Living in Humber Heights
Bus service on Berry and Park Lawn Roads and on Stephen Drive connect passengers to the Old Mill station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists can get downtown in approximately ten minutes via the Queensway. For commuters travelling outside the city Lake Shore Boulevard is just a short drive from here and can be accessed off Park Lawn Road.
History of Humber Heights
The area now known as Humber Heights was originally part of the Village of Weston. This hamlet was located along the west bank of the Humber River and revolved around a grist mill, a saw mill, and a distillery. In 1852, this settlement was washed away by a torrential spring rain which saw the water level of the Humber River rise by about twenty feet. Only St. Philips Church and Cemetery, remain from this early settlement. Humber Heights next established itself as a farming community centred along Scarlett Road. These farms began to be subdivided during World War I in order to provide housing for the workers at the nearby munitions factories in Weston. A housing boom after the war resulted in the further urbanization of this community. In 1921 the Humber Heights Consolidated School was opened and it soon became the focal point of this neighbourhood. Humber Heights school is still standing today at 2245 Lawrence Avenue West where it is now operated by the Toronto School Board as a resource centre and adult education centre.
Homes in Humber Heights
Humber Heights has a very diverse mix of houses ranging from the impressive mansions on Yorkleigh Avenue and Westmount Park to the bungalow and split-level houses that are found scattered throughout this neighbourhood. The residential pocket east of Scarlett Road contains quaint Victorian cottages from the early 1900’s, Edwardian style houses from the 1910’s and 20’s, Tudor designed homes from the 30’s and 40’s, and storey-and-a-half houses from the 1950’s. The Scarlettwood apartment and townhouse complex, owned by Metro Toronto Housing, is located in this section of the neighbourhood at the top of the valley. On the west side of Scarlett Road you will find a large number of back-split and side-split-level houses from the 1960’s as well as a wide assortment of larger new homes built in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. This neighbourhood is fortunate to have a fine collection of historical houses including 11 Yorkleigh Avenue – circa 1850, 85/89 Yorkleigh Avenue – circa 1855, 5 Hill Garden Road – circa 1840, 15 La Rush Drive – circa 1850 and 581 Scarlett Road – circa 1875.
Lifestyle in Humber Heights
There is a large neighbourhood shopping plaza located at 1500 Royal York Road. This plaza includes a supermarket, a bike and ski shop, fashion stores, a dry cleaners, a drug store, a bakery and deli, a dollar store, a travel agency, an indoor children’s playground, a billiard hall and a bowling alley. Dixon Road has a small cluster of retail stores that serve the everyday needs of this community. Included in this mix are a Somalian meat and grocery store and a Somalian clothing boutique.
Recreation in Humber Heights
Humber Heights residents are conveniently located near the Humber River Valley nature and recreational trail. Access to this trail is available off Raymore Drive which leads into Raymore Park. A plaque in Raymore Park serves as a memorial to the thirty-two Raymore Drive residents who were victims of Hurricane Hazel’s wrath in 1954 when fourteen homes were swept down a raging Humber River. Riverlea Park, located at 919 Scarlett Road, is home to the Riverlea Italian Seniors Club, the Elm Jr. and Sr. Club, and the only greenhouse allotment gardens in Toronto. This allotment garden operates from October to May. It is a private facility run by the city which rents out greenhouse space to non-commercial applicants on a first come first serve basis.
Transportation in Humber Heights
The Royal York and Scarlett Road buses connect to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line while the Eglinton and Lawrence Avenue buses connect to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Motorists are approximately five minutes from the Highway 401 on-ramp, north of Dixon Road off Islington Avenue.