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Stonegate/Queensway: Sunny Lea, Norseman - Community Info

The Queensway – Humber Bay, known officially as Stonegate-Queensway, is a neighbourhood in the south-west of Toronto, located in the south-east of the former City of Etobicoke.

This neighbourhood originally centred on the intersection of Lake Shore Boulevard and The Queensway near the mouth of the Humber River, however that intersection disappeared with the building of the Queen Elizabeth Way. The area to the south of the Gardiner Expressway is today part of Mimico neighbourhood. Today, the neighbourhood is composed of two areas which overlap at the former intersection:

  • The Queensway: It extends north from the Gardiner Expressway south of Norseman street. There is a residential area in the centre-east with industrial land and new big box stores further to the west.
  • Sunnylea / Stonegate: formerly the 'Humber' postal village it originally referred to the area around the old intersection of what is now the Queensway and what is now Lake Shore Boulevard at the Humber River. It is now mostly to the north of The Queensway, a residential area with few bridges between the Mimico Creek and the Humber River from Lake Ontario north to Glenroy Avenue (south of Park Lawn cemetery). There is little commercial in this area except along portions of The Queensway and a small amount on Berry Rd.

The Queensway Overview

The Queensway

The Queensway is an affordable west end neighbourhood that offers convenient access to downtown Toronto and numerous recreational opportunities at the nearby South Humber Parklands. Up until recently The Queensway had a relatively low-profile earning its celebrity status, with many television, movie and commercial productions having taken place in the residential pocket around Queensway Park. But now The Queensway neighbourhood is poised for great things with the announcement of the recently formed Queensway Business Improvement Area which is launching its first major celebration on September 29th, 2012. Also the Queensway and Queensland neighbourhood parks will receive funding for improvements which will engage more residents in local activities and foster an even greater sense of neighbourhood pride.
History of The Queensway

The Queensway began as a small farming community in the late 1800's. One of the few reminders of the Queensway's rural past is the little, white, stucco cottage that sits in an old farmers field at 694 Royal York Road. In 1912, the urbanization of The Queensway led to the creation of the two-room Queensway Public School. This school was expanded in 1923 and then again in 1948. After a long period of growth, The Queensway experienced a decline in population during the 1960's which led to the closing of the Queensway Public School in 1969. The former Queensway School was demolished in the 1990's to make room for the giant Price Club retail complex south of The Queensway at Taymall Avenue. Ironically, the Price Club, like the school before it has become a landmark in The Queensway and has helped to revitalize this neighbourhood.    
Homes in The Queensway

The oldest houses in The Queensway neighbourhood include a handful of former market-garden cottages and pre-subdivision houses located in the north-east pocket of this neighbourhood near the Mimico Creek and Woodford Park. The majority of the houses in The Queensway are two bedroom brick bungalows and storey-and-a-half houses built in the 1940's and 1950's. These houses are situated on good size lots with private driveways and garages. The quaint looking frame houses located around Queensway Park, were originally built as War Veterans housing during the 1940's. These houses have provided the backdrop for television and movie productions as well as commercials. In the area east of Royal York Road and south of The Queensway there is a multitude of multiplex rental properties and a fairly new townhouse development.    
Lifestyle in The Queensway

The Queensway is a shopping lover's delight. This retail district is anchored by the Kipling Queensway Mall which features Don Cherry's Sports Grill. Don Cherry is said to check in regularly at this sports emporium to personally sample the food and chat with the patrons and staff. The Kipling Queensway Mall is also known for its large department store and supermarket. The largest retailer on The Queensway is the Price Club, located off Queensway Road. This big box retailer is extremely popular and attracts a local as well as a regional clientele.    
Recreation in The Queensway

Queensway residents can access South Humber Park, north of The Queensway at Stephen Drive. This park features a mix of open spaces and wooded areas that overlook the Humber Marshes. This park also provides a link with the Martin Goodman Trail which spans Toronto's waterfront and is enjoyed by walkers, joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters. Queensway Park, located off Avon Park Drive just north of The Queensway has a field-of-dreams baseball diamond, two tennis courts and a children's playground. Woodford Park is situated next to the Mimico Creek and includes a baseball diamond, a children's playground and two tennis courts.    
Schools in The Queensway

Saint Louis Separate School, 11 Morgan Avenue, (416) 393-5331
Bishop Allen Academy, 721 Royal York Road, (416) 393-5549
George R Gauld JS, 200 Melrose, (416) 394-7830
Imperial College of Toronto, 20 Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, (416) 251-4970
St Leo, 277 Royal York Road, (416) 251-1109
David Hornell Junior School, 32 Victoria Street, (416) 394-7690
John English JMS, 95 Mimico Av, (416) 394-7660

Transportation in The Queensway

Queensway motorists can travel to downtown Toronto's financial and entertainment districts in approximately ten minutes via the Gardiner Expressway. For commuters heading west of the city the Queen Elizabeth Way can be immediately accessed off Islington Avenue. Bus service on Royal York Road and on Islington Avenue connect passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Islington station also provides an express bus service to the airport and a connection to the Mississauga Transit.

