Named for the wild roses that once covered the area in abundance, Rosedale is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Toronto. It is also perhaps the quietest, as the many trees and luxuriant foliage — and the network of ravines that crisscross the area — muffle almost all sounds from cars along the area’s rambling roads. The fact that there is only one major road, Mount Pleasant, running through Rosedale, makes it an ideal neighbourhood for families, leading to it being populated largely by sizable detached homes.
Rosedale is bordered by the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks to the north, Yonge Street to the west, Bloor Street to the south and Bayview Avenue to the east. Divided into north and south halves by the Park Drive Ravine that bisects the neighbourhood, Rosedale has garnered an exclusive reputation over the years. Once stereotyped as the home of so-called “Rosedale matrons” and old money, the neighbourhood is still one of the more expensive in the city.
A number of the houses in Rosedale — many built between the mid-1800s and the 1930s — have been officially designated as heritage homes, and are prime examples of architecture in Victorian, Georgian, Tudor or Edwardian styles
In recent years, a number of upscale condominiums have been constructed in Rosedale, and a number of homes have been converted into apartments. The natural state of the neighbourhood, the large parks nearby and the proximity of all of downtown’s attractions mean Rosedale continues to be a heavily in-demand location for those seeking both tranquility and convenience.
History and Social Profile
The Rosedale area was originally settled in 1820 by the then-sheriff William Jarvis. Jarvis’ wife Mary named it Rosedale after the wild flowers that decorated the hills of the estate. The family sold the land in 1864, leading to a wave of residential development in the desirable neighbourhood. Development increased even more in 1909 when, for the first time, a bridge was built across the Park Drive Ravine, linking North and South Rosedale.
Along with the beautiful and unspoilt ravines — along with Park Drive, the Vale of Avoca, Moore Park and Rosedale Valley all run through the neighbourhood — Rosedale is also blessed with a number of large and historic parks.
The largest of them, Rosedale Park, is perhaps best known for being the original home of football’s Toronto Argonauts. Rosedale Field — now a part of the park used for soccer — hosted the Argos from 1874-1897 and again from 1908-1915. It was the site for the first ever Grey Cup game in 1909, when about 4,000 spectators witnessed the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues defeating Toronto Parkdale by a score of 26-6. Today, the park holds several hockey rinks, a baseball field and tennis courts.
Rosedale Park also plays host to the annual spring festival, Mayfair, held on the first Saturday of every May. The festival includes rides, games, a flea market and a carnivalesque atmosphere. It is put on by Rosedale’s community centre, Mooredale House.
Rosedale also contains Chorley Park, which contained the original residence for the province’s Lieutenant Governor, built in 1915. When the Depression hit Canada, Ontarians increasingly resented being asked to maintain such an opulent residence, and, bowing to popular demand, the house was closed in 1937, and demolished in 1960. Today, the park is a popular site for hikers and runner because of its trails and its unparalleled view of the Don Valley.
Rosedale also contains or is within easy reach of a number of other parks, including Craigleigh Gardens, Winston Churchill Park, Ramsden Park and Beaumont Park.
The neighbourhood also contains The Studio Building, the home and studio of several of Canada’s famous Group of Seven painters. Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson all had studios in the building at various points in their career, and B.C. painter Emily Carr’s meeting with Harris in his studio in 1927 was to have a profound effect on her that was, she believed, to permanently change her work and career. Today, the building, at 25 Severn Street, is a National Historic Site of Canada.
- Rosedale Diner
- Pastis Express
- Black Camel
- Petite Thuet
- -Rosedale Station
- -Sherbourne Station
- -Castle Frank Station
The Sherbourne 82 bus runs east-west through Rosedale, and buses also run north and south on Mount Pleasant.
- Rosedale Junior Public School, 22 South Drive, 416-393-1330
- Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, 711 Bloor Street East, 416-393-1580
- Whitney Junior Public School, 119 Rosedale Heights Drive, 416-393-9380
- Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School, 23 Ferndale Avenue, 416-393-1550
- Jarvis Collegiate Institute, 495 Jarvis Street, 416-393-0140
- Northern Secondary School, 851 Mount Pleasant Road, 416-393-0270
- North Toronto Collegiate Institute, 17 Broadway Avenue, 416-393-9180
- Hodgson Senior Public School, 282 Davisville Avenue, 416-393-0390
- Eglinton Junior Public School, 223 Eglinton Avenue East, 416-393-9315
- Maurice Cody Junior Public School, 364 Belsize Drive, 416-393-9240