This is where the rich come to live far away from the madding crowds. With the most expensive homes located in a small pocket to the north, The Bridle Path is also known as Millionaire Row. It’s not so much a neighbourhood as it is an expanse of mansions with a very non-neighbourly feel. It’s secluded and flanked by lush parkland adding to its exclusivity. However, the southern tip of the area, Sunnybrook, has more of that old Toronto feel. Shady streets, smaller homes and properties and a nice selection of condos provide that homey, hoody vibe. Bridle Path is all tea and crumpets while Sunnybrook is more coffee (albeit extremely expensive coffee) and biscotti.
This area takes its name from the most notable and elite street in the neighbourhood, The Bridle Path and the famous Sunnybrook Farm that is now home to Sunnybrook Hospital and Stables. Up until 1929, the area was farmland, but with the erection of the Bayview Bridge it was clear to Toronto developer Forsey Page that this would make an excellent place for residential development. He had the vision to create what he referred to as an "exclusive enclave of estate homes". The first home in the area was a Cape Cod Colonial which set the tone for the surrounding neighbourhood.
Not to be outdone, prominent developer E.P. Taylor saw the potential of the land and purchased a large plot north of the Bridle Path. Here he built his own estate, Windfields which is now the home to the Canadian Film Centre.
In the late 1940’s Conrad Black’s father, and partner of Taylor, George Montegu Black, Jr built a large mansion on Park Lane Circle. To secure the exclusivity of the area, Black took over the company that owned the surrounding farm land and here he enforced the North York zoning by-laws that would ensure that only single-family dwellings were allowed in the area with minimum lot sizes of 0.81 ha. The Bridle Path allowed for about 50 lots priced at $25,000, which back in the day made certain that only the rich could afford the land.
Development continued in the area through the 1950’s bringing it to the current state we see today.
As a funny side note, because of the prominence of the area people often unwittingly believe it is called the Bridal Path, when in fact the name reflects the exclusive equestrian bridle paths frequented by the rich horsey crowd, the estate owners.
The southern tip of the area, Sunnybrook was a 200-acre farm which was purchased around 1909 by Joseph Kilgour, President of the Canada Paper Company. This was one of the first “country estates” located along Bayview. He named his estate Sunnybrook Farms where he pursued his passion for farming and horses. When Kilgour died his widow decided to donate the large property and stately manor to the city as parkland. The barns and stable are still standing and is now a popular riding school that also provides stables for the Metropolitan Police. Sunnybrook Park offers lovely parkland for trails, sports and recreation.
In 1946, The Sunnybrook Military Hospital was opened and is now known as the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre while the C.N.I.B. and Bloorview MacMillan Centre took over the former Kilgour estate.
The Bridle Path area reaches the Bridle Path to the north, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to the south, Bayview Avenue to the west and Wilket Creek to the east. With few major roadways passing through the area, it easily maintains its exclusivity and seclusion. It’s surrounded by stunning parkland making it an idyllic area for leisure time, but it’s not overly convenient as it’s a bit far from major arteries if you drive and TTC access is limited to Bayview Avenue. It’ll be a bit more convenient once the Eglinton subway system is completed.
You can reach shopping to the south at Eglinton, but Bayview itself offers very little shopping without making a bit of a trek. Reasonably close by car, shopping includes York Mills Plaza at the south-west intersection of Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road, Bayview Village Shopping Centre at the north-east corner of Bayview and Sheppard Avenues, York Mills Centre at the north-east corner of Yonge Street and York Mills Road, and St. Andrew's Square on Tournament Drive. Each of these shopping centres offer posh, upscale dining and shopping in hand with services such as banking, medical professionals and dry cleaners. However, when it comes to walking distance for amenities it comes in 124th for walkability in the GTA.
Although many of the elite who live in The Bridle Path are unknown doctors, lawyers and CEO’s, it has had no shortage of famed names from Drake to media mogul Moses Znaimer and the Black family to the late pop star Prince. Homes are beyond unreachable when it comes to price, so this really is an area that only the rich and famous dare to call home. We’re talking the 1 percenters with average incomes that come pretty close to $1 million.
The Best Part
This area offers exclusivity, seclusion and supreme properties that reflect the “eliteness” of its residents.
The Worst Part
You need a car if you want to get anywhere or need anything -- but of course if you live here you can just send your maid, nanny or butler!
The Real Estate
You’re looking at serious dinero to live in this area where large multimillion-dollar mansions can reach as much as $27 million although this is def at the very high end of the scale. We’re also looking at massive properties considering they are technically in the city at 8,000 to 16,000 m² lot sizes. It’s no wonder the area is called Millionaires' Row and is not only the richest area in the GTA, but also all of Canada. You’ll find most homes along The Bridle Path and Post Road feature security gates and fences to protect everything from ultra-modern spreads to faux French Chateaus and English manors. The southern tip down by Sunnybrook has smaller properties and less gates, but you are still paying multi-millions for those homes as well.
This is an elite area so of course it has some of the finest public, Catholic and private schools in the GTA including:
21 Rippleton Road
(JK – Grade 6)
50 Denlow Boulevard
(JK – Grade 6)
St. Bonaventure Catholic School
1340 Leslie Street
(JK to Grade 8)
375 Banbury Road
(Grades 6 – 8)
411 Lawrence Avenue East
(JK to Grade 6 and Grade 7 to 12)
2365 Bayview Avenue
(JK to Grade 12)
2454 Bayview Avenue
(JK to Grade 8)
306 Lawrence Avenue East
(Preschool to Grade 12)
125 Brentcliffe Road
(Toddlers to Age 12)
4576 Yonge Street
(Grade 9 to 12)
Are you thinking about calling Bridle Path your new home?
Contact us today, and we can get started on finding you a home in this one-of-a-kind Toronto neighbourhood