Living in Fairbank
Fairbank is poised for growth with the soon to be opened Eglington Crosstown subway spurring on a revitalization of this neighbourhood. The new York Recreation Centre is a fully accessible 67,000-sq.-ft facility scheduled to open in early 2017. Located beside the west bank of the Black Creek, the facility will have a green roof and other City of Toronto Green Standard sustainable features. The centre was designed with extensive input from the community, and will feature numerous amenities including a swimming pool.York Recreation Centre is located at 115 Black Creek Drive, on the southeast corner of Eglinton Ave. West and Black Creek Drive. There are over 100 parking spaces for residents using the facility. Once complete, the Eglinton subway extension will be just steps away.
The defining feature of the Fairbank neighbourhood is its topography, which features a series of rolling hills that climb their way northward from Rogers Road to the northern tip of Fairbank at Briar Hill Avenue. Many of these hills are bisected by curvilinear one way streets that add an old world charm to the neighbourhood.The Fairbank neighbourhood offers modest house prices and convenient access to transit and highways. Fairbank’s demographics include a large number of people of Italian, Portuguese, and West Indian heritage.
History of Fairbank
Fairbank is named after the former “Fairbank” farm, which had been owned by a pioneer settler named Matthew Parsons. The “Fairbank” farm was situated just north of Eglinton Avenue between Dufferin and Keele Streets. Fairbank’s early development centred around the intersection of Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue. This neighbourhood began with a one room school house which was built in the 1860’s and followed by a hotel, a post office, a church and a handful of stores. A stone marker from the original Fairbank school house has been preserved on the south wall of the present day Briar Hill School. The only other vestiges of the old Fairbank community are the Fairbank United Church, circa 1889, located at 2750 Dufferin Street, and a Georgian Survival style house located at 108 Stayner Avenue. This red brick house was built in 1852 by Jacob P. Ross, a Fairbank farmer. Fairbank’s growth from a rural hamlet to a big city neighbourhood began to take shape in 1892 when the short lived Belt Line Railway opened a station here. Fairbank’s development was further enhanced in 1924 when the Toronto streetcar railway began service to this area.
Homes in Fairbank
Fairbank contains an interesting mix of early 1900’s working class houses, postwar brick and stucco bungalows, and new home developments. There are also a fair number of apartment buildings located on the periphery of the neighbourhood. The charming homes perched on the hills in the centre of Fairbank are located in a setting that is reminiscent of an old world village. Many of these homes feature pretty decks that take advantage of the hilltop vistas of many Fairbank homes.
Lifestyle in Fairbank
Eglinton Avenue West is a multi-cultural shopping strip that has been coined “the Avenue to the world”. Shoppers in this area can choose from hundreds of stores including bargain shops, fashion boutiques, jewellery stores, and West Indian and Jamaican restaurants. Dufferin Street offers a mix of local shops as well as chain stores that attract shoppers from all over the city. Included in this mix are a number of new and used car dealerships, shopping plazas, and restaurants. The Castlefield Design and Decor district along Castlefield Road at Caledonia is marked by distinctive street banners and features some of Toronto’s top home design and decor retailers.
Recreation in Fairbank
The Fairbank Memorial Community Centre at 2213 Dufferin Street offers a myriad of programs for children and adults. This centre also operates a non-profit seniors club which offers a variety of clinics, workshops and special events for adults 55 years of age and over. To the north of the community centre is the Fairbank Memorial Park. This park has two baseball diamonds, a children’s playground, a basketball court and a swimming pool.
Transportation in Fairbank
Fairbank residents are well served by bus routes that criss-cross this neighbourhood. The Rogers Road and Eglinton Avenue buses connect to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line while the bus lines serving Oakwood Avenue, Dufferin Street and Caledonia Road connect to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists can gain quick access to the city core via Dufferin Street, which extends all the way down to the Toronto Harbourfront. For those commuting outside the city, the Allen Expressway, off Eglinton Avenue, is approximately a five minute drive from this neighbourhood. This expressway offers quick access to Highway 401.