Bedford Park-Nortown

Phil Givens Park
99 Caribou Road
A small park near Lawrence Avenue West and Avenue Road that features a children's playground. Formerly Caribou Park, this park was officially renamed Phil Givens Park on May 10, 2016 by North York Community Council. Givens was the Mayor of Toronto from 1963-66 before moving on to Provincial office.

Kathleen (Kay) Livingstone Plaque
443 Bedford Park Avenue
Located in Bedford Parkette, a small park with mature trees and a children's playground, is a plaque dedicated to Kathleen (Kay) Livingstone. Livingstone was a social activist and broadcaster. A trained musician and accomplished actor, she hosted her own radio shows in Ottawa and Toronto. She served as the first President of the Negro Women's Association (CANEWA), who provided scholarships for Black students. This group also founded the Calypso Carnival, known for a period as Caribana, and today as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. She was the President of the United Nations Association in Canada, and consultant for the Canadian Privy Council, where she was the driving force behind organizing the first National Black Women's Congress in 1973, giving a voice to African-Canadian women in Canada. She is credited with coining the term visible minority. Kay Livingstone owned a house in this community where the plaque in her honour is located.

Aisha Ali Artbox
1500 Avenue Road
This mural captures a sense of surrealism and absurdity though a group of bizarre creatures that aspire to brighten peoples' day. This mural intends to make people laugh, and bring humor to their lives.

Bedford Glen
1555 Avenue Road
*Note: Private Property. Please observe this complex from the sidewalk only. Bedford Glen is a late modernist apartment complex designed by Annau Associates and completed in 1976. These two buildings won both a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1976, and the Canadian Housing Design Council Award in 1983.

Ledbury Park Skating Pavilion and Pool
160 Ledbury Street
Located inside this park is the Ledbury Park Skating Pavilion and Pool. This outdoor complex won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1996, and a Medal for Excellence from the Governor General's Awards for Architecture in 1999. The skating rink runs under a pedestrian bridge that links the parking lot to the pool, allowing visitors to observe skaters from above.

Edwin Alonzo Boyd Bank Robbery
2015 Avenue Road
On September 9, 1949, Edwin Alonzo Boyd, future leader of the notorious Boyd Gang, committed his first robbery at this former bank. He had served in the army during the Second World War as a military policeman and trained as a commando. Returning to his job as a streetcar driver didn't appeal to his sense of wanderlust. According to Boyd in an interview years later, reading a newspaper article about a child holding up a bank without even using a gun seems to have prompted him to try his hand at larceny. With a generous dose of liquid courage, Boyd walked into the small Bank of Montreal in this quiet neighbourhood, and onto the pages of history.

Sandra Tarantino Artbox
176 Wilson Avenue
The design aspires to encapsulate the essence and diversity within the community. Chickadee birds and trees are superimposed on photographic imagery manipulated into vibrant, colourful graphic stamp images of people in various activity.

Strathrobyn (Canadian Forces College)
215 Yonge Boulevard
*Note: Private Property. Please observe this complex from the sidewalk only. In 1910, developer and speculator Colonel Frederick Burton Robins bought a large portion of this area and built his estate. Named Strathrobyn, the house was completed in 1914, just as the First World War was starting. He loaned the lands around the house to the Royal Canadian Air Force, who built a training facility and airfield in 1917. The Armour Heights Air Field trained wartime pilots, and aviatrix Amelia Earhart worked there for a brief period. The airfield was abandoned after First World War flying aces Billy Bishop and Billy Barker's Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Limited, post war owners of the airfield, went bankrupt. While the airfield is long gone, Strathrobyn is still in use as the Canadian Forces College, an officer training wing of the Canadian Forces since 1943. The original stone gateway to the home is still in use.

Loretto Abbey
101 Mason Boulevard
*Note: Private Property. Please observe this building from the sidewalk only. Loretto Abbey was founded on the teachings of Mary Ward, a sixteenth century English nun. Central to her beliefs were that women were intellectual peers to men, and should be educated accordingly. This excellence in education for young women is a cornerstone to the Loretto school's teachings. The Loretto Sisters first opened a school in Toronto in 1847, and finally relocated to this location in 1928, when this Tudor Gothic style school and convent opened. The chapel was added in 1952, with stained glass windows by Yvonne Williams. Alumni of the school include Anna Olsen (chef), Ivana Santilli (musician), and Carly Foulkes (model). The school was used as a filming location for 'Cadet Kelly' starring Hilary Duff in 2002.

Hoggs Hollow Disaster
4042 Yonge Street
On March 17, 1960, five Italian immigrant labourers tragically died when a tunnel collapsed during construction at Hoggs Hollow. The men were trapped underground in a cramped, dimly lit tunnel. The lack of construction safety standards at the time led to a Royal Commission investigation, which resulted in better safety and labour laws in Ontario. These stronger rules and their enforcement have contributed to safer workplaces.

Explore Bedford Park-Nortown

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Mark Reinhart
Toronto Public Library – Forest Hill Branch
700 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N 1B9

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

Tucked alongside Highway 401 to the north, this residential neighbourhood was once host to an airfield, home of community leader Kay Livingstone, and site of notorious bank robbers' early attempts at larceny. Today, there are now dozens of one of a kind shops, restaurants and cafes as you stroll along Avenue Road, and plenty of architectural highlights, leafy parks and public art to enjoy in Bedford Park-Nortown.

