Easy highway access, tranquil green spaces, plenty of lifestyle amenities, and excellent transit options are some of the best reasons to buy a house in Mount Dennis.
Mount Dennis is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the Greater Toronto Area, representing more than 30 ethnic groups. It is also home to one of Toronto’s greenest communities, earning it the title of “Toronto’s Greenest Neighborhood”.
Mount Dennis is named after John Dennis, a Loyalist shipbuilder from Philadelphia who settled on a farm here in the early 1800s. The Dennis family operated a sawmill and a woolen factory on their property, which took in all of the present-day Mount Dennis neighborhood. During the late 1800s, Mount Dennis was known for its brickyards, the Conn Smythe Sand and Gravel pit, and a handful of market gardens that operated on the fertile plain of what is now Eglinton Flats. In 1893 Mount Dennis built its first school which was then followed by a post office and some general stores along Weston Road. In 1916 the Kodak Company moved into Mount Dennis and became the area’s largest employer. By the 1920s, Mount Dennis had grown to the point where a plebiscite was held regarding its incorporation as a Town. The “No” vote won and Mount Dennis remained part of what was then York Township. During the 1950’s the large open fields and bush in this area gave way to new subdivisions as Mount Dennis grew from a rural outpost to an urban neighborhood.
Mount Dennis is poised for growth with the soon-to-be-opened Eglinton Crosstown subway which is sure to help revitalize this historic neighborhood. The recently opened York Recreation Centre is a fully accessible 67,000-sq.-ft facility. Located beside the west bank of the Black Creek, this community recreation center features a green roof and other green standard sustainable features. The center was designed with extensive input from the community. It features numerous amenities including a swimming pool, gymnasium, fitness area, and community meeting rooms.. York Recreation Centre is located at 115 Black Creek Drive, on the southeast corner of Eglinton Ave. West and Black Creek Drive. The defining feature of the Mount Dennis neighborhood is its topography, which features a series of rolling hills that climb their way northward from Rogers Road to Briar Hill Avenue. Many of these hills are bisected by curvilinear one-way streets that add an old-world charm to the neighborhood. Mount Dennis is one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods.
Tranquil Green Spaces is one of the best reason to buy a house at Mount Dennis, Toronto
Mount Dennis houses were built in stages in every decade from the late 1800s all the way up to the 1960s. This is why there are so many different styles of homes present here. Ironically now that this neighborhood has finally filled-in, some of the original houses are now being replaced by newer custom-designed houses. A large number of Mount Dennis homes look out onto the Humber River Valley or onto one of the many parks situated within the Mount Dennis neighborhood.
The primary Mount Dennis shopping district is located on Weston Road. This stretch of stores has recently been designated as a business improvement area. Plans are underway to develop special events and festivals for this shopping area with an emphasis on celebrating the various multicultural communities within the Mount Dennis neighborhood. Mount Dennis residents are also served by a handful of small shopping plazas located along Jane Street that contain a good mix of stores catering to the everyday household needs of the residents of this neighborhood. Lambton Avenue also has a limited amount of shopping including a variety of stores, a grocery store, and a dry cleaner.
Mount Dennis is filled with places whose origins are rooted in the history of this little neighbourhood. Though Kodak Heights is long gone, the promise of big transit development in the area is a game-changer. This community is about to get a lot more accessible, which means more business for locals and more places to explore.
Here are the places you need to know in Mount Dennis:
- Supercoffee, Located right on the busy corner of Eglinton and Weston, this cafe feels like the hub of the Mount Dennis community. With beans from one of the top roasters in the city, this place attracts every type of customer imaginable and is the perfect place to strike up a conversation with strangers, if that’s what you’re into.
- First Class Delites, Classic jerk chicken and coleslaw meals are the main draw here, but a liquor license helps too. Get a drink of Wray and Nephew rum with your dinner (or lunch?) to help the callaloo and saltfish go down.
