The Bickford Park neighbourhood revolves around the Bob Abate Centre and the Bickford Park playground. These local landmarks are the social and recreational hubs of this family oriented community.
Originally settled by Jewish, Italian, and Portuguese immigrants, Bickford Park is still home to people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Affordable houses, excellent shopping and convenient access to public transit are hallmarks of this neighbourhood.
Bickford, a wealthy landowner, owned what is now the Bickford Ravine Park. His widow Emily A. Bickford sold this property to the City of Toronto in 1908, for $44,250.
In 1913, the Elizabethan Recreation Centre was built at the north end of Bickford Park. This playground was named after the “Lizzies”, a collection of local sports teams that achieved nationwide fame at all levels of amateur sport, particularly in baseball and basketball. The Centre’s name was changed in 1990 to The Bob Abate Community Recreation Centre in honour of the “Lizzies” popular long-time coach.
Almost ninety years after it’s inception, the Bickford Park playground still represents a field of dreams for this quiet west end neighbourhood.