Stonegate-Queensway is a pretty large area encompassing a series of neighbourhoods west of High Park and just north of the lake including Humber Bay, Sunnylea, Royal York South, Kingsway Park South and South of Bloor. This interesting mix means you’ll find extremes in everything including homes ranging from lower rent apartments to swank large houses. It all depends on where you wander. The same can be said for its scenery. Its south end is ideally located right on the lake with many streets boasting views of the lake, Humber River and kilometers of lush green parkland. Many pockets maintain an old-world selection of grocers, businesses and restaurants making it charmingly eclectic, yet you’ll also find the western most tip of Bloor West with some edgier, classier joints for shopping and dining. In a nutshell, Stonegate-Queensway is an intriguing enigma waiting to be discovered.
Stonegate-Queensway is bounded by Bloor Street on the north, the Gardiner Expressway/lake on the south, Islington to the west and the Humber River to the east. It all started when French trader Jean-Bonaventure Rousseau was granted permission to settle at the foot of the Humber River near Toronto’s second French Fort.
After the land was surveyed much was marked for timber. As a result, the forests of Kings Mill Reserve were preserved stretching from Old Mill at Bloor to the Queensway. Before roadways were developed in the area a ferry ran at the mouth of the Humber River to transport people across and up the waterway.
The first highway in Etobicoke was Dundas Street and until that time an indigenous path known as Lake Road was used. Later Lake Shore Boulevard West provided convenient transportation. Once the first bridge was built over the Humber, the community of Etobicoke was established. Here three hotels and a wharf operated and kept the area quite busy. In 1855, the Grand Trunk Railway line was built running between Hamilton and Toronto. This railway included a Humber Station between Lake Shore and Stock's Side Road (now The Queensway).
In 1883, an American businessman named Davidson imported about 40 small prefabricated houses to the area. The houses were installed between The Queensway and Lake Shore creating a small community of artists. Around the same time, plans for a subdivision were underway leading to a series of residential streets north of The Queensway.
By 1890 the area became a postal village and subdivisions of Mimico Humber Bay contributed to growth. In 1926 the land from Lake Shore to The Queensway and Park Lawn was subdivided. Park Lawn was the first street to see homes in this newly developed area along with the existing homes on the south side at the Lake Shore between the Humber and Park Lawn.
The Lake Shore streetcar was built at the intersection of Lake Shore and The Queensway, including its own bridge. As the area emerged, what was once the wharf became the site of the Palace Pier dance hall in 1936. It was also a hot spot for vacationers with a series of hotels and motels spanning south of Lake Shore. Homes and supporting infrastructure, schools and churches continued to pop up north of The Queensway where you can still find many of the original single storey homes today.
Before World War II the Queen Elizabeth Way (yes the QEW is that old) was built connecting Hamilton with Toronto. Many buildings were demolished at that time to make way for the highway which stunted further growth for decades. It also cut off areas such as Mimico and Etobicoke which helped the neighbourhoods of Stonegate-Queensway maintain their village feel.
In 1946, Queen Street was extended west from Roncesvalles to the top of Humber Bay just north of the train tracks. Building still continued especially after World War II when veterans were in search of affordable homes. The city-built houses at The Queensway and Royal York creating a charming area for families. The establishment of the Ontario Food Terminal in 1954 led to more commercial development including the Christie’s Factory.
This area was the hardest hit by Hurricane Hazel in 1954, including the destruction of the Lake Shore and Royal York bridges which spanned Mimico Creek. The Lake Shore Bridge over the Humber was also seriously damaged.
When Etobicoke became a city in 1984 it began plans to redevelop the southern neighbourhoods where the hotel strip once welcomed weary travelers and vacationers. Condos on the lake as well as townhouses and monster homes to the north were part of the planning. Expansion met the growing needs of residents with many conveniences adding much-needed amenities to the semi-cutoff area.
South of the Lake Shore there’s been major redevelopment leaving zero trace of the hotels and motels once found here. Highly desirable condos continue to pop up both on the shoreline as well as throughout Etobicoke and Mimico in hand with lovely man-made parkland along the lake.
