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Bayview Village provides its residents with many of the amenities of suburbia while being located within the city proper. Although once part of North York, Bayview Village is now a neighbourhood in the North end of Toronto, Ontario itself. It is home to well-to-do citizens, wide, tree lined streets, and an excellent shopping centre.
As with many of the neighbourhoods in the northern reaches of the city, Bayview Village is quite large. The ground it covers includes everything between Bayview and Leslie South of Finch Street, until you reach the 401.
Bayview Village is quite new compared to much of Toronto. The community sprung up in the fifties, and many of the homes in the area are still original from that period. One of its most well known attractions is the Bayview Village shopping centre at the intersection of Bayview and Sheppard.
Bayview Village has really only been a part of the city itself for a little over 15 years, since the city of North York amalgamated with Toronto. The neighbourhood still feels suburban in every sense of the word. There are many cul-de-sacs and crescents dedicated to residential homes, and the streets are wider and more open feeling than the southern part of the city.
Bayview Village is also a commuter neighbourhood. During the workweek, there is a steady flow of traffic down Bayview and Leslie as residents make their way to jobs downtown. During the weekends however, Bayview Village has everything that residents need to stay at home. With good shopping, parks and entertainment options, the neighbourhood has all of the amenities that people want, and is very family friendly.
There are lots of options for entertainment in Bayview Vilalge that are great for the whole family. First, there are many parks throughout the neighbourhood. Public tennis facilities, ball diamonds and splash parks are available. A full quarter of the area that makes up this neighbourhood is actually dedicated to green space. A few of the larger parks include Bayview Village Park, Alamosa Park and Villaways Park.
The parks in the area are mostly part of what is known as the East Don Parklands. This series of parks follows along the length of the Don River. The parklands were one of the central features that city planners considered when originally laying out Bayview Village.
Shopping at the Bayview Village shopping centre is popular with local residents. The mall is located at Bayview and Sheppard and has more than 110 stores. The stores in the mall include many high-end and designer shops.
When it comes to dining, the neighbourhood is full of many chains, both national and local. There are also some local gems worth checking out such as Café Maxim’s Patisserie, which offers gourmet classics like Lobster Bisque and Duck a L’orange. The Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill in the Bayview Village Mall offers a high-end casual dining experience. Origin North pulls influences from menus around the world, and includes, Italian, Thai and Mexican among its many flavours.
As a neighbourhood that is largely focussed on providing homes for people, Bayview Village has a vast spectrum of housing options. There are large condo towers along the major arteries, especially south of Sheppard and along Bayview. There are however, many blocks made up completely of detached homes, with a good mix of original buildings and new construction.
Bayview Village is a much quieter neighbourhood than most found in the southern half of Toronto. The suburban design provides many private little coves for houses that are quiet and well isolated from noise. The exceptions of course are in the areas closest to the major arteries like Sheppard and Finch. The 401 is a substantial source of noise in the south.
Although pollution is of some concern in the neighbourhood, the Bayview Village Association actively takes steps to reduce it, including organizing neighbourhood clean-ups, and making recommendations to reduce air pollutants. One example of this was the council’s recommendation that the neighbourhood look at ways of reducing the use of 2-cycle gas engines, such as those in leaf blowers, as they are significant polluters.
Bayview Village is one of the safest neighbourhoods in Toronto. The quiet life of the residents of the area is reflected in the crime rate. According to the CBC 2011 Crime Map of Toronto, Bayview Village is among the neighbourhoods with the fewest violent crimes. It has a slightly higher rate of robbery, car robbery and drug crimes, but this is typical of more affluent neighbourhoods. The likelihood of being a victim of this type of crime in Bayview Village is still much lower than the Toronto averages.
Bayview Village was conceived as a place for people to raise their families. There are public and private options available in the neighbourhood and nearby. The public schools in the neighbourhood are Elkhorn Public School and Bayview Middle Schools. High school students have to venture just West of the neighbourhood. The Prestige School is a private institution that focuses on individualized learning, and the Robbins Hebrew Academy provides an option for young people to be educated in that faith.
The best method of public transportation in Bayview Village is the Sheppard Street Subway line, which runs directly through the neighbourhood. Ample bus service is also available.
Bayview Village is a neighbourhood that was crafted around the idea of raising a family. With ample housing, lots of parks, and good educational options, families are the norm in this part of town. Households with children outnumber households without by several hundred, according to the latest available census information from the city of Toronto.