Mount Pleasant East

Kay Gardner Beltline Trail
From Yonge Street to Mt. Pleasant Road
Named after former Councillor, Kay Gardner, who was instrumental in its development, the Beltline Trail is built along part of the former Belt Line Railway, which was a commuter route to downtown Toronto originally constructed in the 1890s. Even after the Belt Line Railway went bankrupt, the rails were still used to service commercial businesses along Merton Avenue for decades after, and were also used to deliver Yonge Street subway cars in 1954. The land the trail is now situated on was then acquired by the City of Toronto in 1972 and eventually turned into the multi-use trail it is today.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery
375 Mt. Pleasant Road
Originally opened in 1876, Mount Pleasant Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in Canada. Among the numerous prominent individuals buried here include Canada's longest serving Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's first female surgeon Jennie Smillie-Robinson, popular Métis artist Youngfox, and renowned pianist Glenn Gould. The cemetery maintains a vast tree collection, making it among the most significant arboretums in North America. It also contains the heritage designated Mount Plesant Mausoleum, which dates back to 1920 and has prominent Georgian architectural features.

Dominion Coal and Wood Mural
Mt. Pleasant Road and Kay Gardner Beltline Trail (southwest corner)
This mural on the base of the Mt. Pleasant Road overpass, along the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, was painted by local students from nearby Greenwood School in 2014. The mural commemorates the history of the former Dominion Coal and Wood facility, which was located on Mt. Pleasant Road from the late 1920s until it was demolished in 2001. A plaque up the stairs on Mt. Pleasant Road provides information on the history of the company.

Mission Ground Parkette
399 Merton Street
This small parkette was once the site of the Merton Street Gospel Mission, which operated from 1890 to 1970. The Mission was founded by Dr. Emma L. Skinner Gordon, one of Canada's first female doctors and instrumental in the founding of Women's College Hospital. A historical plaque in the park commemorates the mission.

Oak Tree
366 Balliol Street (in front of the house)
This oak tree on Balliol Street is two centuries old and so large the sidewalk has to bend to get around it! It was almost removed in 2015 but members of the community rallied to save it, stating that it was an irreplaceable community landmark.

Regent Theatre
551 Mt. Pleasant Road
Originally known as the Belsize, this heritage designated theatre opened in 1927. It was designed by Murray Brown, who moved from Scotland to Toronto in 1914. The original building had an opulent facade, a lobby with decorative arches, and a classical auditorium with plaster trim and Venetian-style box seats. It became a stage theatre in 1953, but then reverted to a movie theatre in 1971. It underwent extensive renovations in 1988 and reopened as the Regent Theatre. The Regent is one of two heritage designated movie houses still remaining in this neighbourhood. The other is the Mt. Pleasant Theatre to the north at 675 Mt. Pleasant Road, which dates to 1926.

Hydro House on Millwood Road
640 Millwood Road
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This building, which at first glance appears to be a residential home, is actually hiding a hydro substation that is designed to convert raw high voltage electricity to voltage that's low enough to distribute. Built in the 1940s and designed in Cape Cod style to blend in with other residential buildings in the neighbourhood, this substation is one of 90 still scattered throughout Toronto. These homes are intended to make such buildings more acceptable to their residential neighbours, who otherwise may not be agreeable to having a substation so close.

1588 to 1594 Bayview Avenue
These heritage designated two-storey commercial buildings date to the late 1930s. They are considered to be representative examples of Main Street Rows identified by the two-storey size, the glazed commercial storefronts, and residential units on the upper floor. They also contain modest classical detailing with multiple brick band courses, which were typical of similar buildings dating back to the interwar era in this neighbourhood. Several other nearby buildings (also on the west side of Bayview Avenue) are considered heritage designated and represent the same style of building, including 1536-1542, 1566-1574, 1618, 1642, 1644, 1646, and 1650-1652.

Sherwood Park
190 Sherwood Avenue
Located in a valley, Sherwood Park is a picturesque wooded park that has two wading pools, great trails, public bathrooms, picnic tables, and a large playground. This park also offers a fenced, off-leash dog area.

