Living in Eatonville
Eatonville is a family oriented neighbourhood that is home to people of a wide mix of incomes and cultural backgrounds. Residents of this neighbourhood still refer to their home as being in Etobicoke which is not surprising as the former Etobicoke City Hall and City Centre are located within Eatonville’s boundaries on the West Mall, south of Burnhamthorpe Road. The only two references to the pre- subdivision Eatonville are the Eatonville Public School on Rossburn Drive and the Eatonville Public Library located at 430 Burnhamthorpe Road.
History of Eatonville
Eatonville began as a farming community in the early 1800’s. One of its first residents was Peter Shaver who donated a portion of his property at Bloor Street and Highway 27 for the local school. This school was affectionately known as the “Swamp School” because of all the frogs that lived in the bushes and marshes nearby. Peter Shaver’s homestead and adjoining farms were purchased in the 1890’s and early 1900’s by Timothy Eaton the patriarch of Eaton’s Department Store. Eaton donated a portion of his land to the local school which was renamed “Eatonville” in his honour. Eventually this entire area also became known as Eatonville. The Eaton Farm provided meat, poultry, vegetables and dairy products for Eatons stores right up until the early 1950’s when it was subdivided for residential development. In 1955, the rapid growth of this community led to the building of the present day Eatonville School on Rossburn Drive, near the site of the original “Swamp School” where it all began.
Ed Note: Peter Shaver’s “Applewood House”, was relocated in 1980 to 450 The West Mall where it now stands as a historic museum.
Homes in Eatonville
Eatonville houses east of Highway 427 were built in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s. These houses consist of detached bungalows, one-and-a-half-storey homes, and Cape Cod style two-storey houses. Many of the bungalows in this part of the neighbourhood are being torn down and replaced by custom designed new homes. The houses west of Highway 427 were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This part of the neighbourhood contains a mix of brick bungalows, semi-detached houses, and large detached two-storey homes. Eatonville’s main arterial streets including the West and East Malls and Burnhamthorpe Road contain a mix of rental and condominium high-rise apartments and townhouses.
Lifestyle in Eatonville
The Bloor Street shopping district west of Kipling Avenue is a small neighbourhood retail corridor that includes local shopping plazas, food markets, restaurants and independent owner operated stores. The Westmall Bloor Plaza is located further west on Bloor Street at the West Mall includes shops and professional offices. Dundas Street attracts a regional clientele to its many new car dealerships, restaurants and home improvement stores. Dundas Street also features two shopping malls. Cloverdale Mall is an indoor mall anchored by major department stores and includes over one-hundred retailers. This mall has special events going on throughout the year including a craft show, a home show, antique shows, a seniors show, and sidewalk sales. The outdoor Honeydale Mall is anchored by a department store with a dozen or so smaller retailers included in this shopping mix.
Recreation in Eatonville
The Neilson Park Creative Centre, located at 56 Neilson Drive is a volunteer-operated, non-profit community arts centre. This centre is the home of the Etobicoke Art Group, the Humber Valley Art Club, the Heritage Rugcrafters of Etobicoke, the Etobicoke Quilters Guild and the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinner Guild. Special events are held at this centre throughout the year including gallery exhibits, art festivals and craft sales. Applewood – otherwise known as The Shaver Homestead – is located at 450 The West Mall. This circa 1850’s house was occupied by the Shaver Family, one of Eatonville’s original families. This historic house is now a museum and community reception hall. The Eatonville Public Library, located at 430 Burnhamthorpe Road offers a baby time program, “Tales for Twos”, and a preschool storytime. For the adults there is a Tea and Books program where library staff lead an informal chat about books and authors. The West and East Mall Parks, Wedgewood Park and Cloverdale Park each contain tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and a children’s playground. West Mall Park also has an artificial ice rink and an outdoor swimming pool.
Transportation in Eatonville
Bus services on Bloor and Dundas Streets, The West Mall, The East Mall and Burnhamthorpe Road connect passengers to the Kipling station located off Auckland Road just south of Bloor Street. This station serves both TTC and Go Transit commuters. Motorists are within minutes of Highway 427 on-ramps at Dundas and Bloor Streets and Burnhamthorpe and Rathburn Roads. Bloor Street provides motorists with an alternative route into downtown Toronto. The Pearson International Airport is within a ten minute drive of this neighbourhood.