Just south of “The Bloor West Village”, this tiny pocket in the west-end of Toronto called “Swansea Village” is distinctive and rich in both its history and character. They say you can feel the atmosphere of a neighbourhood from just driving along its streets, and here you find them winding and tree-lined along rolling hills that make you forget you are in an urban neighbourhood within Toronto and only minutes from the downtown core.
With the close proximity to the lake and parklands, nature is practically in your backyard. Humber River is to the west, north is Bloor Street, east is High Park’s Grenadier Pond and south is Lake Ontario.
Like those living in The Bloor West Village, residents of Swansea are able to enjoy being just steps away from the vibrant shopping district along Bloor Street. Everything you could imagine from café’s, European meat delis, gourmet food shops, designer boutiques, specialty tea and coffee shops, book stores and a variety of restaurants ranging form Italian, Sushi, Thai, Mediterranean, Eastern European, sport’s pubs to casual dining.
A neighbourhood fave that once was located in the Bloor West Village and moved to Swansea’s Ripley Avenue is the popular and becoming ever so famous “Cheese Boutique”. It’s a gourmet emporium that’s a feast for your eyes. As you enter you find prosciutto hanging from the ceiling, olive oils, artisan breads, foie gras, and an amazing variety of cheeses. They also have some of Toronto’s finest chefs as guests and have them cook and pair wine for a thrilled audience. It’s an event just to visit this store!
Unique to the Swansea Village neighbourhood is their historic former Town Hall. It sits in the heart of the village and hosts a variety of activities for the community such as services for seniors, adults, youths and children. Local residents often take advantage of the programs such as learning Spanish, yoga, Pilates, puppy training, Tai Chi, Baby and Mom fitness and Seniors Programs. They also house one of the smallest branches of the Public Library system.
Swansea is known for being a green landscaped and lush area. In addition to being so close to High Park, and the waterfront trails that stretch from the Eastern to Western Beaches along the Lakeshore, another hidden secret that the community loves is “Rennie Park”.
Swansea’s gem of a park has 4 tennis courts, an ice rink and a wading pool. It’s a huge green area that children, families and pets love to enjoy. All seasons, this park is being used from summer activities to winter hockey, skating and tobogganing down the small hills for the young children.
The Recreation centre with an indoor pool and gym is found along side the park and is part of the Swansea Public School.
The housing stock in Swansea Village is a mixture of various styles, with some going back to the early 1900’s. The larger and more expensive luxury properties are found on the western edge of High Park, overlooking Grenadier Pond and the Brule Gardens enclave in the western edge of the pocket. Here are found handsome estates and grand Georgian centre halls with some of the cities largest and best lots in Toronto.
The charming and picturesque style of many of the homes in Swansea include a number of storybook-style bungalows, semi-detached, a scattering of Victorian row homes and Tudors with turrets, stucco, stone, stained and etched glass windows with all of their old world charm and some new contemporary custom built properties.
Many of the tree-lined streets are graced with a beautiful mix of architectural styles. Quaint English and French styled cottages that dot rural hillsides are found nestled in along with elegant 2 and 3 storey residences. Front porches invite lingering and many of the original homes have been lovingly restored and renovated combining the vintage charm with modern conveniences.
In addition to the homes found in Swansea, there are also a small number of condominiums and townhomes found here. Recent development has added Townhomes and Condos along the Queensway and boutique buildings just south of Bloor Street. There already existed some older but spacious buildings from the 1970’s along Southport Street and Ormskirk Avenue.
Like many of the urban neighbourhoods, parking is at a premium. Few homes have private driveways, with the exception of the larger properties and estates. More common are mutual driveways and street parking. Often those travelling downtown for business will go the easy and relaxed way with public transit.
Transportation is very convenient for Swansea residents. They can either walk or take a bus to the Runnymede Station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, streetcars on the Queensway and for motorists easy and fast access to The Lakeshore Boulevard and Gardiner Expressway. Within minutes you can be either in the hub of downtown Toronto or west to Pearson Airport. Many of the urban travelers are also now taking advantage of the close-by and convenient Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport which can be reached at the foot of Bathurst Street.
With the harmony of surrounding nature, incredible landscapes, yearly Art Tour and awesome shopping, there’s no question why residents love living in urban "Swansea Village" in Toronto's west-end.