V’s Caribbean Restaurant is where to get vegan takes on Jamaican staples. Photo by Tanya Mok.
- V’s Caribbean Restaurant, Vegan and proud, this restaurant is one of the few Jamaican restaurants in the area that doesn’t have oxtail on the menu. Instead you’ll find items like maple jerk tofu and pumpkin stew with avocados as sides.
- The Nutmeg Spot, One of the few Grenadian restaurants in the city, this is the place to try dishes like the oil down, Grenada’s unique national dish of breadfruit, meat, coconut milk, and seasoning. They also have an interesting selection of fresh juices like mauby and sea moss.
Golden Crisp Fish & Chips serves up classic plates of deep-fried fish. Photo by Tanya Mok.
- Golden Crisp Fish & Chips, With its kitschy, old-timey Dutch decor and mono-color plates of fried fish and fries, this restaurant – which used to serve employees of the old Kodak plant – will definitely feel like a visit with the ghost of diners past.
- Pho Asia 39, Though it seems perpetually empty, this Vietnamese noodle restaurant has a place in the hearts of locals. No delivery, no takeout menus, no website. Just a saucy manager and some pho.
A longstanding institution, Churrasqueira Beira Mar serves tasty Portuguese chicken. Photo by Tanya Mok.
- Churrasqueira Beira Mar, Come here if you want to eat some authentic Portuguese chicken and watch the soccer playoffs. Open from breakfast until 1 a.m. every day, hanging at this long-time BBQ and grill establishment will definitely have you feeling like one of the boys.
- Homeland East & West Indian Supermarket, Dedicated ex-pats from all over the Indies come to this small establishment for its array of Caribbean seasonings and powders, its Halal butcher, and for its friendly founder, Mr. Singh. It also carries a fine selection of Indian music and soca CDs for people who still bump those.
Caplan’s Appliances carries name-brand dishwashers, ovens, and more. Photo by Tanya Mok.
- Caplan’s Appliances, What started as a humble appliance store in the 50s has now transformed into a glistening, showy destination for expensive and, dare I say, innovative homeware. If you can’t seem to get the attention of the preoccupied salesmen, take yourself for a tour and you may find some very useful things for your kitchen.
- York Recreation Centre, This elegant piece of architecture was well worth the wait. At 67,000 square feet, the center includes a dance studio, gym with all the fixings, one of the best pools in the city, and a spacious walking track that hovers above the basketball court.
Mount Dennis is rich in parkland. Jasper Park and Noble Park, located in the interior of the neighborhood are medium-sized parks geared towards children. Westlake Memorial Park, located off Jaspar Avenue, is named after the Westlake brothers, Thomas, Albert, and George who died in action during World War II. This park contains a children’s playground, a baseball diamond, and some of the steepest tobogganing hills in Toronto. Eglinton Flats is a scenic green space of wide-open parkland divided into four areas by Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue. It has paved trails, a large pond, picnic benches, sports fields, and twelve tennis courts. The Eglinton Flats Winter Tennis Club puts a bubble on six of the courts during the wintertime which is then made available to the public either on a pay-as-you-play basis or by the membership. Seasonal permits for the sports fields are available to organized leagues and individual groups. Year-round washroom/change rooms are available on site.
The Scarlett Woods Golf Course, located in the south-west pocket of Eglinton Flats, is an executive-length par 62 course suitable for both beginners and experts. This course features many challenging par three holes and is rated as moderately difficult.
The newly renovated Mount Dennis Community Hall on Holly Street offers year-round programs to Mount Dennis residents as well as serving as an administrative center for many recreational programs within this district. The Mount Dennis Public Library at 1123 Weston Road offers programs for children and seniors.
Mount Dennis residents have excellent access to public transit. The Jane Street and Weston Road buses connect to the Bloor-Danforth subway line while the Trethewey Drive and Eglinton Avenue buses connect to the Eglinton station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists are approximately a ten-minute drive from Highway 401 which connects to all the major highways leading into and out of the city. For those traveling downtown take Jane Street south to Bloor across to Windermere Avenue. From here head south to Lake Shore Boulevard which will usher you into Toronto’s financial and entertainment districts.
