The Kingsway is one of the more affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto, with some of the largest and most beautifully designed homes in the city. The residential area is lined with tall trees creating a majestic atmosphere. The neighbourhood is a perfect destination for large families looking to put down long-term roots.
Where is the Kingsway?
The Kingsway sits between Islington Avenue and the Humber River with Bloor Street West acting as its southern boundary and Dundas Street West acting as its northern boundary. With the Humber River carving through the eastern portion of the neighbourhood and heavy parkland sprinkled around its borders, the Kingsway has a distinct and unique feel unlike any other neighbourhood in Etobicoke.
Most Kingsway residents use cars as their primary form of transportation, and with the Gardiner Expressway just a short drive south, they will be able to get to anywhere in the city with ease. However, the Kingsway is also walking distance from several subway stations including Islington, Royal York, and Old Mill.
The History of the Kingsway
Development of the Kingsway started in the late 19th century when local businessman Robert Home Smith purchased the Old King’s Mill and began planning his ideal residential community. Home Smith was infatuated with all things pertaining to England. For his newly acquired land, Home Smith wanted to build a neighbourhood following English Garden City principles, which embraced holistic planning and looked to enhance the natural environment.
The initial group of houses built in the Kingsway were massive, many of which are considered mansions by today’s standards. In 1924, the Bloor Street Bridge was finished, and the newly built Kingsway homes began to be sold off. After the market crash of 1929, Home Smith realized that the neighbourhood had to provide more affordable housing options, so the sizes of the homes built in the following years were much smaller than the initial group. Although, these houses were still much larger than other houses in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Things to do in the Kingsway
One of the most popular locations in the Kingsway for shopping and community engagement is the stretch of Bloor Street West between Montgomery Road and Prince Edward Drive North. The Kingsway Business Improvement Area (BIA) has put in a tremendous amount of effort over the years to build up this part of the Kingsway into a premium shopping destination. The street is home to over 30 different restaurants and a plethora of different shops including hair and nail salons, boutique clothing stores, and cozy café hangouts. Each year in early September, this street hosts The Taste of The Kingsway, a large festival with food vendors and live entertainment.
The centerpiece of this part of the Kingsway must be the Kingsway Theatre, located just west of Royal Park Road. The theatre has stood at that same location for nearly one hundred years and is a constant source of entertainment for the residents of The Kingsway.
If you are in the north end of the Kingsway, you can drop by Kingsway Mills Shopping Centre on Dundas Street West and Royal York Road. This outdoor plaza has several shopping and food options including a Mastermind Toy Store, a Starbucks, and Bruno’s Fine Foods grocery store. Bruno’s is a longstanding Kingsway institution and is where many residents do most of their grocery shopping.
If you are a fan of billiards, then you have to visit the Crooked Cue on the corner of Bloor Street West and Brentwood Road North. The Crooked Cue is a sprawling billiards hall that offers upscale ambiance and elevated pub fare. The fireplace lounges and state-of-the-art retractable rooftop skylight gives the Crooked Cue a unique atmosphere that you cannot find anywhere else in the city.
Parks and Recreation in the Kingsway
Since its inception, the Kingsway was meant to be a neighbourhood that lives in harmony with, and enhances, its natural surroundings. Due to that dedication to nature, the Kingsway has some of the most beautiful and well-maintained parkland in all of Toronto.
The Humber River Recreation Trail follows the winding river and is a perfect way to take in the wonderful views of the water. The trail starts at Catherine Street and Old Mill Road and is also the location of the York Old Mill Tennis Club which has 4 tennis courts that sit right along the edge of the water. The Recreation Trail takes you all along the eastern edge of the Kingsway and ends up at the Lambton Golf and Country Club. Lambton is one of two 18-hole golf courses in the Kingsway, the other being Islington Golf Club located on the west side of the neighbourhood on Dundas and Islington Avenue.
Tom Riley Park is another beautiful piece of greenery in the southwest portion of the Kingsway. This Park is notable for being the home of the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club, which has 5 courts specially built for pickleball. Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. The sport has become exceedingly popular in the last several years especially amongst older players as it less impactful on your joints than full-court tennis.
The best restaurants in the Kingsway
Most of the best dining options in the Kingsway are on Bloor Street West. Azarias Restaurant is an elegant spot with an eclectic menu and a lengthy wine list. Just up the street, you have a much more casual atmosphere in the form of Henry VIII Ale House. This old-school pub serves elevated bar staples and has a wide selection of scotch and whiskey. For a more comprehensive review of the dining options in the Kingsway neighbourhood, read Storwell Self Storage’s guide to the best restaurants in the Kingsway.
The Best Schools in the Kingsway
The Kingsway has an excellent school system, which is just one more reason why this area is such an attractive location for families looking to put down roots. The Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board both operate several schools in the Kingsway area. The Etobicoke Collegiate Institute is the main high school for the region located on Montgomery Road.
As for elementary schools the Kingsway has some of the best in the city. Special note should be given to Lambton-Kingsway Junior Middle School, which received extremely high marks in the Annual Fraser Institute Report Card for 2020, ranking as one of the top 100 elementary schools in all of Ontario out of over 3000 different schools. Other elementary schools that also received high marks in the Kingsway area include:
There are also a few independent education options in the Kingsway. The Kingsway College School is a private independent school on Wimbledon Road that offers grades K-8 but is soon looking to expand its services to include high school. Another alternative education option is Prince Edward Montessori School which uses the Montessori Method of education emphasising independence and the development of practical skills.
Making the move to the Kingsway
The Kingsway has a lot to offer, natural beauty, strong schools, wonderful houses, and so much more. The neighbourhood has a wonderful history but is also constantly evolving and improving each year. If you have a growing family and are looking for an area to raise your children with a strong caring community, great education options, and a small town feel with the ability to dip into the city on occasion, then the Kingsway is the place for you.