FOREST HILL

 

History

Forest Hill was incorporated as a village in 1923.  It was named after the summer residence of John Wickson, built in 1860 at the junction of Eglinton Avenue and Old Forest Hill Road.  The hill is still there, but the forest is long gone, having been replaced by apartment buildings.

Prior to its incorporation, Forest Hill had been known as "Spadina Heights."  Spadina is a derivative of the First Nations word "Ishapadenah", which means a hill or sudden rise in land.  The boundaries of the present-day neighbourhood are shaped from the old Spadina Heights school district.

Lower Forest Hill, south of Eglinton, was completely developed by the 1930s.  Upper Forest Hill was slower to develop due to the fact it had previously been occupied by the old Belt Line railway, and then by industry.

In 1967, Forest Hill Village joined Swansea Village as one of the last two independent villages to be annexed by the City of Toronto.

Overview

The Forest Hill neighbourhood is one of Toronto's most prestigious districts.  The mansions in Lower Forest Hill are rivalled only by those found in Rosedale.  Forest Hill's  

schools are among the best in the country.  They include two of Canada's most revered private schools:  Upper Canada College for boys and Bishop Strachan School for girls.

Forest Hill is one of Toronto's prettier districts.  Its topography is very diverse with gently sloping hills, winding roads and numerous little parkettes, all adding charm to the neighbourhood.

Homes

Forest Hill's old building codes and bylaws, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s required that all Forest Hill houses be designed by an architect, and that a tree be planted at the front of each property.  This foresight by Village planners has left a legacy of beauty in the brick and stone mansions, and majestic trees that grace the streets of Lower Forest Hill.

The Upper Village houses were built mostly in the 1940s and 1950s.  These houses are more modest than their Lower Village counterparts, however the lot sizes are comparable between the two districts.

Forest Hill contains a fair number of luxury condominium apartment buildings, located west of Spadina on Lonsdale Road and on Heath Street West.  There are also a handful of quaint co-ownership apartment buildings located on Eglinton Avenue West that offer surprisingly affordable  

Recreation

The Belt Line fitness and nature trail follows the route of the former Belt Line railway, which was Toronto's first commuter train.  This 14.5 kilometre track passes through Forest Hill on its way down to the Don Valley.  The Belt Line path is enjoyed by both nature and fitness enthusiasts.

Forest Hill's Public Library has a myriad of programs for adults, children and preschoolers.  

Schools

(P)

Forest Hill Jr. & Sr.

78 Dunloe Road

(416) 393-9335

(P)

Alternative Primary Jr.

1100 Spadina Road

(416) 393-9199

(P)

North Preparatory Jr.

1100 Spadina Road

(416) 393-9230

(P)

West Preparatory Jr.

70 Ridge Hill Drive

(416) 393-1633

(C)

Holy Rosary

308 Tweedmuir Avenue

(416) 393-5225

(PH)

Forest Hill Collegiate Institute

730 Eglinton Avenue West

(416) 393-1860

(PR)

Bishop Strachan School

298 Lonsdale Road

(416) 483-4325

(PR)

Upper Canada College, Upper School

200 Lonsdale Road

(416) 488-1125

(PC)

St. Michael's College

1515 Bathurst Street

(416) 653-3180

 

Transportation

Forest Hill is conveniently located within walking distance of numerous bus routes that connect passengers to Toronto's rapid transit subway lines.

The Allen Expressway serves as a conduit for motorists commuting into and out of the city.

Forest Hill Map


Bibliography:
Dunkelman, David, Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods, Copyright © 1997 by David Dunkelman