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The High Park-Swansea neighbourhood of Toronto is a peaceful retreat from the bustling city centre. But despite being removed from the chaos of downtown, residents enjoy easy access to many of the city's top amenities.
The area is renowned for its family friendliness, tree-lined streets, and one of Toronto’s most famous parklands. It hosts a diverse set of homes ranging from multi-million dollar detached houses, to apartments and condominiums much more on the affordable side.
High Park-Swansea is adjacent to Lake Ontario and provides quick access to major thoroughfares, public transit lines and the Lakeshore. It also enjoys the benefits of being surrounded by some of the city's most up-and-coming neighbourhoods, making it easy for inhabitants to take in a lot of Toronto's best.
As the hyphenated name of the region suggests, High Park-Swansea incoroporates a couple unique elements that lend themselves to considerable diversity, both among the people and places that comprise its community.
Who lives in High Park-Swansea?
The eastern end of the community hosts upscale lodgings and immediate access to some of the most sought out natural escapes in Toronto. The area further west mostly hosts afforable apartments and condos. The east-west divide creates a considerable range in demographics, as well as in the cost of renting or owning property. So whether you're in the market for something inexpensive or something luxurious, High Park-Swansea is a neighbourhood ready to welcome you.
The following data was obtained from the 2016 High Park-Swansea neighbourhood census profiles, and the City of Toronto Ward 13 and 14 profiles. Average prices are determined by the realestatecondos.ca listings.
Population growth: 10.1%
Rent/Own: 58% / 42%
Median Age: 38
Average household income: 99,447
Average condo sale price: $1,209,952.67
Average condo rent price: $2,934.74
Average family size: 2
Population density: 4,893 people per square km
High Park-Swansea is located in West End Toronto, and features a mix of secluded residential roads and high-activity main streets. With a Walk Score of 79/100, High Park-Swansea is completely walkable, though less so than some of the city's more central neighbourhoods. Most errands can be accomplished by foot, and residents have easy access to popular areas like the Junction, Bloor West, Parkdale and Roncesvalles.
The major roadways surrounding the area include Lake Shore Blvd. West, the Gardiner Expressway and The Queensway; plus internal roads like Bloor St. West, Queen St. West, and Dundas West.
Residents in High Park-Swansea have a lot of choices for transit options, which reflects its solid Transit Score of 86/100. Convenient public transit options include four subways stations ranging from Dundas West in the east to Jane in the west. These stations have extensive bus and streetcar lines funnelling through them all day long to effectively service the neighbourhood.
The Bloor stop of the Union-Pearson Express is also a short commute from High Park-Swansea. This speedy train will take you to Toronto’s International Pearson Airport in less than 20 minutes, or down to Union Station in five, connecting you to an even broader GO Transit network!
There are dedicated bike lanes reserved for cyclists on Roncesvalles Avenue, an eastern pillar of the High Park neighbourhood.
High Park-Swansea amenities
Though the High Park-Swansea neighbourhood is more family focussed than most Toronto ‘hoods, its major street boundaries are home to some of the city’s most celebrated establishments. From Bloor Street West to Roncesvalles and The Queensway, you’ll find a lively city atmosphere brimming with food, shopping and recreational opportunities.
Well-known restaurants and cafes
Living in this neighbourhood means you have West End Toronto at your fingertips!
To the northwest, the Junction neighbourhood and Bloor West Village have bustling culinary scenes that feature Mexican and Thai, as well as old school taverns and Irish pubs.
Head east and you hit Roncesvalles, a strip reminiscent of a village that also celebrates the diversity of Toronto’s food culture. Grab some comfort food at The Ace, a cubano at La Cubana or a rack of ribs at Barque! There’s ample vegetarian and vegan options for you as well.
Ronces also has Polish roots, and is home to traditional Polish bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants.
Plus, you’ll be able to access all the delicious eats along the beginnings of Parkdale’s West Queen West.
High Park-Swansea is one the last neighbourhoods in Toronto with a local cinema, and if you count Roncesvalles as part of the ‘hood, you actually have two! Humber Cinema on the northwest end and Revue Cinema to the east provide contemporary and classic showtimes fit for the whole family. It sure beats having to wade through the crowds downtown.
There are ample bars to have a drink at, including Bandit Brewery on Dundas West’s southern portion, High Park Brewery on Runnymede and classic sports bars along Bloor Street West.
Since High Park-Swansea isn’t necessarily a ‘downtown destination,’ you won’t find the big box retailers or global brands anywhere in sight; you’ll have to venture a few minutes downtown for that. What you will get instead are unique local boutiques and brands that serve the communities they inhabit. Vintage apparel and homegrown designers flood Bloor West Village and Roncesvalles; you’ll never have to travel far for that perfect fit.
Bloor West Village also has everything you’d expect in neighbourhood staples: grocery stores, banks, liquor stores and pharmacies.
The Junction and West Queen West are known for great antique furniture shopping - you’ll be able to find that mid-century modern side table you’ve been saving up for, no matter how obscure your taste.
Schools in High Park-Swansea
There’s a great stock of local public schools in this area, contributing to the family-friendly atmosphere, including Swansea Junior and Senior P.S., Keele Street P.S., and Humberside Collegiate Institute.
For post-secondary students, Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus is a short commute west from the High Park-Swansea neighbourhood. Additionally, the University of Toronto and George Brown campuses are also accessible via public transit, bike or drive.
Parks in High Park-Swansea
Let’s start with the neighbourhood’s namesake, High Park! This grandiose municipal park spans 400 acres and is Toronto’s largest city park, with a history stretching back to 1836.
The park includes several interesting features including a historical museum, the hillside gardens, two ravines, a zoo, the Grenadier Cafe and an ampitheatre. You can also hit the sports fields, pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, nature trails, picnic areas or the dedicated dog area for a sweet city getaway!
If the colossal High Park isn’t enough, the Swansea section of the neighbourhood includes some gorgeous city parks of its own, namely Rennie and Sunnyside. The Humber River further contributes to the area's natural beauty, with parklands that feature a yacht club, tennis courts and trails worth exploration.
The Martin Goodman biking and running trail along Lake Shore Blvd West also connects you to each end of the city if you should so desire.