Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates



Where to Buy Now: Blake-Jones, because of the friendly cul-de-sacs in the Pocket

Where to Buy Now | Blake-Jones

Eighteen years ago, when Jeff Otto bought his house on Ravina Crescent, at Danforth and Jones, the 15-minute commute downtown was the biggest draw. Then he got the feel of the place. “I now know every single person on my street by name,” he says. “We spend every night on our front porches.”

[xmlgm {} width=240;height=240]

From Pape Ave. to Greenwood Ave.; from Danforth Ave. to the railroad tracks north of Gerrard
2009: $469,341
2010: $485,535
2011: $584,455

*2011 averages reflect most recent data from January to August

The village feeling is largely a product of geographical quirks. Bordered by CN Rail tracks to the south and the Greenwood TTC yards to the east, Jones is the only major entry point into the so-called Pocket (so named for its shape). Residents are devoted to greening the neighbourhood: they’ve planted a community orchard just north of the Greenwood yards, and brought in mature trees to replace diseased maples.

Street parties and park and laneway cleanups have had a rallying effect. “Unlike communities that come together because of something negative, either a development issue or some kind of problem,” says Otto, “we come together because we’re literally bumping into each other. And it’s calm here—more sane than downtown.”

Where to Buy Now | Blake-Jones

Where to Buy NowRealosophy
1 | Mimico2 | East End Danforth3 | Christie Pitts4 | St. Lawrence5 | L'Amoreaux6 | Blake-Jones7 | Davisville Village8 | Corktown9 | Wallace-Emerson10 | Brockton VillageWhere to Buy Now | MapToronto Life Real Estate Guide 2012
Real Estate Guide 2012: The must-have guide to Toronto real estate, including the inside scoop on the city’s next neighbourhoods plus expert tips for buyers at every stage of life
  • WG

    Essentially Blake-Jone is broken up into where “poor people/ non-whites” live and everyone else. The pocket is this wonderful place where everyone is the same skin colour and I can’t believe TL bought into this junk. People in the pocket must love the fact they don’t have to send their kids to Blake Street school which is one of the worst schools in Toronto. I think Toronto Should break up that neighborhood or rename it to get ride of the stigma associated with the area.

  • Peter Farncombe

    The previous commentator is dead wrong about Blake Street School being “one of the worst schools in Toronto”, and I don’t know on what basis that statement was made.

    As I know from personal experience, Blake St School is a mixed multi-ethnic, multi-racial learning environment with excellent teacher/student ratios and highly skilled staff who choose to work in this variegated community. The school’s catchment area includes both “poor … non-whites”, and “everyone else”. Families from everywhere in the world rub shoulders at Blake.

    Jones Avenue roughly divides the overall geographic area in terms of housing auspices (privately owned as opposed to publicly developed housing), and the term “Pocket” does refer to the mostly privately owned community east of Jones. However this is an issue of differing income levels, not skin colour. There are also a number of group homes east of Jones. Blake Street P.S. serves all of these people.

    (By the way, “The Pocket” is not real-estate jargon – although realtors certainly seized on it to churn outrageous profits. In fact it was a contributor to a local community newsletter who coined this name. Many in the Pocket used to live in Housing Co-operatives and remain committed to cooperative principles and practices, including increased on-the-ground community control.)

  • Jennifer Bain

    I live in the Pocket and send my daughter to JK at Blake. It is an amazing school – principal is passionate, teachers are enthusiastic, and the three kindergartden classes all have a full-time teaching assistant. There is a great mix of parents, an active parent council, and a lovely bunch of kids at Blake. The Pocket has a strong community association, Facebook group, newsletter, annual potluck, easter egg hunt, pumpkin parade, movie nights in the park etc. It also has a mix of people who own/rent, and people who’ve lived here for decades/just a few years. Our first “million-dollar house” just sold this month. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.


    BOOM! How low can they go… currently the 2nd worst school in Toronto by standardized testing. The kids can’t read, write, or do math. The area doesn’t contain ‘everyone else’ and you can tell that my the measured demographic profile or maybe there lying. If you can’t see how the term pocket is used to separate groups into ‘us’ and ‘them’ I don’t know what to tell you. Heck even you say ‘the don’t make as much as us’ which may or may not be true. Back to the main point ‘the pocket’ is real estate is jargon used to separate the community and by all measures it has worked. Please don’t stare too hard from your side of the fence.