Thornhill is a sprawling suburban neighbourhood that sits just north of the City of Toronto. The neighbourhood is located between Dufferin Street and Highway 404 with Steeles Avenue acting as the southern boundary and Highway 7 acting as the northern boundary. The west side of Thornhill falls under the City of Vaughan, while the east side of Thornhill falls under the City of Markham with Yonge Street acting as the dividing line.
The many neighbourhoods of Thornhill
Thornhill is one of the largest neighbourhoods in the GTA, and over the years, smaller neighbourhoods have developed within Thornhill, each with their own unique and distinct personalities.
Located north of John Street between Bayview and Highway 404, this is one of the larger neighbourhoods within Thornhill. The neighbourhood is comprised mostly of quiet residential streets with mainly detached houses. There is a small commercial block on the corner of Bayview and John.
A high-end residential neighbourhood situated around Uplands Avenue in the northern part of Thornhill. The housing market in this area is extremely competitive, the neighbourhood is known for its large luxury homes and proximity to Uplands Golf and Ski Club.
One of the more high-density areas in Thornhill, Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill is located between Bathurst and Yonge Street just north of Steeles Avenue. This neighbourhood has an abundance of high-rise condos along Steeles Avenue with tightly packed detached and semi-detached homes making up most of the residential area north of Steeles. This neighbourhood is well-suited for people looking to rent or lease a home in Thornhill.
Located in the southwest corner of Thornhill between Dufferin Street and New Westminster Drive, Brownridge is a very popular area for families due to its proximity to a great selection of schools. The houses in Brownridge are built on larger lot sizes than many of the other neighbourhoods in Thornhill giving the neighbourhood a more spacious feel.
located in the northwest corner of Thornhill, Beverly Glen is a mix of residential and commercial space. The neighbourhood is walking distance to the Promenade Mall on Centre Street and Bathurst and has great access to transportation via Highway 7 and Highway 407.
One of the more sought-after neighbourhoods in Thornhill, German Mills has a tremendous selection of amenities. The neighbourhood has some of the best rated schools in the entire GTA. The neighbourhood is located right next to Highway 404 giving residents easy access into Toronto.
Also known as Langstaff, this neighbourhood sits in the heart of Thornhill situated around Royal Orchard Park. This is a quiet neighbourhood with grand luxury houses built on scenic tree-lined streets. The northern section of Langstaff is dedicated to industrial work with several factories operating along Langstaff Road East.
Situated around the Bayview Golf and Country Club, this affluent residential neighbourhood is incredibly beautiful with massive luxury homes built on long winding streets lined with large evergreen trees and devoid of sidewalks to widen the roads and add to the picturesque nature of the streetscapes.
Located in the northeast corner of Thornhill north of John Street, this neighbourhood has homes built on generous lot sizes with many of them backing into the ravine in Maple Valley Park. This neighbourhood has great access to parks and greenery as well as amazing access to transportation with Highway 404 located just a few minutes to the east.
The first settlements in Thornhill were built along Yonge Street, which has now been designated as Heritage Conservation Districts. The residential area in Old Thornhill is split between older houses built on the quiet side streets to the east and west of Yonge Street and the newer high-rise condominiums that have been constructed along Yonge Street where many of the best restaurants in Thornhill are also located.
Located in the southwest corner of Thornhill, this neighbourhood has a mix of housing options including large 2-storey detached houses, linked townhomes, and a few high-rise condominiums situated around Promenade Mall.
A brief history of Thornhill
Thornhill was founded in 1794. Benjamin Thorne arrived in the small settlement along Yonge Street in 1820, where he would go on to own and operate a gristmill, sawmill, and tannery. The community quickly became known as “Thorne’s Mills”, which would eventually evolve into the modern name of Thornhill. Due to its proximity to Yonge Street, a major transportation route at the time, Thornhill saw a tremendous amount of growth in the later half of the 1800s and early 1900s. After several decades as a “Police Village”, Thornhill was brought into the Regional Municipality of York in 1971.
Thorhill real estate
The Thornhill Markham Heritage Conservation District along John Street features heritage homes from the mid 1800s and early 1900s. These houses incorporated popular architectural styles of the time including Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne, Georgian, Colonial Edwardian, and Craftsman style bungalows. Most of the residential subdivisions that have sprung up across Thornhill have taken design inspiration from this older stock of houses.
Real estate in Thornhill is extremely sought-after because most of the houses in Thornhill are built on generously sized lots and have a more spacious layout compared to some other neighbourhoods closer to Downtown Toronto. While most homes in Thornhill are fully-detached, you can also find some clusters of semi-detached houses in the more densely populated parts of the area. In high-end areas like Uplands, you will find large luxury homes and even a few mansions that are some of the most expensive properties in the city.
In recent years the condo market has also become very competitive in the area. There are clusters of high-rise condos and townhomes along busier streets such as Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street, which provides more affordable housing options for people who are looking to rent or lease in the Thornhill area. If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Thornhill, you should act fast as the demand for properties in the area continue to climb to an all time high.
Making the move to Thornhill
Thornhill is an extremely popular destination, especially for young families looking to purchase their first home. The neighbourhood has a plethora of great housing options, an amazing selection of schools, and is removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city. If you are an older resident of Thornhill and are considering downsizing as you move into retirement, now would be the perfect time to sell your home to capitalize on the competitive housing market. Home staging is an essential element of selling your home as it is proven to make your home sell faster and for a higher price. Whether you are moving your family into a new home, staging your old home for sale, or just looking to declutter your house, self-storage is a great solution.
