It may be unthinkable today, but at one point (long, long ago) locals used the Don River to travel from Don Mills down to the town of York. In fact the neighbourhood was only developed after WWII, and still contained farms well into the 1950s.
Today, however, this massive North York neighbourhood feels completely metropolitan. Don Mills is bound by York Mills Road, Eglinton Avenue East, the Don Valley Parkway, and the ravine system just west of Leslie. The neighbourhood only became part of Toronto after the city’s 1998 amalgamation, although it existed as a planned community well before then.
Don Mills was very Carefully planned: stringent regulations were placed on building designs and materials, as well as what specific plots of land could be used for. What makes it especially unique, though, is the abundance of pedestrian paths, the winding roads that help slow traffic, its cohesive, modernist architecture, the greenbelt that runs through it, and the combination of industrial and residential properties situated within the same neighbourhood. Ever since its conception, developers of new communities throughout the country have looked to Don Mills for inspiration.
While there are plenty of Toronto condos for sale in Don Mills, it’s a varied neighbourhood with more than just residential offerings. Here, one can find strips filled with commercial businesses, residential pockets, and even some industrial areas. The centre of all the commercial action can be found in the geographical centre of the neighbourhood. The CF Shops at Don Mills, formerly an indoor mall, was rebuilt as an outdoor shopping centre in 2009. The centre features private streets to stroll around on, art by Douglas Coupland, and even a handful of restaurants.
Yet no recent addition to the neighbourhood is quite as exciting as the Aga Khan Museum, which showcases Islamic and Persian art, as well as Muslim cultural heritage. The building itself is architectural delight designed by Fumihiko Maki, and is surrounded by the Aga Khan Park, conceived of by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.
When it comes time to do the weekly grocery haul, Galleria Supermarket is a great place to start for Don Mills residents. In addition to the staples that can be found here, shoppers will also be tempted by this Korean supermarket’s prepared foods and exotic produce. There’s also a McEwan and a Metro right inside the Shops at Don Mills, as well as a massive Real Canadian Superstore at the corner of Don Mills and Eglinton.
Besides all the single-family homes in Don Mills, there’s also a large concentration of condos in the southern portion of the neighbourhood. Some condos for sale in Don Mills can also be found just north of Lawrence, which cuts through the neighbourhood horizontally.
Prospective buyers who want easy access to the Shops at Don Mills can check out any of the five buildings situated right above the outdoor mall, such as the Spirits Condominiums and Rodeo Walk Condos. Alternatively, nature lovers can opt for the Savoy at Camelot Condos, Camelot on the Ravine Townhomes, or the Red Hot Condos in order to live right next to Moccasin Trail Park.
Edwards Gardens may not be as rugged as the rest of the ravines in Don Mills, but those who prefer a more polished outdoor environment might want to live closer to Edwards Botanical Gardens. Both Auberge on the Park and the Edwardian are situated right beside this beautifully landscaped park, with its wildflowers, roses, and countless other plant species.
With the Don Valley Parkway running straight through the neighbourhood, those interested in condos for sale in Don Mills will have no problem accessing other areas of the city. The 401 is also situated just to the north, useful for drivers heading east toward Scarborough or west toward Pearson International Airport. On top of these highways, plenty of major roads also allow drivers to get around the immediate area, including Leslie, Don Mills, York Mills, Lawrence, and Eglinton.
As for residents without cars, buses along major roads certainly come in handy. Buses along York Mills, Lawrence, and Eglinton, for example, carry passengers to subway stations on the Yonge subway line, from which they can head south toward the downtown core in no time. Don Mills Station on the Sheppard Line isn’t far off either — it can be reached by hopping onto a northbound Don Mills Bus.
When heading out of town, the Oriole GO station near Leslie and the 401 might also be useful. Travelers can use this station to access trains heading toward both Richmond Hill and Union Station.
The Locals: Those who won’t settle for anything less than an idyllic uptown neighbourhood.
Code of Conduct: Photoshoots on the grounds of the Aga Khan are not only acceptable, they’re encouraged.
What You’ll Find: The perfect balance between commercial, residential, industrial and public spaces.
What You Won’t Find: Sold out concerts and art gallery openings.
The Homes: Modernist, mid-century houses and contemporary condos atop parks or shopping centres.
Sealing the Deal: Starbucks’ ‘Reserve Bar’ at the Shops at Don Mills.