There are few urban neighborhoods more picturesque than Toronto’s Rosedale. Along with historic mansions, meandering streets shaded by magnificent trees, good schools and huge parks, the area has everything the city has to offer right on its doorstep.
A fairly compact district north of downtown Toronto, it extends to Don Valley Parkway to the east, St. Clair Avenue to the north, Bloor Street to the south and Yonge Street to the west.
Rosedale is one the priciest districts to live in Toronto. Developed in the Victorian era for long-time Ontario families, it’s an affluent and desirable neighborhood favored by Canada’s elite.
Houses in the district cost on average between C$900 and C$1,000 per square foot (US$676 to $753), according to Richard Silver, Sales Representative & Senior Vice President Sales with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Toronto.
“The average house costs C$2.8 million to C$2.9 million (US$2.1 million to $2.2 million), but you can get a semi-detached house for about C$2.5 million (US$1.9 million),” he added.
Janet Lindsay of Chestnut Park Real Estate, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, gives a higher estimate. “Houses cost between C$3 million and C$10 million (US$2.3 million and $7.5 million),” she said. “You need at least C$3 million (US$2.3 million) to buy a home, though most homes cost around the C$5 million mark (US$3.8 million).”
Rosedale is known for its beautiful period houses. It has many historic redbrick mansions, which date from the Victorian and Edwardian eras and the 1920s and 1930s.
Picture detached three-story properties, with gabled fronts and elegant wide porches and large formal reception rooms. Most sit on large plots of land and have front and back gardens as well as driveways.
The district is mostly made up of single-family homes, a mix of detached and semi-detached properties. There are few condo buildings on Dale Street, which were built circa 1949.
Large detached houses typically have four or five bedrooms, and an attic room and basement, which are often converted into family rooms or gyms, according to Mr. Silver, who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years.
As an example, Sotheby’s is marketing a Spanish-style chalet-style home on Castle Frank Crescent, overlooking the Rosedale valley. Described as having “country-living-in-the-city flair,” this five to six-bedroom house has period wood paneling, wood flooring and windows, and a wood-and-brick fireplace. It is on the market for C$4,988,000 (US$3.8 million).
SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY CANADA
Chestnut Park and Yonge Street are among the most desirable streets, because they offer close proximity to the Yonge Street subway station, which connects to the city’s financial district.
Roxborough Drive, which snakes through the middle of the district, and Binscarth Road, have some of the area’s loveliest houses, according to Mr. Silver.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) February 24, 2017
What makes it unique
According to an article published in Toronto Life, “for a certain type of Torontonian, moving into the neighbourhood [Rosedale], perched just above downtown, is an incontrovertible signal that they’ve made it.”
With its stately broad trees that create leafy avenues, wealth of green spaces and heritage-listed brick mansions with manicured front lawns, it’s not hard to see why Rosedale is considered such a fashionable address.
The convenience of its location also makes it a desirable spot. It is 10 minutes from Yonge Street’s subway station.
But the biggest attraction is the schools, according to Mr. Silver.
“Rosedale has and is close to sought-after independent and state schools,” he said. “It’s what draws families to the area and brings people together.”
He added: “Rosedale is like any other neighborhood but the homes are bigger and more expensive. And it is accessible to everything that the city has to offer, from art galleries and theaters to posh shops.”
In addition to the area’s big trees and parks, there is a forested ravine–one of many in the city–that runs through the southern end of the neighborhood. It includes trails that are part of the Beltline Trail, a nine kilometer linear park with a creek running through it, which is home to diverse wildlife, plants and trees.
Don Valley Bricks Works, a former quarry and industrial site, is now a park that’s popular with runners. It has three ponds, a meadow and small forest, along with an off-leash dog park and hiking and biking trails.
Residents don’t have to venture outside their neighborhood for a good meal. Highlights include Sorrel, an elegant restaurant/bar with a French Mediterranean menu, which was named one of 100 Best Restaurants in Canada based on OpenTable diner reviews last year.
