The Bridle Path is an absolutely gorgeous neighbourhood laced with luxury homes, lush landscapes, and the Don River Valley. Only a select few get the chance to call one of the Bridle Path’s dream homes their own. Surrounded by great shopping, excellent schools, and main transportation arteries, this neighbourhood is home to Canada’s elite families. This is one of the very few areas where you can find estate properties over an acre in size, and it’s not uncommon to see these high end homes and mansions valued at ten million dollars and over. It is often referred to as “Millionaires’ Row”. It is the most affluent neighbourhood in Canada by household income, as well as property values.
The Bridle Path could hardly have been envisioned by Alexander Milne, who settled on what is now Edwards Gardens in 1827. Milne operated wool and saw mills on the banks of Wilket Creek until 1832, when a dwindling water supply forced Milne to move east to a mill site along the Don River.
The Bridle Path inconspicuously spent the rest of the 1800’s and early 1900’s as farmland. It wasn’t until 1929, when the Bayview Bridge was built over the steep Don River Valley, that this area was considered for residential development.
Hubert Daniel Bull Page, a Toronto-based land developer, was one of the founders of the present day neighbourhood. Page envisioned the Bridle Path as an exclusive enclave of estate homes. In 1929, Page built the Cape Cod Colonial style house at number 2 The Bridle Path, in an effort to spark interest in his subdivision.
Early plans for this neighbourhood called for an elaborate system of equestrian Bridle Paths. These Bridle Paths have long since been paved over; however their legacy remains in the Bridle Path’s unusually wide streets and in the name of this neighbourhood.
- Can’t miss streets: Park Lane Circle, High Point Rd, The Bridle Path
- Celebs who love the Bridle Path: Prince and Celine Dion are known to have had dream homes in the area
- Cool fact: Under the pavement of the most prominent streets, you’ll find the original equestrian bridle Paths
- Best Shopping: The Shops at Don Mills
- Best Park: Edwards Gardens
York Mills is one of Toronto’s most affluent neighbourhoods. Its mills are long gone, replaced by shining office towers and luxury condominiums. Its main arterial roadways including Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue – which were once impassable by car and now serve as major roadways to and from the city core.
Despite all these changes, York Mills has managed to maintain a peaceful tranquillity and natural beauty that has helped make it one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods. Laced with million dollar homes, areas like York Mills and Leslie, Harrison, and St. Andrews, York Mills is one of the “dream pockets” of Toronto.
“York” makes reference to the former Town of York – the forerunner to modern day Toronto and “Mills” refers to the grist and saw mills that churned in this valley from 1804 until 1926.
During this period of industry, York Mills was a busy place. It included a distillery, a tannery, a blacksmith shop, three churches, a school, a post office, a toll gate and the Jolly Miller Tavern which is still standing today at 3885 Yonge Street. Another York Mills landmark is St. John’s Anglican Church which began in 1816. The original log church was replaced by the present day white brick church in 1844. The church bells of St. John’s still ring out over the valley every day at noon cheerfully piercing the monotone roar of the traffic below on Yonge Street.
York Mills’ transition from a rural hamlet to a residential neighbourhood began in the 1930’s on the ridge of the hill near St. John’s Church, and in the Hedgewood Road area south of York Mills Road. St. Andrew’s College, a venerable boy’s private school, owned the land east of Old Yonge Street over to Bayview Avenue during the early 1920’s before moving north to Aurora in 1924.
E.P. Taylor, a giant in the archives of Canadian business, oversaw the development of York Mills Plaza in 1952 and was responsible for subdividing much of York Mills east of Bayview Avenue.
Today, York Mills is one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods, with properties valued from $2 million (mainly land) to over $7 million.
- Streets for the most discerning homebuyers: Old Colony Rd, Fifeshire Rd, Highland Cres, Arjay Cres
- Best Schools:
- Elementary: Harrison, Denlow, Rippleton
- Secondary: St Andrews, Windfields, York Mills Collegiate
- Luxury indoor shopping: Bayview Village
- Picturesque defining street: York Mills Road