In 1824 William Botsford Jarvis bought a parcel of land east of Yonge Street and north of Bloor Street. On it, he built a house near what is now Rosedale Road. Jarvis’ wife, Mary, gave the homestead the name “Rosedale” from the wild roses that grew there. In the 1850’s William’s nephew, Edgar John Jarvis, acquired more land and began to develop Rosedale. His wife, Charlotte, was quoted years later in a newspaper interview: “It was difficult to sell Rosedale properties because Toronto women thought it was so far out of the city they could not get maids and were afraid of roughing it.”
Today, with its tree-lined streets and trademark Victorian and Edwardian mansions, Rosedale is synonymous with classic luxury. To buy a house in Rosedale means making a serious financial commitment. In 2012, prices for a detached house ranged from 1.5 to over 6 million dollars.
Rosedale is bordered on the north by the Canadian Pacific railway tracks, on the south by Bloor St., on the west by Yonge St. and on the east by Moore Park ravine. It is accessible by the Don Valley Parkway and by Rosedale and Sherbourne subway stations.
Rosedale is served by Rosedale Junior Public School, Whitney Junior Public School and Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. Branksome Hall, located on Elm Avenue, has offered private education for girls since 1903. Nearby Upper Canada College has been offering exclusive education to boys since 1829.
Rosedale is surrounded by parkland and green space. David A. Balfour Park and the Moore Park ravine both cut through Rosedale, meeting at Craigleith Gardens. Rosedale Park is located at Scholfield Ave. and Highland Ave. It offers a sports field, an ice rink, a wading pool and is home to the Rosedale Tennis Club. The Toronto Lawn Tennis Club is located at 44 Price St. and has tennis and squash courts, as well as an outdoor pool. Mooredale House, at 146 Crescent Rd., is a focal point for community sports and recreation. Each year it hosts “Mayfair”, the longest running community fair in Toronto.
One of the most distinctive architectural features in Rosedale is the former North Toronto Railway Station, located on the east side of Yonge St. at Scrivener Square. Its 140 foot tall clock tower has served as a landmark since it was built in 1916. Today the station houses a liquor store and a coffee shop. It is at the heart of a lively shopping district that offers everything from imported foods to designer clothing to that perfect piece of antique furniture.
Rosedale feels like a quiet, leafy suburb, yet is minutes from the city centre. The grand houses are not museums, but vibrant homes in a family-friendly community. It is easy to see why Rosedale remains a neighbourhood of choice in Toronto.
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The Toronto neighbourhood map displayed on this website was published in "Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods", copyright Maple Tree Publishing and has been reproduced by the Toronto Real Estate Board under license.