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Bayview Avenue has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, and is a family-friendly area. It is also home to a number of antique shops and specialty stores. Eglinton Avenue and Laird Drive also have a number of similar shops, providing residents in the area with a number of choices for their shopping needs. There is also Leaside Centre at Laird and Eglinton, where large industrial businesses meet specialty retail stores.
The recreation in Leaside is hard to beat! There is Leaside Memorial Community Gardens that has a swimming pool, curling rink, ice arena, and auditorium. Trace Manes Park hosts the Leaside Tennis Club with six courts. It also has an ice rink, baseball diamond and playground. Serena Gundy Park, Sunnybrook Park and Howard Talbot Park also provide large areas of green for people to kick around a ball or sit and have a picnic.
Leaside is named after John Lea, a pioneer who emigrated from Philadelphia in 1819, and first settled in this area. His son, William, built a house that had eight sides, and named it Lea-side. The Town of Leaside was incorporated by the CNR in 1913. It was the first town in Ontario to be completely planned out on paper before anything was built. The growth of the neighbourhood was stalled during the war, but the neighbourhood did contribute greatly to the war with the Leaside Munitions Company. In 1967, Leaside became a part of East York, which soon after became a part of the City of Toronto.