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 terracotta 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.
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.
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).