Runnymede-Bloor West Village

Runnymede Collegiate Institute
569 Jane Street
An historic school that first opened in 1927 with many noteworthy alumni such as Corporal Frederick George Topham, a Victoria Cross recipient from his service in the Second World War, who is honoured with a plaque out front of the building.

Teiaiagon
The land that is now plotted here as a residential/commercial area, was once a seventeenth century village built by the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The village was called Teiaiagon, which translates to English as 'crosses the stream'. The village was located here purposely, to manage the traffic within the hunting territories and trade routes found in this area. According to European accounts around that time, the village was inhabited by approximately 5,000 Onondowaga (also known as Seneca, one of the nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy), and many stretches of agricultural fields. These fields were home to crops such as corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco, all of which were harvested by the Onondowaga people. Mass production was no foreign concept for the Haudenosaunee; in fact, the Haudenosaunee people would organize fishing expeditions for which as many as a 1000 fish could be caught at one time. The Haudenosaunee cultivated a range of 60 different kinds of beans as well as varieties of corn. A sacred burial ground was later found in this neighbourhood back in the early 2000s, which likely dates back to the 1680s. Fortunately, the city consulted with the Six Nations community as to what the best line of action would be, and the remains were reburied in another location.

Walter Ruston 'Boating Regatta on the Humber' Mural
724 Annette Street
Commissioned by the Baby Point Village BIA and painted in 2011 by local artist Walter Ruston, this mural highlights the importance of the Humber River in the history of the neighbourhood.

Albanian Muslim Society of Toronto
564 Annette Street
This is the current home of one of the oldest Muslim congregations in Toronto, originally primarily founded for the Albanian Muslim community in the Junction area in the early 1960s. The congregation moved to this location in the early 1970s. There is a plaque on the side of the building that honours its founder, Regip Assim.

Fire Station 424
462 Runnymede Road
Originally constructed in the late 1920s, this fire station was threatened with closure in the early 2010s. By this point, the station had become a beloved community landmark, and residents of the neighbourhood, concerned over potentially slower response times for emergencies, lobbied to keep it open. Toronto Fire Services ultimately decided to keep the station as a fire education centre. Local historical societies are still working to get the building listed as a heritage structure.

Beresford Park
400 Beresford Avenue
This park features an off-leash dog area, a children's playground, and a wading pool.

George Chater Parkette
465 Windermere Avenue
A small park located just north of Bloor Street West that includes an outdoor chess table.

Rachel Wilmhurst Artbox
Bloor Street West and Durie Street
This artwork has been designed to echo traditional European embroidery patterns, particularly those of Ukrainian origin. Embroidery has a rich cultural history in Ukraine, appearing in folk dress as well as weddings and other celebrations.

Runnymede Theatre
2223 Bloor Street West
Designed in the classical style by architectural firm Chapman and Oxley, the 1,400 seat Runnymede Theatre opened in June 1927. The theatre featured many murals and the ceiling was painted to resemble the sky, with the intention of giving patrons the feeling of sitting outdoors. Initially operating as a venue for vaudeville, the theatre switched to films until it closed in 1972, becoming a bingo hall. It became a movie theatre again between 1980 and 1999, and now serves as a retail space. A Heritage Toronto plaque on the side of the building notes its intriguing history.

Neil McLellan Park & Bloor West Village BIA Plaque
263 Beresford Avenue
A small parkette with a children's playground. There is also a plaque in the park, which commemorates the founding of the Bloor West Village BIA. In the late 1960s, local merchants along Bloor Street West in this area proposed a new idea for the City of Toronto to collect taxes from businesses within an area to, in turn, fund local streetscape improvements and promote the area. The Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area officially came to be in 1970, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch
2178 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1M8
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.
Kate Nankervis

Explore Runnymede-Bloor West Village

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.

We want to hear from you! Click here to complete a short survey

Suppport small business owners by Shopping Small.

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.
Kate Nankervis
Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch
2178 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1M8

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 historic buildings such as Fire Station 424 and the old Runnymede Theatre, and an important piece of the Islamic history of Toronto with the Albanian Muslim Society of Toronto. The stroll passes through both the Baby Point Gates BIA (with many local businesses to visit) and the Bloor West Village BIA, which was the first BIA in the world when inaugurated in 1970!

