In 1912, Toronto Suburbs Ltd., guided by George Kappele and D.F. Crowagen registered a plan of subdivision for the old Waverley farm at Mount Pleasant Road and Lawrence Avenue. The developers named this new subdivision Waverley Park.
Like other Toronto neighbourhoods from this era, the actual building of homes in Waverley Park was stalled initially by the First World War and then by the depression.
In 1931 the City of Toronto expropriated the properties in the centre of Waverley Park for the creation of a public park. The Park was named Wanless Park, and eventually the entire neighbourhood adopted this name. Wanless Park, Wanless Road, Wanless Avenue, and Wanless Crescent are all named after John Wanless, a former Toronto alderman and educator.
Wanless Park's solid brick detached houses were built mostly in the 1930's and 1940's. Most of the houses are two storey, however there is a sprinkling of bungalows in this neighbourhood as well.
Overall the property sizes in Wanless Park are excellent with most homes having at least a thirty foot frontage and either a mutual or private driveway. The majority of Wanless Park houses either face the park or back onto the Riverview Drive ravine.
Wanless Park is served by Bedford Park Junior Public School, Blythwood Junior Public School and Blessed Sacrament Catholic School. The local high schools are Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute and Northern Secondary School. The Toronto French School, a private school for boys and girls, is located at 306 Lawrence Avenue East, at Bayview Avenue. On the other side of the intersection is the Glendon Campus of York University. Sunny View Junior and Senior Public School, a public school for elementary students with physical disabilities, is located at 450 Blythwood Road.
One of the attractions of the neighbourhood is its abundance of places to play. Wanless Park, at 250 Wanless Avenue, has a wading pool, a baseball diamond, and the Wanless Park Tennis Club. Both the Bedford Park Community Centre, at 81 Ranleigh Avenue, and the Granite Club, at 2350 Bayview Avenue, offer a smorgasbord of social and athletic activities. Further north, The Rosedale Golf Club, at 1901 Mount Pleasant Road provides its members with the perfect inner-city golf game.
Wanless Park is an easy walk from Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue. There, the George Locke Public Library and the Lawrence subway station mark the start of the Yonge-Lawrence shopping district. A wide variety of stores offer everything from auto services to yoga classes. Cafes and restaurants abound for those seeking refreshment after shopping.
Nearly one hundred years ago, Wanless Park was a planned suburb in a farmer’s field. Today, it is an established, family-friendly community. The city’s growth has positioned it in an enviable location. These factors make Wanless Park a neighbourhood of choice.
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The Toronto neighbourhood text profile and map displayed on this website were published in "Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods", are copyright Maple Tree Publishing and have been reproduced by the Toronto Real Estate Board under license.