Woodbine Heights is a neighbourhood increasingly in demand among young families, due to the availability of stylish, detached Edwardian homes on quiet streets, within easy reach of parks, ravines, the restaurants and stores of the Danforth and Greektown, and within an easy commute of downtown Toronto.
Originally a part of East York before its amalgamation with the city of Toronto, Woodbine Heights is bordered by Coxwell Avenue on the west, the Don Valley Ravine on the north, Main Street on the east and Danforth Avenue on the south. The neighbourhood is typified by narrow lots featuring homes dating from the turn of the 20th century. The availability of houses, along with the increasing cost of living in nearby neighbourhoods like The Beaches and Leslieville has made Woodbine Heights a haven for young families, especially as the aging population looks to sell their homes.
With the 23-acre Stan Wadlow Park providing access to the Taylor Creek Park trail, Woodbine Heights offers the perfect combination. Surrounded by nature, with a small- town ambience reflected in its architecture and street design, but within easy distance of major streets and the bustle of downtown Toronto, the neighbourhood is becoming increasingly popular as families move in, houses are expanded and luxury condos offer space for young professionals looking for a quieter pattern of life.
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, 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 — were 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. That trend was reflected particularly in Woodbine Heights.
Today, the neighbourhood remains a family-friendly haven, in part because of the easy access to recreational green space. The biggest park in Woodbine Heights is the 23-acre Stan Wadlow Park, which offers five baseball diamonds and a batting cage, two outdoor swimming pools, a handball wall, picnic areas, a playground, an ice rink and a soccer field. The park is also offers access to Taylor Creek Park, just to the north, a four-kilometre long ravine that’s mostly unspoiled wilderness, with marshes, forests and abundant animal and plant life. The park is a wonderful trail for joggers, walkers and cyclists.
As well, for those who love winter sports, the neighbourhood also offers the East York Curling Club and the East York Memorial Arena and, for the younger athletes, the East York Skate Park.
Woodbine Heights is one of the more family-friendly neighbourhoods in Toronto, but it is also rapidly becoming a voguish choice among young professionals or couples who welcome the chance to own their own house, especially in a neighbourhood that has its own quiet, independent identity while providing unfettered access to all the work and entertainment opportunities of the larger city.
- The Greek Grill
- Little Coxwell Vietnamese and Thai Cuisine
- Paul’s Spaghetti
- Scarlet Ibis
- Gledhill Junior Public School, 2 Gledhill Avenue, 416-393-1745
- D.A. Morrison Middle School, 271 Gledhill Avenue, 416-396-2400
- Secord Elementary School, 101 Barrington Avenue, 416-396-2450
- Parkside Elementary School, 401 Cedarvale Avenue, 416-396-2425
- Coxwell subway station
- Woodbine subway station
- Main subway station
- Buses run along Coxwell, Woodbine, Main, Cosburn, O’Connor and Mortimer