Yonge & St. Clair/Summerhill
Summerhill’s turn of the century houses, winding tree-lined streets, and abundance of parkland have made it one of Toronto’s most preferred neighbourhoods. It is conveniently located along the Yonge Street corridor, providing Summerhill residents with easy access to Toronto’s downtown business and entertainment districts.
The Summerhill neighbourhood is named after ‘Summer Hill’ house, a magnificent Regency cottage built in 1842, by transportation baron Charles Thompson. Summer Hill stood on the crest of the hill where the houses on Summerhill Gardens are located today.
Thompson’s two hundred acre Summer Hill estate stretched from the present day Yonge Street to Mt. Pleasant Road. On this site Thompson established the ‘Summer Hill Spring Park and Pleasure Grounds’. This amusement park featured rides, games, swimming and a popular dance pavilion that was located inside the Summer Hill house. Thompson’s heirs subdivided Summer Hill in the 1860’s.
From the 1880’s onward Summerhill’s development revolved around the railway. The first residents of this neighbourhood worked at the North Toronto Railway station which was established on Yonge Street near Summerhill in the 1880’s. This station – rebuilt in 1916 – is distinguished by its grand clock tower and now serves as the neighbourhood liquor store.
In the 1920’s the Canadian Pacific Railway made Summerhill their main Toronto station. When Summerhill station closed this neighbourhood went into a period of decline that lasted until the Summerhill subway station opened in 1954. Summerhill has enjoyed a position of prominence among Toronto neighbourhoods ever since.
Ed. Note: The former Summer Hill Coach House, circa 1865, is still standing today, at the rear of 36 Summerhill Gardens. This house with its distinctive slate roof can be seen from the south end of the Rosehill Reservoir.
Summerhill’s original housing stock consists of semi-detached and detached Victorian houses, and detached Edwardian style houses, built between 1880 and 1915. Many of these houses do not include driveways, however permit street parking is available from the city for a nominal annual fee.
Summerhill also contains a large number of modern townhouses, and a handful of low-rise luxury condominium apartment buildings, built mostly in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
(P) Hillcrest Community School, 44 Hilton Avenue, (416) 392-0746
(P) Huron Street Junior Public School, 541 Huron Street, (416) 393-1570
(P) Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School, 61 Davenport Road, (416) 393-1530
(P) Rosedale Junior Public School, 22 South Drive, 416-393-1330
(P) Brown Junior Public School, 454 Avenue Road, 416-393-1560
(P) Cottingham Junior Public School, 85 Birch Avenue, 416-393-1895
(P) Whitney Junior Public School, 119 Rosedale Heights Drive,
(P) Deer Park Junior and Senior Public School, 23 Ferndale Avenue, (416) 393-1550
(CA) Msgr. Fraser College – Apple, 38 Hazelton Ave., 416-393-5872
(CA) Holy Rosary, 308 Tweedsmuir Ave., 416-393-5225
(CA) Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 1-1/2 Garfield Ave, 416-393-5239
(PR) Waldorf Academy, 250 Madison Avenue, 416) 962-6447
(PR) The Mabin School, 50 Poplar Plains Road, (416) 964-9594
(PR) Blyth Academy, 146 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 960-3552
(PR) McDonald International Academy, 920 Yonge Street, (416) 322-1502
(PR) Branksome Hall, 10 Elm Avenue Toronto, (416) 920-6265
(PR) Gradale Academy, 159 Roxborough Drive, (416) 923-9009
(PR) De La Salle College, 131 Farnham Avenue, (416) 969-8771
(PR) The York School – Upper School, 1320 Yonge Street, 416.926.1325
(PR) Linden School, 10 Rosehill Avenue, 416-966-4406
(PR) The Dalton School, 1585 Yonge Street, 416-432-3475
(PR) Upper Canada College, 200 Lonsdale Road, 416-488-1125 ext. 4123
(PR) The Dalton School, 1585 Yonge Street, 416-432-3475
(PR) The York School – Lower School, 1639 Yonge Street, 416.926.1325
(C) George Brown – The Yorkville School of Makeup, 70 Yorkville Avenue, (416) 415-2000
(C) George Brown Casa Loma Campus, 160 Kendal Avenue, 416-415-2000
(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
PARKS AND GREENSPACES IN THE ST. CLAIR/SUMMERHILL AREA
The Rosehill Reservoir located just steps from Yonge and St. Clair at 75 Rosehill Ave., is one of Toronto’s prettiest greenspace. Together with David Balfour Park this is an oasis in the bustling midtown core. The Rosehill Reservoir which forms the upper tier of this park includes a very pretty four acre reflecting pool lined with cobblestones. There is also an adjacent waterfall with a small bridge and a maze of stairs on each side, as well as a separate water fountain feature with a dramatic overhead spray that rushes water into the oval pool below. There is also a pretty flower garden and wading pool tucked away at the far end of the park.
David A Balfour Park – 240 Mount Pleasant Road
Wrapped around Rosehill Reservoir is David Balfour Park that features a surfaced path that’s ideal for walking, jogging and cycling. This well treed park has a large children’s playground. Sign markers on the east side of the park indicate access points to the Vale of Avoca Ravine which includes a hiking trail that follows the path of an adjacent meandering creek. The urban forest and all the nature it nurtures is remarkably vibrant, and a pleasant surprise given the proximity to such a well established urban area.
Oriole Park – 201 Oriole Parkway
Oriole Park located at the northern tip of Deer Park has a playground, a wading pool, two tennis courts and access to the Belt Line’, a seven kilometre path that follows the route of Toronto’s old Belt Line Railway. Oriole Park is also home to the newly created Neshama Playground. The Neshama Playground features a water play area, sensory musical features, Braille panels, an enclosed climbing merry-go-round and bounce pad, accessible swings and play structures, and colourful, springy surfacing.
SCHOOLS IN THE ST. CLAIR/SUMMERHILL AREA
- The Linden School – 10 Rosehill Avenue, (416) 966-4406
- The York School – 1320 Yonge Street, (416) 926-1325
- English School of Canada – 79 Saint Clair Avenue East, Suite 202, (416) 686-1596
- De La Salle College – 131 Farnham Avenue, (416) 969-8771
LIBRARIES IN THE ST. CLAIR/SUMMERHILL AREA
- Deer Park Library – 40 Saint Clair Avenue East, (416) 393-7657
CHURCHES IN THE ST. CLAIR/SUMMERHILL AREA
- Deer Park United Church – 26 Delisle, (416) 964-9500
- Calvin Presbyterian Church – 26 Delisle Avenue, (416) 923-9030
- United Church – 85 St Clair Ave E, (416) 925-3765
- Yorkminster Park Baptist Church Park – 1585 Yonge Street
- Christ Church Deer Park – 1570 Yonge Street, (416) 920-5211
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church – 78 Clifton Road
- First Unitarian Congregation – 175 Saint Clair Avenue West, (416) 924-9654