The defining feature of this neighbourhood is the Cedarvale Ravine, which cuts a wide diagonal swath through the middle of Cedarvale. This ravine provides numerous recreational opportunities.
Cedarvale has an established Jewish community that has grown up around the Holy Blossom Temple and Beth Tzedec Synagogue, which are both situated on Bathurst Street.
History of Cedarvale
Cedarvale’s residential development began in 1912 when Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, the builder of Toronto’s famous Casa Loma registered a plan of subdivision for the south end of this neighbourhood under the name “Cedar Vale”. Vale denoted the ravine that runs through the centre of this neighbourhood and the Cedar part of the name makes reference to the many cedars that grew in the wet lowlands of the ravine.
The Cedarvale Ravine which has long been the foundation of this neighbourhood was threatened in 1966, when the proposed Spadina Expressway was slated to run straight through the ravine on its way downtown. Some Cedarvale houses were expropriated and the floor of the ravine was clearcut to make room for the expressway.
Fortunately strong opposition to the expressway was voiced throughout the city and in 1974 the decision was made to stop the Spadina Expressway (officially called the W.R. Allen Road ) at Eglinton Avenue, thus preserving the centrepiece of this popular Toronto neighbourhood.