The Kingsway, or Kingsway Park as it was originally known, was the brainchild of developer Robert Home Smith in the early 1900’s. This well-planned community was based on the principles of the English Garden City. It was one of the first communities in Canada to take into consideration the natural features of the land, and sought to create a development that maintained as much of the original landscape as possible. Every effort was made to keep the native trees that were present on each property. Winding tree-lined streets were the result of this approach. This was directly opposed to the traditional approach of the day which was simply to cut all of the trees down and build row and upon row of nearly identical houses (sound familiar)? Every home built in the development had to be approved by Home Smith himself, and many of them were designed by his prestigious architectural firm. Most of the homes in the area are in the Tudor style, which emphasized the importance of craftsmanship and quality over the factory designed approach that was the norm at that time. Homebuyers in the original development had to sign a thirty year covenant which prohibited things like attached garages, fences, and other aesthetically questionable features from being introduced onto their properties.
The result of this careful planning is an absolutely beautiful and architecturally consistent area, which is extremely rare in the city of Toronto. Many people consider it to be the best neighbourhood in western Toronto (there is a reason it is called the Kingsway). Only a few of the Home-Smith originals have been torn down, with many homeowners sensitive to the architectural significance of the development. It boasts one of the city’s top schools, Lambton-Kingsway School, and also is in the catchment area for an excellent French-immersion school as well (Rosethorn Public School). The shops of the Kingsway are also within easy reach and include such gems as the Kingsway theatre, which was recently refurbished to all of its Art Deco glory. Lastly, the Bloor-Danforth subway line runs through the bottom of this development and allows for an easy commute into the city core.
As a long-time resident myself, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the area.
Lambton-Kingsway Junior-Middle School - JK -8 English public school with outstanding EQAO scores and a strong parent Community
Rosethorn Junior-Middle School - Jk-5 English/French Immersion school with outstanding EQAO scores and strong parent support. Known for it's excellent athletics, music programs, and an outstanding after-care program.
Our Lady of Sorrows - JK-8 Catholic school
Merlot- Our personal favourite in the Kingsway. Casual french cuisine in a cosy setting. Excellent patio. Highly recommended
La Veranda Osteria Ristorante - Excellent Italian restaurant at the corner of Royal York and Bloor. Outstanding patio in the summer.
Kingsway Theatre - This Art-Deco masterpiece is one of the last remaining independent theatres in the city. Includes one main screen with a couple of small screening rooms upstairs. I was once in one of the upstairs rooms with just my wife and child. Highly recommended!