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Don Mills
Toronto, Ontario

Homes Stats

Homes For Sale: 58
Homes For Lease: 24
Average List Price: $1,330,063

Area Description

Don Mills is a mixed-use neighbourhood in the North York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was developed to be a self-supporting "new town" and was at the time located outside of Toronto proper. Consisting of residential, commercial and industrial sub-districts, it was planned and developed by private enterprise. In several ways it became the blueprint for post-war suburban development in Toronto and contemporary residential neighbourhoods. It is bounded by York Mills Road to the north, Canadian Pacific Railway to the south, Leslie Street to the west, and Victoria Park Avenue to the east. It is part of federal and provincial electoral district Don Valley West, and Toronto electoral wards 25: Don Valley West (North) and 26: Don Valley West (South).

The Don Mills area was first settled by Europeans in 1817. The area was a considerable distance from the town of York, but the Don River provided an easy means of transportation, and also a source of power for a number of mills along its length. While the city of Toronto steadily expanded, the Don Mills area remained rural until after the Second World War. It was cut off from the city by ravines to the south, east, and west. Only two roads connected to the area: York Mills Road and Don Mills Road. In 1950 the area consisted of about 20 farms.

Don Mills was designed as a model community between 1952 and 1965. Land use, architectural design and building materials were carefully regulated. Many aspects of its design have been imitated in suburban developments across Canada. Its planners would give people priority over industry and cars.

This combination of emptiness and proximity to the city attracted the attention of industrialist E.P. Taylor. His original plan was to erect a brewery on the site, along with a small community to house the workers. Taylor had limited previous experience in the property development business, but had built a project named the Wrentham Estates in York Mills. Seeing the profit to be made with such projects, Taylor abandoned the brewery idea and decided to simply build a new town on the 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) he had acquired.

In 1951 he began planning the Yorktown community (as it was first known), and it was announced on March 11, 1953. The community was to be built on about 8.35 km2 (3.22 sq mi) of farmland centred at the intersection of Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East, with an expected cost of $200 million. Development was headed by the Taylor-owned Don Mills Development Company, (known as O'Keefe Realty in the days of the brewery development).
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