Lawrence Manor was farmland from the early 1800's until the 1940's when the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation purchased this property for residential development. CMHC serviced this entire subdivision putting in water service, sewers, and roads, before selling off individual lots to a number of small builders in the early 1950's. The first Lawrence Manor buyers had to qualify for a CMHC mortgage. These mortgages were for 25 years at a rate of only four and a half percent!
Cows were still grazing on the north-west corner of Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue in 1951 when the first residents began moving into this neighbourhood. Lawrence Plaza was built on the site of this former cow patch in 1960. Lawrence Plaza was the largest shopping centre in Toronto, when it first opened. It attracted shoppers from all over Toronto and helped put the Lawrence Manor neighbourhood on the map.
Lawrence Manor is a family oriented neighbourhood with a predominantly Jewish Orthodox community. Bathurst Street which forms the eastern boundary of this neighbourhood includes Jewish schools and cultural centres, synagogues, restaurants and retail shops.
The dominant landmark in this neighbourhood is the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care which provides hospital and nursing home care. Baycrest is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion of their highly regarded nursing home facilities.