Yorkville: Bay & Davenport

At 88 Davenport Rd, the Florian sits firmly in Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood, best known for its luxurious shops and restaurants. In 2008, Fortune Magazine designated the Yorkville strip of Bloor Street as the seventh most expensive in the world. It is home to the first five-star hotel in Canada and the flagship store of Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew. Each year, Yorkville plays partial host to the Sante International Wine festival and is generally considered to be a top destination for celebrities visiting Toronto. The Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s largest, and the fifth largest in North America, is located on the southwest corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road and is a great place to take in some culture after a long day of shopping. Yorkville also features the beautiful YorkvillePark, with its series of unique gardens that run along Cumberland Street. The park received the American Survey of Landscape Architects Award and forms part of the efforts under the BIA, established in 1985.

The neighbourhood of Yorkville is bordered to the north by Davenport Road, to the south by Bloor Street, to the west by Avenue Road and to the east by Yonge Street. The City of Toronto considers it an official part of the larger Annex neighbourhood. It is connected to the TTC by the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth Subway lines, as well as surface bus routes that run along Bay Street and Avenue Road.

The Village of Yorkville was founded in 1830 by Joseph Bloor and William Botsford Jarvis. These two men purchased and subdivided the land into smaller districts. By 1853, the population had reached 1,000 residents and the Village of Yorkville was officially incorporated. By the 1880s, the cost of delivering services to the residents of Yorkville had become too great and the Village petitioned to be annexed by the City of Toronto. The Village of Yorkville was officially annexed on 1 February 1883 and renamed “St. Paul’s Ward”. In the 1960s, Yorkville was recognized as being the centre of Toronto’s bohemian culture and the so-called ‘hippie movement’. It was the breeding ground for some of the best and brightest in Canada at the time, including: Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Margaret Atwood and Dennis Lee. With the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway line, the value of the land increased markedly and the area was transformed to its modern-day form.

 

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