Parkdale. Love it or hate it, it’s probably one of the most misunderstood neighbourhoods in the west-end.
Having lived here for practically my entire life, I have a rather unique outlook of this neighbourhood. Even before the time anyone would consider Parkdale a place to raise a family, my parents saw another perspective. Some of these same qualities remain the reason, people who live here today love it so much.
1) The architecture and history
This point is likely the most obvious and maybe you already knew you would love the style of the homes here, but let me give you a little history of why these homes are so special. Pre-Gardiner Expressway, Parkdale was an extremely affluent area and home to some of the richest people in Toronto, this is the reason the homes here are so grand and filled with character. Most of these homes were custom built with each individual home owners specific design and architectural details in mind. To this day many of these homes are like a piece of history and many current owners choose to preserve that character and detail through their updates and renovations.
2) The people
It’s easy to get caught up in your own bubble. Day to day life is busy and we often don’t give a second thought to how other people around the city live. In Parkdale that is hard to do, in a good way! On every block, you will see a variety of people from different walks of life and cultures co-existing together in a way that doesn’t happen in many other places in this city. Raising a family here allows children to see first-hand that everyone lives their lives in a different way and that is OK! No matter what group you identify with, you will find your place in Parkdale.
3) The vibe, culture And food
Historically, Parkdale was a place where artists set up galleries and antique stores flourished and notably, these people made Parkdale what it is to this day. In the present day, some of these remain, but many of the new talent coming into Parkdale comes from the restaurant industry. Parkdale is a hot spot for new up and coming chefs and has made this area a major food destination in Toronto. It is also a great place to experience food from almost every culture across the globe, as it is truly a melting pot for people from all countries and culture. From gourmet coffee, doughnuts and tacos to authentic Tibetan street food, Parkdale has a flavour to satisfy whatever you are craving!
4) The community support
Not only is the sense of community really fantastic, but Parkdale is home to some of the best city-run services in the city. There are multiple early years centres (a must have for those first years with a newborn baby), library programs, instrument libraries, new to Canada programs, tool library and so much more. I can’t forget to mention the neighbours. Everyone is always looking out for one another and is there to help whenever needed. Whether it’s sharing a lawn mower, checking in on elderly neighbours during tough times or texting to let you know your garage door was accidentally left open (this seriously just happened to me!!!) the neighbours in Parkdale are second to none, a truly tight-knit community!
5) The proximity to the lake
This is one of my personal favourite perks of living here – It’s cooler by the lake! This is true for both temperature and personalities ..hahaha kidding! But literally, the proximity to the lake provides Parkdale with a fresh breeze that keeps the temperature down at least a few degrees in the summer. It is one of the only areas in Toronto where many of the homes have views of Lake Ontario. With three pedestrian bridges throughout the neighbourhood, it gives everyone easy access to one of the best outdoor spaces Toronto has to offer.
Parkdale will likely always be home to me. All these things have made me appreciate where I grew up. I even bought and renovated my childhood home and am raising two little girls in the heart of Parkdale & wouldn’t have it any other way!
A local perspective by: Pavlena Brown
Thinking about moving to Parkdale? We not only know the neighbourhood, we know the local market—and what life in the area is really like. If you’re looking to learn more about what’s available in the neighbourhood, get in touch!