Deirdre Kelly

Toronto’s Scariest Neighbourhoods


Halloween, and the ghouls want to know where’s the best place to stroll. Here’s your guide to the spookiest streets in town:

Leslieville: Larchmount Avenue. (Running north between Eastern and Queen Street East)

The houses on this child-friendly street usually go all out with spooky spectaculars and equally scary audio. The special effects come courtesy the street being home to a number of film types who call the street home, among them prop and set designers employed by some of the Leslieville studios. Yes, that means the street show comes with popcorn, in addition to an assortment of other treats.

Riverdale: Hogarth Avenue. (Running east and west between InghamBroadview and Logan)

This is the street all the local kids (and in Riverdale they are legion) head to on Halloween night. Besides being all dressed up, the houses are on the flat with very few steps to the front door, making them ideal for especially little tykes wanting to negotiate the trick or the treat. Riverdale also plays host to a popular annual Halloween street performance that takes place on nearby Langley, home to folks in the entertainment industry who can’t resist hamming it up. This year the neighbourhood’s theme is vampires (bring your own garlic).

Rosedale: Crescent Road. (Running east and west between Yonge and Sherbourne St. North)

One of Rosedale’s main arteries, Crescent Road is lined with large century-old houses – some with turrets and ivy-clad brick walls – that make the special effects lavished on them on Halloween seem all the more ghoulish. This is where some of Canada’s Captains of Industry personally answer the knocks on their spider-webbed doors (the hired help are presumably given the night off) dressed up as witches or the Grim Reaper, eager to give away the Mr. Big candy bars and bags of chips piled up in their marble foyers. Looking for some good loot? This is the street to hit.

Etobicoke: The Kingsway (Running north from Prince Edward Drive North)

Halloween is a very big deal in this west end neighbourhood. Residents go over the top decorating their houses (maybe because they feel they have to compete with the permanent light show sponsored by the Kingsway BIA on the main drag) and compete with neighbours when it comes to shelling out. The ultimate destination? The mansions on Kingsway Crescent. So bountiful is the candy on this stretch that parents will often just pile their costumed charges in the car and drive directly there.

The Beaches: Joseph Duggan Road (Running south of Queen Street East)

It started with just one house in the new Woodbine subdivision wanting to dress itself up. Last year, three other houses on the block next door to each on the same block had also squeezed in on the action to create what is now widely known as the biggest Halloween sound-and-light show in the Beaches. The decorations draw in the crowds, so much so that last year the cops received complaints about the noise. The participating houses now ask for a charitable donation for children who can’t trick-or-treat because of illness. Those who can walk away with a ton of loot.

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