The Bridle Path upscale residential neighbourhood in the former city of North York, now part of Toronto, that is characterized by large multi-million dollar mansions and two to four acre (8,000 to 16,000m²) lot sizes. It is often referred to as “Millionaires’ Row”. It is the most affluent neighbourhood in Canada by household income, as well as property values.
Although “The Bridle Path” is in fact the name of a road in the area, the term generally applies to the surrounding neighbourhood as a whole. It is generally bounded by The Bridle Path on the north, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on the south, Bayview Avenue on the west and Wilket Creek on the east. Few roads pass through the area, contributing to the area’s exclusivity. House prices in the Bridle Path are varied, but most of the houses in this area sell for well in excess of a million dollars. It is a secluded neighbourhood, surrounded by the Don River Valley and lush parklands.
The Bridle Path was little more than farmland until 1929, when the Bayview Bridge was constructed across the steep (West Branch) Don River Valley. It was at that point that the area was first considered for residential development. Forsey Page, a Toronto-based land developer, envisioned the Bridle Path as an “exclusive enclave of estate homes” and he built the neighbourhood’s first home, a Cape Cod Colonial style home at 2 The Bridle Path. This house is credited as the catalyst for the development of the neighbourhood.
In 1937, developer E.P. Taylor, who designed the Don Mills community, purchased a large plot of land north of the Bridle Path. The estate, named Windfields by his wife, is occupied today by the Canadian Film Centre. The park through which Wilket Creek flows behind this parcel of land is known as Windfields Park. In the late forties, Taylor’s business partner George Montegu Black, Jr (father of Conrad Black) moved into the area and built a large mansion on Park Lane Circle. In an effort to control who his future neighbours would be, Black took over the company that owned the rolling farmland that was to become the Bridle Path, and set restrictions in place through the North York zoning by-laws – Only single-family dwellings could be built, with a minimum lot size of 2 acres (0.81ha). The area was subdivided into approximately 50 lots, each selling for $25,000 at the time, and began to take shape throughout the fifties.
The street’s name is frequently misspelled as “The Bridal Path” by those who are unfamiliar with the history of the area. The actual “Bridle Path” name came about as early plans for the neighbourhood included an elaborate system of equestrian bridle paths, as most of the estate owners in the area preceding its development were horse-owners. While the paths have since been paved over, their legacy remains in the Bridle Path’s wide streets and in the name of this elite community.
The Bridle Path has been home to prominent Toronto business people, celebrities and doctors. Media mogul Moses Znaimer used to call the Bridle Path home, while computer businessman Robert Herjavec, former newspaper baron and convicted businessman Conrad Black, and Celine Dion still own a home in the Bridle Path area. Prince was said to have purchased a home in the Bridle Path for $5.5 million, although his recent divorce, concert tour rigours, and weight loss have meant few sightings of him. “Casino King of Macau” Stanley Ho owns a home on High Point road, which was purchased in 1987 for a record $5.5 million dollars and currently worth C$27 million.
A location in this area was used in the movie Mean Girls as Regina George’s house and another house was used for the movie It Takes Two.