Living in Mount Dennis
Mount Dennis is poised for growth with the soon to be opened Eglinton Crosstown subway which is sure to help revitalize this historic neighbourhood. The recently opened York Recreation Centre is a fully accessible 67,000-sq.-ft facility. Located beside the west bank of the Black Creek, this community recreation centre features a green roof and other green standard sustainable features. The centre was designed with extensive input from the community. It features numerous amenities including a swimming pool, gymnasium, fitness area and community meeting rooms. York Recreation Centre is located at 115 Black Creek Drive, on the southeast corner of Eglinton Ave. West and Black Creek Drive.
The defining feature of the Mount Dennis neighbourhood is its topography, which features a series of rolling hills that climb their way northward from Rogers Road to Briar Hill Avenue. Many of these hills are bisected by curvilinear one way streets that add an old world charm to the neighbourhood. Mount Dennis is one of Toronto’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods.
History of Mount Dennis
Mount Dennis is named after John Dennis, a Loyalist shipbuilder from Philadelphia who settled on a farm here in the early 1800’s. The Dennis family operated a saw mill and a woollen factory on their property, which took in all of the present day Mount Dennis neighbourhood. During the late 1800’s, Mount Dennis was known for its brick yards, the Conn Smythe Sand and Gravel pit, and a handful of market gardens that operated on the fertile plain of what is now Eglinton Flats. In 1893 Mount Dennis built its first school which was then followed by a post office and some general stores along Weston Road. In 1916 the Kodak Company moved into Mount Dennis and became the areas largest employer. By the 1920’s, Mount Dennis had grown to the point where a plebiscite was held regarding its incorporation as a Town. The “No” vote won and Mount Dennis remained part of what was then York Township. During the 1950’s the large open fields and bush in this area gave way to new subdivisions as Mount Dennis grew from a rural outpost to an urban neighbourhood.
Homes in Mount Dennis
Mount Dennis houses were built in stages in every decade from the late 1800’s all the way up to the 1960’s. This is why there are so many different styles of homes present here. Ironically now that this neighbourhood has finally filled-in, some of the original houses are now being replaced by newer custom designed houses. A large number of Mount Dennis homes look out onto the Humber River Valley or onto one of the many parks situated within the Mount Dennis neighbourhood.
Lifestyle in Mount Dennis
The primary Mount Dennis shopping district is located on Weston Road. This stretch of stores has recently been designated as a business improvement area. Plans are underway to develop special events and festivals for this shopping area with an emphasis on celebrating the various multicultural communities within the Mount Dennis neighbourhood. Mount Dennis residents are also served by a handful of small shopping plazas located along Jane Street that contain a good mix of stores catering to the everyday household needs of the residents of this neighbourhood. Lambton Avenue also has a limited amount of shopping including variety stores, a grocery store and a dry cleaner.
Recreation in Mount Dennis
Mount Dennis is rich in parkland. Jasper Park and Noble Park, located in the interior of the neighbourhood are medium sized parks geared towards children. Westlake Memorial Park, located off Jaspar Avenue, is named after the Westlake brothers, Thomas, Albert and George who died in action during World War II. This park contains a children’s playground, a baseball diamond and some of the steepest tobogganing hills in Toronto. Eglinton Flats is a scenic greenspace of wide open parkland divided into four areas by Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue. It has paved trails, a large pond, picnic benches, sports fields and twelve tennis courts. The Eglinton Flats Winter Tennis Club puts a bubble on six of the courts during the wintertime which are then made available to the public either on a pay-as-you-play basis or by membership. Seasonal permits for the sports fields are available to organized leagues and individual groups. Year round washroom/changerooms are available on site.
The Scarlett Woods Golf Course, located in the south-west pocket of Eglinton Flats, is an executive-length par 62 course suitable for both beginners and experts. This course features many challenging par three holes and is rated as moderately difficult. The newly renovated Mount Dennis Community Hall on Holly Street offers year round programs to Mount Dennis residents as well as serving as an administrative centre for many recreational programs within this district. The Mount Dennis Public Library at 1123 Weston Road offers programs for children and seniors.
Transportation in Mount Dennis
Mount Dennis residents have excellent access to public transit. The Jane Street and Weston Road buses connect to the Bloor-Danforth subway line while the Trethewey Drive and Eglinton Avenue buses connect to the Eglinton station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists are approximately a ten minute drive from Highway 401 which connects to all the major highways leading into and out of the city. For those travelling downtown take Jane Street south to Bloor across to Windermere Avenue. From here head south to Lake Shore Boulevard which will usher you into Toronto’s financial and