129 Blythwood Road
*Please note: Private property. Please observe house from the sidewalk only. This private residence was formerly the home of Verna Patronella Johnston, an Ojibway author, mother, grandmother, and teacher. She lived in this home from 1966 to 1972. Johnston hosted many young Indigenous students in her home during this time to provide them a safe and welcoming home while they acquainted themselves to life away from home, in Toronto. The imposition of the Indian Act onto Indigenous communities by the federal government in the late 1800s disrupted Indigenous governance systems that were already in place that were well-suited to maintaining community cohesion and prosperity. This imposition of colonial control caused widespread economic depressions that Indigenous communities are still working to overcome today. This is but one of several factors that pushed many Indigenous community members across the country to seek economic opportunities in urban settings like Toronto. However, overt discrimination and systematic forms of oppression rendered many Indigenous people moving to cities vulnerable to poverty and risk. Indigenous people within cities were often disconnected from those they would call kin, and without these critical cultural, economic, and emotional support networks, it would be easier to lose one's identity and direction, or to slip into poverty. Verna Patronella's community-building work helped many Indigenous youth to be successful in the city. Verna's tireless efforts to build supports for Indigenous youth in Toronto and in her reserve community of Cape Croker earned her the title of 'Indian Woman of the Year', by the Native Women's Association in 1976.

Toronto Public Library: Mount Pleasant Branch
599 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M5
Poems For Your Path
Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Hiba Abdallah

Explore Mount Pleasant East

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.
Hiba Abdallah
Toronto Public Library: Mount Pleasant Branch
599 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M5

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

This stroll features plenty of heritage sites such as Mount Pleasant Cemetery, the Regent Theatre, and 129 Blythwood Road. The stroll passes through some excellent greenspace like the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail and Sherwood Park, and includes interesting hidden gems such as a 200 year old oak tree and a hidden hydro substation. Plenty of great local businesses can be found throughout the stroll in the Uptown Yonge, Mount Pleasant Village, and Bayview-Leaside BIAs.

