Is The Bridle Path Toronto’s Beverly Hills? Or is Beverly Hills LA’s The Bridle Path? Two good questions; no easy answer. When the legendary American rock star Prince died recently there was much discussion in the media about the years he lived in, where else, The Bridle Path. That story was quickly superseded by news of rapper Drake’s plans to build a chateau-like residence in, where else, The Bridle Path. But richer-than-God rockers are not the only famous folks who call Canada’s most exclusive neighbourhood home. Among the local celebs none has perhaps more star power than Baron Black of Cross-harbour and the his lovely baroness, Barbara Amiel, and that is rather fitting since it was Conrad Black’s dad, George Montagu Black, who laid the foundations of Canada’s quintes-sential Blue Chip Paradise. George Black was a business partner of E.P. (Eddie) Taylor, the founder of Don Mills, and when Eddie bought an estate, Windfields Farm, on Bayview Avenue in the late 1940s, Black Sr., not to be outdone, bought much of the land next door. George Black once owned most of what presently constitutes the Bridle Path, but since he only required a few acres for himself, the rest was hived off into mini-mum three-acre-sized building lots for the “right sort.” So clearly from the get-go the urban destinies of these two neighbourhoods, only minutes apart geographically, have been curiously intertwined: Taylor developed Don Mills
and his partner was responsible for The Bridle Path
. But the two neighbourhoods have more in common than just their geographical proximity and the close business relationship of their “developers.” At their inception, both were also design laboratories of mid-century modern design. Back then arguably the most famous house in the ‘hood was 75 The Bridle Path, the home of the renowned architect John C. Parkin, the designer of many of Don Mills’ most important buildings. Now demolished, the Parkin house was a sleek low-slung Bauhaus-style glass pavilion, the antithesis of the period-style palaces owned by celebs like Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec at 10 High Point Road. And similarly many of Don Mills’ 1960s-style post-and-beam modernist bungalows are being replaced by ritzy McMansions. For all these reasons and more Don Mills and The Bridle Path are historically joined at the hip and again there’s a resonance with Beverly Hills where the Rodeo Drive shopping strip is located in the chic but less expensive “Flats” section of the fashionable LA neighbourhood and the really big movie-star estates cling to the Hills. Sounds rather like Don Mills and The Bridle Path, no?