Schools, Colleges and Universities:
York Memorial Collegiate Institute
Address: 2690 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6M, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-3000 | Fax: (416) 394-3416 | Email: YorkMemorial@tdsb.on.ca
“Since our doors first opened in 1929, York Memorial Collegiate Institute has earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence. Our wide range of course offerings, an extensive extra-curricular program, and a traditional year-long timetable continue to attract students from across Toronto. In addition, York Memorial offers students specialized programs that include the R.U.S.H. (Roadmap to University Success with Honours), Pre – AP and Advanced Placement (AP) programs. York Memorial is leading the way in offering a wide range (14 courses) of Advanced Placement courses in all subject areas and is currently ranked first among all public schools in Ontario. York Memorial is recognized nationally and internationally by many universities.” As originally published by York Memorial Collegiate Institute
Dennis Avenue Community School
Address: 17 Dennis Ave, York, ON M6N 2T8, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-2311 | Fax: (416) 394-4175 | Email: Dennis@tdsb.on.ca
“We are located in the historic community of Mount Dennis, near Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue. Mount Dennis was founded in 1797. The first school opened in 1891. Many families have ancestral roots in this former small town. About 45% of the students and families speak English as a second language. Home languages include Vietnamese, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, and Somali. A partnership between our school, parents and community is essential to create an environment that promotes academic growth, social development, and a positive feeling of self-worth. In partnership with Macaulay Child Development and Syme Woolner Centres, we house the Dennis Avenue C. S. Early Years Centre.” As originally published by Dennis Avenue Community School
Address: 6 Bala Ave, York, ON M6M 2E2, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-2210 | Fax: (416) 394-2227 | Email: Bala@tdsb.on.ca
“Bala Avenue Community School, built in 1913, is located in the old community of Weston, near the southeast corner of Jane Street and Weston Road. The school currently serves 270 students (Kindergarten to Grade 5), representing approximately 20 different languages. Our school offers the International Languages Elementary Program on Saturdays. This program is designed to give students the opportunity to learn additional languages, other than English and French, and to learn about and appreciate other traditions, customs and cultures. As originally published by Bala Avenue Community School
Address: 100 Pine St, York, ON M9N 2G8, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-3250 | Fax: (416) 394-4429 | Email: Weston@tdsb.on.ca
“Established in 1857, Weston Collegiate holds the distinction of being the second-oldest secondary school in Toronto and in 2007 celebrated its 150th anniversary. Once positioned in the heart of what was the quaint but industrious town of Weston, today, Weston is home to the world, with current students representing 80 countries. As a result, Weston is international in focus and spirit. We strive to meet the needs of all students in our community by offering courses at the academic, applied and locally developed level. We prepare students for university and college admissions, as well as offer programs in the skilled trades that lead to work or apprenticeship.” As originally published by Weston Collegiate Institute
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada | Telephone: 416 532-6592
“L’école secondaire Toronto Ouest continue de bâtir un milieu d’apprentissage franchement exemplaire. Ce milieu diversifié, inclusif et sécuritaire offre à ses élèves des programmes d’excellence en sciences, mathématiques, langues, études sociales et arts. De nombreux clubs et activités socioculturelles et sportives viennent agrémenter le quotidien de nos élèves, leur permettant de joindre l’utile à l’agréable. Fondés sur des valeurs d’excellence, d’engagement et de dépassement de soi, l’enseignement et l’encadrement offerts à nos élèves leur permettent « de voir un avenir à la hauteur de leur vision où les choix de carrières sont guidés par leurs passions et qui offre la possibilité et les ressources nécessaires à leur réalisation ».” As originally published by ÉS Toronto Ouest
Address: 116 Cornelius Pkwy, North York, ON M6L 2K5, Canada | Telephone: 416 397-2000
