The core of Runnymede runs between Jane Street in the west and Runnymede Road to the east and is surrounded by some of Toronto’s affluent hoods: Baby Point, Bloor West Village, and Swansea, and High Park. In-between Runnymede might be one of Toronto’s underrated hoods. Well…at least for now. But with Runnymede’s convenient location, excellent public transit service, and close proximity to some of Toronto’s highly regarded schools, that may not last long.
The name Runnymede originates from the early landowner John Scarlett, who named his house Runnymede when it was built in 1838 at the present-day intersection of Dundas and Runnymede Road. While the Runnymede house is no longer standing many of the local churches and buildings are still named after this former landmark. In 1856 a large swath of land bounded by St. Clair, Jane, Annette, and Clendenan was purchased by Marcus Rossin and dubbed “Runnymede Estate”. However, it was not until the early 1900s that this area was developed and most of the homes built.
According to the Toronto Official Plan, Runnymede is designated as an official residential ”Neighbourhood”. This classification by the city only calls for housing and buildings such as schools, small shops, parks, etc that meet the uses of its residents to be built. The main shopping destination for Runnymede is the Bloor West Village shopping district which is a strip of 400+ shops, restaurants, and services located in the neighbouring ‘hood of Bloor West Village, although Runnymede has its own local hotspots such as Mad Mexican Tacohouse, Sweet Flour Bake Shop, Patisserie, and Queen Margherita Pizza.
Green space in this hood can be found at Etienne Brule Park and Home Smith Park where residents can walk, jog, cycle, and explore the cross-country trails alongside the Humber river, scenic parks that also have fishing and family picnic spots. There is also Runnymede Park, a multi-faceted park which is home to the George Ball arena where many of the local ice hockey leagues can be seen practicing. Runnymede is also within walking distance to the famed High Park, dubbed the city’s best park.
Residents of Runnymede are well-serviced by public transit. Bus routes along Annette, Jane, and Dundas connect to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Most of the houses in this hood are also within a 20-minute walk to the Jane Street Station, while Dundas and Bloor Street provide motorists with direct access to the downtown core. For commutes out of the city, Black Creek Drive is just a few minutes north and links motorists to all major highways.
There are a vast number of schools in the area and most have excellent reputations. There are both public, private and Catholic schools in the area — including Runnymede Collegiate Institute, King George Jr Public School, Runnymede Jr & Sr Public School, James Culnan Catholic school, St Pius X Catholic Elementary School.