High Park - Swansea Real Estate and Neighbourhood:
Named so because of its original magnificent view of Lake Ontario, High Park - Swansea was in fact, given as a donation to the city by English-born architect, city surveyor and painter, John Howard. The stipulations outlined were that the Howards would continue to live at the park, no alcohol would ever be served in the park and that the City hold the park 'for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all time thereafter High Park'. The gift made him the greatest benefactor in the city's history when he donated the 400-acre park and his home, Colborne Lodge in 1873. Soon after, new roads built to the park allowed bankers and other luminaries to build homes on nearby High Park Boulevard and Indian Road.
The trees line the streets of the outer neighbourhood with great examples of Victorian, Edwardian and Tudor-style homes built largely during the late 1800's and early 1900's with some divided to accommodate multiple families. High Park and Swansea's unique brick homes feature many architectural details that vary from house to house, including: leaded and stained glass windows, exquisite wood trims, fireplaces, french doors and hardwood floors. The neighbourhood also has the choice of condominium buildings along Quebec Avenue north of Bloor Street.
High Park's 400 acres of parkland are deservedly the recreational centre of the area and it includes a fishing pond, an outdoor theatre, animal paddocks, playgrounds, picnic grounds, an historic museum, a restaurant and flower gardens. Sport enthusiasts will have almost too much to choose from with all the tennis courts, baseball diamonds and fields to accommodate soccer, lawn bowling, and trails perfect for walking, jogging and cycling. The area has many Junior schools and boasts two combined Junior and Senior schools: Runnymede and Annette schools. Humberside Collegiate and Western Technical are two public high schools and there are two Montessori schools named High Park Gardens Humberside.
High Park is within walking distance of Bloor West Village, one of the city's most popular shopping districts, known for its European bakeries, delicatessens and specialty food boutiques. Junction Gardens is also nearby, an old railway centre that has been livened up to a shopping district that gives a nod to its old past by adding a railway lantern to its street sign; there you can find a new outdoor farmer's market, open every Saturday in season. High Park is the green piece of Toronto preserved that sits right on the subway line, the green and pleasant communtiy in the middle of the big city.