Trinity-Bellwoods Real Estate and Neighbourhood:
Captain Samuel Smith own the tract of land that soon became Trinity-Bellwoods. The one hundred acre park had originally been named 'Gore Vale' in honour of Lieutenant-Governor Francis Gore, with the 'vale' denoting the ravine that is now the park; the creek that ran through the ravine was named Garrison creek and once ran into Lake Ontario at the site of Fort York. The old creek is now a buried storm sewer but it still flows beneath the park. Built by Bishop John Strachan in response to the secularized University of Toronto, Trinity College claimed the lower half of the vale and the old gates to the institution still stand at the foot of Queen Street and Strachan Avenue. The neighbourhood proper started developing in the 1880's and by the beginning of the next century it was completely developed.
Trinity-Bellwoods' peaceable streets comprise a mix of Victorian which is representative of most of Toronto's downtown neighbourhoods, in addition to Edwardian and row houses. Many were built between 1880 and 1905 and average between 1,500 and 2,200 square feet and there are a lot of 'fixer-uppers'. Many of the homes in the neighbourhood either face or back onto Trinity-Bellwoods Park itself. Some of the larger examples sit on Shaw Street, which is a picturesque tree-line street that is twice the width of the other streets in the area. There are also a few loft-space available that lend to the lower-maintenance and more modern end of the spectrum.
The centre and focus of the area's recreational facilities is, of course, Trinity-Bellwoods park itself with its four tennis courts, baseball diamond, multi-use sports fields, wading pool and children's playgrounds. It also has an artificial ice rink that can be used for pleasure skating, shinny hockey, men's and ladies' leagues and has its own hockey school. The 'Discovery Walk' runs above and parallel to the old Garrison Creek and is a cycling and nature trail. The Trinity Community Recreation Centre sits at 155 Crawford Street and it has an indoor pool, running track, a gymnasium and a fully-functional weight room.
Trinity-Bellwoods boasts three public schools: Charles G. Fraser Jr., Grace Street and Givens/Shaw which is a combined junior and senior school. There is a catholic school named Senator Santo Christo and two high schools: Central Tech High School and Harbord Collegiate Institute. The former Gore Vale and Garrison Creek have somehow, thankfully, been spared the inevitable concrete and development that comes with building a major metropolis and have retained their integrity and offered a green and peaceful oasis in the city of Toronto.