Spotlight On… Bayview and York Mills

Posted by: Elise Stern, Created date: November 25, 2012
A treed and tranquil neighbourhood stretching outwards in all directions from the intersection that is its namesake, “Bayview and York Mills”  is one of Toronto’s most affluent and beautiful areas.The neighbourhood actually comprises St. Andrews-Windfields and Hoggs Hollow (where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes lived while shooting a film back in their glory days!) among other areas, but is often referred to in real estate by the name of the intersection.
While geographically far from downtown, the wide lots and beautiful trees of Bayview and York Mills give the neighborhood a feel similar to a more expansive Rosedale or Forest Hill, and its abundant amenities make the area a self-sustained, green little village all its own. In the past ten to fifteen years, many – or even most, at this point – of the older homes in the area have been either renovated or torn down to make room for luxury homes that make the most of the deep, wide lots that prevail in the area.
The neighbourhood has tons of green space. Wilket Creek Park a short drive to the east is a favorite destination for nature-lovers, photographers, and families. St. Andrew’s provides excellent off-leash trails, and York Mills Park offers a variety of recreational activity space, from a swimming pool to a baseball diamond. Two golf courses (the private Donalda Club and the public Don Valley Golf Course) complete the area’s luxurious feel. Just a short drive north, Bayview Village Shopping Centre provides a retail-lovers a posh experience; there’s even a Pusateri’s.
Numerous schooling options (both French immersion, public, and private) include The Junior Academy, Harrison and Owen Public Schools, Loretto Abbey for Catholic families, St. Andrew’s Junior High, posh private schools like Toronto French School and Crescent School not too far away, Ecole secondaire Etienne-Brule for Francophone students, and the highly-rated public York Mills Collegiate Institute.
Parts of the neighborhood are slightly more affordable than the nearby Bridle Path, although “affordable” isn’t a word that’s often used to describe Bayview and York Mills: you’d be hard pressed to find a home under a million here, and most of the newer, more spacious homes start in the $2-3 million range. Hoggs Hollow is one of the most exclusive and expensive areas of the city with prices to match, and other parts of the area, particularly Highland Crescent, are catching up: for instance, this incredible modern home at 73 Highland Crescent, listed and sold by Harvey Kalles Real Estate agents Elise Kalles and Lynn Kay. But it’s worth the price, if you can pay it.
Despite its secluded feel, Bayview and York Mills is quite accessible, with York Mills subway station at Yonge and access to Highway 401 just north on Bayview (and Yonge as well, if you live towards that end of the area) – so if you’re passing through or looking for a home in the neighbourhood, don’t miss these great spots.
Auberge du Pommier, 4150 Yonge St.
If you’re a Bayview and York Mills foodie and you care to venture out to the Yonge Street side, this will be your new favourite restaurant. Originally two woodcutters’ homes, Auberge du Pommier’s two-hundred-year old structure was seamlessly renovated into an upscale French restaurant in 1987, with gorgeous gardens extending from all sides of the building, breathtaking sheltered terraces, and an intimate but spacious multi-level interior.
The first of Oliver & Bonacini’s restaurants, which now include world-famous Canoe and Jump, Auberge du Pommier has mastered dozens of classic French dishes including rabbit tortellini, foie gras, steak tartare, and an array of soufflés. The attentive staff and luxurious dining space accommodates a number of events, from weddings to company dinners.
The Miller Tavern, 3885 Yonge Street
Because Bayview and York Mills is primarily residential, many of its best restaurants and shops lie at the edges of the neighbourhood. The Miller Tavern, like the aforementioned Auberge du Pommier, is a restaurant with a history. For as long as Yonge Street has existed, there’s been an establishment in this spot: early in the 19th century, a tavernkeeper named Vallière was offering food, drink and shelter to soldiers returning from the battlefield during the War of 1812.
The building itself dates to the 1860s, and has been an inn and tavern for its entire lifespan (though the barn for travelers’ horses is, understandably, gone). A recent $3 million renovation provided one of the biggest and best heated patios in the city along with an oyster bar and a stylish, comfortable dining space. And the food’s fantastic, too.
honey, Bayview Village
With over 110 retailers and restaurants, you’d be hard-pressed to pick favorites spots in Bayview Village Centre, but one-stop women’s boutique honey stands out. With three locations in Toronto since its 2003 inception, the Bayview Village location is the first and finest. Offering famous mid-to-upmarket brands including Seven For All Mankind, Canada Goose, Free People and Laundry, distinguished businesswomen and hip high-schoolers alike can find perfect outfits for every kind of event. The friendly staff and soft pink environment make the boutique a pleasure to visit.
 

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