclusive family recreation, the Granite Club is a place about families and for families and has been for generations. Located on Bayview Avenue north of Lawrence, the club’s state-of-the-art sports and recreation centre offers aquatics, badminton, curling, fitness, tennis, lawn bowling, skating, squash, and golf in a warm, caring atmosphere. Another great option for golf enthusiasts is the Rosedale Golf Club. Located northwest of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue, it is considered by some to be one of the best golf courses in Canada. Become a member or just swing by and embrace the greens for your daily dose of iron.

Taxi!

Most Lawrence Park residents are within walking distance of bus routes that run along Yonge Street, Mount Pleasant Road, Bayview Avenue, and Lawrence Avenue. The Lawrence subway station, located at the intersection of Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue, is part of the Yonge-University-Spadina line connecting you to the expansiveness of Toronto. Cyclists will appreciate a short ride to downtown, although be prepared for the uphill climb on your way home. For motorists, both Bayview Avenue and Yonge Street connect to Highway 401 within a five- to ten-minute drive from Lawrence Park.

Coffee… Where art thou?

South of Blythwood Avenue on Yonge Street, the safety and security of Starbucks and Second Cup await you. Dufflet Bakery also has made a home here and features a range of espressos to complement your choice of oh-so-sweet treats – your diet will have to wait until next week. If you prefer a friendly, familiar, oh-so-Canadian café, Tim Horton’s can be found at the corner of Blythwood Road and Bayview Avenue, with a second location just north of Bayview at Lawrence Avenue. At Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue, you will find a second Starbucks and a Coffee Time to meet your caffeine needs. For something a little less generic, pop into Butter Avenue on Yonge Street – Toronto’s newest source of French macaroons, cakes, pastries, and espresso-based beverages. Family owners Calvin and Tina invite you to “Leave the world outside and enter a dream of fresh coffee and French Desserts.” The perfect locale for your daily coffee fix!

Date Night

For the best burger in Toronto day or night look no further than your own neighbourhood. Burger’s Priest brings heaven to earth and has people lining up at the gates. The owner went to seminary, which “didn’t work out so well,” so instead he decided to pay tribute to God by creating the world’s best burger — a big calling and one that many agree Burger Priest has achieved. The freshest ground beef guaranteed is grilled to perfection with over a hundred years of grilling and grinding techniques. The burgers are out-of-this world. Be sure to check out their secret online menu (www.theburgerpriest.com), and if beef isn’t an option, the Option – a custom blend of cheesy goodness sandwiched between two roasted Portobello mushrooms, deep fried, then placed on a bun with your choice of toppings – is just for you. Herbivore or carnivore, Burger Priest promises to exceed your expectations. Don’t be surprised at the line-ups. They move quickly, but this is no McDonalds. Patience is a virtue, so wait, taste, and see the goodness of Burger’s Priest. Some things are worth waiting for . . .

For brunch, lunch, or dinner, Soho Bistro has a fabulous garden patio and a kids menu that will accommodate even the fussiest of eaters. The menu has something for everyone, decent prices, and good portions all in a casual, bistro-style atmosphere. The Wildfire Steakhouse and Wine Bar is your home away from home for steak, although locals also rave about Gameroni’s Steak Frites. For lovers of all things Mexican, Milagro features rustic dishes prepared with fresh corn tortillas, native spices, and regional chilies like those served in the classic cantinas in Mexico City. Bring on the jalapeños then head over to Menchies to cool down with a frozen yoghurt treat.

Does this come in a size 7?

Merged with so many fantastic restaurants and watering holes, Yonge and Lawrence shopping offers high profile shops including unique fashion stores, children’s’ boutiques, sporting goods stores, and specialty shops. For the hottest pumped-up-kicks around, Get Outside stocks 4000 square feet of fashion-forward footwear such as Sperry, Hunter, Sorel, Frye, Converse, and Tom – whatever you’re looking for, they’ve probably got ‘em. Alternatively, Adrian’s Shoes specializes in your kids’ kicks – one-stop shopping for their fast-growing feet. Corello’s Barbershop is a neighbourhood institution with generations religiously sitting under the shaver and resting under the razor of the Corrello family. Send the men there and head over to Cozy Nails for a well-deserved mani-pedi! From head to toe, Lawrence Park has got you covered.

Where to take the kids…

For summer fun, Woburn Avenue playground features a wading pool, two playground areas, and a sand pit. This park is top notch, with a ridiculous selection of toys to keep your children enthralled for hours. On cooler days, head over to George Locke Public Library, which offers a variety of programs for children and preschoolers, or over to Just Ducky Martial Arts, which boasts more than just karate classes. Head out of the house and in from the cold for fun and healthy activities in a clean, bright environment you will love. With daily drop-in play, parent and tot classes, as well as a range of martial arts classes for kids, Just Ducky’s goal is “to be the premier Indoor Playground and Family Entertainment Facility in Toronto.”

For another fun yet practical outing, pop into Melonhead. Your kids will jump at the chance to watch their favourite movie, ride a pony, drive a car, or fly a plane, all while getting that overdue haircut. Make a challenging task easy, then walk through the back of the store and stop at Robyn’s Cookies on your way out. This colourful, comfy café serves up carefully crafted cookies with a smile. They do birthday parties, too – catering and cookie decorating without the clean up!

Wherever and however you spend your days, finding the right school for your children matters. From kindergarten to high school, Catholic or public, Lawrence Park has some great options. Most Toronto schools have definite enrollment boundaries, so it’s always a good idea to contact the school you have in mind to ensure your new home falls within their boundaries.  For more information, visit the Toronto District and Toronto Catholic School Boards websites.