Living in Topham Park
When you first come upon Topham Park you quickly sense the pride of ownership that is painted on the face of every home in the neighbourhood. This is a tightly knit community of only a few hundred homes situated on quaint boulevards and pretty culs-de-sac. Its the type of neighbourhood where children have chosen to return as adults to raise their own families.
History of Topham Park
Topham Park was an apple orchard until 1944, when the crown purchased this property for War Veterans housing. The Topham Park neighbourhood was developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation between 1944 and 1946. The streets were given military names like ‘Warvet’ and ‘Valor’. Some streets were named after military men. For example, ‘Merritt’ is named after Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Merritt, Canada’s second Victoria Cross winner. In the early days, Topham Park was known as “Sunshine Valley”. This name was attributed to the local bus driver named ‘Mac’ who used to holler “All out for Sunshine Valley” when making his stop in this neighbourhood. Original residents recall that “Sunshine Valley” was an appropriate name as there were many children in the neighbourhood and it was a very happy place to live. Also, the sun shinned down brightly on the homes as there were few shade trees around at that time. The present day neighbourhood is named after the local park which in turn was named after Frederick Topham, who was also a Victoria Cross recipient and once lived in this neighbourhood.
Homes in Topham Park
Topham Park’s former ‘War Veterans’ houses are located in the centre of this neighbourhood between Selwyn and Squires Avenues from St. Clair Avenue north to Tiago Avenue. These houses were built between 1944 and 1946 and are easily distinguished by their bright frame siding, and pretty front porches that look out over manicured lawns. Many of these houses have undergone significant upgrades and improvements since they were built. The renovations that have taken place have been careful to preserve the integrity and charm of these wartime houses. The streets on the periphery of the neighbourhood include sturdy brick bungalows, and detached one-and-a-half-storey and two-storey houses. These homes were built mostly in the late 1940’s.
Lifestyle in Topham Park
Topham Park residents can easily walk to the Victoria Park and St. Clair Avenue intersection, which features a major grocery store and a cluster of smaller shops, restaurants, and medical and professional offices. Additional convenience-type stores catering to everyday household needs are located along St. Clair Avenue.
Recreation in Topham Park
Topham Park, located in the centre of this neighbourhood features a baseball diamond that is the home field for men’s, ladies’ and children’s softball leagues. This park also has two tennis courts, a clubhouse, and a children’s playground. In the wintertime, Topham Park has an outdoor natural ice rink that is used for pleasure skating and hockey. Recreational programs for the public are also held at Selwyn School located at 1 Selwyn Avenue.
Transportation in Topham Park
Bus lines on St. Clair Avenue and O’Connor Drive link up with the Coxwell station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists have easy access to the downtown via the Don Valley Parkway. This commuter highway also provides a direct link to Toronto’s network of commuter highways.