Woodbine-Lumsden is a small neighbourhood of East York that has its own distinct vibe and is one of Toronto’s gems that is gaining popularity. It runs from Woodbine east to Main, from Taylor Creek Park south to Strathmore. Once the oldest demographic in Toronto, retirees are sharing their community with a burgeoning population of young families. In the past few years, Woodbine-Lumsden is on every realtor’s short list of top up-and-
coming neighbourhoods for first-time buyers. It has a friendly suburban feel, but with easy access to the city.
East York was once Canada’s only borough but in 1998 became a part of the city’s GTA. The area began as a working class neighbourhood in the early 1920s, with mostly British immigrants, most of whom were gardeners or worked in the brickworks. Many of these homes from the early part of the century in the Woodbine-Lumsden area are detached 2-story houses with their unique barn shaped roofs. After World War 2, the brick bungalows were built for the returning soldiers and their families and the population kept growing in the 1960s with more immigrants, mostly from Greece and Italy. Some of these families still live in the same homes. There’s renovation and gentrification co-existing harmoniously with retro mid-twentieth century charm. This is the neighbourhood where the elders have the best gardening tips and make pickles for the neighbours from the cucumbers in their backyard gardens and the younger ones help shovel their walkways in the winter.
What else gives Danforth-Lumsden such great community spirit is the proximity to the two main parks. Taylor Creek Park has an expansive hiking and biking trail along the north end of the neighbourhood that connects Leaside to the East York. Stan Wadlow Park, on Cosburn is 8.5 hectare park that is the hotbed of all the community activity. People here take their sports very seriously and there’s something for everyone of all ages. The list is long. There’s a local hockey league that plays in the East York Arena, along with curling and figure skating club.There’s a playground, a newly renovated outdoor pool with a slide and splash pad, and a hard-core skatepark and club that is also friendly place for the beginners. There are six baseball diamonds, one with lights for night play, and a clubhouse. And for the four-legged furry family members, there’s an off-leash dog park.
The neighbourhood has seen changes over recent years. Along with new construction, many of the bungalows have been remodeled as two story homes. Young families and first-time buyers are moving in as it is one of woodbine lumsden the city’s more affordable areas. This neighbourhood is very similar in the styles of homes to the more prestigious Leaside in the north, but here, you can get lots more bang for your buck. And compared to Riverdale and the Beaches to the south, you can get even bigger homes with larger lots. It’s also not the kind of neighbourhood where you need to keep up with the upscale renovations of the neighbours and become house poor making sure you have the right granite counter tops and an interlocking brick driveway. The people here would rather compete in lawn bowling than home decor.
There’s not much of a retail area on Woodbine but it’s close to the Danforth, to all the shops and pubs. Also it is a short drive over the bridge on O’Connor, and to the land of suburban big box, because sometimes you need a Cineplex with a lot of choices and parking. As the Danforth Lumsden neighbourhood blossoms every year into a more awesome close-
knit community, buying a home to raise a family here is a smart investment for a happy future.