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Summerhill

Walking through Summerhill will give you a feeling of community close to the city. Known for its historical train station, turn-of-the-century homes and top end grocery stores, Summerhill offers a great suburb close to the city for families and professionals alike. Summerhill starts where Balfour Park and Rosedale Reservoir meet to the North East, running along Farnham Avenue to the South where it meets Avenue Road to the West. The neighbourhood is joined together along the CPN rail line to the South until it meets up with Belfour Park.

The neighbourhood of Summerhill was named after the Summer Hill house, built in 1842 for Charles Thompson; a Canadian transportation magnate. The house was designed by George Howard, the architect best known today for the Colborne Lodge in High Park. In 1866 the Summer Hill house and property, consisting of about seventy-five acres, was bought by Larrat William Smith, a witty barrister from England. Then, in 1872, the City of Toronto bought a large piece of land in the North-West section of Summerhill for a reservoir. When Larratt Smith sold the land, he stipulated that it must always be maintained as a public park. An entrance to Reservoir Park was penned some years later from Summerhill Avenue, just West of the house. Much of the area was once part of this estate but was subdivided for development during the following decades.

Once the North Toronto railway station was established on Yonge Street during the 1880s, the neighbourhood of Summerhill quickly built up around it. This railway station saw new life when it was rebuilt in 1916 in honour of a visit by the Prince of Wales (later known as King Edward the 8th). The neighbourhood saw increases in homes built and a population boom up until 1931 when the city decided to close the railway station. This lull in growth was revitalised by the launch of the Summerhill subway station in 1954.

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