Located in the centre of the city lies the quiet neighbourhood of Leaside. This leafy area, first settled in the mid 1800's, is one of the city's premier areas for upper middle class families who value this established and safe community as the perfect place to raise their families. The area was mostly farmland through the nineteenth century. It was incorporated as a town in 1913. In 1967 it was amalgamated with the township of East York to form the borough of East York. In 1998 it became part of the city of Toronto.
The Leaside community is made up predominantly of single-family homes in traditional Tudor style designs dating from the 1930's and '40's. There is a good mix of two-storey detached and semi-detached houses, and while a large number of Leaside bungalows have been replaced by new custom designed homes, an over-riding effort has been made to keep architectural exterior details in place, such as leaded glass, cut stone and wide wooden trim.
The largest recreation centre in Leaside is Leaside Community Memorial Gardens which includes an indoor swimming pool, an ice rink, a curling rink and a large auditorium. Serena Gundy Park, located in the north-east corner of Leaside, covers 62.6 acres and is used for picnicking and hiking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. Trace Manes Park is located in south Leaside and is home to the Leaside Tennis club and boasts six tennis courts. Other facilities in the park include a playground, a baseball diamond and an outdoor ice rink in winter. Howard Talbot Park in north-west Leaside features two baseball diamonds, a "splash pad", and a water playground. While small in area, Leaside has a fine selection of reputable schools for both young children and teens including Maurice Cody, Blythewood, Bessborough Drive School, and Leaside High School.
The commercial strip of Bayview from Millwood to Soudan is one of Toronto's best mid-town neighbourhood shopping districts. With a comfortable mix of big box stores, smaller chains, antique and indie shops, sport and fitness clubs, as well as health, beauty and fashion boutiques, this up-market retail strip is within easy walking distance. Bayview is also known for its wide selection of speciality food shops and a wonderful choice of restaurants and pubs to suit any craving or quench any thirst.
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