Broadview North is a neighbourhood in Central Toronto that used to be a part of East York, before that borough’s amalgamation with the City of Toronto. Specifically, Broadview North was a part of what was called Old East York, the southern, more urbanized part of East York.
The neighbourhood – bordered by Pape Avenue to the East, Chester Hill Road and Fulton Avenue to the south and the Don Valley Parkway to the west and north – is within easy reach of parks and ravines, the restaurants and stores of the Danforth and Greektown, and within a simple commute of downtown Toronto.
Broadview North is a neighbourhood that is rapidly becoming more popular with those looking for affordable housing in Toronto. Much of the neighbourhood currently consists of rental properties, but its prime location is making it a magnet for upscale condos and housing. The fact that the northern part of the area has a number of pre-war bungalows also means that there’s scope for those looking to renovate and expand a smaller property.
Its proximity to the green spaces and natural beauty of the Don Valley and river also make it the perfect area for those looking for a home that combines access to fresh air and exercise with a short trip to the delights of the downtown core. As more and more young professionals seek that sweet spot of work convenience and social pleasure, neighbourhoods like Broadview North are increasingly popular.
History and Social Profile
East York was originally part of York Township, which was incorporated in 1850. The residents of the eastern part of the township opted to remain independent when much of the rest of the township joined the city of Toronto. The township of East York was incorporated in 1924.
East York had a large population of working-class immigrants from England and Ireland, who jumped at the chance to own their own houses, many of them bungalows, with front and back yards. After World War II, East York welcomed many returning veterans and their families, who were able to obtain housing with help from the government. The influx of families further established East York as a solid, close-knit, working-class community.
East York was officially established as an independent borough in 1967. At the time East York prohibited the sale of alcohol, leading to an explosion of restaurants with liquor licences along the Danforth. That prohibition was eliminated in the 1970s.
In 1998, East York — along with North York, York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and Old Toronto — was amalgamated with the city of Toronto. Since then, as the 1940s owners began to move out, new families expanded many of the original bungalows with second floors, and the shops became more trendy boutiques.
Broadview North, specifically, still has a large number of bungalows in the northern part of the neighbourhoods, properties that have become popular with young families seeking an affordable house that can built on and expanded.
Broadview North has also become a more diverse neighbourhood in the post-war era. From its original English and Irish roots, the area has now become home to many Torontonians of Serbian and Greek descent, due in part to its proximity to the Danforth and the shops and restaurants of Greektown. Broadview North also has heavy Czech, Japanese and Turkish influences among its populace and its stores and restaurants.
Broadview North is a short distance from the Don Valley, which is hugely popular with hikers, runners, bikers, kayakers and those who just want to be able to enjoy the woods and waters of nature. In summer, in particular, it’s a haven for those looking to escape the city for some quiet time communing with the flora and fauna still found in Toronto.
Broadview North is also home to Todmorden Mills Park, an official Heritage Site, which includes historic buildings which once made up the small industrial community of Todmorden. These include two historic millers’ homes dating from the early 19th century, a brewery building and the recently renovated Papermill Theatre and Gallery. Next door to the historic site, is a 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve offering walking trails through a number of natural habitats, including upland and bottom-land forests, dry and wet meadows, swamplands and a pond.
As well, the Chester Hill Lookout has become acclaimed for offering one of the best views in Toronto, due to the stunning vistas it offers over the Don Valley, the Bloor Viaduct and downtown. It’s also become known as one of the best makeout spots in the city.
Broadview North is a perfect neighbourhood for those looking for unfettered access to all the work and entertainment opportunities of the larger city, while also being able to enjoy natural beauty and some of the history of the city.
Estonian House Cafe
The Greek Grill
William Burgess Elementary School, 100 Torrens Avenue, 416-396-2490
Westwood Middle School, 994 Carlaw Avenue, 416-396-2480
East York Collegiate Institute, 650 Cosburn Avenue, 416-396-2355
Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, 800 Greenwood Avenue, 416-393-0620
– Pape and Broadview subway stations
– Buses run along Pape, Broadview. O’Connor, Cosburn and Mortimer