Bathurst Manor

Bathurst Manor

Bathurst Manor is a neighbourhood in north-central Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It sits on a plateau bounded on the north by Steeles Avenue West, on the west by Dufferin Street, on the east by the Don River (west branch), and on the south by Sheppard Avenue West. The area is also regarded as part of the Downsview postal area as designated by Canada Post. It is part of the former City of North York, which merged with five other municipalities and a regional government to form the new "City of Toronto" in 1998. It is part of federal and provincial electoral district York Centre, and Toronto electoral ward 10: York Centre (East). In 2006, it had a population of 14,945. [ City of Toronto Demographics for Bathurst Manor] ]


Bathurst Manor is central to a number of neighbourhoods that straddle the heavily Jewish-populated Bathurst Street corridor. It is a suburban community of bungalows and side-split single-family homes built in the late 1950s to early 1960s. While most of the population was originally Jewish, and several sizeable synagogue congregations are located in the neighbourhood, the last twenty years has seen a substantial influx of Italian families into the neighbourhood; and lately, a significant Filipino population has emerged.

The community is home to the Canadian headquarters of B'nai Brith, the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre BJCC, and the Lipa Green Building for Jewish Community Services.

In 1997, the Toronto Transit Commission extended subway service to the area with the opening of the Downsview Station, at Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue, allowing an efficient thirty minute train to Union Station (Toronto) at the southern cusp of downtown Toronto.


Bathurst Manor’s major ethnic and cultural groups (by ancestry) in 2001:
* Jewish - 31%
* Italian - 12%
* Canadian - 7%
* Russian - 5%
* Filipino - 5%
* Polish - 4%
* Greek - 4%
* English - 3%
* Scottish - 2%
* Irish - 1%
* Other - 26%The percentage of population below the poverty line dropped from 22% (in 1996) to 18% (in 2001).


The major shopping centre, Sheppard Plaza, is located at the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Bathurst Street, across from a dozen high-rise apartment buildings. It is anchored by one of the larger Dominion supermarkets in the city. (The store was formerly a Miracle Mart; and originally a Steinberg's.) There is also a smaller shopping centre, Wilmington Plaza, nestled deep within the neighbourhood at the intersection of Wilmington and Overbrook. The latter plaza, which has been in decline since the early '90s closure (and 2004 demolition) of its anchor Sunnybrook produce store, nonetheless features a popular King David kosher pizzeria, and one of Toronto's few kosher Country Style coffee shops. The latter two stores share a building that previously housed a Pioneer gas station, which closed in the late-1990s. The plaza is now slated for redevelopment, with plans for low-rise condominiums and a drive-thru restaurant.


The Koffler Centre of the Arts houses the Koffler Gallery, visual arts studios, music and dance schools, and the Leah Posluns Theatre which is a 444-seat facility offering opera, theatre, dance, music and other cultural events. As well the Jewish Book Fair is held at the Centre annually.

Much of David Bezmozgis's prize-winning 2004 short story collection Natasha and Other Stories takes place in the general vicinity of the Bathurst Manor in the late 1980s. In one story, "Roman Berman - Massage Therapist", the title character takes an office in the medical building at Wilmington Plaza, which, as of 2007, is still standing and in use. Bezmozgis's narrator refers to the plaza as "Sunnybrook Plaza", after its anchor store at the time.


There are three Toronto District School Board public schools:
# Wilmington Elementary School, an elementary school.
# Charles H Best Middle School, a middle school named after Charles Best.
# William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, a high school named after Toronto's first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, who was forced to flee to Buffalo, New York, after attempting to lead an 1837 rebellion against the upper classes in British North America.

The Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT)'s Tanenbaum Campus, a private Jewish high school, is also located in the neighbourhood (across the street from Wilmington plaza), on the former site of the Wilmington Public School.

Crime and public safety

In 2007, Jeffrey Delgado was found stabbed to death behind the Starbucks in Sheppard Plaza. Residents are hard pressed to recall a crime of this stature. There are occasional house break-ins and other property crimes, yet most people have lived in the area for years without experiencing an incident of any type. Most sirens heard in the area are related to medical or traffic services.
Bathurst Manor is located within 32 Division of the Toronto Police Service and is most often serviced by Station 143 of the Toronto Fire Services.

A middleaged woman was found murdered on Feb.28 2008 in her North York flower store. The lifeless body of 51-year-old Felicia Hossany,was found bound in duct tape , by her husband Rafick at around 9 p.m. in the bathroom of the couple's Wilson Heights Blvd. store "Flowers By Felicia".

Famous people

Howie Mandel - Comedian, Actor, Game Show Host
Jeanne Beker - Fashion Industry Broadcaster
Elliott Lefko - Concert Promoter (and coach of the Searle Seals street hockey club)
Rabbi Tzvi Nightingale - Director Aish HaTorah South Florida
Toto Kalchman - Prize-winning pet who lost many fights in Jackson's point. Star of broadway hit, "De Hint unt loyfen"
Irving Nightingale - President of Grace Meat Packers
"'Howard Berger, Randy Starkman, Sean Fine, Rick Madonik, Perry Lefko, Journalists (all graduates of William Lyon Mackenzie)Mark Borchiver--Associate Producer, CTV News with Lloyd Robertson


Skiing was popular during the 1950s at a ski hill located adjacent to what is now Blue Forest Drive. The valley below, now a part of the Forest Valley Outdoor Education Centre, was the site of Bathurst Manor Day Camp (which later changed its name to Forest Valley Day Camp), beginning in the summer of 1956. At its peak, it was the largest privately owned summer daycamp in Canada (with over 900 campers), and operated through 1993. In 1973 the grade ten students from Downsview Secondary School built a suspension bridge across the ravine as part of their workshop experience. The bridge was dismantled some years later being told it was an insurance liability. This happened much to the dismay of the student who worked on the project. This space, which the Toronto District School Board uses during the school-year to educate upwards of 21,000 students per year, once again plays host to a summer camp, as, beginning in 1998, the Toronto Parks and Recreation-operated Camp NAORCA moved there from its previous location at Seneca College, King Campus.


External links

* [ Bathurst Manor Community Interactive Website]
* [ Bathurst Manor] neighbourhood profile at the City of Toronto website
* [ Jewish Information Service Bathurst Manor Neighbourhood Profile]

Toronto Neighbourhood Geography
North = Westminster-Branson
Vaughan, Ontario
West = York University Heights
Center = Bathurst Manor
East = Lansing-Westgate
South = Clanton Park

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