Old East York

Four Oaks Gate Park
388A O'Connor Drive
Four Oaks Gate Park is a small park featuring a children's playground and wide green space suitable for general recreation and picnics.

Former Donlands Theatre
387 Donlands Avenue
Now a recording studio, this eye-catching blue building was once home to the Donlands Theatre. Having operated as a movie theatre in the Bloom and Fine chain until 1969, it reopened in the 1970s screening Bollywood films. The theatre seated 838 patrons, although the details of its construction are debated. The Biographical Canadian Dictionary of Architects states it was designed in 1946 as one of 69 theatres by architectural firm Kaplan & Sprachman. Notably, at the start of his career, prolific Canadian historian and writer Pierre Berton lived with his young family in a small apartment next door to the theatre.

Former Home of Actor John Candy
217 Woodville Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. This house was the childhood home of Canadian actor and comedian John Candy. Candy was born in East York and grew up in this house, attending Neil McNeil High School in the East York area. He went on to star in the Toronto branch of Second City and its 'Second City Television (SCTV)' series with fellow Canadian actors Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, and Rick Moranis, among others. Candy also starred in many popular films such as 'Home Alone', 'Uncle Buck', 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles', 'Spaceballs', 'National Lampoon's Vacation', and 'Canadian Bacon'. An internationally recognized film star, Candy died at the age of 43 in 1994. He was inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto in 1998.

William Burgess Elementary School
100 Torrens Avenue
Originally known as Todmorden New School, William Burgess Elementary School was built in 1914. The building was designed by architects Lindsay, Brydon and Greig, and built by the Holtby Brothers. The school was renamed in 1922 after Trustee William Burgess, who planned the school along with his colleagues George T. Davies and John McDonald. In addition to its status as an educational institution, the school was also a community hub. In 1940, the 80th Veterans Guard Cadet Corps, which was comprised of First World War veterans aged 45-65 years, used the school as a training facility. In 1955, grades 5-8 were moved to Westwood Junior High, converting the building to an elementary school, which it remains today.

East York Community Recreation Centre
1081 1/2 Pape Avenue
The East York Community Recreation Centre is a community hub with facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, weights/fitness room, and gallery. The Toronto Public Library's Todmorden Room branch is also attached to the community centre.

Gamble Playground
150 Gamble Avenue
Gamble Playground is a small enclosed park containing a children's playground, swings, and a splash pad.

Filming Location for 'Jumper'
260 Gamble Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the sidewalk only. This unassuming grey brick apartment complex served as a filming location for the 2008 movie 'Jumper', starring Toronto-born actor Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson. This site was used as Millie (Bilson)'s apartment, notably in a scene where David (Christiansen) and Millie are attacked by the film's principal antagonist and his henchmen.

Zimbabwe United Methodist Church
1108 Greenwood Avenue
The Zimbabwe United Methodist Church is the first Zimbabwean church of its kind founded in Canada by the Zimbabwean diaspora community. The church was formed by Zimbabwean migrants such as political refugees, or those seeking work outside of Zimbabwe. Since the founding of this parish, Zimbabweans have also founded churches in Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary and Fort McMurray. This particular church is housed in the former Cosburn United Church, which was built in 1933 during the Great Depression, as evidenced by its relatively minimal style.

East York Collegiate Institute
650 Cosburn Avenue
East York Collegiate Institute was established in 1927 and designed by architect George Roper Gouinlock, son of prominent Canadian architect George Wallace Gouinlock. Designed in the Collegiate Gothic style popular among educational institutions in North America, East York C.I. boasts notable alumni such as Mike Holmes, the television home renovator, Joe Motiki, television actor and former TVO Kids and Food Network host, and hockey player Christopher Tanev.

Sarah Collard 'Subway 2' Artbox
Northwest corner of O'Connor Drive and Coxwell Avenue
Artist Sarah Collard's 'Subway 2' art box is located at the corner of O'Connor Drive and Coxwell Avenue, an important hub within the neighbourhood. Collard's work consists of a colourful depiction of citizens walking, talking, and waiting for the subway. Collard stated that she also painted the top of the box with truck drivers in mind, so they could view and appreciate all sides of the box. Collard has painted over 50 murals across Canada and exhibits her work in public galleries.

Cullen Bryant Park
50 Barbara Crescent
Named after American poet William Cullen Bryant, Cullen Bryant Park is located above the Massey and Taylor Creek Ravine and has a playground for children.

Coxwell Ravine Park
460 O'Connor Drive
Coxwell Ravine Park is part of the East Don Valley Trail system that also includes Todmorden Mills Park, Linkwood Lane Park, and Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. The park is accessible via a combination of uneven grass, paved and gravel trails. It includes an off-leash area for dogs, a picnic area, and extensive opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.

Explore Old East York

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: Gerrard/Ashdale Branch
1432 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1Z6

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

From cultural hotspots to hidden architectural gems, this stroll showcases the best of Old East York and its residents. Historic schools which also played host to military regiments, diverse cultural spaces, welcoming green spaces and the Pape Village BIA make up this vibrant and fascinating neighbourhood.

