Old Mill is a neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the banks of the Humber River. It is located north and west of the intersection of Bloor Street and Jane Street. The neighbourhood’s houses are primarily single-family detached homes, built before and after the Second World War. The Old Mill Inn & Spa is located in the neighbourhood on the west side of the Humber River in Etobicoke.
HISTORY OF OLD MILL
The historic Old Mill neighbourhood located on the banks of the Humber River was a favourite fishing and hunting spot for people of the First Nations Tribes long before the first European pioneers settled here in the 1790’s.
In 1793 the Kings Mill – the forerunner to todays Old Mill – was built in order to process lumber for the first homes in Toronto – which was then known as the Town of York. A series of fires forced the Mill to be re-built three times. Today the skeletal ruins of the last grist mill also destroyed by fire in 1881, provide the backdrop for the Old Mill restaurant.
The Old Mill restaurant and “Tea Garden” was opened in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I. The Old Mill attracted a clientele from all over the city and doubled as a sales office for Home Smith and Company, which developed this neighbourhood in the 1920’s and 30’s.
HOMES IN OLD MILL
The houses in this neighbourhood were built between 1920 and 1940. These distinctly Tudor style homes range in size from cosy two bedroom bungalows to four bedroom two-storey houses. All of the houses are detached and contain many decorative features like leaded glass windows, rich wood trim, and hardwood floors. Many of the houses back onto the ravine or overlook the Old Mill and the Humber River.
The most diverse street in this neighbourhood is Old Mill Road. This street contains a mix of houses, a co-op apartment building, a rental apartment building, and a few luxury condominiums. Many of these homes command a spectacular view of the Humber River Valley.
SCHOOLS IN THE OLD MILL AREA
(P) Warren Park Junior Public School, 135 Varsity Road York, (416) 394-3140
(P) Humbercrest Public School, 14 Saint Marks Road York, (416) 394-2370
(P) Runnymede Collegiate Institute, 569 Jane Street York, (416) 394-3200
(P) King George Junior Public School, 25 Rexford Road York, (416) 394-3060
(P) Swansea Junior and Senior Public School, 207 Windermere Avenue, (416) 393-9080
(P) Runnymede Junior and Senior Public School, 357 Runnymede Road, (416) 393-9055
(P) Ursula Franklin Academy, 146 Glendonwynne Road, (416) 393-0430
(P) High Park Alternative Junior School, 265 Annette Street, (416) 393-9050
(P) Keele Street Junior Public School, 99 Mountview Avenue, (416) 393-9035
(PH) Western Technical-Commercial School, 125 Evelyn Crescent, (416) 393-0500
(PH) Humberside Collegiate Institute, 280 Quebec Avenue, (416) 393-0000
(CA) St. James, 230 Humbercrest Blvd., 416-393-5275
(CA) James Culnan, 605 Willard Ave., 416-393-5325
(CA) St. Cecilia, 355 Annette St., 416-393-5218
(CA) St. Pius X, 71 Jane St., 416-393-5237
(PR) High Park Day School 2150 Bloor Street West, Suite 202, (416) 762-4447
(P) Public School (PH) Public High School (CA) Catholic School (PR) Private School (PC) Private Catholic School (PJ) Private Jewish School (C) College (U) University
LIFESTYLE IN OLD MILL
The Bloor West Village shopping district is a five to ten minute walk from most of the homes in this neighbourhood. This shopping district is known for its European food shops, gift shops and specialty stores. Residents of this neighbourhood are also within close proximity of the Kingsway Village shopping district located just west of the Bloor Street bridge at Royal York and Bloor.
RECREATION IN OLD MILL
Etienne Brule Park, situated across the street from the Old Mill Restaurant, features a paved trail that follows the route of the Humber River and is perfect for walking, jogging, cycling and in the winter cross-country skiing. Etienne Brule Park is also a popular spot for picnics and for fishing in the Humber River. Across the street from the park is the Old Mill Tennis Club which contains four courts that are open to the public at designated times.
Movie goers can catch all of the latest Hollywood films at the Humber Theatre at Bloor and Jane Street. The historic Runnymede Theatre at Bloor Street and Runnymede Road is the new home of a Chapters bookstore.
The following article is courtesy of TorontoNeighbourhoodNews.com
Fall Salmon Fishing in the Humber River at the Old Mill is fun for anglers and spectators alike.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest settings in Toronto has to be at the Humber River as it flows alongside Etienne Brule Park just below the historic Old Mill Inn and Spa. This is the setting every fall around Thanksgiving for dozens of anglers. These fishing enthusiasts wade with their leg high rubber boots into the chilly waters of the Humber River to test their mettle against the teeming amount of Salmon swimming upstream to spawning grounds.
