Our Neighbourhood – History and Surroundings
The names of such streets as The Bridle Path and Post Road evoke past images of country homes with riding stables. Originally known as ‘Bayview Heights’, The Bridle Path neighbourhood was home to the horsey set. It has not always been home to the larger homes that are now within our major streets.
From its humble beginnings in 1928, “when a new road was cut through the 13th fairway of the old Glen Mawr Golf Club,” according to Toronto historian Mike Filey, to its present, the area was home to some of Toronto’s past prominent citizens and horseback riders. The early plans in the 1920s for the neighbourhood included a network of equestrian trails.
The first modern home was “Stonedene” built by stockbroker and horseback rider Harry Plummer in 1928-29, and is now part of The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf. Forsey Page of the well-known architectural firm of Page and Steele, designed a house for his brother – Hubert Daniel Page in a Cape Cod Colonial Revival style at 2 The Bridle Path in 1936. It still stands today as a landmark private residence.
Six more houses popped up soon after Mr. Page’s. A local selection committee scrutinized the plans for these new homes. According to Mr. Filey this was, “to ensure the architectural integrity of the neighbourhood.”
Afterwards, enter Edward Plunkett Taylor, another avid horseman and business tycoon. He initially purchased 20 acres slightly to the north of the “Windfields” estate (now the Canadian Centre for Advanced Films Studies). This was quickly eclipsed by the purchase of adjacent property, that his business partner, George Montegu Black, decided to sell of approximately 50 lots in the early 1950s.
This was the commencement of the minimum two-acre lots that started in those days at the sale price of $25,000 for virgin land just a mere 10 kilometres outside of main downtown area. Over the years the neighbourhood has evolved but still takes pride in its pristine ‘country in the city’ feel and its residents seek to maintain this finite resource not only for Toronto but also for Canada.