Synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, Bloor-Yorkville or Yorkville is one of Canada’s most fashionable and desirable neighbourhoods. This affluent enclave is traditionally bounded by Bloor Street to the south, Avenue Road to the west, Davenport Road to the north, and Yonge Street to the east. It is one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Toronto, with well-preserved historic charm and an outstanding central location.
Yorkville was founded during the 1830s, and was initially developed as an exclusive residential suburb of Toronto. Two prominent Torontonians of the era, Joseph Bloore and William Botsford Jarvis, played major roles in its establishment and early history. Today, major Toronto streets are named after these pioneers. Yorkville existed as an independent village until the 1880s, until it was annexed into Toronto in 1883.
Though Yorkville was a counterculture hotspot during the 1960s, it also began its transition into an exclusive shopping district during this time. The opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway line sent real estate values along Bloor Street skyrocketing, and by the 1970s, Yorkville was firmly entrenched as Toronto’s ritziest retail corridor.
As a truly cosmopolitan neighbourhood, Yorkville features a wide range of real estate options. Most detached and semi-detached homes in the district date to the late 19th century, with many being included on the Toronto Historical Board’s definitive inventory of heritage properties. The neighbourhood’s older homes are mostly built in the Victorian architectural style, and feature exterior design elements such as decorative wrought-iron fencing, elaborately patterned brickwork, elegant gables, and generously sized yards and gardens.
Yorkville has also seen a recent uptick in new development. A limited number of townhouses are available in the area, and upmarket condominiums are also present in growing numbers. Though Yorkville prizes its historic character, the neighbourhood tends to be more welcoming to newer buildings than many other elite districts of central Toronto.
Yorkville is famous for its shopping with the upscale Holt Renfrew department store on Bloor Street anchoring dozens of other specialty fashion and lifestyle boutiques, jewelry stores, antique shops, home furnishing retailers, and more.
Many of the fashion world’s biggest names, including Dolce&Gabbana, Hermès, Tiffany, and Chanel, also operate Yorkville locations. While the neighbourhood has a reputation for exclusivity, there are also plenty of establishments that cater to budget-conscious shoppers.
What do you crave for dinner tonight? No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in Yorkville. High-end fine dining restaurants rest alongside casual eateries, familiar franchises, and purveyors of ethnic cuisines from every corner of the world.
Dozens of options in all price ranges are easily found, and there are countless gems waiting to be discovered. While the area has a decidedly more laid-back nightlife scene than you’ll find downtown, there are lots of pubs, wine bars, and nightclubs that cater to people with more refined tastes.
Yorkville residents enjoy easy access to premier Toronto cultural attractions including the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), and the downtown theatre, arts, and entertainment districts. The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art (111 Queens Park) is another neighbourhood gem that’s well worth a visit.
Ramsden Park and the Village of Yorkville Park are the district’s two primary green spaces. Featuring four tennis courts, a children’s play area, and a skating rink, Ramsden Park is a great place for family outings. The Village of Yorkville Park is an award-winning example of landscape architecture, featuring design elements inspired by both local and Canadian history. It also features a 650-tonne rock from the Canadian Shield, which is estimated to be about one billion years old.
Public elementary school students can attend Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School (61 Davenport Road), while high school students have Jarvis Collegiate Institute (495 Jarvis Street) nearby. Catholic secondary students have two Monsignor Fraser campuses in the local area (146 Isabella Street, 38 Hazelton Avenue).
Yorkville also has three highly regarded private schools in its immediate vicinity:
Upper Canada College (200 Lonsdale Road) is also a popular place for Yorkville residents to school their children. However, prospective neighbourhood residents should remember that private schools determine their own admissions policies. They should be contacted directly with any questions.
Yorkville has an internationally renowned reputation as a major hub of upscale boutiques and fine retailers. According to current rental market data, Bloor Street is the sixth-most expensive retail street in North America, trailing only Fifth Avenue (New York), Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills), Union Square (San Francisco), North Michigan Avenue (Chicago), and Lincoln Road (Miami).
The Yonge-Bloor intersection is home to a dense concentration of restaurants, retail stores, and professional services offices. Bloor Street West is also lined with eateries, boutiques, and services, while Yorkville’s interior streets are home to some of Toronto’s best-rated and most exclusive fine dining establishments. All in all, Yorkville residents enjoy immediate and convenient access to the finer things in life.
Yorkville residents are ideally situated to take full advantage of TTC subway service, with Line 1 (Yonge branch) and Line 2 being accessible at the Yonge-Bloor station. Another Line 2 stop is located at the Bay-Bloor intersection. The neighbourhood boasts a perfect Walk Score of 100, and an outstanding Transit Score of 97, putting the best of the whole city within easy reach.
Jethro Seymour is one of the Top Toronto Real Estate Brokers at Royal LePage RES Ltd., Johnston & Daniel Division. Jethro Seymour is a midtown Toronto residential specialist with over 20 years of sales experience in real estate, marketing, construction, and publishing. He has helped many families find homes in Toronto’s great neighbourhoods, and has extensive knowledge of local markets, new home construction, resale home sales, and the condo market. Living in midtown Toronto, Jethro previews many of the homes that come to market for his clients and inventory knowledge. Jethro specializes in The Annex, Rosedale, Summerhill, Casa Loma and midtown Toronto neighbourhoods.