I hope I haven’t misled you, dear reader. As the name implies, Rosedale isn’t all weird and unusual structures. The common Meadow Rose is rumoured to still spring up there, if that’s any indication of the place’s frilly beginnings. Probably still some growing around some of the older buildings. A testament to the fact that some of those buildings have been around since Rosedale got the name.
Back in the day, the community was thought to be waaaay out in the sticks. Maids wouldn’t travel out there so people didn’t want to buy houses for fear of having to “rough” it. No shit. And there were some interesting goings-on too, like the disappearance of Ambrose Small in 1919, just after he’d sold all his theatre properties for $1.7 mill. Lots of suspicion on the wife, one of Small’s employees makes off with $100,000; sounds like good Sunday afternoon reading. Doesn’t Rosedale seem like a good setting for it?
Also there’s the story of Bill Bull, a prolifically ironic writer on church history, who in ‘31 had Al Capone trying to kill him. Hey, no one ever said that all the neighbourhood money was legit, did they? It certainly would explain why all the buildings have such imposing facades too. Plenty of spots for snipers to sit in wait for assassins. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that moats had once existed around some of these homes.
Rosedale, like all the other piddly little communities was subsumed, first by Yorkville, then by Toronto. In other words, Toronto won. :D
The city ceded some things to Rosedale like the good winner that it is. Most of the names stuck, as did houses — as long as they stood, and Jarvis Street was named after the Jarvis clan who were responsible for building a lot of stuff in the area.
Yeah, it is the kind of place where you feel like you may need an invitation. But the streets are public so too bad. Besides, if they’re going to go to the trouble of building some of these crazy structures, they should expect people to stare. I can’t say I’d recommend the car around Rosedale, and be prepared for some hills, but there are worse ways to spend a spring afternoon. Summer probably too. Autumn possibly as well.