When would you like to visit...
This quaint little pocket south of Bloor Street West is not well known by name to many unless they're familiar with the west end of Toronto. If you say you live in "Swansea" to some people, sadly they have no idea where it is. Quick executive summary as far as area history: Swansea was incorporated as a village in 1926. This neighbourhood is the only one in Toronto to have it's own community run Town Hall (Lavinia Avenue). In 1615, not a typo....Etienne Brule, Samuel de Champlain's protege was the first European to set foot in what we know today as Swansea.
The name is derived like many area names from places in England. Here, the name Swansea was named after Swansea in Wales (western England) also too with it's rolling topography. In addition, this neighbourhood is the only one in Toronto that is bordered by three bodies of water, Grenadier Pond to the east, Lake Ontario to the south and the Humber River to the west. Pretty neat!
Since the mid 2000's, the southern portion of Swansea, namely at the base of Windermere and the Queensway has undergone a major turn-around. The former brownfield was home to the Stelco site. It was decomissioned and later developed into a series of townhomes and condos that flank either side of Windermere. I must say that upon first glance many moons ago I did not think that much would come of this unglamorous spot. Boy, was I wrong. These places show quite well. These places are now known as Windermere by the Lake at 93 The Queensway and 15 Windermere Avenue as well as the larger townhomes on the opposite side of Winderemere that have the Next condo in it's backyard so to speak nxtcondos.com
The area is in walking distance of Bloor West Village and it's shops as well as two subway stations, Jane and Runnymede. Being on the subway will always hold it's value. A bus route along Windermere as well as Morningside Avenue make their way to the above subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth line. If you're a driver, you're in luck as Swansea lies at an ideal equidistant point to all that is important, be it the Gardner expressway eastbound or westbound via the Queensway and Parklawn. This is all accesible going southbound either on Windermere Avenue or the South Kingsway.
The age of the homes dates back to the 20's and 30's, remaining smaller homes boast period details unique to the period namely leaded glass windows, extensive woodwork and hand-crafted plaster crown moulding. Most homes fall under the category of detached or semi-detached homes that have either mutual or private drives in addition to street parking. In recent years, some residents have done an impressive job of expanding their homes vertically. No, these are not McMansions, some homes are at least in-keeping with the general architecture of the neighbourhood. As far as hotspots, being in close proximity to Bloor West Village, this area has access to the same shops and the like.
A cute parkette of note is Rennie Park which lies south of Morningside Avenue and east of Windermere Avenue behind Swansea Jr. & Sr. School. This parkette boasts four tennis courts, a wading pool and an artificial ice rink. Also a quick reminder that High Park can be accessed from Bloor Street or through a walking path via Ellis Park Road.
SCHOOLS IN SWANSEA
St. Pius X (elementary), 71 Jane Street 416-393-5237
Swansea Jr. & Sr., 207 Windermere Avenue 416-393-9080
Humbserside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Avenue 416-393-0000
Western Technical Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent 416-393-0500