Toronto is known as a city of neighbourhoods, each one a microcosm of the city’s diversity, and the Bellwoods neighbourhood is no exception. This community west of the downtown district is defined by Bathurst Street on the east, Queen Street West on the South, Dovercourt Road on the western edge and College Street on the northern fringe.
The neighbourhood was named after the Trinity Bellwoods Park located on what was once the site of Trinity College. The park is a popular gathering place for families and young urbanites who favor the picnic grounds, walking and cycling paths and proximity to retail shops. The park also features baseball, tennis and soccer fields along with a swimming pool and a seasonal ice rink. There is a playground and wading pool for younger children, a dog park where pets can play off-leash and a multi-purpose community centre.
Trinity homes date back to the mid-1800s when most of the current housing stock was built as a result of population growth from the presence of Trinity College. These houses are tall and narrow, bay-and-gable row houses alongside detached Victorians and Gothic Revival homes. A handful of loft conversions and contemporary townhouses have sprung up in the neighbourhood. The residential streets are tree-lined but narrow. Homes are strategically positioned with either park views from the back or easy park access from across the front steps.
Shaw Street is one of the most elegant areas of this neighbourhood with well-preserved homes and wide,canopied streets.
Queen Street is a busy retail strip of bookstores, galleries, antique stores, food markets and dining places. On the other hand, Ossington Avenue is known for bars, cafes and vintage shops that appeal to the young and hip crowd who live or hang out in the area. On Dundas Street in the vicinity of Grace and Markham Streets, the Portugal Village shopping area is a gathering place for the large Portuguese population of Toronto.
Trinity-Bellwoods is a well-established neighbourhood that has embraced gentrification without losing too much of its old-world charm.