Welcome to Forest Hill
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. Its topography is very diverse with gently sloping hills, winding roads, and numerous little parkettes all adding charm to the neighbourhood. 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 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 The hill is still there, but the forest is long since gone, having been replaced by apartment buildings.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 1930's. "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.
Forest Hill's old building codes and bylaws, dating back to the 1920's and 1930's, 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 among the brick and stone mansions as majestic trees grace the streets of Lower Forest Hill.
The Upper Village houses were built mostly in the 1940's and 1950's. These houses are more modest than their Lower Village counterparts, however the lot sizes are comparable between the two districts.
Forest Hill also contains a fair number of luxury condominium apartment buildings, located west of Spadina on Lonsdale Road and Heath Street West.
The Belt Line fitness and nature trail follows the route of the former Belt Line railway, which was Toronto's first commuter train. This fourteen and one-half kilometre track passes through Forest Hill on its way down to Rosedale. 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
Forest Hill is conveniently located within walking distance of numerous bus routes that connect passengers to Toronto's rapid transit subway lines.
For motorists commuting in and out of the city, the Allen Expressway is easily accessed from Eglinton Avenue West.
For the best - and most up-to-date - advice on Forest Hill hot spots, check out one of our favourite blogs: