One of Toronto's largest neighbourhoods is Downsview. A large Jewish community can be found surrounding Wilson Avenue and Bathurst Street, as well as a large Italian community centred on Keele Street.
A number of landmarks can be found in Downsview including the Allen Expressway and the Yorkdale Shopping Mall. A new landmark to the community is Downsview Park. Situated on former Canadian Forces Base land, Downsview Park is Canada’s only national urban park. This landmark offers programs adults and children of all ages, hosts events year-round events, is a business/industrial centre, and is home to Drive Test for driving tests and licenses.
Also to be noted, Humber River Hospital’s new state-of-the-art acute care facility is set to be built on approximately 30 acres of land at Highway 401 and Keele Street. Locally, the economic impact of this development will be a big boost to this community. Upon completion, the new hospital will be approximately 1.8 million square feet.
Downsview is bounded with Lawrence Avenue to the south, Highway 400 to the west, Allen Road to the east and Sheppard Avenue to the North.
The neighbourhood Downsview derives it's name Justice of the Peace John Perkins Bull. Around 1842 Bull settled in the area, and named his farm “Downs View”. The name was derived from the location of his property, being that it was situated on one of the highest elevations in Toronto. Downs View farmhouse included a courtroom and a jail, which was located in the basement of the house. The John Perkins Bull house remains and can be still be seen today at 450 Rustic Road. Presently it is being used as a nursing home.
Downsview was a thriving agricultural community with it's own school house, post office and general store for over 100 years. Built in 1870, the red brick Downsview United Church acted as the pillar of this community. Downsview United Church has remained standing and can be found at it’s original location, 2822 Keele Street.
In 1928 a ne chapter began in the history of Downsview when the world famous De Havilland Aircraft Company chose this area as it's home. During World War Two, The Canadian Armed Forces set up an important military base in Downsview. After the war was over, the area experienced a building boom, which saw the entire neighbourhood developed by the early 1970's.