Fishermen are not the only ones who gather here on a nice fall day. Curious onlookers also line the banks of the Humber river to marvel at this spectacle; as hundreds of Salmon attempt to jump the weir in the Humber river. These schools of Salmon travel this route each fall as they make their way up the river from the mouth of Lake Ontario to spawn upstream in the Humber River headwaters which originate all the way up in the Oak Ridges Moraine.
This is not a recent discovery as far as fishing holes go. Salmon have been migrating along the river for thousands of years. The First Nations people fished here long before the settlement of Toronto. The Humber River was officially designated a Canadian Heritage River at a plaque unveiling ceremony in Toronto on September 24, 1999.
The beautiful Old Mill bridge, built in 1916, is the perfect backdrop for all the fishing enthusiasts. A short stroll from the bridge is the Old Mill Inn and Spa. This historic Inn has a very popular Sunday brunch and family dinner buffet, as well as a famous Thankgiving Buffet. Good to know just in case you get hungry after a busy day watching the Salmon run.
If you prefer a more casual outing, Etienne Brule Park has numerous picnic benches. This park is a short stroll from the Old Mill subway station. If you are traveling by car there is plenty of parking available at the entrance to the park.
TRANSPORTATION IN OLD MILL
This neighbourhood is well served by public transit. The Old Mill subway station on Riverside Drive at Bloor Street and the Jane subway station at Jane and Bloor Streets both connect passengers to the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
Motorists are twenty minutes away both from downtown Toronto and the Pearson
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE OLD MILL AREA
Lessard Park – 52 Lessard Avenue
A 1.4-hecatre park near Jane Street and Bloor Street West that features a ball diamond and a children’s playground.
Magwood Park – 1 Pasadena Gardens
An 8.7-hectare forested park near Jane Street and Dundas Street West on the east bank of the Humber River. This park features a basket ball court and a children’s playground.
Humber Marshes Park – 2595 Bloor St W
The Humber Marshes are one of the few remaining river mouth marshes in Toronto. These extensive marshes provide a breeding habitat for ducks, turtles and fish. Humber River’s significance is being recognized by its designation in 1999 as a Canadian Heritage River. The Humber River watershed is the largest in Toronto. It is a significant corridor for migratory song birds and monarch butterflies. More than 60 species of fish live in the river including such sport fish as trout, pike and salmon. A sand dune marks the approximate location of the original Lake Ontario shoreline, prior to land filling. Near here was the site of a French trading fort (1749)and a French merchant’s cabin (1790).
King’s Mill Park – 105 Riverwood Parkway
Kings Mill Park, located South of Bloor and the Old Mill Inn, is one of a chain of parks along the Humber River leading to Lake Ontario. King’s Mill is the original name of the Old Mill at the north end of the Park. It’s an excellent park for hiking, biking and bird watching. You can also reward your dog after a good long hike with a chance to play with friends in the off-leash area. Whether you want to have a picnic, or just take a stroll along the banks of the Humber River, this park is a great spot to refresh and renew. Kings Mill Park is also a part of the Humber River, Old Mill and Marshes Discovery Walk.
Rennie Park – 1 Rennie Terrace
A 9.7 hectare park near Bloors Street West and the South Kingsway features four lighted tennis courts, shuffle board an artificial ice rink, a gazebo, two picnic areas, a wading pool, a children’s playground and a dog off leash area.
High Park – 1873 Bloor Street West
High Park encompasses 399 acres of public parkland. This city park includes a fishing pond, an outdoor theatre, an animal paddocks, picnic grounds, playgrounds, a restaurant, an historic museum, flower gardens, an adventure playground and a trackless train.
High Park’s sports facilities include tennis, baseball, soccer, lawn bowling, swimming, and skating, as well as walking, jogging and cycling paths found throughout the park.
Ravina Gardens Park – 290 Clendenan Avenue
George Chater Park – 266 Durie St
LIBRARIES IN THE OLD MILL AREA
- Swansea Memorial Library – 95 Lavinia Avenue, (416) 393-7695
- Runnymede Library – 2178 Bloor Street West, (416) 393-7697
- Humber Bay Library – 200 Lawn Rd PK, (416) 394-5300
- Toronto Public Library – Brentwood Branch – 36 Brentwood Road North, (416) 394-5240
- Jane/Dundas Library – 620 Jane Street, (416) 394-1014
CHURCHES IN THE OLD MILL AREA
- All Saints Church (Anglican) Kingsway – 2850 Bloor Street West,
- Kingsway Lambton United Church – 85 The Kingsway, (416) 234-8224
- Humbercrest United Church – 16 Baby Rd PT
- St. Paul’s Runnymede Anglican Church – 404 Willard Avenue, stpaulsrunnymede.ca
- Runnymede Presbyterian Church – 680 Annette Street,
- St. James Catholic Church – 728 Annette Street, (416) 767-6451
- Our Lady of Sorrows Church – 3055 Bloor Street West, (416) 231-6016