Todmorden Village offers a peaceful lifestyle in a quiet neighbourhood that feels frozen in time. Overlooking the Don Valley, it cuts a narrow ribbon across the top of the ravine north of O’Connor Drive with many homes offering stunning views of the skyline, valley, and Bayview extension beyond. The neighbourhood remains blissfully unaware of the surging traffic below, thanks to the urban forest acting as its buffer. Locals frequent their choice of up and coming on trend dining and shopping in hand with some old-school finds just south of O’Connor. Think 1950’s diner meets a solid glass of bourbon and you’ll see how the family-oriented side streets and local establishments create a lifestyle just like someone’s hip grandma might have enjoyed way back when.
Presiding over the Don Valley Parkway, the highway and surrounding ravine provide an undeniably distinct northern border for Todmorden Village. Flanked by Broadview Avenue to the west, Woodbine Avenue and Taylor Creek Park to the east, and O’Connor Drive directly south this neatly contained neighbourhood has kept its charms while the rest of the city grew up around it.
Todmorden Village’s history is marked by the local heritage site at Todmorden Mills nestled at the foot of Pottery Road. Here you’ll find a tiny reminder of how the village grew thanks to its convenient location on the Don River. Industry was attracted to the area as far back as 1795 as the river allowed for multiple mills to establish themselves successfully.
The original families in the area haled from Yorkshire, England. The Helliwells and Eastwoods were landowners in the area who named the village after their own home “across the pond.” The heritage site provides a glimpse into industrial life at the time, with a few original homes still located on the other side of Pottery Road. The houses are typical for workers who would have been employed by the mills across the way.
The Taylor family, the same family whose name graces Taylor Creek Park, also played a key role in the development of the area. They arrived in 1834 and were major landowners spanning from Broadview to Woodbine north of O’Connor. They built their Toronto empire with paper, grist, and saw mills as well as a brickworks factory.
Throughout the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s the Taylor land was subdivided to create space for the residential development that makes up much of the homes still standing today.
What people love about Todmorden Village is that its growing variety of eclectic shops and restaurants remain relatively well-kept secrets for a select group of in the know Torontonians. Just a few minutes from the Danforth, residents can hop the subway from Broadview, Donlands, Pape, or Woodbine stations. It’s also just minutes to the Don Valley Parkway from O’Connor.
The origins of Greek influences still abound in one of the popular shopping districts, Pape Village. The establishments here are the preferred shops and restaurants for the Greek population in the area who know to avoid touristy Greek Town on the Danforth. Although it’s a small area, there are many such shopping districts where everything you need is within a short walk or drive from home. From the convenience of major grocery stores on Pape and Broadview, to the locally owned boutique shops on Pape, Coxwell and Donlands, there’s no shortage of bakeries, cafés, restaurants and fresh grocers to provide all you’ll need to live a very happy, comfortable lifestyle.
The parkland is some of the best you’ll find in Toronto with a 10km ravine that creates the central Don network of parks. The paved trails are ideal for bikers, hikers, and joggers, while the surrounding parkland provides open space for summer picnics and family activities all year round.
The area supports arts and culture at the Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre. You can enjoy a wide variety of changing lectures, classes, art, plays and festivals throughout the year. Toronto hot spot, the Evergreen Brickworks is just across the highway where you can enjoy the Saturday Farmers’ market, and lunch or breakfast from the many vendors serving up fresh hot meals from crepes to burritos. The multi-purpose space is a community gem shared not only by locals, but people across the GTA and beyond who also flock here to enjoy the natural beauty of Don Valley Brickworks Park.
More than half of the residents in Todmorden Village own their homes and have children. While their incomes are slightly below the average Toronto income, families live very comfortably. Most people are either English or Greek speaking although the area continues to welcome a diverse collection of families from many varied backgrounds and cultures.
The Best Part
This really is an area that offers a blast from the past vibe. The style of homes, the family-oriented community and resident support of local businesses creates a 50’s small town lifestyle, but with an underlying on trend vibe.
The Worst Part
People are catching on that this is an area worthy of note, which means prices are rising along with demand.
The Real Estate
Todmorden Village is known for its mostly detached homes and selection of original bungalows. There’s no shortage of charm on the side streets of the Village where you’ll find classic 1930’s and 40’s Tudor and Cottage style brick homes, in hand with a smaller selection of turn of the century Victorian cottages and row houses original to old Todmorden Village. The stunning details of the homes in the area include original 1920’s Tudor style homes featuring original leaded glass windows, wood trim and shaded front porches. Semi-detached homes offer larger living space, and most homes have a very respectable backyard, many which back onto the ravine or overlook the valley. You can still find homes well below the Toronto average teetering below the $700K mark, but for the most part homes will range between $800k to over $1 million.
This is a very tiny neighbourhood, so there aren’t any schools within the immediate borders. However, there are schools directly south of O’Connor Drive.
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