Humber Bay — a historic and scenic part of Etobicoke — is rapidly becoming a trendy destination for those who want easy access to downtown Toronto while enjoying lakefront living and the pleasures of naturally rolling hills and leafy green space and recreation.
Bordered on the north by Berry Road, on the west by the Mimico Creek,on the east by the Humber River Valley and on the south by Lake Shore Boulevard, Humber Bay is one of Etobicoke’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. The natural boundaries to the east and west have given the neighbourhood its natural topography, providing a refreshing change from the concrete jungle of the city and a scintillating view of the hills and Lake Ontario.
Dating back to 1888, and the construction of a schoolhouse on High Street, Humber Bay today is becoming a home of choice for an increasing number of young families and professionals, attracted by the pace of life, the natural attractions and the housing developments that now offer a variety of luxury condominiums and homes.
History and Social Profile
Located just to the west of downtown Toronto, Humber Bay is a neighbourhood that combines easy access to the conveniences and entertainments of the city with enjoyment of a quieter, more natural life next to the lake and the hills, valleys and parks of the area. Bordered by Mimico Creek and the Humber River Valley, the Humber Bay neighbourhood has become a highly sought-after destination for those looking for more than the bustle of downtown. As development of luxury condominiums has lured more and more families and professionals to the area, the neighbourhood has taken on a vibrancy and excitement of its own.
As well as the natural hills and valleys, residents enjoy a number of parks. Nearby South Humber Park has a trail frequently used by hikers, joggers and cyclists that links up the Martin Goodman Trail along Toronto’s waterfront. Humber Bay Park, on the shore of Lake Ontario, has a yacht club, a model boat pond and a fly casting pond. Park Lawn Park has an outdoor pool, tennis courts, a baseball diamond a winter ice rink.
Along with the rest of Etobicoke, the Humber Bay neighbourhood was amalgamated as part of the city of Toronto in 1998.
Etobicoke — from the Mississauga Indian word “wadoopikaang” meaning “place where the alders grow” — was originally purchased from the Mississaugas in 1787, although a centuries-long dispute over the purchase was only formally resolved in 2010. British settlers, many of them soldiers who had been granted land, were the early inhabitants of the area.
In 1806, a grist and saw mill was built along the Humber River, and in 1816, the Dundas Street bridge was opened, making the area more accessible. The township of Etobicoke was incorporated in 1850.
As a community, Humber Bay itself dates back to 1888 when the first Humber Bay schoolhouse opened on High Street. Attended by 35 children that first year, the schoolhouse gradually expanded, becoming the centre of the community, hosting everything from ratepayers meetings to movies and sports.
For its first decades, the Humber Bay neighbourhood was primarily agricultural, a centre of Ontario’s vegetable production, as well as fruits such as apples, pears, strawberries and raspberries. In fact, the Toronto area’s first Farmers’ Market was located in Humber Bay, on the site of today’s huge Ontario Food Terminal at Parklawn Road and The Queensway.
By the 1920s, Humber Bay had industrialized, now including a brick yard and a cement block factory, as well as having expanded to include a piggery, a library assocation, a volunteer fire brigade and several churches. And where today the Humber Sewage Treatment Plant and South Humber Park are located was an 18-hole golf course.
In 1986, as the neighbourhood began to become more upscale and to attract those drawn to the quieter life and the more scenic surroundings, the original schoolhouse was removed for housing development. But that sense of small-town history and camaraderie lives on in Humber Bay, even as its proximity to Toronto makes it more and more attractive to young professionals and families working downtown, but looking for more space and recreational opportunities.
- Eden Trattoria
- Baroli Caffe
- Oasis on the Lake
- Casa Mendoza
- John English Junior Middle School, 95 Mimico Avenue, 416-394-7600
- David Hornell Junior School, 32 Victoria Street, 416-394-7690
- George R. Gauld Junior School, 200 Melrose Street, 416-394-7830
- Lakeshore Collegiate Institute, 350 Kipling Avenue, 416-394-7650
- Karen Kain School of the Arts, 60 Berl Avenue, 416-394-7979
- Etobicoke School of the Arts, 675 Royal York Road, 416-394-6910
Buses running along Berry Road, Park Lawn Road and Stephen Drive connect to the Old Mill station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.