Main Streets: Pape Avenue, Donlands Avenue, Coxwell Avenue.
  1. Four Oaks Gate Park
    388A O'Connor Drive
    Four Oaks Gate Park is a small park featuring a children's playground and wide green space suitable for general recreation and picnics.
  2. Former Donlands Theatre
    387 Donlands Avenue
    Now a recording studio, this eye-catching blue building was once home to the Donlands Theatre. Having operated as a movie theatre in the Bloom and Fine chain until 1969, it reopened in the 1970s screening Bollywood films. The theatre seated 838 patrons, although the details of its construction are debated. The Biographical Canadian Dictionary of Architects states it was designed in 1946 as one of 69 theatres by architectural firm Kaplan & Sprachman. Notably, at the start of his career, prolific Canadian historian and writer Pierre Berton lived with his young family in a small apartment next door to the theatre.
  3. Former Home of Actor John Candy
    217 Woodville Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. This house was the childhood home of Canadian actor and comedian John Candy. Candy was born in East York and grew up in this house, attending Neil McNeil High School in the East York area. He went on to star in the Toronto branch of Second City and its 'Second City Television (SCTV)' series with fellow Canadian actors Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, and Rick Moranis, among others. Candy also starred in many popular films such as 'Home Alone', 'Uncle Buck', 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles', 'Spaceballs', 'National Lampoon's Vacation', and 'Canadian Bacon'. An internationally recognized film star, Candy died at the age of 43 in 1994. He was inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto in 1998.
  4. William Burgess Elementary School
    100 Torrens Avenue
    Originally known as Todmorden New School, William Burgess Elementary School was built in 1914. The building was designed by architects Lindsay, Brydon and Greig, and built by the Holtby Brothers. The school was renamed in 1922 after Trustee William Burgess, who planned the school along with his colleagues George T. Davies and John McDonald. In addition to its status as an educational institution, the school was also a community hub. In 1940, the 80th Veterans Guard Cadet Corps, which was comprised of First World War veterans aged 45-65 years, used the school as a training facility. In 1955, grades 5-8 were moved to Westwood Junior High, converting the building to an elementary school, which it remains today.
  5. East York Community Recreation Centre
    1081 1/2 Pape Avenue
    The East York Community Recreation Centre is a community hub with facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, weights/fitness room, and gallery. The Toronto Public Library's Todmorden Room branch is also attached to the community centre.
  6. Gamble Playground
    150 Gamble Avenue
    Gamble Playground is a small enclosed park containing a children's playground, swings, and a splash pad.
  7. Filming Location for 'Jumper'
    260 Gamble Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the sidewalk only. This unassuming grey brick apartment complex served as a filming location for the 2008 movie 'Jumper', starring Toronto-born actor Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson. This site was used as Millie (Bilson)'s apartment, notably in a scene where David (Christiansen) and Millie are attacked by the film's principal antagonist and his henchmen.
  8. Zimbabwe United Methodist Church
    1108 Greenwood Avenue
    The Zimbabwe United Methodist Church is the first Zimbabwean church of its kind founded in Canada by the Zimbabwean diaspora community. The church was formed by Zimbabwean migrants such as political refugees, or those seeking work outside of Zimbabwe. Since the founding of this parish, Zimbabweans have also founded churches in Edmonton, Hamilton, Calgary and Fort McMurray. This particular church is housed in the former Cosburn United Church, which was built in 1933 during the Great Depression, as evidenced by its relatively minimal style.
  9. East York Collegiate Institute
    650 Cosburn Avenue
    East York Collegiate Institute was established in 1927 and designed by architect George Roper Gouinlock, son of prominent Canadian architect George Wallace Gouinlock. Designed in the Collegiate Gothic style popular among educational institutions in North America, East York C.I. boasts notable alumni such as Mike Holmes, the television home renovator, Joe Motiki, television actor and former TVO Kids and Food Network host, and hockey player Christopher Tanev.
  10. Sarah Collard 'Subway 2' Artbox
    Northwest corner of O'Connor Drive and Coxwell Avenue
    Artist Sarah Collard's 'Subway 2' art box is located at the corner of O'Connor Drive and Coxwell Avenue, an important hub within the neighbourhood. Collard's work consists of a colourful depiction of citizens walking, talking, and waiting for the subway. Collard stated that she also painted the top of the box with truck drivers in mind, so they could view and appreciate all sides of the box. Collard has painted over 50 murals across Canada and exhibits her work in public galleries.
  11. Cullen Bryant Park
    50 Barbara Crescent
    Named after American poet William Cullen Bryant, Cullen Bryant Park is located above the Massey and Taylor Creek Ravine and has a playground for children.
  12. Coxwell Ravine Park
    460 O'Connor Drive
    Coxwell Ravine Park is part of the East Don Valley Trail system that also includes Todmorden Mills Park, Linkwood Lane Park, and Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. The park is accessible via a combination of uneven grass, paved and gravel trails. It includes an off-leash area for dogs, a picnic area, and extensive opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are viewable from a paved sidewalk or park trail with the exception of Cullen Bryant Park and Coxwell Ravine Park. Cullen Bryant Park is viewable from both a paved road (share with traffic) and from a paved sidewalk across the street, but the park itself doesn't have any indicated trails, just grass. Coxwell Ravine Park is only accessible from this point by walking through Cullen Bryant Park, that is, over the grass. Once in Coxwell Ravine Park, there are both paved and unpaved/gravel trails.

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.