Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Etobicoke Lakeshore

The Etobicoke Lakeshore is a beautiful residential community, rich in history and in the midst of transformation, much like it's neighbouring communities to the east.

Consisting of neighbourhoods like Mimico, Alderwood and Long Branch, the Etobicoke Lakeshore is bordered by Lake Ontario to the south, the Gardiner Expressway to the north, the Humber river to the east and the Etobicoke Creek to the west.

Even though the western-most portion of the area features a bevy of condo developments, where Etobicoke Lakeshore's real value lies is in it's wealth of homes.  Both North and South of Lakeshore Blvd. older family homes are being purchased and renovated by young families who want houses over condo living, but aren't prepared to leave Toronto.  The varied types of housing found in the area give several choices and price ranges to interested parties.

Even though the area today is dominated by residential neighbourhoods, Lakeshore in general and Long Branch in particular, used to provide Toronto residents with a summer getaway by the lake.  Until 1883 when infrastructure development began in the area, Toronto residents used to take a steamship from the foot of Bay Street to spend their summer in the rural, cottage area.
Original Hospital, late 1880's

Several attractions in the area these days include the Mastercard Centre (the Maple Leafs practice facility) and the South Campus of Humber College.  The college opened it's doors in 1967 and now boasts over 7,200 full-time students with approximately 500 living in residence.  Humber sits on the site of what was once the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital aka Mimico Asylum, with the former patient residence cottages on the East side of the campus making up many of today's classrooms.

The hospital opened in 1889 and shut its doors for good in 1979, following a trend of similar closings across the province.  The site was used to film movies like Police Academy and TV Series like Nightshift.
Present Day Humber College Campus

All told, the Etobicoke Lakeshore remains one of the closest residential communities to downtown Toronto, with easy and convenient highway, GO Train and Streetcar access helping to ease commutes for residents.  With the demand for space in and around the downtown core rising, this community will soon become one of the most sought-after options available to Toronto home owners.