Summerhill is one of Toronto’s preferred neighborhoods owing to the gorgeous turn of the century houses, twisting tree-lined streets, and abundance of parkland. This neighborhood’s residents have easy access to both Toronto downtown business and entertainment districts due to the convenient location of the area along the Yonge Street corridor.
Summerhill is located south of Farnham Avenue, with Avenue Road to the west and Balfour Park and Rosehill Reservoir to the east. Yonge Street divides the neighbourhood almost exactly down the middle.
Summerhill took its name after the stunning Regency cottage ‘Summer House’. Transportation tycoon, Charles Thompson, built the cottage in 1842. Summerhill stood on the top of the hill where houses on Summerhill Gardens are located present day. The two hundred acre Summerhill Estate stretched from present day Mt. Pleasant Road to Yonge Street. In this location Thompson also built the ‘Summer Hill Spring Park and Pleasure Grounds’, an amusement park featuring rides and games. A well-liked pavilion for dancing was also located inside the Summerhill house. In the 1860’s the Thompson’s heirs decided to subdivide Summerhill.
After the 1800’s the Summerhill’s development conquests revolved around the railway. This neighbourhood’s first residents worked at the North Toronto Railway station, established on Yonge Street close to Summerhill in the 1880’s. Rebuilt in 1916, the station is identifiable by its impressive grand clock tower. Today the old train station is an LCBO store.
The Canadian Pacific Railway made Summerhill their main Toronto station in the 1920’s. Summerhill station closed briefly sending this neighbourhood into a period of decline lasting until the station was reopened in 1954. The Summerhill neighbourhood recovered and has since enjoyed popularity amongst Toronto neighbourhoods.
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