Main Streets: Avenue Road
  1. Phil Givens Park
    99 Caribou Road
    A small park near Lawrence Avenue West and Avenue Road that features a children's playground. Formerly Caribou Park, this park was officially renamed Phil Givens Park on May 10, 2016 by North York Community Council. Givens was the Mayor of Toronto from 1963-66 before moving on to Provincial office.
  2. Kathleen (Kay) Livingstone Plaque
    443 Bedford Park Avenue
    Located in Bedford Parkette, a small park with mature trees and a children's playground, is a plaque dedicated to Kathleen (Kay) Livingstone. Livingstone was a social activist and broadcaster. A trained musician and accomplished actor, she hosted her own radio shows in Ottawa and Toronto. She served as the first President of the Negro Women's Association (CANEWA), who provided scholarships for Black students. This group also founded the Calypso Carnival, known for a period as Caribana, and today as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. She was the President of the United Nations Association in Canada, and consultant for the Canadian Privy Council, where she was the driving force behind organizing the first National Black Women's Congress in 1973, giving a voice to African-Canadian women in Canada. She is credited with coining the term visible minority. Kay Livingstone owned a house in this community where the plaque in her honour is located.
  3. Aisha Ali Artbox
    1500 Avenue Road
    This mural captures a sense of surrealism and absurdity though a group of bizarre creatures that aspire to brighten peoples' day. This mural intends to make people laugh, and bring humor to their lives.
  4. Bedford Glen
    1555 Avenue Road
    *Note: Private Property. Please observe this complex from the sidewalk only. Bedford Glen is a late modernist apartment complex designed by Annau Associates and completed in 1976. These two buildings won both a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1976, and the Canadian Housing Design Council Award in 1983.
  5. Ledbury Park Skating Pavilion and Pool
    160 Ledbury Street
    Located inside this park is the Ledbury Park Skating Pavilion and Pool. This outdoor complex won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1996, and a Medal for Excellence from the Governor General's Awards for Architecture in 1999. The skating rink runs under a pedestrian bridge that links the parking lot to the pool, allowing visitors to observe skaters from above.
  6. Edwin Alonzo Boyd Bank Robbery
    2015 Avenue Road
    On September 9, 1949, Edwin Alonzo Boyd, future leader of the notorious Boyd Gang, committed his first robbery at this former bank. He had served in the army during the Second World War as a military policeman and trained as a commando. Returning to his job as a streetcar driver didn't appeal to his sense of wanderlust. According to Boyd in an interview years later, reading a newspaper article about a child holding up a bank without even using a gun seems to have prompted him to try his hand at larceny. With a generous dose of liquid courage, Boyd walked into the small Bank of Montreal in this quiet neighbourhood, and onto the pages of history.
  7. Sandra Tarantino Artbox
    176 Wilson Avenue
    The design aspires to encapsulate the essence and diversity within the community. Chickadee birds and trees are superimposed on photographic imagery manipulated into vibrant, colourful graphic stamp images of people in various activity.
  8. Strathrobyn (Canadian Forces College)
    215 Yonge Boulevard
    *Note: Private Property. Please observe this complex from the sidewalk only. In 1910, developer and speculator Colonel Frederick Burton Robins bought a large portion of this area and built his estate. Named Strathrobyn, the house was completed in 1914, just as the First World War was starting. He loaned the lands around the house to the Royal Canadian Air Force, who built a training facility and airfield in 1917. The Armour Heights Air Field trained wartime pilots, and aviatrix Amelia Earhart worked there for a brief period. The airfield was abandoned after First World War flying aces Billy Bishop and Billy Barker's Bishop-Barker Aeroplanes Limited, post war owners of the airfield, went bankrupt. While the airfield is long gone, Strathrobyn is still in use as the Canadian Forces College, an officer training wing of the Canadian Forces since 1943. The original stone gateway to the home is still in use.
  9. Loretto Abbey
    101 Mason Boulevard
    *Note: Private Property. Please observe this building from the sidewalk only. Loretto Abbey was founded on the teachings of Mary Ward, a sixteenth century English nun. Central to her beliefs were that women were intellectual peers to men, and should be educated accordingly. This excellence in education for young women is a cornerstone to the Loretto school's teachings. The Loretto Sisters first opened a school in Toronto in 1847, and finally relocated to this location in 1928, when this Tudor Gothic style school and convent opened. The chapel was added in 1952, with stained glass windows by Yvonne Williams. Alumni of the school include Anna Olsen (chef), Ivana Santilli (musician), and Carly Foulkes (model). The school was used as a filming location for 'Cadet Kelly' starring Hilary Duff in 2002.
  10. Hoggs Hollow Disaster
    4042 Yonge Street
    On March 17, 1960, five Italian immigrant labourers tragically died when a tunnel collapsed during construction at Hoggs Hollow. The men were trapped underground in a cramped, dimly lit tunnel. The lack of construction safety standards at the time led to a Royal Commission investigation, which resulted in better safety and labour laws in Ontario. These stronger rules and their enforcement have contributed to safer workplaces.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are visible from the sidewalk or residential roads. Not all residential roads have sidewalks, but roads are paved and level. Note that Wilson Avenue and Yonge Street have a steep inclines. There is a paved path from Loretto Abbey to Yonge Street as an alternative to walking down Wilson Avenue, but it is steep with staircases.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.