Today Stonegate-Queensway provides a tempting place to call home just minutes from the city, offering a diverse mix of affordable rentals, high-end luxe forever homes and first home options.
Stonegate-Queensway is conveniently located for easy access to the 501 Queen Streetcar as well as bus routes that take you directly to the Old Mill or Keele subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth Line. You’re also right on the QEW for a quick drive into the city.
This large area has no shortage of amenities whether you favour big box stores and chain restaurants or prefer the flair of locally owned shops and dining experiences. The Queensway and Bloor west offer diverse shops and restaurants including European influenced grocers, delis, and restaurants. You’re always minutes away from an impressive selection of locally owned and operated businesses to explore.
Probs some of the most breathtaking parkland in the city is waiting to be explored with trails along the Humber River as well as Lake Ontario. It’s easy to get in touch with nature, find a great spot to walk the dog or spend some quality family time. Although this is a family friendly area, it also welcomes couples and singles drawn to the many luxe condos overlooking the city and lake.
This area attracts a high percentage of couples and couples with kids. There’s still a high population of European immigrants, descendants of those originally drawn to the area following World War II. However, more and more families of varying cultures continue to add diversity to the population. There’s also a range of incomes as there are affordable apartments for rent around Stonegate and Mimico as well as very high-end homes in areas such as Edinburgh-Humber Valley to the north.
The Best Part
You can really find the ideal home to suit your budget and lifestyle here whether its right on the waterfront, newer homes or condos close to big box stores or charming 1920s and 30s homes with their own strip of shops and restaurants on The Queensway or Bloor.
The Worst Part
There are some less than desirable areas here, so you have to make sure you aren’t looking at streets that feel run down, seedy, or too close to an industrial wasteland.
The Real Estate
This is an area where there’s literally something for everyone. Although most homes here are single-family detacheds, you’ll still find a growing number of condos, townhouses, and rental apartments. Some might argue that when it comes to killer views you won’t find better than the condos along the lakefront here. With no threat of a new condo popping up to block out the lake, this is the perfect place if you’re looking for condo living on the waterfront. However, there’s way more to Stonegate-Queensway than condos. This is where you’ll find some of Toronto’s prettiest streets with stone cottages, beautifully crafted two-storey houses, expansive lawns, and luxuriously green, shade-giving mature trees. Houses for sale in the area range from just under $800K up to the multi-millions while condos start in the high $400s. The area is highly diverse making it a fun spot to do some seriously interesting house hunting.
This is one massive area so there’s a long list of schools available including:
JK to Grade 8
Norseman Junior Middle School, 105 Norseman Street, 416-394-7880
Park Lawn Junior Middle School, 71 Ballacaine Drive, 416-394-7120
St. Mark Catholic School, 45 Cloverhill Road, 416-393-5332
St. Louis Catholic Elementary School, 11 Morgan Avenue, 416-393-5331
St. Leo Catholic Elementary School, 165 Stanley Avenue, 416-393-5333
JK to Grade 3
Castlebar Junior School, 70 Chartwell Street, 416-394-2080
JK to Grade 5
Sunnylea Junior School, 35 Glenroy Avenue, 416-394-3850
Étienne Brûlé Junior School, 50 Cloverhill Road, 416-394-7850
George R Gauld Junior School, 200 Melrose Street, 416-394-7830
David Hornell Junior School, 32 Victoria Street, 416-394-7690
JK to Grade 6
Sainte-Marguerite-d'Youville Catholic Elementary School, 755 Royal York Road, 416-393-5418
Grade 9 to Grade 12
Kingsmill Secondary School, 721 Royal York Road, 416-394-6900 (no website)
Bishop Allen Academy, 721 Royal York Road, 416-393-5549
Grand Avenue Montessori School, 602 The Queensway, 416-247-9485
Are you thinking about calling Stonegate-Queensway your new home?
Contact us today, and we can get started on finding you a home in this one-of-a-kind Toronto neighbourhood