Main Streets: Bloor Street West, Jane Street
  1. Runnymede Collegiate Institute
    569 Jane Street
    An historic school that first opened in 1927 with many noteworthy alumni such as Corporal Frederick George Topham, a Victoria Cross recipient from his service in the Second World War, who is honoured with a plaque out front of the building.
  2. Teiaiagon
    The land that is now plotted here as a residential/commercial area, was once a seventeenth century village built by the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The village was called Teiaiagon, which translates to English as 'crosses the stream'. The village was located here purposely, to manage the traffic within the hunting territories and trade routes found in this area. According to European accounts around that time, the village was inhabited by approximately 5,000 Onondowaga (also known as Seneca, one of the nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy), and many stretches of agricultural fields. These fields were home to crops such as corn, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco, all of which were harvested by the Onondowaga people. Mass production was no foreign concept for the Haudenosaunee; in fact, the Haudenosaunee people would organize fishing expeditions for which as many as a 1000 fish could be caught at one time. The Haudenosaunee cultivated a range of 60 different kinds of beans as well as varieties of corn. A sacred burial ground was later found in this neighbourhood back in the early 2000s, which likely dates back to the 1680s. Fortunately, the city consulted with the Six Nations community as to what the best line of action would be, and the remains were reburied in another location.
  3. Walter Ruston 'Boating Regatta on the Humber' Mural
    724 Annette Street
    Commissioned by the Baby Point Village BIA and painted in 2011 by local artist Walter Ruston, this mural highlights the importance of the Humber River in the history of the neighbourhood.
  4. Albanian Muslim Society of Toronto
    564 Annette Street
    This is the current home of one of the oldest Muslim congregations in Toronto, originally primarily founded for the Albanian Muslim community in the Junction area in the early 1960s. The congregation moved to this location in the early 1970s. There is a plaque on the side of the building that honours its founder, Regip Assim.
  5. Fire Station 424
    462 Runnymede Road
    Originally constructed in the late 1920s, this fire station was threatened with closure in the early 2010s. By this point, the station had become a beloved community landmark, and residents of the neighbourhood, concerned over potentially slower response times for emergencies, lobbied to keep it open. Toronto Fire Services ultimately decided to keep the station as a fire education centre. Local historical societies are still working to get the building listed as a heritage structure.
  6. Beresford Park
    400 Beresford Avenue
    This park features an off-leash dog area, a children's playground, and a wading pool.
  7. George Chater Parkette
    465 Windermere Avenue
    A small park located just north of Bloor Street West that includes an outdoor chess table.
  8. Rachel Wilmhurst Artbox
    Bloor Street West and Durie Street
    This artwork has been designed to echo traditional European embroidery patterns, particularly those of Ukrainian origin. Embroidery has a rich cultural history in Ukraine, appearing in folk dress as well as weddings and other celebrations.
  9. Runnymede Theatre
    2223 Bloor Street West
    Designed in the classical style by architectural firm Chapman and Oxley, the 1,400 seat Runnymede Theatre opened in June 1927. The theatre featured many murals and the ceiling was painted to resemble the sky, with the intention of giving patrons the feeling of sitting outdoors. Initially operating as a venue for vaudeville, the theatre switched to films until it closed in 1972, becoming a bingo hall. It became a movie theatre again between 1980 and 1999, and now serves as a retail space. A Heritage Toronto plaque on the side of the building notes its intriguing history.
  10. Neil McLellan Park & Bloor West Village BIA Plaque
    263 Beresford Avenue
    A small parkette with a children's playground. There is also a plaque in the park, which commemorates the founding of the Bloor West Village BIA. In the late 1960s, local merchants along Bloor Street West in this area proposed a new idea for the City of Toronto to collect taxes from businesses within an area to, in turn, fund local streetscape improvements and promote the area. The Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area officially came to be in 1970, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
  11. Toronto Public Library: Runnymede Branch
    2178 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S 1M8
    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.
    Kate Nankervis

Accessibility information: This walk is entirely accessible on paved streets and paths, and all points of interest are viewable from street level.

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.