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Tag Archives: trinity bellwoods

Arts, eateries and a big backyard at Trinity Bellwoods

Families make a niche, authenticity finds a home in urban community

Vicky Sanderson – Toronto Star

Street Numbers

57,240 – Number of people who moved to Ward 19 between 2006-11.

35 – Median age of neighbourhood residents.

40.8 – Percentage who live in one-person households.

? – Number of elusive white squirrels in Trinity Bellwoods Park. The size of the population is unknown, but the death of one this summer made headlines.

Street-level snapshot

On a crisp September afternoon, a young man sporting a plaid flannel shirt, red suede desert boots and a glossy, well-groomed beard turns off King Street West and ambles north on Stafford Street. His unhurried pace is being set by the chatty toddler he has in tow, who wears leopard-print leggings and a doll-sized leather jacket.

For some, this cool-daddy duo might bring the term “peak hip” — and a touch of chagrin — to mind. But the parent-child pair would be a welcome sight for Carolyn Wong, a Toronto filmmaker who moved into the neighbourhood with her partner and son 15 years ago. She’d love to see more family life on local streets.

“Density is a good thing in a city, but it can be a double-edged sword. There are lots of units going up, but they are so small that people can’t stay when they start a family. So they’re building condos, but maybe not building a community,” says Wong.

Comment: But the community is kind of already there, which is what is attracting the people to the neighbourhood.

Trinity Bellwoods Park
It’s not inconceivable that the bearded elder of the cool-daddy duo is headed to Fraser Studios at 76 Stafford Street, which has space for rehearsals, auditions, live performances and acting classes — some taught by owner Jason Fraser, who envisions a multi-purpose locus for actors, instructors, and casting agents that will one day also include a film studio.

Fraser moved here from a Danforth location last year. “It’s a great spot for restaurants, bars and galleries, but there’s a really strong arts community, and it’s growing at the time,” says Fraser, citing as an example the new-ish Lower Ossington Theatre, which runs live performances in two theatres, one with 150 seats, the other with 80 seats.

Home décor hot spot

New to the neighbourhood is Paloform which designs and manufactures modern outdoor fire pits, fireplace surrounds, tiles and wall claddings. They use hand-cast concrete, stainless steel and Corten, a steel alloy that resists the corrosive effects of the outdoor environment by forming a protective coat of oxidation that — as a bonus — is extremely beautiful.

Located in the lower level of 74 Stafford Street, a Paloform showroom standout this year is the Komodo. At seven feet long, and two feet high, it’s an elegant outdoor fire feature that can function as a design focal point and/or a space divider.

The appeal, says president and founder Khai Foo, is partly the natural qualities of the materials.

“In the 1980s an ’90s, it was all plastic and faux this, faux that,” says Foo. “Now, people want to see things made from real materials, and the hand that made them.”

Where to live

With 20 three-storey, two and three-bedroom homes — some of which feature “sky yards” — the Edition/Richmond on Richmond Street West is sure to attract more of the families that Wong hopes will anchor the neighbourhood. Designed by Audax Architecture, with interiors by Cecconi Simone, the sleek new development won a Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) Project of the Year award in 2013.

Comment: Only if they can afford the million-ish price tags for those towns!

Edition Richmond
Where to eat?

There’s no shortage of posh nosh spots, including an outpost of the popular chain, Terroni (720 Queen Street West), which offers traditional Italian cuisine. (Tip: Don’t ask for puttanesca sauce on spaghetti instead of penne — apparently, it’s an insult to the owner’s grandmother.)

For casual drinks, local singer/songwriter Elise Legrow (full disclosure: also this writer’s stepdaughter) likes the “super low-key, totally un-trendy” Done Right (861 Queen Street West). For “a delicious, healthy meal that costs less than $10,” she heads to Pho Tien Thanh (57 Ossington Avenue)

Where to play?

Originally the site of the University of Trinity College before it moved to the U of T’s St. George campus in 1925, Trinity Bellwoods Park presents its handsome, gated face to the street at Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue. It’s now a vibrant community green space with baseball diamonds, tennis and volleyball courts, an artificial ice rink, an off-leash area for dogs, a wading pool and a busy farmers’ market.

Wong, who’s also a volunteer with the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods says that as the area grows, so does the importance of the park.

“On a nice day, I’d say it sees between 3,000 and 5,000 people. For a lot of them, who live in condos or apartments, it’s like a backyard. A big backyard, that is!”

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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