Overview of Kingsway Park
Kingsway Park is the premier neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end. This well-planned community was designed for families. The houses and properties are a good size, the streets are pedestrian friendly, and the schools, shopping, churches, and recreation are all within walking distance. KingswayPark is known for its idyllic setting, nestled in the forest of the Humber River Valley. Kingsway Park’s streets are lined with majestic oak and maple trees that provide the perfect backdrop for the stately homes that grace this neighbourhood.
History of Kingsway Park
Kingsway Park is situated on former Clergy Reserve lands that were deeded to the Church of England in the early 1800’s. The church leased this property to farmers until 1908 when it was acquired by Robert Home Smith, the visionary who planned The Kingsway neighbourhood. Home Smith and Company began marketing this subdivision in 1912. However the sale of homes in Kingsway Park was stalled by the outbreak of World War I, as well as inadequate transportation routes across the Humber River Valley. It wasn’t until 1924 when the Bloor Street bridge was built that the sale of houses in Kingsway Park began. Many of the first Kingsway Park residents were Northern Ontario mining executives and Toronto businessman who were personally acquainted with Robert Home Smith and were encouraged by him to purchase houses here. Home Smith’s motto for Kingsway Park was “a little bit of England far from England”. His lofty ideal was to establish an English style garden suburb of the highest integrity and beauty. It is Robert Home Smith’s legacy that Kingsway Park endures today as one Toronto’s finest neighbourhoods.
Homes in Kingsway Park
Kingsway Park houses located between Kingsway Crescent and Royal York Road, and from Bloor Street north to Kings Garden Road were developed as part of a separate plan of subdivision called “Kingsway Park”. These houses were built between 1924 and 1947 and include some of the finest examples of Old English classical and vernacular architecture in Toronto. Many houses in Kingway Park feature handsome stone exteriors, intricate tapestry brick patterns, and elaborate stucco and half timbering designs. These homes also feature solid oak doors, leaded glass windows, fanciful bay and oriel windows, and decorative wrought iron railings and porch lamps. Kingsway Park’s oldest houses are located along Government Road near Dundas Street. These homes where originally part of the Lampton community. (Ed. Note: Refer to Lampton neighbourhood in this book). Here you will find some excellent examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture built during the later half of the 1800’s and the early 1900’s. Mixed in with these older houses are contemporary bungalow designs from the 1940’s and 1950’s.