Lawrence Park, Toronto
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (December 2012)|
Location of Lawrence Park North (green) and Lawrence Park South (blue) within Toronto
|• City Councillor||Karen Stintz
|• Federal M.P.||Joe Oliver
|• Provincial M.P.P.||Mike Colle
Lawrence Park is an affluent neighbourhood in Toronto and was ranked the wealthiest neighbourhood in all of Canada in 2011. It is bordered by Yonge Street to the west and Bayview Avenue to the east, and from Blythwood Ravine on the south to Lawrence Avenue on the north. Lawrence Park was one of Toronto's first planned garden suburbs. Began in the early part of the 20th century, it did not fully develop until after the Second World War.
Centred on Mount Pleasant Road, the neighbourhood grew slowly with medium-sized houses on narrow but deep lots. There are few commercial businesses, within a five-minute walk. The closest grocery stores are close to Yonge and Lawrence.
In its early years, the neighbourhood's transportation was served predominantly by the northern section of the Toronto Transportation Commission's Yonge streetcar. When the Yonge subway opened to Eglinton in 1954, the TTC replaced this service with trolley buses on Yonge Street and Mount Pleasant Road, both terminating at the Eglinton station. The trolleys left Yonge when the subway was extended further north in 1973, although a less frequent local bus service remained; the trolleys on Mount Pleasant lasted until 1991, when they too were replaced with diesels.
Demographically, the neighbourhood still retains a largely Anglo-Protestant population.
The assembly of Lawrence Park began in 1907 by the Dovercourt Land Building and Saving Company, which acquired the north parcel of the park from John Lawrence, after whom this neighbourhood is named. The president of the Dovercourt Land Company was Wilfred Servington Dinnick. It was under Dinnick’s direction that Lawrence Park was developed as a suburb for the "well to do".
The first advertisement for Lawrence Park trumpeted it as an "“aristocratic neighbourhood", "four hundred feet above Lake Ontario, and Far from the Lake Winds in Winter". However, Lawrence Park’s development was sporadic. The building of houses was interrupted by two world wars, a recession and a depression. It wasn’t until the 1950s that this neighbourhood was completed.
Lawrence Park is one of Toronto’s most exclusive residential neighborhoods. In 2011, Canadian Business magazine named it the wealthiest postal code in Canada by household net worth, averaged at $3.88 million. The Blythwood cluster of the neighborhood, along Bayview Avenue, has an average household income of $622,238, while the West side centered around Mount Pleasant Road has an average household income of $469,448.
The neighborhood is located in a setting that includes gently rolling hills, several parks, and a ravine. Lawrence Park’s shops, schools and recreational facilities are located on its periphery. Many of the residents belong to The Granite Club, a sports and recreation centre on Bayview Avenue north of Lawrence Avenue.
The high profile shops and restaurants in the Yonge and Lawrence area, are well patronized by Lawrence Park residents. This shopping district includes fashion stores, children’s stores, sporting goods stores, gift shops, bakeries, gourmet dining, casual restaurants plus the ever popular coffee shops.
Lawrence Park’s whimsical houses include a variety of architectural styles including English Cottage, Tudor Revival, Georgian and Colonial style designs. Most of these homes were built between 1910 and the late 1940s. For the last few years parts of Lawrence Park have been redeveloped with some differing opinions, some call new homes magnificent homes that complement old and new, some call them simply monster homes that mar the old style common to the neighborhood.
The Lawrence Park Ratepayers Association has been active for several decades. Its mandate is to promote all matters regarding the welfare of Lawrence Park and its preservation as a residential park. The LPRA serves the residents of the old City of Toronto bounded by Lawrence Avenue East, Yonge Street, Blythwood Road and St. Ives. Its annual newsletter and website provide information about activities and issues in the neighbourhood.
Lawrence Park is directly adjacent to another affluent Toronto neighbourhood called Lytton Park. These two neighbourhoods are often confused with each other. Lawrence Park's western-most boundary is Yonge street. Lytton Park continues westward towards Bathurst Street.
Currently, for the purposes of social policy analysis & research, the city of Toronto’s Social Development & Administration division divides Lawrence Park into two geographies: the western side of the neighborhood falls under Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills, while the eastern section belongs to an area labeled Lawrence Park South, which extends well beyond neighborhood limits and includes parts of Lytton Park. The geography labeled Lawrence Park North does not include any section of the neighborhood and encompasses Bedford Park, Wanless Park, and Teddington Park.
- Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute
- Blythwood Jr. 2 Strathgowan Crescent (416) 393-9105 (public)
- Sunny View Jr. & Sr. 450 Blythwood Road (416) 393-9275 (public)
- Bedford Park Public School 81 Ranleigh Avenue (416) 393-9424 (public)
- The Toronto French School 296 Lawrence Avenue E (416) 484-6522 (private)
- Crescent School 2365 Bayview Ave. (416) 449-2556 (private)
- Crestwood School 411 Lawrence Ave. E (416) 444-5858 (private)
- Loretto Abbey 101 Mason Blvd. (416) 393-5510 (Catholic separate HS for girls)
- Blessed Sacrament 24 Bedford Park Ave. (416) 393-5226 (separate)
- York University's Glendon campus. 2275 Bayview Ave. (416) 487-6710 (University)
- SOLA - School Of Liberal Arts (private)
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 and Lawrence, is part of the Yonge-University-Spadina line.
Both Bayview and Yonge Street connect to Highway 401 within a five to ten minute drive from Lawrence Park.
- Paul Beeston, former president of Major League Baseball and current president of the Toronto Blue Jays
- Roberta Bondar, first Canadian female astronaut
- Isadore Sharp, Founder and Chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
- Steve Stavro, late owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs
- John A. Tory, late Canadian lawyer and corporate executive, former president of The Woodbridge Company
- John Tory, Canadian businessman and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
- Karen Stintz, Toronto City Councillor, Representing Ward 16. Previous Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission.
- Canada's Ten Richest Neighbourhoods http://jamiesarner.com/toronto-real-estate/2012/01/the-richest-neighbourhoods/
- City of Toronto - Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills neighbourhood profile
- City of Toronto - Lawrence Park North neighbourhood profile
- City of Toronto - Lawrence Park South neighbourhood profile
||Bedford Park, Toronto|
|Lytton Park||Bridle Path|