One of Toronto's most popular and well-known neighbourhoods is Don Mills. The stunning Edwards Gardens and the scenic Donalda Golf and Country Club are both prominent landmarks found in this area. Contrasting this lushness is the industrial and commercial sector. This area of Don Mills is home to the head offices of IBM Canada, the Toronto Real Estate Board, the Global Television Station and many other prominent companies.
When first opened in the 1960’s the Don Mills Shopping Centre was an outdoor shopping plaza. As time progressed, the plaza was retrofitted to be an indoor shopping mall. However, what was once old is now new! In 2009 after being redesigned to be an outdoor plaza once again, the newly named Shops at Don Mills reopened. Outdoor shopping plazas are not a new concept in the City of Toronto. However, Shops at Don Mills is one of a kind providing a shopping experience like no other. The shops and restaurants are all situated around the town square. Lush green grass, bistro style tables and chairs, and architectural sculptures anchor the plaza with this town square. On one end of the town square is a glorious water feature that erupts into a spectacular four-minute water show twice every hour. On the other end is an amazing clock tower designed by Douglas Coupland, famous Canadian artist. Coupland took inspiration for the clock tower from buildings that can be found in the Don Mills Neighbourhood. And to top it all off Shops at Don Mills plays host to festivals and community events year round.
The neighbourhood of Don Mills is bounded with York Mills Road to the north, Don Valley Parkway to the east, and Leslie Street to the west.
During the 1800's several mills were operating next to the historic Don River. The Don Mills community was named in reference to this period in time. Also, found overlooking the Don River was the home of pioneer miller William Gray. Gray’s historic home can still be seen on the Donalda Gold Club Grounds. David Dunlap purchased the Gray property in 1914. Dunlap’s fortune was made in the mining business. The Dunlap family used their newly acquired land to design and create a model farm in the community of Don Mills. This prize wining farm drew farming experts from around the world who came to see the magnificent live stock and inspect the state of the art equipment. David’s son Moffat Dunlop sold the six hundred acre “Donalda” farm to the Don Mills Development Company in 1952. At the time E.P. Taylor, a Canadian business legend, was heading the Don Mills Development Company. Originally used as the sales office by developers, “Donalda” house now serves as the clubhouse for the Donalda Golf Club.
Don Mills was the first fully integrated and planned post-war community in North America and has been credited with providing the blueprint for the construction of Toronto’s contemporary neighbourhoods as we see the today, as well as Toronto's post-war suburban development.
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