Playter Estates-Danforth

Chester Hill Lookout
2 Chester Hill Road
Visit Chester Hill for a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline. This hidden lookout reveals the juxtaposition of nature and urban development in Toronto. From here you can see the Don River, the natural views of the surrounding forest and the wetlands, with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. The view also reveals the engineering feats connecting the east to the rest of the city over the Don Valley, including the Don Valley Parkway, the Prince Edward Viaduct and the now-defunct half-mile bridge, originally constructed in the 1880s for the Canadian Pacific Railway line.

Thorncliffe & Cambridge Avenue Workers Homes
138-46 Cambridge Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the buildings from the sidewalk only. Thorncliffe Avenue is named for the home of George Taylor, prominent business man and land owner in the valley. His home, Thorn Cliff, was built at the top of the valley. Cambridge Avenue was originally called Sarah Street, after the daughter of George Playter, for whom Playter Estate is named. The cottages along Cambridge Avenue were built in the late nineteenth century as residences for the workers at the nearly mill and other business in the area.

Prince Edward Viaduct
4 Cambridge Avenue
The Prince Edward Viaduct, now a major connector in the city, was once referred to as the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. When the bridge was first proposed, the population on the east side of the Don River was very sparse. The proposal was voted down by two plebiscites until a redesign of the plan made the cost more bearable. Built between 1915-1918, the bridge cost a mere $2.5 million dollars, and the foresight of designer Edmund Burke to include a subway deck in the design saved future Bloor-Danforth subway line planners several million dollars. Michael Ondaatje's novel 'In the Skin of a Lion' is set during the building of the bridge. In 2003, the 'Luminous Veil' was added as a safety measure. Designed by artist Dereck Revington, this dramatic feature consists of over 9,000 steel rods. Environmentally-responsive lights were added in 2015, illuminating the bridge at night.

Playter Farmhouse
28 Playter Crescent
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. The Playter family settled in this area in the late 1700s. They were farmers and local business owners who also built several commercial and residential properties nearby. The red brick house with distinctive white brick details at 28 Playter Crescent was built in the 1870s, with additions added in the early 1910s. By 1912, the farmland surrounding the farm house had been subdivided, with streets put in, and more houses built on the Playter Estates.

Carrot Common
348 Danforth Avenue
Completed in 1987, Carrot Common has become a neighbourhood hub with community-focused businesses that provide a welcoming space for the public. The Carrot Common Corporation is especially unique in the city with over fifty percent of the co-op's profits given to community-based organizations, such as small organic farming projects, social justice initiatives, and community and economic development initiatives. Murals on the columns and side of the buildings by Anya Mielniczek, Marg Cresswell & Brenda Coombs depict pollinators at work in the local environment.

Welcome to GreekTown Cross Street Banners
Danforth Avenue & Chester Avenue
In 1993, this stretch of Danforth Avenue was officially recognized as GreekTown on the Danforth. To mark this area, cross street banners span the main thoroughfare. The three large banners were installed along Danforth Avenue at Chester Avenue, just east of Pape Avenue, and at Jones Avenue. The two outermost banners are double sided, and both welcome and thank GreekTown visitors. Be sure to observe these banners from the sidewalks only.

Logan Green Field & Logan Avenue Parkette
916 Logan Avenue
The Logan Green Field opened in May 2019. The green space just off the Danforth on the east side of Logan Avenue had been designated to be converted into a parking lot, but the local community proposed a green space with pollinator friendly plants, benches, and a community chalkboard. Walking around the circular path, visitors will see murals on both sides of the space. On the west side of Logan Avenue is a linear parkette that runs west to Arundle Avenue. This narrow space features a drinking fountain, a pathway through shaded green space, and flowering shrubs and perennials.

Alexander the Great Parkette
903 Logan Avenue
Named for the conquering king who ruled the largest empire in ancient history, this quaint parkette is a community meeting place, an event venue and a great place to sit and enjoy ice cream on a summer day. The parkette's small amphitheatre is inspired by ancient Greece, with an elaborate fountain, a raised stage, Greek columns and concrete seating. The bust of Alexander the Great on the amphitheatre stage was created by Greek artist Dion Zachariou and donated by the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario in partnership with Toronto's Greek community in 1990.

Holy Name Church
71 Gough Avenue
This impressive limestone church, built in 1926, stands out as a distinctive landmark in the east end. The Italian Renaissance-style structure and facade were designed by prominent Roman Catholic architect Arthur W. Holmes, who was inspired by the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The parish can seat over a thousand people and was originally founded in 1913 by primarily Irish Catholics. Today, Holy Name Parish has a diverse and vibrant Catholic congregation and is also home to the African Catholic Community.

Union Bank Building
650 Danforth Avenue
Architectural firm Bond & Smith finished work on this building in 1913, when it opened as a branch of the Union Bank. The Beaux-Arts style of the facade is exemplified by its use of symmetry, elaborate ornamentation, and columns.

Explore Playter Estates-Danforth

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 beautiful views of the Don River Valley to the vibrant local businesses in the Broadview and GreekTown BIAs, the Playter Estates-Danforth neighbourhood has something for everyone. Encompassing the 'Bridge to Nowhere', community created green space at the Green Field, outdoor art and lovely architectural gems, this residential neighbourhood offers a friendly place to stroll. Opa!

