Living in Wychwood Park
Wychwood Park is an exclusive enclave of sixty homes tucked away in a private ravine setting atop the rolling wooded hills of the Davenport Ridge. This community is unique in that it has its own executive council that overseas the private roads and parkland within the Wychwood Park neighbourhood. The price for this privacy is a special park tax paid by every Wychwood Park home owner. This tax varies depending on the size of each property.
History of Wychwood Park
Wychwood Park was founded by Marmaduke Matthews, a landscape painter who purchased land here in the 1870’s with the hope of establishing an artist colony at Wychwood Park. Matthews named Wychwood Park after Wychwood Forest, located near his childhood home in Oxfordshire, England. In 1874, Matthews built the first house in the community, at number six Wychwood Park. The second Wychwood Park house, at number twenty two Wychwood Park, was built in 1877, by Matthews’ friend Alexander Jardine. Matthews and Jardine jointly bought the land that abutted their estates and in 1891, registered a plan of subdivision for what is now the Wychwood Park neighbourhood. Wychwood Park is historically significant for the architecture of its homes, and for being one of Toronto’s earliest planned communities. The Wychwood Park neighbourhood was designated as an Ontario Heritage Conservation district in 1985.
Homes in Wychwood Park
All of Wychwood Park’s houses are listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties. A handful of the first Wychwood Park houses were built in the late 1800’s, however most of the houses in Wychwood Park were built in stages between 1906 and 1935. A few houses were also built in the early 1950’s. Many of the older Wychwood Park houses were designed by Eden Smith, an architect who specialized in the English Arts and Crafts house style. The influence of Smith’s traditional English house forms is evident throughout Wychwood Park.
Lifestyle in Wychwood Park
Wychwood Park residents enjoy convenient access to a large number of shops and restaurants along St. Clair Avenue West. There is also a limited amount of convenience-type shopping on Vaughan and Davenport Roads, and on Bathurst Street.
Recreation in Wychwood Park
Nestled in a thickly wooded valley at the south end of Wychwood Park is the Taddle Creek pond. This pond is home to two swans named Oscar and Felix, as well as snapping turtles, painted turtles, goldfish and mallard ducks. In the wintertime the pond is used as a skating rink. Near the pond is the Wychwood Park tennis court which is so tangled in underbrush that it is barely visible from the street above. The Wychwood Public Library and the Hillcrest Community Centre are both located on Bathurst Street, within a short walk of the Wychwood Park neighbourhood.
Transportation in Wychwood Park
Both the bus service on Davenport Road and the streetcar on St. Clair Avenue connect passengers to the Dupont station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Bathurst bus connects passengers to the Bathurst station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists are approximately ten minutes from downtown and about the same distance north to the Allen Expressway off Eglinton Avenue.