In the 1850s, the area now known as Bloor West Village was the property of Lieutenant Colonel William Smith Durie, the first commanding officer of the Queens Own Rifles. The street that ran through his estate is now known as Durie Street. The present day neighbourhood began to be developed in 1909 when this district became part of the City of Toronto.
Soon after amalgamation with Toronto, Bloor West’s roads were paved and city services were made available. Bloor West’s first residents were immigrants of Eastern European background. These are the residents who helped found the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area, the first of its kind in Canada. This shopping district has helped make Bloor West Village one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods.
Bloor West Village homes are all fairly similar in size and style, having been built in a relatively short period of time between 1912 and 1923. Bloor West Village houses feature deep front porches that are well shaded by the majestic oak and maple trees that line the streets of this neighbourhood. The majority of houses feature decorative oak accents, hardwood floors and fireplaces.
The Bloor West Village shopping district is as much about eating as it is about shopping. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of bakeries, delicatessens, specialty food shops, cafes and restaurants. Convenience stores, fruit and vegetable markets, dry cleaners, video stores, and other shops catering to everyday household needs, can also be found on Jane and Annette Streets.
High Park, a 399-acre park, is within walking distance of Bloor West Village. This Toronto landmark contains picnic areas, flower gardens, animal paddocks, a restaurant, an outdoor amphitheatre, sports facilities, a trackless train, an adventure playground and a large pond. Annette Recreation Centre is attached to the Annette Street public school. This Centre has an indoor pool, a small gymnasium and a baseball diamond. A bit east of the Annette Centre is the Annette Street Public Library, which offers programs for adults, children, and preschoolers.
Runnymede Jr. & Sr. Public School, 357 Runnymede Road, (416) 393-9055
Annette Jr. & Sr., 265 Annette Street, (416) 393-9040
Humberside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Ave.,
Western Technical Commercial School, 125 Evelyn
Cres. (416) 393-0500
St. Cecilia, 355 Annette St., (416) 393-5218
St. Pius X, 71 Jane St., (416) 393-5237
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