The neighbourhood of York Mills is one of Toronto's most affluent neighbourhoods.
The name of York Mills, stems from the former Town of York and the many saw Mills that operated in this valley from 1804 until 1926. York Mills had a distillery, a tannery, a blacksmith shop, 3 churches, a school, a post office, a toll gate and the Jolly Miller Tavern,built in 1857, which still operates today as The Miller Tavern, located at 3885 Yonge Street just steps to the subway station and South of York Mills Road.
St. John's Anglican Church, which started in 1816 is another York Mills landmark. To this day, St. John's bells still ring every day over the valley at noon.
The transition of York Mills from a rural village to a prosperous neighbourhood started in the 1930's on the hill near St. John's Church and Hedgewood Road area South of York Mills Road. The highly respected St. Andrew's College owned the land East of Yonge Street to Bayview Avenue in the early 1920's before moving to Aurora. The St. Andrew's College property was purchased by St. Andrew's Estates which used the land as a championship golf course until the 1950's. The club was sold to developers. St. Andrew's Park, Tournament Park and a few connecting streets in the area are reminders that this part of York Mills was once a golf course. i.e. Foursome Crescent and Lower Links Road.
York Mills has retained an unusual amount of its original history for such a recently developed area. The exquisite Auberge du Pommier retaurant is located on the site of what were originally two woodcutter’s homes from the 1860’s. Two homes from the 1830’s, a brick cottage at 4111 Yonge Street, and Harrison House at 11 Harrison Road, were built by original settlers to the area.
York Mills really began to take off as a suburb of Toronto in the 1950’s. In 1952, E.P. Taylor, the wealthy business man and horse breeder whose large property, Parklands, is now the Canadian Film Centre and a heritage site, invested in the development of York Mills Plaza on the South West corner of York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue. E.P.Taylor was also responsible for subdividing the majority of the land East of Bayview and North and South of York Mills.
E.P.Taylor’s farm in Oshawa named, Windfields is referenced in local names in York Mills. E P. Taylor was a very successful horse breeder. The champion Northern Dancer who won numerous prizes was one of his horses from his Oshawa farm, Windfields.
Bayview/York Mills now encompasses the area between Yonge Street and Leslie Street, running South from the 401 to Lawrence. Today, York Mills is a flourishing area. Streets are lined with mature trees and large lots. Many of the original homes built, when the area was first developed after the first World War, were in the Tudor and English Cottage design; then mid-century, many sprawling split-level and ranch bungalows were built. Today,these homes are being re-developed with larger,custom-built executive homes with a Classical or Georgian style. The infill housing reflects design mimicking homes in The Bridle Path, one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, located directly South of York Mills.
There are also many luxury condominium apartments and Townhouses, with more accessible housing in the Bayview/York Mills area.
There are several schools, public, secondary, Catholic and private, in the area, including Harrison and Owen Public Schools, St. Andrew’s Junior High, York Mills Collegiate, Loretto Abbey, The Crescent School, The Toronto French School, Bayview Glen and Crestwood School.
Medical care is excellent with The North York Hospital being located at Sheppard Ave and Leslie and Sunnybrook Hospital is located just South of York Mills on Bayview Avenue.
York Mills Park provides walking trails along Wilket Creek, a busy hockey arena for winter and a baseball diamond for summer; Tournament Park features tennis courts, and St Andrew’s is full of pretty walks and green spaces. The Don Valley Golf Course is nearby in the 401 and Yonge Street area and Donalda Golf Club is just East of Leslie Street South of York Mills Road.
For shoppers, Bayview Village is a smaller, diverse upscale mall;The Shops of Don Mills and Fairview Mall are within minutes of driving. A little farther west is the upscale Yorkdale. York Mills Centre ,St Andrew’s Square and York mIlls/Bayview Plaza provide many convenient services. Close by is Longos Plaza, located at Leslie Street and York Mills Road, and just East on York Mills Road is Starbucks and numerous fast food chain restaurants. These developments in the past 10 years has enhanced the area greatly.
York Mills is well-connected to the rest of the city. In particular, this area is well-served by Toronto’s subway systems, with three stations of the Sheppard line and the York Mills station of the Yonge-University-Spadina line located nearby. The York Mills station also serves as a GO station, with express service to Pearson International Airport. Many bus routes criss-cross the neighbourhood. By car, the 401 and Don Valley Parkway are minutes away, as well as major arterial routes like Yonge Street, Bayview Road and York Mills Road.
To view MLS listings in York Mills and surrounding areas click here
For more information on York Mills Real Estate click here
Schools in Bayview/York Mills Neighbourhood