Sunnylea / Stonegate

The Queensway

Sunnylea is a highly sought after neighbourhood that is especially popular with young families. There is a country charm here thanks to the Mimico Creek which gently meanders through the centre of this neighbourhood. Sunnylea's many mature trees and the exclusion of sidewalks add to its country-like ambience. Sunnylea is known for its excellent schools which are a popular drawing card for this neighbourhood. The elementary schools have definite enrollment boundaries that serve different parts of this neighbourhood. You can phone the schools listed below to see which one your child would attend.        
History of Sunnylea

The history of the Sunnylea neighbourhood revolves around Alexander Thompson who purchased two hundreds acres of land in this area in 1803, after his discharge from the Kings Rangers. Alexander Thompson lived in a distinguished residence, just south of Bloor Street at Royal York Road that was known as "Rose Bank Cottage." His son Archibald lived in a country Georgian farmhouse just to the south of his father, that was called "Spring Bank Cottage." Spring Bank Cottage is still standing today at 7 Meadowcrest Road. The Thompson property was renowned for its apple, cherry, pear and plum orchards. In the latter part of the 1800's the Thompson's were joined in Sunnylea by families who cultivated thriving market gardens filled with fruits and vegetables. A handful of these old Sunnylea farmhouses are still standing both on Prince Edward Drive and on Islington Avenue. In 1907, the first Sunnylea School - a two room white brick schoolhouse - was built on Prince Edward Drive. Edna G. Whitworth, a pupil at the school won a contest in coming up with the Sunnylea name which also became the name of this community. Sunnylea's old farms were subdivided in the 1930's and 40's, when the present day neighbourhood was developed. The influx of new families to this community led to the opening of the second Sunnylea school in 1942.    
Homes in Sunnylea

Sunnylea's bungalow, split-level, storey-and- a-half, and two-storey houses were built mostly in the 1940's and 1950's. All of these houses are detached and include at least a thirty foot frontage and a private drive. The Tudor style houses closer to Bloor Street are the older houses in this neighbourhood. Many of these houses feature handsome Riverstone exteriors, bay windows, stone chimneys, wrought iron railings and decorative front porches. Sunnylea residents in the area bound by Bloor Street, Royal York Road, and the Mimico Creek, have been progressive in forming the Thompson Orchard Community Association. This association has been successful in getting the city to pass site specific zoning by-laws designed to protect the residential character of this neighbourhood.    
Lifestyle in Sunnylea

Sunnylea residents enjoy convenient access to the Kingsway Village shopping district on Bloor Street West. This well-planned retail corridor has a festive, pedestrian friendly atmosphere and features comfortable park benches, evergreen trees, and expensive looking cast iron street lamps. Even the garbage bins are wrapped in ornate cast-iron frames. There is plenty of meter parking along Bloor Street and many of the side streets which make it easy to explore this vibrant shopping district. The shops in the Kingsway Village include high-end fashion shops, children's stores, book shops, specialty stores, upscale restaurants, fruit and vegetable markets, bakeries and coffee shops. There is also a myriad of professional services located on this street led by a large number of travel shops and real estate offices that serve the high profile neighbourhoods in this district.    
Recreation in Sunnylea

The Norseman Community School, located at 105 Norseman Street, and the Park Lawn Community School, at 71 Ballacaine Drive, offer a large variety of recreational programs for children, teens, adults and seniors. Norseman has an indoor pool which is extensively used for aquafit and instructional swim programs. Park Lawn has a winter ice arena that converts to tennis courts in the summertime. The outdoor pool at Park Lawn is used for recreational swimming. Sunnylea Park and Laura Hill Park each have two tennis courts and a children's playground. Spring Garden Park is nestled on the west bank of Mimico Creek. This idyllic park has a children's playground and is well shaded with many old trees. The Brentwood Public Library is located at 36 Brentwood Road, one block west of Royal York Road and one block north of Bloor Street. This library offers year-round programs for children. The fifty-five plus Fairfield Seniors' Centre is located at 80 Lothian Avenue. The facilities here include a seniors lounge, a library, workshops, support groups, and a variety of special events including fashion shows, "pub nights," a flea market and summer barbecues.    
Schools in Sunnylea

Norseman (Public School), 105 Norseman St., (416) 394-7880
Park Lawn (Public School), 71 Ballacaine Dr., (416) 394-7120
Sunnylea (Public School), 35 Glenroy Ave., (416) 394-3850
Etobicoke C.I. (Public High School), 86 Montgomery Rd., (416) 394-7840
Etobicoke School of the Arts (Public High School), 675 Royal York Rd., (416) 394-6910
Sainte-Margueritte-d'Youville (Catholic School), 755 Royal York Rd., (416) 393-5418
Transportation in Sunnylea

Bus lines on Prince Edward Drive, Royal York Road and Islington Avenue provide Sunnylea residents with connecting routes to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorist are approximately fifteen minutes from Toronto's downtown financial and entertainment districts via Lake Shore Boulevard or the Gardiner Expressway which also provide commuters with connecting routes to the all of the major highways leading out of the city.

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