Living in Don Mills
Don Mills is one of Toronto’s best known and most popular neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood landmarks include the picturesque Donalda Golf and Country Club, and scenic Edwards Gardens. The commercial/industrial sector of Don Mills serves as the head office for IBM Canada Ltd., Global Television Station, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board and many other prominent companies.
Everything old is new once again. When the former Don Mills Shopping Centre opened in the 1960s it began as an outdoor shopping plaza and eventually as times and tastes changed it was retrofitted into an indoor shopping centre. Now the old shopping centre has now been transformed once again into the new Shops at Don Mills where shoppers can enjoy an outdoor retail experience. While outdoor shopping plazas may not be new to Toronto the Shops at Don Mills is like no other outdoor shopping experience in Toronto. The new urbanism look and feel of this shopping destination is anchored by the Town Square located in the middle of the development.
The Town Square is flanked on one side by a magnificent water feature that twice every hour, erupts into a four minute choreographed show. At the other end of the Town Square is an eye popping clock tower that is actually a sculpture designed by famed Canadian artist and author Douglas Coupland. The symbols on this unique clock tower are models of houses that resemble those found in the Don Mills neighbourhood. In addition to great shops and restaurants a plethora of special community events and festivals are held at the Shops at Don Mills throughout the year.
History of Don Mills
The Don Mills name makes reference to the historic Don River, and the fact that several mills were operating in this part of the Don Valley during the 1800’s. The historic residences of pioneer miller William Gray are still in their original location overlooking the Don River on the Donalda Golf Club grounds. The Gray property was purchased in 1914 by David Dunlap who made his fortune in the mining business. The Dunlap family established a prize winning “model farm” here in Don Mills. “Donalda” farm was visited by farming experts from around the world who came to inspect and marvel at its livestock and equipment. In 1952 son Moffat Dunlop sold the six hundred acre “Donalda” farm to the Don Mills Development Company which was headed by Canadian business legend E.P. Taylor. “Donalda” house was originally used as a sales office by the developers and now serves as the clubhouse for the Donalda Golf Club. Don Mills is recognized as the first planned, and fully integrated post-war community in North America. It is credited with laying out the blueprint for Toronto’s post-war suburban development and the building of contemporary neighbourhoods.
Lifestyle in Don Mills
Shops at Don Mills located on the southwest corner of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East is a family friendly neighbourhood landmark and meeting place. This contemporary open-air shopping centre is designed with an urban village theme where shoppers can partake in exciting year round events. The venue for these events is the Town Square which features a dramatic clock tower, a robotic water feature and an oval ice rink. Gourmet food shops and restaurants are part of the mix.
Recreation in Don Mills
Many of Don Mills smaller local parks are connected by a paved walkway that runs behind Don Mills’ houses. Another path inside Edwards Gardens is part of a nine kilometre paved trail that follows the valley of the West Don River all the way to Warden Woods Park in Scarborough. Bond Park, located off Duncairn Road, is Don Mills largest park. It includes extensive baseball facilities and organized leagues, and is also home to the North York Winter Tennis Club. Three Valleys Park, located next to Three Valleys School has a large children’s playground and tennis courts. The Don Mills Civitan Arena located at 1030 Don Mills Road has a children’s house league program and offers pleasure skating at designated times throughout the week. The Don Mills Public Library at 881 Lawrence Avenue East has regular programming for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school children. Don Mills is near to the Ontario Science Centre located at 770 Don Mills Road.
Transportation in Don Mills
Bus routes on York Mills Road, Lawrence Avenue East and Leslie Street connect passengers to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Don Mills Road bus connects to the Pape station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Don Mills Road provides commuters with a quick and easy access route to downtown Toronto. North and south on-ramps to the Don Valley Parkway are located east of Don Mills Road, off Eglinton and Lawrence Avenues and off York Mills Road.