Toronto’s Dovercourt Park neighborhood is located between Bloor and St. Clair in a short distance to the heart of the city. This area is the home for mostly middle class families coming from different cultures. The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club is a focal hub of the area for social and recreational programs.
The history of Dovercourt Park
In the 1870’s, this area was called the Village of Dovercourt. The initial residents of this neighborhood were immigrants who migrated from England.
Later in 1910, the City of Toronto formally added the Village of Dovercourt and then the neighborhood experienced new developments, such as Dovercourt Park which was developed in 1923. After that, the city services were developed to help the recuperation and improvement of Dovercourt Park neighborhood.
Demography of Dovercourt Park
This neighborhood has a total population of 8,726 with a median age of 37.7 years old. Approximately, 58% of the population include families and married couples and 8.96% of its population are Chinese. The median household income in Dovercourt Park is about $80,127. However, 52% of the residents are homeowners.
Architecture of Dovercourt Park
Most of the Single-family houses of Dovercourt Park neighborhood date back to 1900 to 1925. Many of the old houses of this area have been replaced by apartments. Many of the Edwardian style houses have been converted into multi-unit buildings and used as mixed-use commercial and residential buildings.
The sturdy brick Edwardian style architecture can be the famous characteristic of the Dovercourt Park neighborhood. Most of them are two and three story dwellings designed by front porches, gable roofs and rear off the laneway parking. You can enjoy walking through its clean streets and streetscapes lined with mature trees. Generally, the houses of Dovercourt Park have a special and beautiful curb appeal.
The Great Hall at Dovercourt neighborhood
This splendid Victorian building at the corner of Dovercourt and Queen Street West was built in 1889 and declared as a heritage site in 1973. It has experienced hard times, it looked so tired and needed a lot of repairs and renovations. There was a threat of destroying and turning it into a condo or commercial space.
The Great Hall was first opened as a YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) center for accommodation, taking different classes and playing sports. The Great Hall has also been used as a shelter for World War II refugees, a venue for political speeches, and the center of operation for the Polish National Union. It also hosted important guests like Lucy Maud Montgomery and Justin Trudeau.
In 2016, owners of The Great Hall made a complete renovation on the exterior and modernized all the interior spaces and amenities. They have tried their best to save the unique history of the building through the years. It means they fully restored the beautiful architectural details of the façade. But for its interior, they increased the capacity, updated infrastructures, and installed a modern HVAC system and an updated audio-visual system in the performance venues.
Now, this flamboyant High Victorian edifice is again a cultural and community hub.
At the corner of Dovercourt Road and Bloor Street West, you can find the four-story red-brick Dovercourt House standing tall in the street. It was built more than 100 years ago serving as a performance, celebration, ceremony, culture and event venue.
An exclusive owner bought this building in 1999 and started to renovate it. Since then, a new entity of Dovercourt House has been created in collaboration with dancers, artists, tenants and troupes. They could finally turn the jumble of spaces into a special place for dance and celebrations.
Best schools of Dovercourt Park
Since most of the residents of Dovercourt Park neighborhood include families with children, one of their most important priorities would be the schools and their ratings in the area. Dovercourt Public School is one of the best schools in the neighborhood located at Bartlett Ave. They offer JK to 8th grade and try their best to provide active and creative learning opportunities for their students to help them find their skills and potential.
St. Anthony Catholic School is another high ranking school in the area. It has very friendly staff members who really care about each student’s accomplishments. St. Anthony has a very enthusiastic learning community to encourage the love of learning among their students. It is located at 130 Shanly Street.
Related articles: Top 5 Toronto Catholic Elementary Schools
Recreation in Dovercourt Park
The top recreational activities in Dovercourt Park include restaurants, resto-bars, pubs/bars and health or fitness clubs.
Parks of Dovercourt Park
The main entertainment facility in the area is six acres Dovercourt Park which has a playground and a wading pool for children. It also has two tennis courts, baseball diamond, sports fields, and natural ice rinks.
The Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club is also located in this park. They provide different programs for children (7-17 years old). This club has two computer rooms, a game room, an arts room, a gymnasium and a pool.
