Seaton Village is home to a wonderful array of Edwardian and Victorian row houses, brick mansions of roughly the same period and an increasing number of modern townhouses and condominiums. Many of the older homes in particular still have working, original fireplaces that add an old world charm that is increasingly rare in contemporary homes, regardless of price. The streets are generally narrow with plenty of trees and light traffic and the overall impression of the neighbourhood is one of calm, settled civility.
Seaton Village borders the better known and slightly more high-brow Annex though the transition from one neighbourhood to the next like Christie pits is seamless. Between the two they present Toronto’s best face to the world. Remarkably quiet and located just a few minutes away via subway Seaton Village is the ideal refuge for professionals who work in the high-stress offices of the downtown area. In the evening the residents emerge from their beautifully maintained homes to stroll down Bloor Street to their favourite Mexican, Japanese or Vietnamese restaurant or to relax and share their experiences with friends in one of the increasing number of funky bistros and cafes.
On the weekends folks come out of their houses to walk their dogs or take their kids down to one of the many parks and green spaces that dot the landscape. It’s common to see moms with strollers talking casually with one another on a warm sunny afternoon and college students tossing Frisbees in the park. After nightfall on Friday and Saturday evenings the area comes to life with diners from all over the GTA strolling Bloor Street trying to decide which eclectic restaurant to try tonight and the neighbourhood bars and pubs buzzing with life.
Living in Seaton Village is often described as a joy and is considered one of the premier urban experiences this side of the Atlantic. Traditional urban conveniences mingle with sophisticated dining and recreational experiences, great schools, summertime fun on the lake and more. The real estate market here is vibrant and encompasses a balance of high-end and more modest structures with something to satisfy both investors and first time home buyers. More on that next.
Who Lives in Seaton Village?
There are just shy of 30,000 people residing in Seaton Village, an area of just 3 square kilometers. Kids make up 8% of the population while adolescents account for 13% and seniors as many as 16%. Family incomes tend to be slightly above the national average. Most of the homes in the area are rented with ownership by residents currently at a modest 36%.
Who’s Next Door? Your neighbor likely has some higher education may be a member of an ethnic minority and is also likely to be young and upwardly motivated.
Things we Love About Seaton Village: A wonderfully diverse neighborhood. Friendly and vibrant. Great restaurants. Small streets and lots of gardens.
Things we Don’t Love So Much: It’s so centrally located that getting in and out during the day can sometimes be a hassle. As the market matures can large scale development be far off?
- Palmerston Avenue Junior Public School
- Hawthorne II Bilingual Junior School, Essex Street
- Essex Junior and Senior Public School, Essex Street
- Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies, Markham Street
- Nella Cucina Culinary School, Bathurst Street
- Rising Sun School of T’ai Chi, Bathurst Street
Being so centrally located getting around in Seaton Village can often be a challenge, especially during the day at peak hours. Several alternatives are available however including:
- Streetcar — Regular streetcar service runs from the Exhibition Place in the Harbourfront neighborhood to Bathurst Station. Buses also run up Christie Street, as well as along Dupont Avenue in both directions.
- Subway — The Bloor-Danforth line of the subway stops at both stations in Seaton Village – Christie Station and Bathurst Station. Bathurst Station is completely wheelchair and stroller accessible.
- Bike — Bike lanes run along Barton Avenue into the Annex or into the Davenport neighbourhood and then on to the outskirts of the city.
There are several parks and a plethora of green spaces in Seaton Village. These include:
- Vermont Square on Palmerston Ave and Bathurst Street. This park features bocce courts an indoor hockey rink and a large indoor pool as well as an off-leash dog run. In addition, the Bill Bolton ice skating rink is located at the north end of the park.
- Euclid Avenue Parkette is a charming smallish green space located on Euclid Avenue.
- The Ed and Anne Mirvish Parkette is named after the founder of Honest Ed’s and his wife.
- The aforementioned Bloor Street is lined with a variety of interesting shops and boutiques. You’ll also find bookstores (gasp!), beauty salons, health clubs, restaurants, electronics stores and of course, banks along with fish and veggie markets.
- Then there’s Mirvish Village, known for Honest Ed’s. Honest Ed’s is one of the world’s great gigantic bargain centres and has sold “everything from wine to twine” for nearly 70 years. As a result, it’s become a Toronto landmark and is impossible to miss at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor.
- DingHo Restaurant, Bloor Street
- Amores Del Taco, Bloor Street
- Saigon Gourmet, Dupont Street
- Grapefruit Moon, Bathurst Street
- Tacos El Asador, Bloor Street
- One Love Vegetarian Café, Bathurst Street
- Pour Boy Pub — Burgers, Pub Food, Vegetarian, Manning Ave
- Cutlet House, Bloor Street
- Gobo Sushi, Christie Street
- Bryan’s BBQ, Bloor Street
Seaton Village gets its name from the First Baron Seaton: John Colborne. Colborne served as colonial governor of Upper Canada in the early 1800s. Colborne however didn’t settle what we call Seaton Village today. That honour goes to Colonel David Stank and Captain Samuel Smith. The farm lots owned by the 2 military men were later acquired by one George Crookshanks and the budding village was laid out on the new Crookshanks farm during the 1850s.
Further development after this initial spurt was slow coming until the area was incorporated into the City of Toronto in 1888. Some homes from the incorporation period remain today and they’re not only still there, they’re still occupied by average Torontonians. Seaton Village today prides itself on its diversity and open spirit. It’s a tight knit community where neighbours look after neighbours and as such its homes are much in demand. It’s common to see young couples with their kids mingling with college students and members of the Koreatown community at neighbourhood events.
The narrow streets hark back to a simpler time when neighbour chatted with neighbour from porch to porch across carefully tended flower boxes. If dining and shopping opportunities interest you Bloor Street comes to life after dark with an array of restaurants and shops both traditional and eclectic. There’s also a smattering of art galleries and the like to bring people in off the sidewalk.
Real Estate in Seaton Village
Houses in Seaton Village are primarily semi-detached and detached. They’re typically single family and have Victorian or late Victorian origins. The area is sometimes referred to as “the Annex Light” because it shares a similar feel though things (including houses) tend to be on a slightly smaller scale than in the Annex. The sense of community mentioned above makes this a very desirable neighbourhood for young families and, although it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from the centre of Toronto, it is unexpectedly quiet. Many of the larger Victorian-era homes in Seaton Village have been converted to multi-unit buildings.
Townhouses and upmarket condos recently became a more prominent feature of the landscape, a trend that will no doubt continue given interest in the neighbourhood. The condos have the effect of opening up ownership possibilities for locals who might have been priced out of the detached home market previously. People want to purchase property in Seaton Village not just for its renowned liveability but because of its aforementioned proximity to the city centre. It should also be mentioned that investors are very active in the Seaton Village real estate scene.
In the past couple of years, the average price for a home in Seaton Village has curved up sharply although they’re still noticeably less than those of the Annex next door. As a result, Seaton Village sees a lot of first time home buyers and a lot of families who want to bring their kids up in the city setting.
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized the fear is that civility will suffer in the process. Seaton Village has just about everything the sophisticated urban dweller of the early 21st century could ask for and proves that civility in urban living is still alive and well. From exciting dining experiences to relaxing cafes, recreational activities of all kinds and a quiet, peaceful air Seaton Village is perfect for young families. It’s also close enough to downtown to make it a commuter’s paradise yet laid back enough to attract retirees.
If you’re looking for a place to lay down roots or an up and coming real estate market to invest in, you can do no better than Seaton Village in Toronto.