Address: 50 Celestine Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9R 3N3, Canada | Telephone:
“C’est un grand honneur pour le personnel de l’école de recevoir 288 élèves, représentant la diversité francophone. Nous sommes fiers de leur offrir un environnement chaleureux où il fait bon apprendre. Chaque élève avec ses propres besoins et intérêts, trouvera les moyens de toujours apprendre et d’assouvir sa curiosité et son questionnement. La technologie est là pour l’appuyer dans son cheminement. L’amélioration du rendement de l’élève et le maintien de son bien-être sont les axes forts du plan d’amélioration de l’école Félix Leclerc.“ As originally published by É Élém Félix-Leclerc
Address: 55 Pelham Ave, Toronto, ON M6N 1A5, Canada | Telephone:
“La communauté de Charles-Sauriol est accompagnée par un personnel enseignant dynamique et dévoué ainsi que des parents très impliqués et prêts à soutenir le développement des enfants. Une étroite collaboration entre le milieu scolaire, la famille et la communauté est essentielle à la réussite de tous les élèves. Le personnel de l’école a à cœur le bien-être de tous les élèves. La différentiation pédagogique, les projets touchant divers intérêts, l’enfance en difficulté, le programme d’Actualisation linguistique du français (ALF) et le programme d’aide pour les nouveaux arrivants (PANA) sont le pivot de l’enseignement à l’école Charles-Sauriol.” As originally published by É Élém Charles-Sauriol
Portage Trail Community School
Address: 100 Sidney Belsey Crescent, North York, ON M6M 5H6, Canada | Telephone: (416) 394-4260 | Fax: (416) 394-4299 | Email: PortageTrailCommunitySchool@tdsb.on.ca
“Portage Trail Community School is a JK to Grade 8 school, which opened on September 7, 1999. It is named for its proximity to an old portage point on the Humber River. Our school is located in a new subdivision just off Weston Road near Jane Street in the former City of York. The almost 600 children who attend Portage Trail are from diverse cultures, races and ethnic backgrounds, who require English as a Second Language support. In 2003, we implemented school uniforms under the direction and organization of our School Advisory Council and the students wear their uniforms (white shirts with school crest and black pants, skirts or shorts) with great pride.” As originally published by Portage Trail Community School
Address: 400 Rockcliffe Blvd, Toronto, ON M6N 4R8, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-3100 | Fax: (416) 394-4068 | Email: Rockcliffe@tdsb.on.ca
“Rockcliffe Middle School offers Grade 6, 7 and 8 students an excellent academic, arts, technology and athletic program. Each day, we focus on ensuring students are working hard, being kind and preparing themselves for College and University success. Our dedicated staff encourages students to be successful and to reach their full potential by maximizing class time. The goal of Rockcliffe Middle School is to authentically engage all students by instilling confidence, broadening horizons and mentoring students to develop habits which lead to success. Rockcliffe Middle School is a place where students and staff are kind, supportive and focussed on learning.” As originally published by Rockcliffe Middle School
Roselands Junior Public School
Address: 990 Jane St, Toronto, ON M6M, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-3110 | Fax: (416) 394-3118 | Email: Roselands@tdsb.on.ca
“Roselands Junior Public School is located at the western edge of the high grounds known as Mount Dennis, on Jane Street south of Eglinton Avenue. For many years this land and the bordering plateau was covered in wild red roses and to the locals, it was known as the ‘land of roses’ or ‘Roselands’. In the fall of 1922 Roselands Public School opened its doors to the community. The school is situated on 14 spacious and well-kept acres including our unique “Memorial Grove” where 15 trees and a stone commemorate the 15 Roselands students who perished in World War II.” As originally published by Roselands Junior Public School
Runnymede Collegiate Institute
Address: 569 Jane St, York, ON M6S 4A3, Canada | Telephone:
(416) 394-3200 | Fax: (416) 394-4445 | Email: Runnymede.CI@tdsb.on.ca
