Living in Beaconsfield
This downtown Toronto neighbourhood has a large Portuguese population that is centred around the Rua Acores shopping district on Dundas Street West. Beaconsfield is popular with members of Toronto’s arts community who have gradually migrated westward along Queen Street to the affordable houses and studios found in this neighbourhood.
History of Beaconsfield
Beaconsfield Village history begins with the Denison family who were the major landholders in this district dating back to the early 1800’s. Captain John Denison was the owner of “Brookfield”, built around 1815, at the north-west corner of Queen and Ossington. Henry Scadding recounts in his book Toronto Of Old, “Brookfield house was shaded by great willow trees and surrounded by flower gardens and lawns, no mean feat in an area of virgin forest.”
The Denison heirs sold Brookfield in the 1850’s. By the 1870’s a network of streets had been laid out on the former Brookfield estate. Beaconsfield Avenue became the signature street in the neighbourhood. It is named after former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who was given the title of Lord Beaconsfield by Queen Victoria.
Homes in Beaconsfield
The Beaconsfield Village homes are circa 1880’s and 1890’s. Beaconsfield Street is the signature street in the neighbourhood. This street has been designated by the Toronto Historical Board for its magnificent collection of Victorian houses. The majority of homes in this neighbourhood are Victorian row and semi-detached houses. Many of these houses have been extensively renovated and converted into two and three family dwellings.
Lifestyle in Beaconsfield
The colourful Rua Acores shopping district on Dundas Street West, is brimming with Portuguese restaurants, fresh fruit and vegetable markets, mouth watering bakeries and an assortment of gift shops. Queen Street West is an eclectic mix of small clothing boutiques and interesting one-of-a-kind arts and crafts stores mixed in with the usual convenience type stores.
Recreation in Beaconsfield
The McCormick Recreation Centre at 66 Sheridan Avenue, and the Trinity Community Recreation Centre, at 155 Crawford Street, both have an indoor pool, a gymnasium, a weight room, and a games room. McCormick also has an indoor Arena that offers a variety of skating programs. The McCormick playground features a tot park and a wading pool. Beaconsfield is only a few minutes from Toronto’s Harbourfront district, which includes Ontario Place, Exhibition Place, Skydome, the Harbourfront Recreation Centre and the Toronto Islands.
Transportation in Beaconsfield
The Dufferin and Ossington streetcars connect passengers to their respective stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, while the Queen and Dundas streetcars connect passengers to the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists can be downtown in minutes and are approximately five minutes from the Gardiner Expressway.