Anyone who knows Toronto is no doubt aware of Rosedale and Summerhill. Occupying two consecutive stops on the Yonge subway line, these neighbouring communities are synonymous with all things upscale. What many don’t realize, though, is that this part of the city actually originated as one of Toronto’s earliest suburbs, flocked to by city dwellers in search of a more pastoral setting.
It is now a vibrant urban neighbourhood, but its nature-inspired beginnings can still be felt throughout this pocket that is teeming with green space and embraced by lush ravines. For those in search of a place to play, there are countless options to choose from.
And for those whose idea of “play” has little to do with getting in touch with nature and instead involves indulging in well-deserved self-care or retail therapy, the list of options is equally abundant.
Here are some of our favourite places to play in Rosedale and Summerhill…
Evergreen Brick Works – A central hub of Toronto’s treasured ravine system, the Brick Works – as its name implies – is steeped in history as the former quarry from which much of the city’s bricks were once procured. Today, it is an ecological wonderland and natural playground at the core of the city centre. From bird watching to ice skating, or even guided walking tours, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy at this year-round landmark.
Craigleith Gardens – Hidden beneath a canopy of trees, you will be greeted by ornamental gates at this quiet 3.4-hectare park with an off-leash dog park and trails running through to Evergreen Brick Works and the Don Valley. With beautiful dirt pathways bordered in by wooden fences and plunging hills on either side, it’s easy to forget you’re in the heart of the city.
Gee Beauty – This family-owned and operated beauty studio is in the business of making the residents of midtown Toronto look and feel their best. With an extensive menu of services, including luxurious facials, skin analysis and makeup application, as well as an expertly curated line of products (including an in-house line of makeup and skincare), Gee Beauty is the perfect destination for anyone in the market for a glow up.
Healflow – Healflow was established in 2017 by a team of experts, and offers deep healing and rejuvenation with a relaxing atmosphere you won’t want to leave.
The Narwhal – Opening their doors back in 2010, The Narwhal boutique is neighbourhood favourite and a one-stop-shop for all things accessories, clothing, shoes, and even home goods.
Smythe – With over 15 years of experience, Smythe has become a staple amongst many for their ready-to-wear collections. Specializing in wild prints and patterns, yet tailor-made for the most flattering silhouettes, it’s easy to see why this is a fan favourite.
Ramsden Park – Coming in just shy of 14 acres, Ramsden Park is one of the largest parks in downtown Toronto. Its grounds feature an outdoor ice rink, basketball courts, two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, tennis courts and an expansive off-leash park for the neighbourhood’s canine inhabitants. Most recently, this urban paradise has been buzzed about thanks to reports of celeb sightings when Adam Sandler was spotted getting in on some pickup games on the Ramsden basketball courts (and graciously posing for selfies afterwards).
Ultimate Athletics – With over 15 types of classes, this boutique gym has something for everyone. Situated in the heart of Rosedale, Ultimate Athletics has been open for over eight years and was voted Toronto’s Best Boutique Health & Fitness Club.
Wolf and Moon – Artistically arranged flowers, gourmet coffee and impeccably curated items for any space can all be acquired at this Rosedale one-stop-shop for the ultimate in luxury and elegance.
Parterre flowers – Specializing in custom arrangements, Parterre flowers pulls inspiration from Europe and South America with beautiful, lush, vibrant arrangements perfect for any occasion.
Though far removed from its suburban origin story, this picturesque urban community is the perfect place for those seeking a place to play in the city. What are some of your favourite Rosedale and Summerhill destinations?