Main Streets: Danforth Avenue and Broadview Avenue
  1. Chester Hill Lookout
    2 Chester Hill Road
    Visit Chester Hill for a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline. This hidden lookout reveals the juxtaposition of nature and urban development in Toronto. From here you can see the Don River, the natural views of the surrounding forest and the wetlands, with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. The view also reveals the engineering feats connecting the east to the rest of the city over the Don Valley, including the Don Valley Parkway, the Prince Edward Viaduct and the now-defunct half-mile bridge, originally constructed in the 1880s for the Canadian Pacific Railway line.
  2. Thorncliffe & Cambridge Avenue Workers Homes
    138-46 Cambridge Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the buildings from the sidewalk only. Thorncliffe Avenue is named for the home of George Taylor, prominent business man and land owner in the valley. His home, Thorn Cliff, was built at the top of the valley. Cambridge Avenue was originally called Sarah Street, after the daughter of George Playter, for whom Playter Estate is named. The cottages along Cambridge Avenue were built in the late nineteenth century as residences for the workers at the nearly mill and other business in the area.
  3. Prince Edward Viaduct
    4 Cambridge Avenue
    The Prince Edward Viaduct, now a major connector in the city, was once referred to as the 'Bridge to Nowhere'. When the bridge was first proposed, the population on the east side of the Don River was very sparse. The proposal was voted down by two plebiscites until a redesign of the plan made the cost more bearable. Built between 1915-1918, the bridge cost a mere $2.5 million dollars, and the foresight of designer Edmund Burke to include a subway deck in the design saved future Bloor-Danforth subway line planners several million dollars. Michael Ondaatje's novel 'In the Skin of a Lion' is set during the building of the bridge. In 2003, the 'Luminous Veil' was added as a safety measure. Designed by artist Dereck Revington, this dramatic feature consists of over 9,000 steel rods. Environmentally-responsive lights were added in 2015, illuminating the bridge at night.
  4. Playter Farmhouse
    28 Playter Crescent
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the sidewalk only. The Playter family settled in this area in the late 1700s. They were farmers and local business owners who also built several commercial and residential properties nearby. The red brick house with distinctive white brick details at 28 Playter Crescent was built in the 1870s, with additions added in the early 1910s. By 1912, the farmland surrounding the farm house had been subdivided, with streets put in, and more houses built on the Playter Estates.
  5. Carrot Common
    348 Danforth Avenue
    Completed in 1987, Carrot Common has become a neighbourhood hub with community-focused businesses that provide a welcoming space for the public. The Carrot Common Corporation is especially unique in the city with over fifty percent of the co-op's profits given to community-based organizations, such as small organic farming projects, social justice initiatives, and community and economic development initiatives. Murals on the columns and side of the buildings by Anya Mielniczek, Marg Cresswell & Brenda Coombs depict pollinators at work in the local environment.
  6. Welcome to GreekTown Cross Street Banners
    Danforth Avenue & Chester Avenue
    In 1993, this stretch of Danforth Avenue was officially recognized as GreekTown on the Danforth. To mark this area, cross street banners span the main thoroughfare. The three large banners were installed along Danforth Avenue at Chester Avenue, just east of Pape Avenue, and at Jones Avenue. The two outermost banners are double sided, and both welcome and thank GreekTown visitors. Be sure to observe these banners from the sidewalks only.
  7. Logan Green Field & Logan Avenue Parkette
    916 Logan Avenue
    The Logan Green Field opened in May 2019. The green space just off the Danforth on the east side of Logan Avenue had been designated to be converted into a parking lot, but the local community proposed a green space with pollinator friendly plants, benches, and a community chalkboard. Walking around the circular path, visitors will see murals on both sides of the space. On the west side of Logan Avenue is a linear parkette that runs west to Arundle Avenue. This narrow space features a drinking fountain, a pathway through shaded green space, and flowering shrubs and perennials.
  8. Alexander the Great Parkette
    903 Logan Avenue
    Named for the conquering king who ruled the largest empire in ancient history, this quaint parkette is a community meeting place, an event venue and a great place to sit and enjoy ice cream on a summer day. The parkette's small amphitheatre is inspired by ancient Greece, with an elaborate fountain, a raised stage, Greek columns and concrete seating. The bust of Alexander the Great on the amphitheatre stage was created by Greek artist Dion Zachariou and donated by the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario in partnership with Toronto's Greek community in 1990.
  9. Holy Name Church
    71 Gough Avenue
    This impressive limestone church, built in 1926, stands out as a distinctive landmark in the east end. The Italian Renaissance-style structure and facade were designed by prominent Roman Catholic architect Arthur W. Holmes, who was inspired by the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The parish can seat over a thousand people and was originally founded in 1913 by primarily Irish Catholics. Today, Holy Name Parish has a diverse and vibrant Catholic congregation and is also home to the African Catholic Community.
  10. Union Bank Building
    650 Danforth Avenue
    Architectural firm Bond & Smith finished work on this building in 1913, when it opened as a branch of the Union Bank. The Beaux-Arts style of the facade is exemplified by its use of symmetry, elaborate ornamentation, and columns.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are visible from the sidewalk, and sidewalks are paved and level. Be sure to observe the crosstown banners from the sidewalk only.

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.