“Runnymede Collegiate Institute is proud of its culturally diverse community where rights, respect and responsibility are valued and where learning and teaching in a safe environment are top priorities. We have 90 years of tradition in both academic and athletic excellence with clear expectations for students in the areas of attendance, performance and achievement. A population of around 700 students makes Runnymede an optimum size to provide recognition for individual merit and yet offer a wide array of co-curricular activities. With a variety of course offerings from computer technology to co-operative education, from modern languages to music, Runnymede meets the needs and interests of its diverse student population.” As originally published by Runnymede Collegiate Institute
CATHOLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOL
St. John the Evangelist Catholic School
Address: 23 George St, York, ON M9N 2B4, Canada | Telephone:
416-393-5244 | Fax: 416-393-5032
“At St. John the Evangelist School our mission is to give our students the opportunity to grow to their fullest potential. We will work as a school community to encourage a positive learning environment in the context of a faith based curriculum. It is all about nurturing student growth, and the need to help our children develop into the people that God wants them to be. It is about providing a standard that ensures positive growth academically, socially and spiritually. This has been, and continues to be the ongoing practice at St. John the Evangelist.” As originally published by St. John the Evangelist Catholic School
Address: 59 Clement Rd, Etobicoke, ON M9R 1Y5, Canada
“Notre école accueille les élèves de la maternelle (4 ans) à la 6e année. Elle offre une éducation de qualité dans un environnement catholique de langue française. Notre communauté est très unie et impliquée, le personnel enseignant est dynamique et engagé. Nous sommes fiers de notre belle école et de notre partenariat avec la garderie « Le petit chaperon rouge ». Dès la 7e année, les élèves peuvent poursuivre leurs études en français à l’École secondaire catholique Saint-Frère-André.” As originally published by ÉÉC Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada
“L’école secondaire Saint-Frère-André est une école accueillant les élèves de la 7e à la 12e année. Notre but premier en tant qu’établissement d’éducation est avant tout l’apprentissage et le développement de votre enfant dans un milieu francophone catholique stimulant. En vue d’offrir un enseignement de qualité et un choix intéressant d’options à nos élèves, nous offrons toute une panoplie d’activités parascolaires, ainsi que des programmes d’enseignement. «Offrir à l’élève une éducation de qualité dans un milieu de vie catholique et francophone où le respect de la personne, le sens d’appartenance à la collectivité franco-ontarienne, la promotion de l’excellence et enfin l’équité sont des valeurs visibles et essentielles à son épanouissement ». C’est non seulement la mission du conseil scolaire mais aussi celle des enseignants.” As originally published by ÉSC Saint-Frère-André
Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
Address: 70 Guestville Ave, York, ON M6N 4N3, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5247 | Fax: 416-397-6310
“On January 2nd, 1944, His Grace Archbishop McGuigan blessed and formally opened Our Lady of Victory Catholic School. Today, Our Lady of Victory School, under the guidance of our Pastor and the assistance of our parents, serves an urban community with a rich multicultural and ethnic mix of students representing a variety of languages and countries. On June 5, 1994, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. Well over 2,000 people took advantage of this opportunity to reflect on happy memories and celebrate accomplishments. A new school facility was completed and officially opened in 2004. The staff pledges to uphold the traditions we have inherited. We strive to instill pride in personal effort, the value of respect for others and commitment to our faith.” As originally published by Our Lady of Victory Catholic School
Address: 125 La Rose Ave, Etobicoke, ON M9P 1A6, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5384 | Fax: 416-393-5087
“Our school’s mission is to offer our students a rich spiritual, academic and cultural formation in the light of the Gospel values, challenging them to achieve excellence in a stimulating, culturally rich, community-based and welcoming environment. Together with the Catholic School Advisory Council, the School strives to provide our students with the most current educational and technological resources available to us through the Ministry of Education and the School Board to enhance their learning opportunities.” As originally published by St. Demetrius Catholic School
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