Living in Don Valley Village
Don Valley Village is a low to middle income neighbourhood that includes many new Canadian citizens of Armenian, Chinese, East Indian and Middle Eastern backgrounds. The outstanding feature of Don Valley Village is its hill and dale topography which is formed from the nearby Don River Valley situated along the eastern boundary of this neighbourhood. Don Valley Village landmaks include Fairview Mall – one of Toronto’s largest shopping centres, the highly regarded North York General Hospital located at the south-west corner of Sheppard Avenue and Leslie Street, and the Cummer Park Fitness Centre which is one of Toronto’s largest municipally operated recreational facilities.
History of Don Valley Village
The Don Valley Village neighbourhood was developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s. However the pre-subdivision history of this area dates back to the early 1800’s, when Don Valley Village was comprised of a collection of small farming hamlets. Only three historical landmarks remain from the pioneer days of Don Valley Village. These vestiges include the Zion Primitive Methodist Church, circa 1873, located at 1650 Finch Avenue East, and the charming little red brick Zion Schoolhouse, circa 1869, located at 1091 Finch Avenue East. The only pioneer home still standing in this area is the Alexander Muirhead Victorian style farm house, circa 1853, located at 179 Old Sheppard Street. This house was originally part of the former O’Sullivan’s Corners, a crossroads community that once thrived at the corner of Victoria Park and Sheppard Avenues.
Homes in Don Valley Village
The majority of Don Valley Village houses and apartments were built during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The mix of housing here includes a large selection of condominium townhouse and apartment buildings, split-level houses, semi-detached homes, and family size detached houses that feature Georgian, Tudor, and contemporary-style designs. There are also a large number of high-rise rental apartment buildings in Don Valley Village that are concentrated along the peripheral streets that border this neighbourhood.
Lifestyle in Don Valley Village
Fairview Mall is a large regional shopping centre located at the north-east corner of Sheppard Avenue and Don Mills Road. Fairview Mall has recently been remodelled and includes over 150 stores plus professional and medical offices. Don Valley Village’s other indoor shopping mall is “The Shops on Steeles and the 404”. This mid size shopping centre is anchored by a national department store and a medical and health centre. Don Valley Village also has a number of excellent shopping plazas including The Pickle Barrel Plaza at Finch Avenue and Leslie Street, Skymark Plaza at Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue, the Finch and Leslie Square and Cliffwood and Peanut Plazas, both on Don Mills Road.
Recreation in Don Valley Village
The Cummer Park Fitness Centre, located at 6000 Leslie Street near Steeles Avenue features squash and racquetball courts, fitness classes, an indoor jogging/walking track, two weight rooms, outdoor tennis courts, whirlpools and saunas. The Oriole Community Resource Centre is located at 2975 Don Mills Road West and features a gymnasium, meeting rooms, and a seniors lounge. This centre is also the home of the Oriole arena which offers pleasure skating, shinny and organized hockey programs for the public. Next door to Oriole Centre is Oriole Park which is the home of the North York Tennis Association. This club features a tennis bubble and offers year round tennis. Victoria Park Village is also filled with an abundance of local parks that feature children’s playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, baseball diamonds and outdoor hockey rinks. The Fairview Library and Theatre located at 35 Fairview Mall is the cultural and entertainment centre of this neighbourhood. This theatre has been running since 1976 and features regular performances produced by local theatre groups. The Fairview Public Library offers a myriad of programs for preschoolers, children, and adults. Some of the programs at this library include English as a second language, seniors socials and children’s story-time in various languages including Cantonese, Persian and Tamil.
Transportation in Don Valley Village
Don Valley Village residents are well served by bus routes on Steeles, Finch and Sheppard Avenues that provide direct connections to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Bus services along Don Mills Road and Victoria Park Avenue connect passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists can get downtown and out of town very quickly via on-ramps to the Don Valley Parkway which are conveniently located off Sheppard and Finch Avenues.