Bridle Path, Toronto
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The Bridle Path is an upscale residential neighbourhood in North York, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that is characterized by large multimillion-dollar mansions and two to four acre (8,000 to 16,000 m²) lot sizes. It is often referred to as "Millionaires' Row". It is the most affluent neighbourhood in Canada with an average household income of $936,137, as well as by property values with an average dwelling value of $2.24M.
A residence in Bridle Path
|Changed Municipality||1922 North York from York|
1998 Toronto from North York
|• MP||Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West)|
|• MPP||Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West)|
|• Councillor||Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West)|
Although "The Bridle Path" is in fact the name of a road in the area, the term generally applies to the neighbourhood as a whole. It is bounded by The Bridle Path on the north, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on the south, Bayview Avenue on the west and Wilket Creek on the east. Few roads pass through the area, contributing to the area's exclusivity. House prices in the Bridle Path are varied, but most are well in excess of a million dollars. It is a secluded neighbourhood, surrounded by the Don River Valley and lush parklands.
The Bridle Path was little more than farmland until 1929, when the Bayview Bridge was constructed across the steep (West Branch) Don River Valley. It was at that point that the area was first considered for residential development. Forsey Page, a Toronto-based land developer, envisioned the Bridle Path as an "exclusive enclave of estate homes" and he built the neighbourhood's first home, a Cape Cod Colonial style home at 2 The Bridle Path. This house is credited as the catalyst for the development of the neighbourhood.
In 1937, developer E.P. Taylor, who designed the Don Mills community, purchased a large plot of land north of the Bridle Path. The estate, named Windfields by his wife, is occupied today by the Canadian Film Centre. The park through which Wilket Creek flows behind this parcel of land is known as Windfields Park. In the late forties, Taylor's business partner George Montegu Black, Jr (father of Conrad Black) moved into the area and built a large mansion on Park Lane Circle. In an effort to control who his future neighbours would be, Black took over the company that owned the rolling farmland that was to become the Bridle Path, and set restrictions in place through the North York zoning by-law; only single-family dwellings could be built, and only on minimum lot sizes of 2 acres (0.81 ha). The area was subdivided into about 50 lots, each selling for $25,000 at the time, and through the Fifties it began to take shape.
In July 1948, Sunnybrook Military Hospital was opened to the south of the neighbourhood. The hospital was since reorganized into Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and has expanded to encompass much of Bridle Path's southern boundary.
The Bridle Path has been home to prominent Toronto business people, celebrities, doctors, and engineers. Media mogul Moses Znaimer used to call the Bridle Path home, as did computer businessman Robert Herjavec. Former newspaper baron and convicted felon, businessman Conrad Black was owner of a familial residence until 2016 when he sold the 26 Park Lane Circle, North York for $16.5 million. Prince purchased a home in the Bridle Path for $5.5 million, which he owned for five years. "Casino King of Macau" Stanley Ho owns a High Point Road home purchased in 1987 for a record $5.5 million and currently worth C$27 million.
Two public school boards operate elementary schools in Bridle Path, the separate Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), and the secular Toronto District School Board (TDSB). TCDSB operates St. Bonaventure Catholic School, whereas TDSB operates Park Lane Public School. Neither school board operates a secondary school in the neighbourhood, with TCDSB and TDSB secondary school attending schools in adjacent neighbourhoods.
Two French first language public school board also provides schooling for applicable residents of Bridle Path, the secular Conseil scolaire Viamonde (CSV), and the separate Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir (CSCM). Neither school board operates a school in the neighbourhood, with CSV and CSCM students attending schools in other neighbourhoods in Toronto.
In addition to elementary and secondary schools, the neighbourhood is also home to one public post-secondary institution, Glendon College. The college is a federated campus of York University, operating as a bilingual liberal arts college.
The neighbourhood is home to several municipal parks and green spaces, including Edwards Gardens, Sunnybrook Park, and Windfields Park. Edwards Gardens is a botanical garden located in the east of the neighbourhood. Many of these parks are situated near the Don Valley, which forms a part of the larger Toronto ravine system. Municipal parks in Bridle Path are managed by the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division.
Several major roadways pass through the neighbourhood, including Bayview Avenue, a north–south thoroughfare, and Lawrence Avenue, an east–west thoroughfare. The neighbourhood's namesake comes from a residential road, The Bridal Path. The actual "Bridle Path" name came about as early plans for the neighbourhood included an elaborate system of equestrian bridle paths, as most of the estate owners in the area preceding its development were horse-owners. While the paths have since been paved over, their legacy remains in the Bridle Path's wide streets and in the name of this elite community.