The Playter Estates – named for a prominent Toronto family – is a historic and upscale neighbourhood in central Toronto. Consisting mostly of large detached and semi-detached Edwardian and Victorian homes built in the early part of the twentieth century, the area is both exclusive and convenient.
Bordered by Jackman Avenue to the east, Danforth Avenue to the south, the Don Valley to the west and Fulton Avenue to the north, Playter Estates’ tree-lined streets, large houses and quiet ambience combine with its proximity to the shops and restaurants of the Danforth and easy access to downtown to make it a popular choice for families and professionals.
With its proximity to a major park and to the Don Valley Ravine, Playter Estates is also ideal for those who want exercise and the chance to enjoy the beauties of nature and green spaces in their urban setting. Allowing easy access to work and the cultural pleasures of downtown, while maintaining its identity as a small town within the larger city, the neighbourhood offers the best of both worlds.
History and Social Profile
The Playter Estates are named for George Henry Playter, who originally emigrated from England to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. During the American Revolution, working for the British, he obtained important American documents, and was awarded a commission as a Loyalist captain.
After the Revolution, Playter moved to Canada, ending up in Toronto in 1793. He was granted 2,000 acres of land by Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, and built his home, called Drumsnab, on what is now Drumsnab road.
His son George operated the first stagecoach line along Yonge Street between Newmarket and York. His son John married Sarah Ellerbeck, and named Ellerbeck Street after her. Their grandson John Lea Playter – whose wife Mary Jackman provided the name for Jackman Avenue — built a farmhouse at 28 Playter Crescent. The land was subdivided in 1912 to form the Playter Estates.
The farmhouse itself, renamed as the Playter Mansion, served for many years as a popular set for movies, including the Jennifer Lopez thriller Angel Eyes. Unfortunately, the building has largely fallen into disrepair and is the site of an ongoing battle between its owner and those living nearby.
Today, the area, like the city of Toronto in general, is much more diverse. With the Danforth running along the neighbourhood’s southern border, the Playter Estates have a heavy Greek influence, and, of course, are just walking distance from the many culinary delights of Greektown.
The neighbourhood is also close to green space and nature. Riverdale Park East, located immediately to the south, is a 18-hectare space ideal for tobogganing and cross-country skiing in winter. It also feature two baseball diamonds, three sports fields, a running track, seven tennis courts, an outdoor ice rink and a playground. The north end of the park also offers a number trails for walkers and runners.
Playter Estates is also close to the Don River Ravine, allowing residents to enjoy the city’s flora and fauna, as well as run, walk and kayak. There’s also a bike trail that leads all the way down to the waterfront.
For those looking for a quiet, upscale home in a private neighbourhood, while also being able to enjoy easy access to work and culture downtown, the Playter Estates offer the ideal choice.
Big Carrot Grocery and Juice Bar
Jackman Avenue Junior Public School, 79 Jackman Avenue, 416-393-9710
Earl Grey Senior Public School, 100 Strathcona Avenue, 416-393-9545
Riverdale Collegiate Institute, 1094 Gerrard Street East, 416-393-9820
Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, 800 Greenwood Avenue, 416-393-0620
– Broadview and Chester subway stations
– Buses run along Broadview