The west-end Toronto neighbourhood of Swansea runs up from Lake Ontario to Bloor St West, between the South Kingsway and Grenadier Pond in High Park.
The area was first discovered by Etienne Brule, and the western half of the area was originally settled by French fur trade Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, who later guided in the ship of John Graves Simcoe when he arrived in 1973 to establish the new Upper Canada capital of York. The eastern section was settled by artist, architect and philanthropist, John Ellis, whose large estate Herne Hill remained undeveloped until his son sold it to the city in the late 1880’s. Little known to many Toronto residents, Lucy Maud Montgomery lived on Riverside Drive in Swansea from 1935 until her death in 1942, and is where she wrote the last two “Anne of Green Gables” books: “Anne of Windy Poplars” and “Anne of Ingleside”.
Bordered on three sides by water, with lovely tree-lined streets and gentle rolling hills,Swansea has become an increasingly desirable area, in particular, the more gracious homes that flank either Grenadier Pond to the east, or those overlooking the Humber River to the west. The Prices in this part of the neighbourhood reflect the fact that this is a prestige and desirable part of the neighbourhood. Central Swansea offers a much wider variety of styles and prices, ranging from bungalows and townhouses to detached two storey homes to condominiums offering an opportunity for buyers wishing to get into the neighbourhood. For those interested in condominium living some older condos can be found in the south and newer ones closer to Bloor Street.
Rennie Park has tennis courts and a wading pool, along with an ice rink in winter. But the true glory goes to High Park and the trails along the picturesque Humber River through Etienne Brule Park.
Besides the beauty of picnicing or just daydreaming in High Park, or strolling and biking along the Humber River, one of the area’s true attractions is the vibrant diversity of the Bloor West Village shopping district. Ethnic dining from around the world, first-class bakeries and delis, retailers selling one-of-a-kind objects, vintage stores, plus all the services such as medical buildings, banks, dry cleaners, etc. – it can all be found in Swansea on Bloor West.