Terroni is a fashionable eatery with a laid-back vibe, which serves southern Italian food including pizzas, and has a rooftop terrace. Avant Gout is a supper club that offers elegant French and North African dishes.
“Mink Mile,” an upscale shopping area in Yorkville, is about a 20-minute walk away. But the area does have a range of interesting and useful shops. They include Summerhill Market, a gourmet food shop on Summerhill Avenue, and Harvest Wagon, a longstanding greengrocer on Yonge Street.
Evergreen Brick Works, a community and eco education center in a former brick-making factory, has Evergreen Garden Market, a food and home décor shop and garden center, which has “Toronto’s widest selection of Ontario native flowers, plants and trees,” according to its website.
Don Valley Bricks Works hosts a Saturday morning farmers’ market.
And when it comes to schools, Branksome Hall, an independent girls’ International Baccalaureate school, is a big draw. Rosedale Junior Public School, which teaches children from kindergarten to sixth grade, is popular too.
Mooredale is a thriving community center that offers “close-to-home social, recreational and extracurricular activities for the local children,” according to its website. It has a heated pool, soccer club and Rosedale Tennis Club, as well as Mooredale Preschool, which serves children from 18 months to six years.
There are also many well-regarded schools within easy reach. They include The York School, a co-ed independent school; Upper Canada College, a private school for boys; and the Bishop Strachan School, an Anglican day and boarding schools for girls.
Who lives there?
Rosedale’s mansions house some of the city’s richest residents. These include politicians, hockey players, film stars and producers along with people working in the banking and publishing industries. Doctors and lawyers also call the neighborhood home.
It has a very established professional community and the average age is around 50, according to agents.
Mr. Silver notes that there are more international buyers moving into the area. “The largest group is from mainland China,” he said. “They are drawn to the area’s schools and its proximity to the University of Toronto.”
Ms. Lindsay said that new developments on the outskirts of the city remain the most popular with expats from the Chinese community. “There are not huge numbers coming into the area, but they are starting to realize that Rosedale is a prestigious district,” she added.
The area has had famous residents past and present. Folk-rock legend Gordon Lightfoot once lived on Beaumont Road. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of U.S. president Lyndon B Johnson, lived on Crescent Road with her Canadian husband, Ian J. Turpin.
David and Ken Thompson, members of one of Canada’s wealthiest families, have lived in Rosedale for years.
Gerry Schwartz, founder of the private equity investment company Onex, and his wife Heather Reisman, founder of retail chain Indigo Books, are also residents. They reportedly live in a sprawling property said to be worth C$28 million.
It is also home to a large number of the Canadian leaders, including foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland and former politician Bill Graham.
The Greater Toronto Area is undergoing a boom in population, with the area seeing a net migration of 100,000 people every year. However, demand for property is outweighing supply, which is pushing up prices.
“House prices are rising and there is a lack of stock,” Mr. Silver said. New properties are being built in the city but there is not enough to meet demand. The number of new condos available for sale across the Greater Toronto Area is at a 10-year low, according to a recent article in The Toronto Star.
Toronto has claimed the title of world’s “hottest” luxury real estate market in 2016, surpassing last year’s number one, Auckland, and a number of high performing Pacific Rim markets, according to Christie’s International Real Estate.
Meanwhile, the Ontario provincial government, worried about affordability after recent steep price rises, has introduced a new 15% foreign buyer’s tax.
The levy, which applies to non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents and came into force in April, aims to try and stabilize the booming housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.
Nevertheless, sales has been brisk. “So far this year there have been 26 sales of properties in Rosedale priced between C$3 [million] and C$10 million, which is quite high because it is a small area,” Ms. Lindsay said.
Mr. Silver added: “The market is Rosedale is steady and demand is high. The main reason is that the houses are large and ideal for families.”.
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org