The Bloor West Village and Runnymede aren’t quite suburban — they’re more like charming, self-contained neighbourhoods that are fortunate to be separated from busier areas by High Park and the Humber River. And just so readers can differentiate between the two, Runnymede makes up the neighbourhood just south of Dundas, while the Bloor West Village is situated just north of Bloor Street West.
What these two neighbourhoods really have in common is their residential atmospheres. Throughout side streets in the area, two-storey, American Craftsman-style homes are the norm. And prospective buyers looking for a tranquil place to call home have come to the right place. In order for a new business to set up shop in the area, its owners must prove to the community that they won’t contribute any additional noise pollution to the neighbourhood.
Case in point: this is one tight knit community. The businesses on Bloor are even managed by the Bloor West Village BIA, which has been functioning since 1970, and consists of more than 400 members. On Bloor, Bloor West Village residents can shop and dine along a strip that’s commercial, yet at the same time charming and laid back. Chains and franchises do exist here, but the real charm is in the specialty shops, like Snappers Fish Market and Say Tea Limited.
Thanks to its large Polish and Ukrainian population, residents living in the Bloor West Village have access to some truly authentic Eastern European food. Some may prefer Amber European Restaurant, while others are loyal to Janchenko Bakery – although switching between the two is acceptable as well. Whether one’s craving is for pierogies, potato salad, schnitzel, or cabbage rolls, these two institutions will never disappoint. And while Italy isn’t exactly part of Eastern Europe, residents of the Bloor West Village, there’s nothing in the city quite like the homemade pasta from Queen’s Pasta.
When it comes time to run errands, residents living in the Bloor West Village can head over to Nicholson’s No Frills, located just east of Runnymede on Bloor. Runnymede residents, on the other hand, can choose between Loblaws and FreshCo, both of which can be found on Dundas West.
Condos for sale in the Bloor West Village can only be found within four buildings, due to the neighbourhood’s moratorium on the construction of new high-rise buildings. Thankfully, this makes the Bloor West Village a more charming neighbourhood to call home, even if it does mean bidding wars will ensue whenever units appear on the market.
The Volta Lofts at 588 Annette is one such intimately-sized building, with only 19 units spread out over 5 storeys. The soft lofts in the building cover a minimum of 1,000 square feet, and reach to 1,600 at their largest. Most impressive, though, is the fact that the building is powered (at least partially) by solar panels that are set up on the roof.
Those looking for townhouses, on the other hand, will want to keep a close eye on suites that may become available at Oxford Court Townhouses. Located at 112 Evans Avenue, 116 Evans Avenue, and 3-5 San Remo Terrace, the complex contains just 54 units, all of which span around 2,200 square feet.
The 23 at Baby Point is even smaller than the aforementioned condos, containing — as the name suggests — only 23 units. And last but not least, the forthcoming 3385 Dundas Street West is currently being developed by Terra Firma Homes. Slated for completion 2020, the 123 homes within the 8-storey building at 3385 Dundas will range in size from 400 to 1,200 square feet.
With Bloor acting as the southern boundary of the neighbourhood, residents have easy access to the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Jane and Runnymede Stations are both located within the confines of the Bloor West Village, and hopping onto an eastbound train from either of these stations will allow passengers to reach the city centre in no time.
As for drivers, Bloor West can be used to reach the 427 to the west, which comes in handy when traveling into the suburbs or to Pearson International Airport. Alternatively, those heading out by car can head due south in order to reach the Gardiner Expressway, which will help drivers reach the downtown core with ease.
The Locals: They’re wary of change, and they’re not afraid to admit it.
Code of Conduct: New neighbours are welcome here, but new developers proposing high-rise towers are certainly not.
What You’ll Find: Charming residential streets and just a couple commercial pockets.
What You Won’t Find: Skyscrapers.
The Homes: The few condos that do exist in the area are all intimately sized.
Sealing the Deal: The reassurance that the neighbourhood will feel the same in 50 years as it does today.