The Bloor West Village is a pocket of the city that's at once intimate and inviting. White lights twinkle in well groomed trees up and down Bloor Street. Old-world coffee shops and meat boutiques intermingle with bakeries, green grocers and European shops. Welcome to the Bloor West Village, the country's first and still-finest example of "village-life," big-city style.
Officially, the "Village" begins east of Runnymede, at the historic stone building that houses the public library. From there it rambles past the always-overflowing eateries and the landmark Runnymede Theatre that now is home to "Chapters", down by the "Sweet Flower Bake Shop", "Say Tea" and a number of incredible café's and restaurants, and petering out just past Jane Street at the top of South Kingsway. At this end of the Village, you'll find such treats as "The Coffee Tree", which sells fine organic and fair trade coffees, as well as a selection of loose teas. Coffee is roasted on site. For the ten dense blocks in-between, gourmands, gourmets and clothes hounds alike are treated to some of the city's most diverse and delightful shopping. New establishments like tastey "Cobs" Bakery are well received both by residents and visitors to this vibrant and trendy hood.
This along with the close proximity to transportation, desirable schools and parks has helped make this one of the most popular pockets to live in. It's known for being popular with both singles and families with a wonderful mixture of quaint and bustling activity.
Living in the Bloor West Village
Why is this pocket of Toronto, called the "Bloor West Village" so popular?
Singles and families alike are drawn to this area and consider themselves very fortunate when they find a property that becomes their home.
They're usually attracted to the energetic vibe and unique local atmosphere that the "Village" shopping district creates. Leaving your car behind, you can stroll to Bloor Street and many weekends you'll find a number of locals waiting for all day breakfast at the popular "Sunset Grill" or some of the other trendy eateries. Whether you're interested in a new book from Chapters or the latest designer fashions, warm and tasty bread from the bakeries or the European meats offered at the local deli's, it's all within walking distance. Part of the charm you experience while living here is the routine you can adopt, discovering your favourite shops and seeing familiar faces as you visit the café's and delightful variety of restaurants ranging from Italian, Sushi, Asian, Thai, Mediterranean and Eastern European. Picking up ingredients for that dinner menu can become much more interesting when you're strolling amongst the many outdoor markets along Bloor Street with their fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers displayed under awnings.
For the art lovers, this area also showcases a yearly Art Tour spreading from Swansea to The Junction highlighting some of the best art in the west-end of Toronto.
It's hard to believe that you can live within such a trendy and vibrant hood and still be within walking distance of one of the city's most beautiful parks, "High Park". This city landmark contains picnic areas, gardens, a zoo, restaurants, organic market, an outdoor amphitheatre, sports facilities, a playground and a large pond. To the area residents, being able to walk or bike to the park is as much a part of their landscape as the shopping district.
While everyone is talking about the organic attributes of not using your automobile or selling that second car, those living in this area quite often find themselves actually doing this. Especially for those working in the downtown core, being able to hop on the subway, actually does become "the better way!"
Private driveways are a rarity in this area and usually you'll find mutual driveways, front pad parking or laneways. Many residents use street parking very confidently.
Another appealing feature of this mature tree-lined neighbourhood is the housing stock. Typical original properties in the Bloor West Village were built in 1912 -1923 within a short time range. Unlike the suburbs with their cookie cutter houses, these brick homes are still similar, often influenced with the American craftsman style. There are a number of semi-detached properties blended amongst the detached with many of them featuring the deep front porches from yesteryear. Sitting on your front veranda sipping your coffee, enjoying your neighbours and watching the kids play is just a way of life here. Throughout the years, many of the properties have become renovated and restored from top to bottom with some additions extending the actual living space. Each unique upgrade and renovation helps maintain the originality of these homes today. The majority of these properties are two storeys, but on certain streets you can find some bungalows or three storey homes. It has recently become more common to see some of the older buildings being replaced with modern custom builds, so that there is a blend of the new and old.
Being ideally located in the west-end of Toronto, the Bloor West Village is also conveniently situated close to the lakefront with easy highway access which can whisk you quickly either downtown Toronto or to the airport. Being in such a great urban locale, you can also choose to alternately use the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport for additional convenience from the core of the city. Living amongst these well groomed leafy streets, fabulous shops and solid property values are only some of the reasons that keep buyers flocking to this area from across the city and local residents staying in this pocket when they move.
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