Leaside is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Toronto. In light of its high profile, it is not surprising that Leaside is also one of the more expensive real estate districts in Toronto.
Leaside is in especially high demand with upper middle income families who value this neighbourhood as an ideal place to raise children. Leaside has abundant greenspace and parkland, a fine selection of schools, one of Toronto's best shopping districts on Bayview Avenue, and excellent access to public transit.
Leaside was first settled by John Lea a pioneer farmer who emigrated to Canada from Philadelphia in 1819. In the 1850's, Lea's oldest son William built an eight-sided octagonal shaped house - appropriately named ‘Leaside’ - near the present day site of Leaside Memorial Gardens. This neighbourhood has been called Leaside ever since.
The Canadian Northern Railway incorporated the Town of Leaside in 1913 on land formerly owned by the Lea family. Leaside's development was historically significant in that it was the first town in Ontario to be completely planned on paper before any homes were actually built.
Leaside's residential development was stalled due to the outbreak of World War I, however Leaside was an important contributor to the war effort. Heavy artillery was manufactured at the Leaside Munitions Company. Leaside was also the location of an airfield used for the training of Canadian pilots.
In 1918 the Leaside Airfield made Canadian aviation history as the terminus of the first airmail flight in Canada, travelling from Montreal to Toronto. Leaside's status as a Town came to an end in 1967 when it became part of the Borough of East York, which has since amalgamated with the City of Toronto.
**The Toronto neighbourhood text profiles, sketches and maps displayed on this web site were originally published in “Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods”, are © Maple Tree Publishing Inc. and have been reproduced by Toronto Real Estate Board under license.