Nestled into the northwest corner of Toronto is an area that has yet to be altered by the forces of gentrification: York Crosstown. The Humber River acts as the westernmost border of York Crosstown, setting the stage for an area with just as much untouched terrain as urban development.
Although there are a number of parks along Black Creek and Lavender Creek, some of the best green spaces in the area are situated right along the river. Residents might choose to spend an afternoon in Magwood Park, Etienne Brulé Park, Portage Gardens Park, or Weston Lions Park, depending in which neighbourhood they live.
Those who prefer a round of golf over a stroll in a park might opt to join the Lambton Golf & Country Club or the Weston Golf & Country Club. Alternatively, the Scarlett Woods Golf Course doesn’t require a membership, as it’s owned and run by the City of Toronto.
Mount Dennis is another highlight of the York Crosstown area, and not just because it was formerly home to ‘Kodak Heights,’ an industrial park used by Eastman Kodak Company during analogue photography’s heyday. Eastman Kodak closed the facilities in 2006 and sold the land to Metrolinx, who plans to erect the Mount Dennis LRT station on the site.
After exploring all of the Carribean restaurants along Eglinton and within the Mount Dennis neighbourhood, residents of York Crosstown can always spend some time working out at the York Recreation Centre. The 67,000 square foot space is home to an impressive – and accessible – swimming pool equipped with a ramp, six lanes, and a kids’ area. The recreation centre also boasts a basketball court, fitness studios, a weight room, and a walking and running track.
Speaking of public resources, the Mount Dennis Library received a 4 million dollar renovation back in 2013. Thanks to architect Bruce Stratton, this modern glass and steel structure is now an inviting place in which the community can gather — and read.
York Crosstown condos are slowly on the rise to help accommodate demand for the area. Many of the houses in the area may be on the older side, but thankfully homeowners interested in DIY endeavours can visit the home improvement and design stores near Castlefield and Caledonia before starting a project. With Elte, Lowes, Union Lighting and Furnishings, and Canadian Tire in the area, renovations both small and large are made less stressful than they ought to be.
All in all, York Crosstown is a great place to raise a family. Events like the annual Halloween Festival and the Ukrainian Festival each September provide entertainment for kids of all ages. Residents can also participate in classes and workshops run by UrbanArts, including mindfulness, spoken word poetry, sewing, urban gardening, and dance.
York Crosstown is not only home to plenty of older homes, many of which showcase the American Craftsman style, but also multi-residential buildings. With just under 40 York Crosstown condos, and more being built every year, buyers interested in the area have more and more options to consider.
Older, more established condos include the Briar Hill Towers, built in 1973, the 1975-built Allenway, The Winston House, erected in 1976, and the Emmett House, which has been around since 1974. Considering their ages, many of these condos have an impressive array of amenities, such as fitness facilities, swimming pools, and even saunas.
Those in search of authentic hard lofts are also in luck, as the area is home to the West Village Lofts on Hopewell Avenue, plus the Forest Hill Lofts on Roselawn, located in a former textile factory. Notable buildings on the newer side include The Rosemount Residences and the Sidney Belsey Crescent Townhomes, while prospective buyers in search of the ultramodern are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for upcoming developments.
Although they’re just east of the neighbourhood’s border, Eglinton West and Glencairn Stations are useful for York Crosstown condo residents without cars of their own. The impending Eglinton LRT will also carry passengers living in the area east and west along Eglinton Avenue once it’s complete.
As for those who do drive, the Allen Expressway is ideal for anyone trying to connect to the 401. And thanks to its considerable distance from the downtown core, drivers living in York Crosstown don’t have to deal with the same level of traffic or the cost of parking associated with Downtown or the East and West Ends.
The Locals: Families who value open wide spaces over densely concentrated restaurants and shops.
Code of Conduct: Prices are rising steadily, meaning prospective buyers interested in the area should act fast.
What You’ll Find: Some of the best Jamaican food in the city.
What You Won’t Find: Hipsters – yet.
The Homes: Cheaper than in other areas of the city, but not for long.
Sealing the Deal: The calming lull of the Humber River.