Main Streets: Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue
  1. Kay Gardner Beltline Trail
    From Yonge Street to Mt. Pleasant Road
    Named after former Councillor, Kay Gardner, who was instrumental in its development, the Beltline Trail is built along part of the former Belt Line Railway, which was a commuter route to downtown Toronto originally constructed in the 1890s. Even after the Belt Line Railway went bankrupt, the rails were still used to service commercial businesses along Merton Avenue for decades after, and were also used to deliver Yonge Street subway cars in 1954. The land the trail is now situated on was then acquired by the City of Toronto in 1972 and eventually turned into the multi-use trail it is today.
  2. Mount Pleasant Cemetery
    375 Mt. Pleasant Road
    Originally opened in 1876, Mount Pleasant Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in Canada. Among the numerous prominent individuals buried here include Canada's longest serving Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's first female surgeon Jennie Smillie-Robinson, popular Métis artist Youngfox, and renowned pianist Glenn Gould. The cemetery maintains a vast tree collection, making it among the most significant arboretums in North America. It also contains the heritage designated Mount Plesant Mausoleum, which dates back to 1920 and has prominent Georgian architectural features.
  3. Dominion Coal and Wood Mural
    Mt. Pleasant Road and Kay Gardner Beltline Trail (southwest corner)
    This mural on the base of the Mt. Pleasant Road overpass, along the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, was painted by local students from nearby Greenwood School in 2014. The mural commemorates the history of the former Dominion Coal and Wood facility, which was located on Mt. Pleasant Road from the late 1920s until it was demolished in 2001. A plaque up the stairs on Mt. Pleasant Road provides information on the history of the company.
  4. Mission Ground Parkette
    399 Merton Street
    This small parkette was once the site of the Merton Street Gospel Mission, which operated from 1890 to 1970. The Mission was founded by Dr. Emma L. Skinner Gordon, one of Canada's first female doctors and instrumental in the founding of Women's College Hospital. A historical plaque in the park commemorates the mission.
  5. Oak Tree
    366 Balliol Street (in front of the house)
    This oak tree on Balliol Street is two centuries old and so large the sidewalk has to bend to get around it! It was almost removed in 2015 but members of the community rallied to save it, stating that it was an irreplaceable community landmark.
  6. Regent Theatre
    551 Mt. Pleasant Road
    Originally known as the Belsize, this heritage designated theatre opened in 1927. It was designed by Murray Brown, who moved from Scotland to Toronto in 1914. The original building had an opulent facade, a lobby with decorative arches, and a classical auditorium with plaster trim and Venetian-style box seats. It became a stage theatre in 1953, but then reverted to a movie theatre in 1971. It underwent extensive renovations in 1988 and reopened as the Regent Theatre. The Regent is one of two heritage designated movie houses still remaining in this neighbourhood. The other is the Mt. Pleasant Theatre to the north at 675 Mt. Pleasant Road, which dates to 1926.
  7. Hydro House on Millwood Road
    640 Millwood Road
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This building, which at first glance appears to be a residential home, is actually hiding a hydro substation that is designed to convert raw high voltage electricity to voltage that's low enough to distribute. Built in the 1940s and designed in Cape Cod style to blend in with other residential buildings in the neighbourhood, this substation is one of 90 still scattered throughout Toronto. These homes are intended to make such buildings more acceptable to their residential neighbours, who otherwise may not be agreeable to having a substation so close.
  8. 1588 to 1594 Bayview Avenue
    These heritage designated two-storey commercial buildings date to the late 1930s. They are considered to be representative examples of Main Street Rows identified by the two-storey size, the glazed commercial storefronts, and residential units on the upper floor. They also contain modest classical detailing with multiple brick band courses, which were typical of similar buildings dating back to the interwar era in this neighbourhood. Several other nearby buildings (also on the west side of Bayview Avenue) are considered heritage designated and represent the same style of building, including 1536-1542, 1566-1574, 1618, 1642, 1644, 1646, and 1650-1652.
  9. Sherwood Park
    190 Sherwood Avenue
    Located in a valley, Sherwood Park is a picturesque wooded park that has two wading pools, great trails, public bathrooms, picnic tables, and a large playground. This park also offers a fenced, off-leash dog area.
  10. 129 Blythwood Road
    *Please note: Private property. Please observe house from the sidewalk only. This private residence was formerly the home of Verna Patronella Johnston, an Ojibway author, mother, grandmother, and teacher. She lived in this home from 1966 to 1972. Johnston hosted many young Indigenous students in her home during this time to provide them a safe and welcoming home while they acquainted themselves to life away from home, in Toronto. The imposition of the Indian Act onto Indigenous communities by the federal government in the late 1800s disrupted Indigenous governance systems that were already in place that were well-suited to maintaining community cohesion and prosperity. This imposition of colonial control caused widespread economic depressions that Indigenous communities are still working to overcome today. This is but one of several factors that pushed many Indigenous community members across the country to seek economic opportunities in urban settings like Toronto. However, overt discrimination and systematic forms of oppression rendered many Indigenous people moving to cities vulnerable to poverty and risk. Indigenous people within cities were often disconnected from those they would call kin, and without these critical cultural, economic, and emotional support networks, it would be easier to lose one's identity and direction, or to slip into poverty. Verna Patronella's community-building work helped many Indigenous youth to be successful in the city. Verna's tireless efforts to build supports for Indigenous youth in Toronto and in her reserve community of Cape Croker earned her the title of 'Indian Woman of the Year', by the Native Women's Association in 1976.
  11. Toronto Public Library: Mount Pleasant Branch
    599 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M5
    Poems For Your Path
    Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
    Hiba Abdallah

Accessibility information: The Mission Ground Parkette and plaque, facade of the Regent Theatre, 640 Millwood Road Hydro Substation, 1588 to 1594 Bayview Avenue, and 129 Blythwood Road are all viewable from the street. The Kay Gardner Beltline Trail requires stairs to access from Yonge Street and Mt. Pleasant Road, though stairless access can be found nearby via Al Green Lane, beside 139 Merton Street, and beside 267 Merton Street. The Kay Gardner Beltline Trail is not paved. There are also stairs to get from the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail (and Dominion Coal and Wood Mural) to Mt. Pleasant Road. Sherwood Park contains unpaved areas and stairs

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.