Centred around the park of the same name, Toronto’s Dovercourt Park neighbourhood is rapidly becoming one of the city’s hottest areas. The fact that much of the area is made up of single-family houses on quiet streets has made it very popular with young families, while the increasing construction of luxury condos and lofts in the north of the neighbourhood has made it increasingly popular with young professionals.
Bordered by Dufferin Street to the west, the CP rail lines near Dupont Street to the north, Christie Street to the east and Bloor Street West to the south, Dovercourt Park offers an eclectic mix. From the bustling commercial stretches along Bloor and Dufferin to the increasing development of lofts in the north, the neighbourhood is rapidly becoming a popular destination for both families and young professionals. The area also includes what has become known as Dovercourt Village, the thriving area located near Dupont and Ossington.
Today, the Dovercourt Park area is welcoming high-end residential development and the increasing renovation of original housing. Those looking for affordable housing that will increase in value are attracted not only by the investment opportunities, but by the vibrant cultural life, restaurants and stores. The large Portuguese, Italian and South Asian populations have made their mark in the neighbourhood, and the large Ethiopian presence has made the neighbourhood a must-visit for those eager to explore the variety of ethnic experiences available in the city.
History and Social Profile
The Village of Dovercourt was originally founded in the 1870s, and its original population consisted largely of poor immigrants from England. Initially, the neighbourhood was made up one- or two-bedroom shacks of tar and paper, leading the area to be labelled as a shantytown.
But as CN and CP Rail began freight service to the area in the late 1800s, industry began to move in, leading to an upturn in the area’s fortunes. Dovercourt was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1910.
The factories and warehouses that had been built because of the proximity of the railroads led to the development of a working-class residential neighbourhood. The opportunities for work — and the numerous single-family houses in the neighbourhood — made the area an attractive destination for recent immigrants, especially from Portugal and Italy, and later from south Asia. In more recent years, a number of immigrants from Ethiopia have settled in the area.
The area north of Bloor generally consisted of single-family houses, many of which have now been converted in apartments. The area close to the rail lines to the north and to Dupont Avenue still has a number of factories and warehouses. But many of those have already been converted to lofts and condos and some rowhouses, and many more are scheduled for such conversions, making that part of the neighbourhood highly desirable for young professionals eager to purchase high-end residences in a part of the city that is easily accessible and that will soon be heavily in demand.
The recreational centre of the neighbourhood is Dovercourt Park itself, a six-acre space which offers a children’s playground, a wading pool, two tennis courts, a baseball diamond, sports fields and natural ice rinks in the winter. The park also houses the Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, which is open year round and offers a gymnasium, a pool, a games room, an arts and crafts room and two computer rooms.
Dovercourt Park also neighbours the Dufferin Mall, one of the largest and most popular shopping malls in the west end of the city.
- Dovercourt Junior Public School, 228 Bartlett Avenue, 416-393-9220
- Essex Junior and Senior Public School, 50 Essex Street, 416-393-0721
- Pauline Junior Public School, 100 Pauline Avenue, 416-393-9360
- Bloor Collegiate Institute, 1141 Bloor Street West, 416-393-1420
- Dufferin subway station
- Ossington subway station
- Buses run along Dufferin, Ossington Dupont, Dovercourt and Rogers Road