Interestingly enough, the Old Mill neighbourhood is named for a gristmill that used to occupy the area. This fact becomes all the more compelling, though, once the definition of gristmill is understood: it’s a mill that’s used specifically for cereal grains. What’s more, the first sawmill in the city was also once set up in this York Crosstown neighbourhood, as early as 1793.
A little while later, in 1914, the Old Mill was established in the neighbourhood. The first feature to be built was the restaurant called the Old Mill Tea Garden, followed by numerous banquet halls, then a wedding chapel, and finally a hotel and spa in 2001. Locals still gather today to dance to big band music at the Old Mill Tea Garden, a tradition that began in the 1920s
While residents visit the neighbourhood’s namesake venue from time to time, it’s the charming residential streets that tend to win over the hearts of prospective buyers interested in condos for sale in Old Mill. These small streets are filled with detached, single-family homes that pre-date World War II, and one stretch of Halford Avenue is even covered with cobblestones.
Old Mill is predominantly residential, with parks and a few commercial pockets here and there. Most of the retail businesses in the neighbourhood can be found along Bloor West, close to Jane. Date nights in Old Mill are often spent at the Humber Cinemas, which opened back in 1948. More recently, the theatre was renovated and reopened in 2009 after years of disuse. And as for groceries, residents living in Old Mill have their pick between the FreshCo on Dundas West or the No Frills on Bloor.
Last but not least, plenty of green space can be found within Old Mill. The Humber River cuts through the neighbourhood as it winds its way south toward Lake Ontario, allowing locals to enjoy the parks and trails situated along its shores. Etienne Brulé Park is a great place to begin a day of outdoor exploring, and from here the Humber River Recreation Trail will lead one all the way up to North York. For truly adventurous types, Toronto Adventures’ Humber River Paddling Centre is set up on the west bank of the river, just north of Bloor. Rentals, lessons, and guided tours of the river are all available from Toronto Adventures, as well as paddle-in concerts.
Old Mill has was developed into a residential neighbourhood just after turn of 20th century, although historically it has been home to no condos whatsoever; The Kensington at Old Mill Condos is the only condo building in the neighbourhood. That is subject to change in the near future, as Plazacorp is currently developing a new condo in the area. Slated for completion in 2020, the condo will be designed by architects at Quadrangle.
The building will contain around 200 units that range from approximately 400 to 1,200 square feet, creating more density for the neighbourhood. And while retail spaces on the ground level will be convenient for residents living in the building and in the surrounding neighbourhood, long standing community members fear that UrbanCorp may tear down the Humber Cinemas in the process.
Thanks to its location just north of Bloor Street West, residents of Old Mill can get around the city with ease, even without relying on cars. Old Mill and Jane Stations on the Bloor-Danforth line are both situated within the neighbourhood, and a quick ride east will land passengers in central neighbourhoods like Yorkville and The Annex. Those with destinations to the north or south can also hop onto buses like the 66 Prince Edward or the 35 Jane.
Drivers are equally well situated: a quick ride west on Bloor offers the chance to transfer onto the 427, from which Pearson International Airport and the 401 can be reached in no time. Alternatively, the Gardiner Expressway is also close at hand. Drivers can simply head south on the South Kingsway to reach this major highway.
The Locals: They’re not huge fans of change.
Code of Conduct: Residents living in Old Mill probably know the trails along the Humber River like the backs of their hands.
What You’ll Find: One of the most picturesque wedding venues in the city.
What You Won’t Find: Shiny glass towers.
The Homes: Condos are nowhere to be seen — for now.
Sealing the Deal: Having access to the subway as well as a more unconventional method of transportation: a kayak.