A regal view

Toronto is a flat city. Yes, we have our ravines and valleys, but it's hard to find a good view of the city (other than from a building) that encompasses the lake, the urban tree canopy, and the hundreds of skyscrapers that stretch in a long band from the lake. If you didn't know where to look, you might never find a decent spot at all. That's why Regal Road Public School is such a rarity: it offers a vantage point better than none to take in an expansive view of Toronto's cityscape.

Located at the top of the ridge at the corner of Davenport and Dufferin, Regal Road Public School sits perched above the city, marking the ancient shoreline of Lake Iroquois. With the school on the north half of the property, and its yard to the south and west, the building takes full advantage of its unique location.

Save for the fence surrounding the school yard, there are virtually no trees obstructing the views to the south, east and west — creating a lovely panoramic view. Past the architectural hodgepodge of shops on Davenport directly to the south, the roofs of the houses sit nestled between tree tops all the way down to the lake. To the east, the downtown skyline is visible, piercing the entire eastern view in a pixilated line. To the west the trees prevail, with intermittent apartment towers in the High Park area rising from the green.

On a clear day (and not during school hours), the view is definitely worth the trip. But be warned, the ramp that snakes up the slope from Davenport ends in a locked gate, requiring a trip from Regal Road to the north and a quick walk to the south end of the schoolyard.

While you're there, take note of the school itself. It was built in 1914 on land farmed by the Bull family from the 1820s until 1910. The main entrance portico was recently restored, enhancing the building's…um…regal architecture. It's a fitting companion to a lovely view. Now I just wonder if the kids who play in that yard every day, with the city as their backdrop, appreciate the view as much as I do?

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