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So, You Want to Live in Bridle Path

It’s one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods with lavish mansions that either are, or have been, owned by the likes of Celine Dion, Prince, Drake and Gordon Lightfoot.

The homes there are the stuff out of dreams. For example, 16 High Point Rd., which was owned by Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec and rented by Mick Jagger when The Rolling Stones toured Canada, features 10 beds, 10 garages, an indoor swimming pool and 33,650 square-feet of living space.

Of course, I’m talking about Bridle Path, but if you want to live in any of the homes there, it’s going to cost you. The median home value is $2,981,596, according to Areavibes.com, and that’s 554% higher than the Canadian average. Herjavec’s former address at 16 High Point Rd. sold for $19,380,000 alone in 2019, according to The National Post, and has no doubt gone up in value since.

Named “Canada’s most affluent neighbourhood” by Canadian Business Magazine in 2014 and boasting an average household income of $936,137, an average household net-worth of $22.27 million and an average home price of $2.24 million. Bridle Path has an exclusive population of 1,895 residents, a median age among them of 52 and a 1.2:1 male-to-female ratio.

But, don’t expect a lot of racial or ethnic diversity in Bridle Path. Most people who can afford properties there (beyond celebrities who are enterprises unto themselves) are part of families of old money wealth going back generations and 85.1% of residents only speaking English. But, if you’re looking for a place to settle down with your family, you’ll find that 84% of Bridle Path residents are married, while 45% of residents have kids at home.

As for the neighbourhood itself, in addition to its one-percenter residents, this enclave in North York is surrounded by the Don River Valley and plentiful parkland. You’ll find shopping, recreation, and top-tier schools just along Bayview Avenue, including the ultra-exclusive York Mills Shopping Plaza, The Granite Club — which is a social and athletic club for the uber-elite that includes all kinds of team sports, fitness classes and social events – and the private Crestwood School, Crescent School for Boys and Park Lane Public School. The neighbourhood also features one post-secondary institution. Glendon College is a part of York University and operates as a bilingual liberal arts college. There’s also The Toronto French School to give your kids a little, “Je ne sais quoi.”

If you’re looking for a reason to get outdoors and stretch your legs, Bridle Path has you covered and then some. Residents are spoiled, having Edwards Gardens just feet from their backyard. Edwards Gardens is home to the Toronto Botanical Garden, which is one of Canada’s most prestigious public gardening resources. Edwards Gardens by itself contains intricate rock landscapes, perennial gardens, a pond, waterfalls, a rose garden, and the beginnings of a paved trail that stretches nine kilometres all the way to Warden Woods Park in Scarborough. On the way to Warden Woods, the trail also passes through Sunnybrook Park where Bridle Path residents can enjoy outdoor activities like soccer, rugby, cricket, and field hockey on its various sports fields. Sunnybrook park also has public horseback riding stables where lessons are offered, carrying on Bridle Path’s long equestrian tradition.

After all, the name Bridle Path comes from Hubert Daniel Bull Page’s early plans for the neighbourhood in 1929. The Toronto-based developer included a complex network of elaborate bridle paths to lead a horse down. Those bridle paths have long since been transformed into paved streets, but their legacy remains in that the streets in the neighbourhood are unusually wide and of course, the neighbourhood’s own moniker.

Page himself always had the vision to see the area as an exclusive enclave of estate homes, (basically as soon as the Bayview Bridge was built over the Don River Valley) that’s why he built a Cape Cod-style colonial house at the address 2 The Bridle Path to drum up interest in the neighbourhood he wanted to start.

Now, Bridle Path is truly one of Canada’s most exclusive neighbourhoods with a cost of living that’s 174% more expensive than the Canadian average. But, if you can hack the price, you’ll be rewarded by the privilege of one of Canada’s most livable neighbourhoods, with a crime rate that’s 69% lower than the Canadian average, (that’s a a 1 in 74 chance of being a victim) an unemployment rate of 2% and a high school graduation rate of 93%, which is itself 12% higher than the Canadian average.

So, if you can afford it (and let’s be honest, that’s a big “If” for most people) you will unlock a Shangri-la of excellent living at the highest level. Honestly, things that only people who live in Bridle Path will ever have access to along with what everyone else in Toronto does too.

After all, by living in Bridle Path, you’re only 20 minutes driving distance from downtown Toronto and if you’re headed to the cottage, you’re five minutes away from the Highway 401 on-ramp off Bayview Avenue. Plus, if you need to go on a last-minute business trip, you’re only 20 minutes away from Pearson International Airport, so the world is truly at your fingertips.

If what Bridle Path has to offer is the type of lifestyle you could see yourself having and you are one of Toronto’s movers and shakers wanting your own private oasis away from prying eyes, then I highly recommend making the move there.

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