Lawrence Park is an affluent neighborhood within Toronto, being ranked the wealthiest neighborhood in all of Canada in the year of 2011. The reason it is such a sought after area is due to its close proximity to the Downtown core of Toronto, as well as proximity to upscale amenities; These amenities consist of elite social clubs, such as The Rosedale Golf Club and The Granite Club, high end shopping, fine dining restaurants and excellent schools for children.
Lawrence Park was one of the first planned garden suburbs in Toronto; its tranquil settings of open parks, lush green space and tree lined streets winding around low hills, create a peaceful topography and beautiful living space.
Centered on Mount Pleasant Road this community boasts beautiful medium to large houses on properties with deep lot sizes. You can find commercial businesses within a five minute walking distance, along with very good shopping amenities walking distance, such as close grocery stores conveniently located right on Yonge and Lawrence.
The area of Lawrence Park is bordered by Yonge Street to the west and Bayview Avenue to the east, and from Blythwood Ravine on the south to Lawrence Avenue on the north.
Lawrence Park was one of the first planned garden suburbs in Toronto, as previously mentioned. It began in the early part of the 20th century; however it did not fully develop until after the Second World War. The assembly of Lawrence Park began in the year 1907 by the Dovercourt Land Building and Saving Company, which acquired the area from John Lawrence, after whom it is named from, creating an exclusive suburb for the “well to do” of society.
The president of the Dovercourt Land Company was Wilfred Servington Dinnick. In the early years it was both Howard and Lorrie Dunnington-Grubb (founders of the Sheridan Nurseries) who had undertaken most of the landscaping and architecture for the parks, green space and boulevards of the whole suburb.
After much of the main creation of the area was developing, the very first advertisement for Lawrence Park boasted it as an “Aristocratic Neighborhood”. However, Lawrence Park’s development was sporadic as the building of houses was put on hold and interrupted by two world wars, a recession and a great depression. It wasn’t until the year 1950 and on that the district of Lawrence Park was completed.
Lawrence Park’s houses boast a variety of architectural designs, such as the classic English Cottage, Tudor Revival, Georgian and Colonial style designs. Most of these houses were built between the year 1910 and the late 1940’s. However, in recent years, parts of Lawrence Park have been redeveloped and newly constructed with larger housing sizes, which do not match the original housing size or style in the neighborhood; but still stunning depending on different tastes.
Whether it is a newly constructed or renovated classic, all have top of the line glass windows, high ceilings, elegant wood moldings, rich real hardwood flooring and deep lot sizes with front lawn landscaping are common in Lawrence Park. Renovations to existing houses have been sensitive in order to maintain and to preserve their old world charm and original feel of Lawrence Park.
In the year 2011, the average resale house price in the neighborhood was $2,421,036, higher than any area in the neighborhoods of Toronto, excluding the Bridle Path.
An example of recent listings in Lawrence Park categorized as a “low price” for the area, would be a house on a 50 ft lot size with spacious living and dining rooms for easy entertaining, a renovated kitchen opening to a sitting room with Muskoka-style sunken family room opening to the south deck. Within the backyard area can be found a beautiful garden landscaped with a concrete pool. Houses as described above were offered for sale at $1,595,000 “low price” for the area. However, an example of listings of recent newly built houses categorized as a “high price” for the area, would be houses that exist of 8,600 square feet on 3 levels with a permit for both a pool and waterfalls, an existing nanny suite, 3 family rooms, a media room, 5 fireplaces, heated floors, a spa and exercise room, a wine cellar, a library and 7 walk-out entrances to the exterior listed at $4, 495,000.
A new real estate development known as Tridel Toronto located in Lawrence Park, has been established winning Project of the Year for 2008 from the Ontario Home Builder’s Association with their luxurious condos, The Huntington Toronto Condominiums; Inspired by natural surroundings, with beautiful green space and gardens throughout and views overlooking Sherwood Park Ravine. These condominiums and living space are known as an “exceptional community”, with elegant units boasting a classic architectural style and design, a French Beaux Arts style façade, and common areas reminiscent of areas found in English hotels.
The Huntington Toronto condominiums are crafted with the finest finishes in solid wood, granite, marble or quartz countertops, tiled walls and the choice of flooring which are polished or honed sealed granite, marble or limestone in the bathrooms with Hans Grohe bathroom fixtures, quarter sawn oak plank hardwood in the living room, hallways, libraries and bedrooms. In addition, residents can feel safe and secured with the 24 hour concierge and personally encoded security alarms.
Inside Lawrence Park and Surrounding Area
Adjacent and continuing west towards Bathurst Street is another affluent neighborhood pocket known as Lytton Park. Lytton Park fills a partly hidden valley around Strathallan Boulevard. These two neighborhoods are often confused with each other. Lawrence Park's western boundary is Yonge Street, while Lytton Park continues westward towards Bathurst Street.
There are many upscale shops and renowned restaurants in the Yonge and Lawrence, Bayview and Mount Pleasant area. This district includes fashion shops and children’s shops, sporting goods stores, gift shops, and boutique shops are very accessible and will carry everything from antique, art galleries to high end shops like Melmira Bra & Swimsuits and Felichia which is a boutique shop creating custom dresses. Spas such as the Ivashi Bedrock Spa and Civello Hair Salon, eco-friendly stores like Dandelion Mud Pie on Fairlawn and Ten Thousand Villages.
Along Avenue Road there Pusateri’s Fine Foods which is a popular destination. Also found on Yonge and Lawrence is the option of fine dining restaurants such as Cravings (Pan-Asian food) and Blue Zen (Japanese fusion), North 44 and Centro (Italian) and Classico Louie’s. Also, in the area there is the 3080 Yonge Street Shopping Plaza on the corner of Lawrence and Yonge with restaurants along the street, such as the popular Golden Griddle Pancake House. Just south of the 401 there are a variety of upscale restaurants where many families come during dinner time to share quality food with each other. The same can be found along Yonge Street, with establishments such as Alex on Yonge with over 400 cheeses, The Friendly Butcher.
There is also a well-equipped Recreation Centre called the Granite Club, a sports and recreation centre on Bayview Avenue north of Lawrence Avenue. The Granite Club has an abundance of both social and athletic activities for every personality and athletic ability, ranging from bowling to computer classes, from ballet and dance classes to art classes.
There is also family recreation within Lawrence Park with stunning walkways and trails within Blythwood Ravine, boasting a wide variety of trees that surround magnificent picnic areas and footpaths and 3 tennis courts. The award winning Alexander Muir Memorial Garden is just next door, hidden from view of the street.
In addition, transportation around the area is accessible as Lawrence Subway Station, located at the intersection of Yonge and Lawrence, has entrances on Ranleigh Avenue and Bedford Park Road and thankfully frequent bus service running both east and west. Both motorists and Lawrence Park residents seem to mostly fall into this category, as they both have access to Bayview and Yonge Street connecting to Highway 401 within a 5 to 10 minute drive from Lawrence Park.
The area is home to a variety of excellent schools such as:
Havergal College Toronto French School Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute Blythwood Jr. Sunny View Jr. Bedford Park Public School The Crescent School Crestwood School Blessed Sacrament Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School Glendon College of York University The School Of Liberal Arts.