For The Case for Killing, I imagined the protagonist, Peter Bradley, purchasing a very expensive house to coddle his beautiful wife, Amy.
While Bradley had several Toronto neighbourhoods to choose from, he picked Rosedale for his purchase.
Rosedale is just north of downtown Toronto. Its ravines, trees, large houses and parkland make it feel like a protected enclave. As shown in the map, it is bounded by Canadian Pacific rail tracks to the north, Yonge Street to the west, Bloor Street to the south, and Bayview Avenue to the east. It is divided into South and North Rosedale, with the division being Park Drive ravine.
According to a neighbourhood guide, Rosedale was first settled by Sherriff William Botsford Jarvis and his wife Mary with the purchase of 110 acres in 1824. Mary named the estate “Rosedale” for the many wild roses along its hillsides. The Jarvis family sold the Rosedale homestead in 1864, which led to the subdivision and development of South Rosedale.
North Rosedale’s development began in 1909 when the Glen Road bridge was built over Park Drive ravine. Before its residential development, North Rosedale was the original home of St. Andrews College and the Rosedale Golf Club. It also was the site of the former lacrosse grounds where the Canadian Football League’s first Grey Cup game was played.
Rightly or wrongly, for me, Rosedale connotes “old money”, so I’m not sure how welcome Bradley would have been when he bought in. Also, given Toronto’s stratospheric home prices, especially in high-end neighbourhoods, I wondered if Bradley would have had the means to get into Rosedale in the mid-2000s. In the end, I imagined that he’d had the good fortune to ride the rise in Toronto real estate prices beginning in the early 1990s, and to work his way into better neighbourhoods as his income increased. With that, he could have satisfied his perception of what his wife craved, and made his purchase in Rosedale.
Copyright © Peter Fritze 2014