Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Humber Valley Village

Humber Valley Village is a neighbourhood in Central Etobicoke, stretching from Islington ave. to the West, Eglinton to the North, Dundas to the South and the Humber River to the West.

Developer Robert Home Smith is most credited with the creation of Humber Valley Village, establishing his own home “Edenbridge” on what now is Edenbridge Dr. in the early 1900’s.  A wealthy developer and investor with a keen interest in city planning, Smith envisioned the creation of an exclusive neighbourhood catering to the business class of the city.  
Smith's home "Edenbridge", 1930's

At the time, most of the area was undeveloped farmland and Smith, with backing from some expatriate friends of his in England went about buying almost 3,000 acres on both banks of the Humber River. 

To ensure an architecturally harmonious neighbourhood, as a condition of sale, lots included thirty year covenants that required building plans be vetted by the Home Smith Company's architects.  Homes along the original tract of land designated foe the area still incorporate those designs today.

Royal York Rd. at Anglesey Blvd. looking NW, 1930's
The 105-acre swath of land that Smith donated to the City to be used as parkland is still enjoyed by residents today and stretches along the banks of the Humber River from Old Mill Subway Station to Dundas Street.  In addition to Humber Valley Village, Smith’s vision is also responsible for the creation of the Kingsway, Riverside Drive and Baby Point Neighbourhoods in and around the Humber River.

Today, the area features some of the most beautiful homes in Toronto and is one of it’s most desirable neighbourhoods.   The area features long-standing institutions like Humber Valley Village public school, St. George’s Golf and Country Club and Humber Valley United Church.
Humber Valley Village public school, 1955