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FOREST HILL

Taking a drive through Forest Hill it is clear to see why its residents are proud to call this neighbourhood their home.  Lined with architectural homes and parkettes, Forest Hill is the epitome of suburb living near the city of Toronto.  Be spotted amongst your affluent neighbours that include the likes of the Rogers’ family, stars like Nelly Furtado and Presidents and CEOs of top Canadian companies.

Forest Hill is on prime real estate, which is reflected by housing prices. From French Colonial homes with terra cotta tiles to English country manors with Tudor boarding and sweeping lawns, the majority of the houses are eclectic. They were built mostly in the 1940s and ’50s, mainly in Tudor and Georgian styles, and loaded with beautiful details like stunning gated entrances, sculpture gardens, and portes cochères. Neo-classical and modern homes emerge in the area, while many homes are being renovated. Luxury condominium buildings also dot the neighbourhood, offering a more affordable alternative.

Forest Hill is outlined by Avenue Road to the West, St. Clair Avenue West to the South, Bathurst to the East and connected together by Eglinton Avenue West to the North.

HISTORY

When originally settled in the 1860s, the neighbourhood was known as Spadina Heights, a name inspired by a First Nations word, “Ishapadenah,” which means a hill or sudden rise inland. Later, the neighbourhood was named after the summer home John Wickson built at the junction of Eglinton Avenue and Old Forest Hill Road. Forest Hill was originally incorporated as a village in 1923 and annexed by the City of Toronto in 1967.  As part of the annexation deal, residents retained the right to have their garbage picked up from their doorsteps rather than the curb. By 1993, this “butler service” was costing taxpayers $420,000 a year, and once this fact became known, the special garbage pick-up was discontinued due to the public outcry that followed.

In the early days of settlement in the 1920s, the Spadina-Lonsdale intersection became the crux around the formation of Forest Hill. Back then the streets were not paved and Eglinton Avenue was a wagon track and deer were hunted.  Forest Hill’s old building codes and by-laws (in the 1920s and ’30s) required that all Forest Hill houses be designed by an architect, and that a tree be planted at the front of each property.

Currently, the City of Toronto’s Social Development & Administration division splits Forest Hill into two neighbourhoods: Forest Hill North and Forest Hill South. The entire area known as Forest Hill Village is also subdivided into two more categories: The Upper Village (officially part of Forest Hill North and running roughly from Briar Hill Avenue to Heath Street), and the Lower Village (officially the major part of Forest Hill South along Spadina Road between Bathurst Street or the Cedarvale Ravine further East and Avenue Road).

NOTABLE HOMES

William Moore House – Built for Captain William Moore in 1824, who was a farmer and veteran of the War of 1812.  This is the oldest home in Forest Hill.  Location: 171 Old Forest Hill Road.
John Pearson House – A Neo-Georgian home built by and for architect John Pears in 1924 (of Darling and Pearson Architects).  Location: 120 Forest Hill Road.
Sigmund Samuel House – A Neo-Georgian home built by Sproatt and Rolph architects in 1927 for influential industrialist and philanthropist Sigmund Samuel.  Location: 104 Forest Hill Road.
E.G. Baker House – A neo-Georgian home built in 1928 by Sproatt and Rolph Architects.  Location: 135 Dunvegan Road.
Alfred D. Morrow House – A modern Georgian home built in 1936 for Alfred D. Morrow, a famous Toronto Financier, by architects Allward and Gouinlock.  Location: 276 Forest Hill Road.
The Eaton House – A modern Georgian home built in 1937 by Mathers & Haldenby Architects for George Eaton, of Eaton’s Department Store. Location: 120 Dunvegan Road.

NOTABLE STREETS

Forest Hill Road, Old Forest Hill Road, Spadina Road, Ardmore Road, Dunvegan Road, Russel Hill Road, Lonsdale Road, Kilbarry Road, Vesta Drive, Ava Road, Hilltop Road, Shallmar Boulevard, Wembley Road, Old Park Road, Bathurst Street

TOP BOUTIQUES

TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Aish Tanoor (Kosher) – Middle Eastern-focused kosher menu offered in a narrow, modest space with a small patio – 994 Eglinton Avenue West 647.352.5535
  • Bi Bim Bap – Welcoming setting for Korean bibimbop meals served in hot stone bowls & cinnamon dessert tea – 950 Eglinton Avenue West 416.787.7423
  • Bistro Grande (Kosher) – Smart, casual spot for eclectic kosher fare in an elegant cream dining area or on the patio – 1000 Eglinton Avenue West 416.782.3302
  • Edo-Ko – Traditional Japanese restaurant offering sushi, teriyaki & tempura dishes in a calm atmosphere – 425 Spadina Road 416.322.8888
  • Marron Bistro (Kosher) – Kosher French dishes plus burgers & steak served in a refined dining room with leather banquettes – 948 Eglinton Avenue West 416.784.0128
  • Mashu Mashu Mediterranean Grill – Bright restaurant known for a menu of creative & traditional Mediterranean & Middle Eastern fare – 387 Spadina Road 416.840.0848
  • Nomad Steakhouse – A steakhouse with a Hungarian soul. All the food is natural, organic or caught wild if possible and cooked over a charcoal grill, rational over or in cast-iron skillets – 453 Eglinton Avenue West 416.486.6623
  • Pizza Banfi – This relaxed Italian eatery serves thin-crust pizzas & pasta in a cozy dining room – 333b Lonsdale Road 416.322.5231
  • Sash Restaurant & Wine Bar – Seasonal, internationally inspired American cuisine served in an elegant, black & gold room – 1133 Yonge Street 416.616.4774
  • Sofra Forest Hill – All your favourite Mediterranean cuisines cooked to perfection – 431 Spadina Road 416.488.7779
  • Sorrel Restaurant – Sophisticated restaurant serving a French-Mediterranean menue & an extensive wine list – 1158 Yonge Street 416.926.1010
  • Sushi Lovers – Traditional Japanese cuisine and sushi in a sophisticated setting – 327 Lonsdale Road 416.488.9119
  • Terroni – Great Italian food with a warm atmosphere – 1095 Yonge Street 416.925.4020

TOP HOTELS

MUSEUMS

ART GALLERIES

PARKS

  • Oriole Park/Neshama Playground – 35 Oriole Parkway
  • Eglinton Park – 160 Eglinton Avenue West
  • Forest Hill Road Park – 179 Forest Hill Road
  • Cedarvale Park – 443 Arlington Avenue
  • Forest Hill Road Parkette – Avenue Road at Cottingham Street
  • Humewood Park – 45 Humewood Avenue
  • Kay Gardiner Park – Belt Line Path – Starts at Mount Pleasant, runs down Chaplin Crescent and continues along Elm Ridge Drive past Allen Road
  • Vesta Parkette – 41 Vesta Drive
  • Rosemary Parkette – 225 Rosemary Road
  • Dunvegan Parkette – 160 Dunvegan Road

FITNESS AND RECREATION

SCHOOLS

JUNIOR/SENIOR

COLLEGES

UNIVERSITIES