Right now, Storwell Self Storage is offering my clients an exclusive offer of 4 weeks of free self-storage at any of their facilities. Storwell has locations in Mississauga, Etobicoke, and one location in Scarborough near Markham Road and Highway 401, just a short drive east of Thornhill. If you need self-storage for home staging or to help with your next move, you can call or visit a Storwell facility in person to demo a unit.
Storwell Self Storage
The best places for shopping in Thornhill
Centerpoint Mall is a massive shopping centre located on Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street that has over 140 different stores ranging from luxury jewelry shops like Peoples, to large-scale retail stores like Hudson’s Bay. Just north of Centerpoint Mall on Meadowview Avenue, there are two other prominent shopping centers, North Yonge Market Place and Shops on Yonge. Shops on Yonge is a newly built indoor shopping centre that specializes in high-end fashion boutiques.
Another wonderful shopping destination is Promenade Mall located on Bathurst and Centre Street. Promenade Mall has over 100 different stores including Brown’s Shoe Store, Aritzia, Footlocker, H&M, and Pandora. The shopping centre also has a large food court with a strong selection of dining options including a recently opened Jollibee.
Thornhill Square Shopping Centre is a more modest shopping centre located on the Markham side of Thornhill on the corner of John Street and Bayview Avenue. Thornhill Square Shopping Centre is located right next to the Thornhill Community Centre. The Community Centre has two NHL-sized ice rinks, a therapy pool, two squash courts, a cycle studio, a library, and is host to several youth and adult programs for the residents of Thornhill.
Parks and recreation in Thornhill
Thornhill has several beautiful parks providing its residents with plenty of opportunities to get outside, get active, and enjoy the great outdoors. In the northwest corner of Thornhill right off Highway 407 you will find Concord Thornhill Regional Park, which has a full-sized soccer field with bleachers, four baseball diamonds, a splash pad, and a dog park. Bathurst District Park is located on the corner of Bathurst and New Westminster Drive, it has a baseball diamond, children’s playground, and is home to the City Playhouse Theatre, which is a modern venue that puts on a variety of local live performances.
Thornhill Park, located on Centre Street, has a full-sized baseball diamond with flood lights, an outdoor pool, and four well-maintained tennis courts that belong to the Thornhill Tennis Club. German Mills Park is located on the east side of Thornhill and is one of the largest parks in the area. The Park has a picturesque nature trail that follows Duncan Woods Creek as it winds through the neighbourhood. German Mills Park is also home to Adventure Valley Day Camp, which entertains hundreds of children from Thornhill and across the GTA each summer.
The Thornhill has numerous other parks that are wonderful places to visit and spend the day with the family, some of the other parks in the neighbourhood include:
- Dufferin District Park
- Downham Green Park
- Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park
- York Hill District Park
- Doncaster Skatepark
Golfing in Thornhill
Thornhill is a paradise for golf lovers. There are several championship calibre golf courses located just minutes away from each other in central Thornhill. The Bayview Golf and Country Club is located on Steeles Avenue and Leslie Street, the Thornhill Club is located just north of Centre Street on Yonge, and the Uplands Golf and Country Club is located just north of the Thornhill Club on Uplands Avenue.
Across the street from the Thornhill Club, you will find the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto. The only private golf club in North America that was created by women for women provides a pristine and challenging 18-hole golf course.
The best schools in Thornhill
One of the primary reasons why Thornhill has become such an exceedingly popular neighbourhood for families is because it has some of the best schools in the entire province. The York Region District School Board and York Catholic District School Board both operate several schools in the Thornhill neighbourhood.
There are several great choices for Thornhill students entering high school. Thornlea Secondary School on Bayview Avenue, Thornhill Secondary School on Dudley Avenue, and Westmount Collegiate Institute on New Westminster Drive all received high marks on the Fraser Institute’s Annual Report Card for 2020 and were ranked in the top 100 for secondary schools in Ontario.
Special mention should be made for St. Roberts Catholic High School located on Leslie Street, which received extremely high marks from the Fraser Institute and is one of the top 20 highest rated secondary schools in Ontario out of nearly 800 other schools.
Thornhill also has an amazing selection of highly rated elementary schools. The school that received the highest rating by the Fraser Institute was Bayview Fairways Public School, which was the 19th highest rated elementary school in Ontario in 2020 out of over 3000 other schools. Some of the other excellent elementary schools in Thornhill include:
- Charlton Public School
- St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Elementary School
- Bayview Glen Public School
- Willowbrook Public School
- Henderson Avenue Public School
The best places to eat in Thornhill
Thornhill is an incredibly culturally diverse community, and that diversity is reflected in its eclectic selection of dining options. Pho Viet Xpress is located on Bathurst and Townsgate Drive and is serving up authentic Vietnamese food in a low-key comfortable setting. On Steeles Avenue West just east of Hilda Avenue you will find Kobi Korean BBQ, serving up delicious barbeque dishes including their signature spicy chicken with cheese.
Santorini Estiatorio is an upscale bar and grill located on Bayview Avenue and John Street that has a beautiful outdoor dining area and specializes in Greek cuisine. A staple of the Thornhill neighbourhood for over forty years, The Octagon is an elegant restaurant located on Yonge and Elgin Street serving up seafood and charcoal-broiled steaks. Café Sheli is a kosher eatery located right next to the Promenade Mall and is a go to breakfast spot if you are in Thornhill’s west end.
Guest post: Storwell Self Storage