For over 100 years Rosedale has held the distinction of being Toronto’s most affluent neighbourhood which is located north of Downtown & is one of its oldest suburbs. It is also one of the wealthiest & most highly priced neighbourhoods in Canada. It is known as the area where the city's “Old Money” lives, & is home to some of Canada's wealthiest & most prominent citizens.
Rosedale's boundaries consist of the CPR railway tracks to the north, Yonge Street to the west, Bloor Street to the south, & Bayview Avenue to the east. The neighbourhood is within the City of Toronto's Rosedale-Moore Park neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is divided into a north & south portion by the Park Drive Ravine.
South Rosedale was first settled by Sheriff William Jarvis & his wife, Mary, in the 1820s. Mary Jarvis, whose frequent walks & horseback rides blazed the trails for Rosedale's meandering streets (which are one of the area's trademarks), named Rosedale as a tribute to the abundance of wild roses that graced the hillsides of the Jarvis estate. The Jarvis Family sold the Rosedale homestead in 1864, which led to the residential development of the area soon after.
Rosedale is unique in that it is surrounded by 3 beautiful ravines & parkland that make you feel as if you are far away from the city. Rosedale has convoluted routes through the neighbourhood & other physical boundaries, & thus has low levels of vehicular traffic. Even though Rosedale is located in the middle of Toronto, virtually no vehicular traffic can be heard due to the abundance of trees & foliage that surround the community. While in reality Rosedale is just a few minutes from Toronto's major business, entertainment, & shopping districts.
Rosedale's Victorian, Georgian, Tudor, & Edwardian style mansions were built between 1860 & 1930. The homes are mostly single family detached dwellings. Many Rosedale homes are listed on the Toronto Historical Board's Inventory of Heritage Properties.
South Rosedale also contains a number of condominium, co-operative, & co-ownership apartment buildings. These apartments are surprisingly affordable & provide a good entry into the neighbourhood.
Rosedale residents living west of Mt. Pleasant Road are within walking distance of the upscale shops & restaurants, located on Yonge Street, in the Summerhill area.
North Rosedale residents, east of Mt. Pleasant Road, can obtain all of their household needs within a small commercial block on Summerhill Avenue, at the very north end of Rosedale.
South Rosedale is currently home to an exclusive all-girls school, Branksome Hall. Rosedale Public School is a small elementary school in central Rosedale, across the street from Rosedale's community centre, Mooredale House. Which is run by the Rosedale & Moore Park resident associations. There is a small annual fee to join Mooredale, which offers sports, fitness, arts, & music programs for adults & children.
Rosedale Park is home to the annual spring park party, Mayfair. The event typically consists of rides, games, flea market & other such carnival-type activities. The event is traditionally on the first Saturday in May. The event is run & funded by Mooredale House.
Rosedale Park, located off Schofield Avenue, has eight tennis courts, a sports field, an artificial ice rink, & a wading pool. Ramsden Park, off Yonge Street, features four tennis courts, an artificial ice rink, & a wading pool.
Rosedale Heritage Conservation Districts Provide a Lasting Legacy
At present, the City of Toronto has 15 heritage conservation districts, including both South Rosedale & North Rosedale in Midtown. The path to designation as a heritage conservation district begins with a background study into the historical, architectural & character-defining features that make an area special. Following a general review if the study area merits designation becomes approval by the Toronto Preservation Board. City Council then passes a by-law that establishes the heritage conservation district.
South Rosedale’s designation as a heritage conservation district was spearheaded by the South Rosedale Ratepayers’ Association (which was formed in 1931 & is the oldest such association in Toronto). The ratepayers’ association was naturally concerned that the neighbourhood’s Garden Suburb characteristics & grand old houses would be preserved. Thanks to the group’s efforts South Rosedale was granted heritage conservation district status in 2003.
In 1824, Sheriff William Botsford Jarvis purchased a 110-acre estate in what is now South Rosedale. Mary Jarvis was said to be impressed by the profusion of roses that dotted the hillsides around her estate, which led to the name Rosedale. Mary Jarvis’s daily horse rides through Rosedale blazed the way for some of the present-day Rosedale streets.
North Rosedale followed the lead of South Rosedale, receiving its heritage conservation district designation in 2005. It also has a storied history, beginning in 1881 when the Glen Road Bridge was constructed. Scottish Highland shareholders were quick to register a plan of subdivision named Rosedale Park in 1884, which named many of the streets after principles in the development & prominent Ontario citizens.
Saint Andrews College, prominent boys private school now located in Aurora, called North Rosedale home from 1905 to 1927. Rosedale Golf Club also originated in North Rosedale before moving to its present location in Teddington Park. The former Toronto Lacrosse Grounds now known as Rosedale Park were the venue for the inaugural Grey Cup football game in 1909.
North Rosedale’s development was sporadic. The neighbourhood was largely built by the late 1920s & early 1930s. North Rosedale’s Frederick Law Olmstead-inspired Garden Suburb street pattern, ravine topography, grand old homes, & classical architecture made it an easy choice for heritage conservation district status.
To explore Rosedale on foot, consider a Heritage Toronto walking tour. For more details visit www.heritagetoronto.org.
Rosedale buses run on South Drive, Crescent & Glen Roads, as well as Summerhill, Maclennan, Highland & Elm Avenues. The Rosedale buses connect with the Rosedale station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line or the Sherbourne station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
Motorists are just minutes away from the Bayview extension & Don Valley Parkway.
Please feel free to contact me regarding this area and or any surrounding areas that you may be interested in. Call me at 416-804-0991 (client line) or 416-441-2888 ext 266 (office) or email for more information.