Leaside takes its name from John Lea, an Englishman who emigrated to the area from Philadelphia in 1819. In 1912, Leaside became the province's first pre-planned community when the owners of the Canadian Northern Railway hired Frederick Todd to plan a development for a community to be built around a railway maintenance yard. The town of Leaside was officially incorporated on April 23, 1913 with a population of 43 individuals. In 1949, a few years after the Second World War, Leaside's population had risen to 14,826.
Being at the relative edge of the city of Toronto, Leaside's lots are generous with private drives and garages. Leaside real estate in the Tudor-style were mostly built in the 1930s and 1940s with a wide variety of semi-detached, two-storey detached, bungalows and a new rise in custom designed homes. Leaside homes typically are all-brick built with cut stone arched entryways, broad wooden doors with front bay leaded windows and wainscotting.
Although a relatively new neighbourhood in Toronto, Leaside already has a well established and higher-end shopping district on Bayview Avenue. The multitude of stores catering to children and babies demonstrate Leaside's quickly gaining reputation as a great place to raise a family. Many of those families can be seen enjoying the outdoors in the many parks that comprise the Don Valley ravine, where all sorts of outdoor activities can be enjoyed, or maybe just having a quiet picnic.
With over seven public parks and nine public elementary and high schools in the general vicinity, it's no wonder why Leaside is gaining a reputation as the perfect place to raise a family on it's quiet streets with convenient access to the shopping district of Bayview Avenue and public transportation never more than a few blocks away. Though a young neighbourhood, Leaside has more than made up for this in its proximity and accessibility of all the amenities and facilities that a new, or even prospective family, needs.