When a neighbourhood is named for a park, you can be sure that park is the pièce de résistance of the area. Trinity Bellwoods certainly lives up to its expectations — in fact, prospective buyers are often attracted to this west end Toronto neighbourhood just so that they can live nearer to this beloved green space. Developers have caught wind of this trend, and a new wave of Trinity Bellwoods condos are being built as a result.
Yet urbanites with all sorts of interests are tempted to live within walking distance of Trinity Bellwoods Park. On a given Saturday, the 37-acre park is filled with slackliners, frisbee players, dog walkers, party hosts and their guests, picnicking couples, tennis players, rollerbladers, and even Quidditch players. An indoor recreation centre is nestled into the southwest corner of the park, where visitors will find a swimming pool and fitness programs for all ages.
Naturally, annual events are also held in the park, such as outdoor movies in the dog bowl and the Queen West Art Crawl. Residents can also gather fresh provisions on Tuesdays during the warmer months, when a farmer’s market sets up shop in the park.
Both the neighbourhood at large and the amiable green space within it have a long history. Trinity College campus — part of the University of Toronto — inhabited the park from the 1850s to the 1950s, however the iconic gate at the south end is the only remainder still standing today.
As for the surrounding community, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants moved into the neighbourhood in the 1920s and 1930s, and comprised the predominant group until the Portuguese arrived in the 1960s. Trinity Bellwoods is still home to a sizeable Portuguese community, and the mouth-watering pastel de natas procured from nondescript bakeries might be reason enough to look for a home in this neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood is bound by four major arterial roads, each with a unique flavour of its own. While everyone already knows Queen Street West is hip (especially thanks to a Vogue article that named it the second coolest street in the world), Dundas is still trendy yet a little lower key, and Bathurst is largely residential save for a few unassuming restaurants and bars. Ossington has exploded in recent years, and is now the place to go for Instagramable brunches and nights out on the town.
Date nights or family outings in Trinity Bellwoods might involve a visit to the Lower Ossington Theatre for a smaller production of a Broadway favourite. Alternatively, Artscape Youngplace on Shaw is constantly hosting cultural events of all sorts, from concerts to art exhibitions and even craft fairs.
As far as single-family homes go, those in Trinity Bellwoods have an older, regal vibe to them. A mixture of Victorian, Gothic Revival and Bay-and-Gable styles, the houses in the neighbourhood were mainly constructed between 1880 and 1905 to accommodate those who wanted to live near Trinity College.
With commercial streets like Ossington and Queen becoming so fashionable in recent years, it’s not surprising that developers have swooped in to increase residential options. Contemporary Trinity Bellwoods condos can now be found along Queen, Ossington, and Dundas, such as 109OZ and the Abacus Lofts.
Thanks to the neighbourhood’s rich history, there are also a number of hard lofts in Trinity Bellwoods. Originally built in 1873, the former Ideal Bread Company factory was transformed into the The Argyle Lofts in 2007. The Claremont Lofts features 8 homes set inside a converted banquet hall, originally constructed in the 1930s. The Oxford on Markham, on the other hand, was ahead of its time — this former picture frame factory was converted in 1986, before Toronto lofts were even trendy and before Trinity Bellwoods condos were on the radar.
One of the most appealing aspect of Trinity Bellwoods condos are the pedestrian friendly environment that comes with them — and it’s not just for trips to the park, as residents can also accomplish most errands on foot.
With streetcars running along Bathurst, Dundas, and Queen, plus a bus traveling up and down Ossington, residents living in Trinity Bellwoods have no trouble getting around — even without a car.
Those heading out of town can head straight down Bathurst in order to reach Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, while all it takes to reach the UP service to Pearson International Airport is a streetcar ride along Dundas West.
The Locals: A blend of fashion-forward youngsters and families who frequent farmers markets.
Code of Conduct: It’s okay to gloat when you’re living in Trinity Bellwoods.
What You’ll Find: Long waits for Instagram-worthy meals and the locals who know just how to avoid the lines.
What You Won’t Find: Skyscrapers.
The Homes: Single-family stunners, heritage buildings converted into lofts, and low-rise contemporary condos.
Sealing the Deal: Knowing the next hippest restaurant in town is bound to open up nearby at any moment.