Rennie Park Is My Family’s Swansea Sanctuary

City Living, Junction / High Park / Bloor West / Swansea, Swansea / High Park / Bloor West Village


Well, hello there and thanks for popping by! I’m Cynthia, I sell real estate with the Urbaneer Team. It’s great to e-meet you! First off, growing up in a small, close-knit community really created the person I became, including the desire to establish myself, my family and my growing real estate business in similarly quaint and friendly neighbourhoods. And, thus, the Toronto West End villages drew us in—hook, line and Swansea!

I won’t lie; it’s everything to have top-notch amenities within walking distance of our home. (Oh – keep an eye out for posts discussing fave local establishments like these!) But, as a parent, I’m particularly grateful to have so many great physical activities and rec options close by, pursuits that the whole family can get involved in—hockey, tennis, skating, rollerblading, sliding, soccer, bocce, baseball, you name it! And many of those activities are happening in the heart and hub of Swansea: Rennie Park. If you’ve never been to this lovely oasis…  well, this blog’s for you! And if you have enjoyed this beloved space, be sure to add your favourite memories in the comments below – or on the Urbaneer Facebook!



A Swansea Sanctuary

At any given time, Rennie Park is a beehive of activity. Sure, in the winter, it’s ground zero for skating, tobogganing, snowmen, and snow angels, but with the arrival of warmer weather, the park begins to bloom with even more life! Towering trees throughout the park provide shady nooks for reading, snuggling, or setting out a picnic blanket. The tree trunks double as goalposts for games of soccer with the kids, while the branches become a magnet for lost frisbees and mismanaged drones (both from our household).

Spring and Summer are my family’s favourite seasons to spend time in Rennie Park (as you can see from the 2021 photos below!)



The soft grass invites new crawlers, those navigating their first steps and the not-so-young attempting to regain flexibility through outdoor yoga classes. Cyclists venturing off training wheels for the first time can find looping paths to challenge their newfound skills. Budding gymnasts have everything they may need to perfect their dismount. Sandcastle and splash pad enthusiasts are free to dig holes and submerge them over and over again.



The wooded areas within Rennie Park are the perfect locations for Hide ‘n Seek, Manhunt, or a great game of Capture the Flag. In the warmer seasons, the outdoor hockey rink and adjacent skating loop become the place for rollerbladers to perfect their stride or skateboarders to practice sweet jumps.

And, finally, the huge gazebo and picnic tables provide ample space for the long-awaited multi-generational breaking of bread, all while recognizing local health guidelines, of course.



Wooded Wonderland

To my mind, one of the prized gems of the area around Rennie Park meanders down a leafy path toward the ravines and waters of Catfish Pond. In the thick of spring and summer, the dense foliage around the pond blocks out the sounds of urban life. Instead, it’s the music of croaking, buzzing, fish splashing, wings flapping, and the quiet hum of nature prevailing. There are paths to walk, ride or run, wooden bridges to cross and fallen logs to navigate—there are even vines to swing on, should the Tarzan mood strike.



Fun fact: in recent years, Catfish Pond has made local news during not one, but two missing animal escapades. In 2016, a pair of capybaras, affectionately dubbed Bonnie and Clyde, escaped the nearby High Park Zoo and were on the loose for almost a month. There were reported sightings at Catfish Pond and the pair were eventually captured at Grenadier Pond, just across Ellis Avenue.

Two years prior, a caiman was spotted in Catfish Pond itself. This small, alligator-like reptile was likely released into the wild by a misguided pet owner (some people, right?) and drew quite the crowd during its brief vacation. The zookeepers who caught the caiman described the rescue effort as, “squishy, wet, a little stinky.”



Catfish Pond is like a throwback to my own childhood, a setting right out of the past. Here, the children easily shake off their need for constant stimulation and embark on a patient search for tadpoles, frogs, and snakes. Inevitably, some sort of harmless adventure happens, from scraping a knee to losing a running shoe in the mud. It’s a wonderful backdrop to create childhood memories. It’s also just one of the many quaint and quirky discoveries to be found when you live in a little village in the middle of a big city. Of course, your children will likely return from Catfish Pond squishy, wet, and stinky themselves, but it’s all part of the fun!

When Autumn sets in, the park still bustles with activity; around here, residents are determined to make the most of the seasons, whatever the weather; no matter the day, you’ll find neighbours walking dogs, quiet chats on benches, games of hide-and-seek, children tossing leaves (including my own!), pick-up sports, a picnic or two, and other after-school games and congregations.

Here I am in Rennie in the Fall, all ready for an afternoon of Tennis!!



This beloved park offers us the opportunity to be present with neighbours, even from afar. And my family is grateful for it. For more of my story on how the community uses the park in the Winter, read my post from last February 2021, entitled, Rennie Park: A Vital Lockdown Playground!

It’s a great example of how the amenities woven into the urban fabric of Toronto’s city neighbourhoods contribute to one’s quality of life as much as the merits of one’s home.

Thanks for reading!

~ Cynthia



We’re proud to have recently sold his detached 4+1bed, 3.5bath family home on Durie Street in Swansea, just a stroll from the park!

We called it: A Handsome Executive Heart-Grabber In Sweet Swansea, and it was a pleasure to sell!



Contact Cynthia with questions:!



Here’s another home we SOLD in Swansea! This 3bed, 2bath, renovated semi-detached residence (with a finished lower level and semi-detached one-car garage) boasts countless modern upgrades and is soaked in style.

A Splendid Semi-Detached Residence In Family-Friendly Swansea




And these two fab listings is NOW SOLD just west of High Park we called A Sun-Soaked Swell Dwell In Swansea and A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea



As well as this Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue SOLD for $651,000 over the asking price.



And on Glendonwynne Avenue we  SOLD this gorgeous restored and renovated Stately Edwardian Duplex With Lower Level Suite, Steps To High Park!





May we help you with your real estate needs in Swansea, Bloor West Village or High Park?

Here are some of our other Amenity Blogs in these neighbourhoods:

How Toronto’s Original BIA Betters Bloor West Village & The Surrounding Communities

Buck’s Hard Goods: A Big Bucking Deal In Bloor West Village!

Sporting Fish-Eating Grins At Snappers Fish Market

Cycling The West Toronto Railpath

Born To Ride: Exploring High Park And Beyond By Bicycle

A Lotta Love For Toronto’s High Park

Rennie Park Is My Swansea Sanctuary

Stepping Back In Time In The Village of Swansea, Toronto

Homes With History In Toronto’s High Park North Neighbourhood



Looking for an amazing real estate team?

Now more than ever, it is essential to plan a well-researched, data-driven, tactical strategy if you are in the market for a new home. Especially in changing times, when the pandemic has prompted many to shift their focus and objectives. Have yours changed? Please know The Urbaneer team is here to help!

May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love?



The Urbaneer Team

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000

– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –


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