For the essence of family living, Leaside fits the bill. It has every amenity today's buyer wants -- a perfect central location, great schools, quiet tree-lined streets, small independent shops plus the major chain stores, good TTC service, and quick access to downtown via the Bayview Extension or the 401 via the Don Valley Parkway.
Leaside had its humble beginnings around 1819 when John and Mary Lea purchased 200 acres and built the first brick home in York County. Their son William Lea founded the village of Leaside in the 1850s and built an octagonal house named "Leaside".
The neighbourhood is bounded on the west by Bayview Avenue, and the Don Valley ravine system on the north, east and south. The neighbourhood once had its own train station and an airfield (used for wartime pilot training). The industrial area east of Laird Drive once was home to many factories, which built houses for their workers and executives. Leaside High School (Margaret Atwood's alma mater) is generally considered one of the better schools in the city, however, the area also boasts two Montessori pre-schools, three good public schools (Northlea with a French immersion program) and and separate school.
This is a vibrant community of traditional detached and semi-detached 2-storey homes and bungalows. The original homes, built in the 1920s and 1930s, had lovely leaded glass windows and gumwood panelling, many with long private driveways. Over the years, these properties have been renovated and landscaped, or redeveloped as detached custom-built executive homes with larger footprints and pricetags.
Along with the variety of housing options comes all the amenities of a self-sufficient community: churches, three parks and the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens, with its public swimming pool, hockey and figure skating rink and curling rinks. Serena Gundy Park offers opportunities for hiking, cycling and riding. The Leaside Lawn Bowling Club resides in Talbot Park, and the Leaside Tennis Club is the anchor of Trace Manes Park between the baseball diamonds and the Leaside Public Library. If these do not provide enough exercise, there are several fitness clubs situated on Bayview Avenue to complete the active lifestyle of this community.
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