Living in Governor’s Bridge
Governor’s Bridge is an exclusive enclave of approximately one hundred and fifteen homes nestled in a wooded ravine valley which hides the fact that this neighbourhood is just five minutes from downtown Toronto. There is very little turnover of homes in this highly sought after neighbourhood and its easy to see why once you experience the peace and tranquility that this idyllic setting offers to its residents.
History of Governor’s Bridge
The Governor’s Bridge neighbourhood was subdivided in 1912 by William Douglas and Wallace Nesbitt. Douglas and Nesbitt were distinguished lawyers at the Toronto law firm of McCarthy, Osler and Company and both men were elected president of the Osgoode Legal and Literary Society during their careers. The actual building of homes in this neighbourhood did not take place until after 1923, when the Governor’s Bridge was opened. This bridge spanned a section of the Moore Park Ravine and received its name due to the close proximity of the Lieutenant Governor’s residence which was located where Chorley Park is today.
The same year that the Governor’s Bridge opened, Wallace Nesbitt and the estate of William Douglas altered their original plan of subdivision for this neighbourhood. All of the original street names were changed in the new plan. Southview Avenue became Nesbitt Drive, Oakdale Crescent became Douglas Crescent and Hawthorne Avenue was changed to Governor’s Road. In the early years this neighbourhood was affectionately referred to as “Little Hollywood” because many of the first houses built in Governor’s Bridge featured Spanish architectural accents.
Homes in Governor’s Bridge
The Governor’s Bridge neighbourhood features an eclectic mix of houses that come in all sizes, shapes, and architectural styles. These houses were built in the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. Many of the original bungalows are being torn down and replaced by new custom designed houses that fit well on the generous size lots that are characteristic of this neighbourhood. For those seeking the ultimate in privacy the houses on Douglas Crescent sit perched atop the wooded slopes of the Moore Park Ravine. Blue Jays, raccoons and even the occasional fox are some of the wildlife to be spotted from the backyards of these homes. The Governor’s Manor, located at 67-93 Douglas Crescent has recently been converted into upscale condominium townhomes. This English Tudor style apartment, built in the 1920’s, is a stately looking building that adds to the grandeur of this exclusive neighbourhood.
Lifestyle in Governor’s Bridge
The closest shopping district to the Governor’s Bridge neighbourhood is a cluster of stores and a shopping plaza located at the intersection of Bayview and Moore Avenues. This group of stores includes a national grocery store, a pharmacy, a dry cleaner, and a bank. Residents of this neighbourhood also shop along quaint Summerhill Avenue in the Rosedale neighbourhood. Further north on Bayview Avenue is the Leaside shopping district. This upscale shopping area includes fashion boutiques, antique stores, gift shops, professional services, gourmet coffee shops, specialty food stores, and a number of restaurants and cafes.
Recreation in Governor’s Bridge
Nesbitt Park is the quintessential neighbourhood park. This park is especially popular with families who have young children as it features an excellent children’s playground. The Moore Park Ravine can be accessed from Chorley Park which is situated within a short walk of this neighbourhood. The Moore Park Ravine walking trail is popular with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. This trail follows the route of the old Belt Line Railway Company, a commuter railway train which ran through the Moore Park Ravine and through the City of Toronto from 1892 until 1894. The Belt Line tracks were removed during the First World War and used in the war effort in France.
Transportation in Governor’s Bridge
Governor’s Bridge residents can catch the Rosedale bus on Summerhill Avenue. This bus route connects to the Rosedale station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists can quickly access the Bayview extension at the north-east section of this neighbourhood. The Bayview extension provides motorists with a quick passage into the downtown core.