Living in Bayview Village
The Bayview Village community revolves around three popular local landmarks – the Bayview Village Shopping Centre, the North York YMCA, and the East Don Valley Parklands – each of which is an integral part of this family oriented neighbourhood. The design and layout of Bayview Village is very much influenced by the East Don Valley Parklands. Dr E.G. Faludi, the town planner who designed Bayview Village, recognized the importance of the East Don Valley Parklands when he said “We will fit the community into the landscape and not the landscape into the community.” This lofty ideal was met in Bayview Village.
History of Bayview Village
Bayview Village began as a small rural farming community in the 1800’s. One of this area’s first settlers was Thomas Clark, a father of seven children and an influential member of the community. The Clark house, built circa 1885, and located at 9 Barberry Place, is the only dwelling that remains from Bayview Village’s pioneer days. The present day Bayview Village neighbourhood was planned in 1954 by a group of developers led by Farlinger Development Ltd. Bayview Village was hailed as “contemporary living in the countryside, at the doorstep of the urban concentration of Metropolitan Toronto.” The town planner for Bayview Village was Dr. E. G. Faludi, who also designed the Rexdale, Thorncrest Village, and Humber Valley neighbourhoods in Toronto. Faludi’s trademark curvilinear street pattern that follows the natural contours of the land was designed to highlight the natural beauty of this neighbourhood. Bayview Village’s novel approach to neighbourhood building combined with affordable house prices, which ranged from $16,000 to $40,000, helped make this subdivision an instant success. A residents association was formed in 1956 and by the early 1960’s Bayview Village was completely developed.
Ed Note. A number of Bayview Village streets such as Citation, Candida, and Bunty Lane are named after famous race horses.
Homes in Bayview Village
Bayview Village’s winding streets and culs-de-sac are decorated with mature birch, cedar, willow, spruce, and pine trees. Many of the Bayview Village houses are situated on spectacular ravine lots that feature glorious views of the East Don River Valley Parklands. Most Bayview Village homes were built between 1954 and 1964. The mix of housing here includes raised and ranch style bungalows, split-level houses, and Georgian Revival-style homes. There are also a large number of affordable condominium townhouse communities along the west side of Leslie Street that feature playful street names like Tangle Briarway, Thorny Vineway, and Peach Willoway. Bayview Village has many new high-rise condominium buildings that offer a maintenance free lifestyle and plenty of recreational amenities. These sleek concrete and glass buildings are designed to maximize views and sunlight. Most of these include a small balcony.
Lifestyle in Bayview Village
Bayview Village residents do most of their shopping at the Bayview Village Shopping Centre located at the north-east corner of Bayview and Sheppard Avenues. Bayview Village is a nicely designed, intimate shopping centre anchored by a large upscale supermarket and a department store. This popular shopping centre also contains an excellent selection of fashion, gift, and specialty stores, as well as family style restaurants. Sheppard and Finch Avenues, and Leslie Street all contain small outdoor shopping plazas that feature mostly small, independent retailers, restaurants, and professional offices. Many of these businesses include English and Chinese on their signage, reflecting the large Chinese population living in and around Bayview Village. Sheppard Avenue also has a number of well known big box stores and a large medical centre.
Recreation in Bayview Village
The North York YMCA, located at 567 Sheppard Avenue East, is the largest recreational facility serving this neighbourhood. Some of the programs being offered at this YMCA include playgym and swim lessons for preschoolers, gymnastics, karate, swimming and basketball programs for children, and aerobics, yoga and aquafit for adults. Facilities at this centre include a gymnasium, a dance studio, a conditioning room, a main swimming pool with lanes and a training swimming pool. The East Don Parklands Trail winds its way through the centre of this neighbourhood from Finch Avenue down to Sheppard Avenue. From Sheppard Avenue south to Duncan Mills Road this trail is paved and is known as the Betty Sutherland trail, named after a long serving municipal councillor from this area. The Bayview Village Shopping Centre is a popular recreation spot for residents of this neighbourhood. This shopping centre stages a variety of special events throughout the year including a fashion show, and an antique and collectible show. The Bayview Village Shopping Centre also has a public library, a health spa, and four movie theatres.
Transportation in Bayview Village
There is regular bus service on Finch and Sheppard Avenues and limited bus service on Bayview Avenue and Leslie Street. All these bus lines provide connecting routes to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists are approximately twenty-five minutes from downtown via Yonge Street or Bayview Avenue. On-ramps to Highway 401 are located off of Bayview Avenue, Yonge Street and Leslie Street.