Known as Waverley Park until 1931, the actual building of homes in this district was stalled initially by World War I and then by the Great Depression. In 1931 the City of Toronto expropriated the properties in the centre of Waverley Park for the creation of a public park. The Park was named Wanless Park, and eventually the entire neighbourhood adopted this name.
The Park itself, and the streets in the community bearing this name are all named after John Wanless, a former Toronto alderman and educator.
WANLESS PARK is a very popular neighbourhood among families with young children. The main attraction is Wanless Park, an island of green space right in the centre of the neighbourhood.
Wanless Park residents enjoy the convenience of being able to walk to all the local amenities including the Bedford Park Public School and Community Centre, the George Locke Public Library, Yonge Street shopping and the Lawrence subway station.
Wanless Park's solid brick detached houses were built mostly in the 1930's and 1940's. Most of the houses are two storey, with a sprinkling of bungalows as well.
Overall the property sizes in Wanless Park are very good, with most homes having at least a thirty foot frontage and either a mutual or private driveway. The majority of Wanless Park houses either face the park or back onto the Riverview Drive ravine.
Wanless Park residents can walk to the Yonge Lawrence Village shopping district which includes hundreds of stores, restaurants, and professional and medical offices along Yonge Street from Lawrence to Yonge Boulevard. Many of these stores cater to families with young children, reflecting the demographics of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Wanless Park is the social and recreational hub of this neighbourhood. Its facilities include five floodlit tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a basketball court, a wading pool, and a children's playground. The award-winning Wanless Park Community Tennis Club offers lessons, certified instruction, social events, clubs, teams, and tournaments for adults and juniors.
Indoor recreational facilities are available at the Bedford Park Community Centre, located on Ranleigh Avenue, inside the Bedford Park Public School. This recreation centre has a gym and an indoor pool.
The Lawrence subway station, a stop on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line, is within walking distance of this neighbourhood (just off Yonge Street). Bus routes on Mount Pleasant Road and on Lawrence Avenue also make connections to the Yonge subway line.
It is approximately twenty minutes by car to downtown Toronto. The Yonge Street on-ramp to Highway 401 is approximately five minutes from Wanless Park.