Dufferin Grove is a 5.3 hectare park located at the south of Bloor Street West. This park has been cultivated over the years with large mature forests. The main purpose of building this park was to create a focal point for local neighborhood communities. Dufferin Grove Park has a multipurpose sports field, basketball court, picnic area as well as a wading pool and playground for children.
Christie Pits Park is an 8.9 hectare park located at Bloor Street West. The park borrowed its name from the Christie Sand Pits which had been there until the early 1900s.
The Alex Duff Memorial Pool is also located in Christie Pits park. The park also has three baseball diamonds, a multipurpose sports field, basketball and volleyball courts and an artificial ice rink. It also has a beautiful playground, an amazing labyrinth, a splash pad and a wading pool for children. The slopes of the park are usually used for tobogganing in winter.
Cultural activities in Dovercourt Park
The area has different art galleries and a cozy public library you can enjoy.
Bloor/Gladstone public library
It is a lovely public library located at Bloor Street West. It has a beautiful architecture with high ceilings and huge windows reflecting the natural light. The building was built in the early 20th century and developed later. This two story library can provide everything you need to study effectively! Another positive point of this library is its location. It has excellent access from the subway, shopping centers, bus routes and restaurants.
Cooper Cole Art Gallery
Cooper Cole is a Contemporary Art Gallery located at 1134 Dupont Street. It is a bright, clean, unpretentious and welcoming Art Gallery. The gallery space is made by white walls, wood floors and a paneled ceiling. The variety of artists and exhibitions at this gallery is interesting, maybe because they are very accurate and stringent in their choices. They exactly know what they want and they are doing. It is a good example of what is happening in the world of art today.
This art gallery was developed in 2003 with the aim of helping artists to truly pursue their goals and happiness. It has a very warm and welcoming environment for those who are eager to create their personal statement with the help and guidance of national artists. Their team has the required expertise and experience to help each and every art lover. They have a keen eye for finding new talents. It’s simple and unpretentious space can easily attract you.
Where to eat in Dovercourt Park
There is an array of cafes, restaurants, vintage shops, galleries and markets at the Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson Junction. There is annually an art, music and international food street festival known as ‘Big on Bloor’. Let’s find some of the most interesting eateries in the Dovercourt Park neighborhood.
Actinolite is one of the top ranked restaurants in Toronto. The creativity of Chef Justin and his team is exemplary. They create unique recipes using only Canadian ingredients. Having a meal in this restaurant is not just about eating, it is a fully different sensory experience.
They pay special attention to their tasting menu. Using so many different sauces and ingredients made them unbeatable. But don’t forget to tell them about all your food restrictions and sensitivities in advance. Their wine is very exceptional too, because they are very serious about it. So, if you are a big fan of organic, sustainable, eco-friendly and farm-to-table foods with a special taste and affordable price, don’t forget to try Actinolite.
If you love Asian food, we suggest the Spring Sushi restaurant. They have touch screen technology and authentic menus in a very modern space. The combination of delicious foods and amazing rooftop patio with a great view of the street could be unforgettable.
They have a menu with a wide variety of items, including soup, salad, sushi, grill foods and tempura items. Everything in this restaurant is delicious and has its own special taste. They use super fresh material to create a wonderful experience in a very friendly space.
Nova Era Bakery prepares Portuguese and European-style breads inducing their original taste and traditions. At Nova Era, the breads are handcrafted by very professional bakers. They use simple recipes, but only natural quality ingredients, without any additives or preservatives.
Bloor Court Café is a cute cozy café with handmade tasty products, friendly vibe and wonderful customer service. They have an interesting breakfast menu with excellent coffee with a reasonable price.
I can recommend the Dovercourt neighborhood as a family friendly neighborhood with lovely green spaces and tree lined streets. It also has excellent access to public transit (Lansdowne, Ossington and Dufferin stations). The affordability of this neighborhood can be another reason to live in this lovely neighborhood. If you are looking to move into this neighbourhood you can connect with a top Toronto real estate agent who covers this neighbourhood.