South Hill Neighbourhood Central Toronto

Elite but not pretentious, South Hill emulates other highly-regarded neighbourhoods, such as Rosedale and Forest Hill. Its residents enjoy both the privilege of living in one of the most central neighbourhoods, near Toronto’s downtown bustling entertainment and business districts, and being surrounded by lush greenery. Public and private schools, recreational opportunities, and nearby shopping districts are all in South Hill’s package — sure to appeal to everyone.

Location
South Hill is located north of the downtown core, covering the area west of Avenue Road, south of St. Clair Avenue, east of Spadina Road, and north of the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.

Avenue road by Danielle Scott
Avenue road by Danielle Scott

History
Dating back as long as 12,000 years ago, South Hill’s land was once part of the ancient Lake Iroquois. When the chilly waters of the ancient Lake receded into Lake Ontario, a utopian thick forest was left, embellished by magic waterfalls, creeks, and ponds. In the late 1700s, the natural beauty of this land allured Peter Russel as one of its first settlers, and later, just before the twentieth century, the area attracted a great many of Toronto’s wealthiest citizens. Luxurious mansions were promptly built, including Senator John Macdonald’s Oaklands, the Eaton family’s Ardwold, Samuel Nordheimer’s Glenedyth, James Austin’s Spadina, William McMaster’s Rathnelly, and, most prominently, Henry Pellatt’s 98-roomm dream home, Casa Loma. All these elegant estates still stand imposingly in South Hill, reminding residents and visitors of its grandiose history. Beginning in 1905, rhe area was gradually annexed by the city of Toronto in a series of sections, and nowadays, it is one of the most expensive choices in the local real estate market.

Casa Loma Toronto by Shahnoor Habib
Casa Loma Toronto by Shahnoor Habib

Local Trivia
The southeastern section of South Hill, known as Rathnelly, declared itself an independent republic during the celebration of Canada’s centennial in 1967. As a symbolic act of independence, Rathnelly elected a queen, organized a parade, formed an “air farce” of 1,000 helium balloons, and issued Republic of Rathnelly passports to everyone in the neighbourhood. Do not miss Rathnelly’s anniversary street party and its highlight, the pancake breakfast!

Homes, Architecture & Real Estate
If you are looking for a grand 19th-century home with a breath-taking view of downtown Toronto — or even a distant glimpse of Lake Ontario — and whimsical architectural details, you will certainly find it in South Hill on the crest of the Avenue Road hill, beneath a canopy of silver maple trees.

Lake Ontario by Xelcise
Lake Ontario by Xelcise

South Hill also meets the expectations of those who seek modern townhouses built as recently as twenty years ago, and those who can satisfy their needs with luxury rental apartment buildings, which can be found on both sides of Avenue Road.

Who Is Your Neighbour?
According to statistics, it is most likely that your neighbour is between 20 and 50 years old, a white collar worker of either Jewish or English background, who owns a dog as a pet, reads business magazines, and lives in a rented home.

Sleeping dog by electricinca
Sleeping dog by electricinca

Parks & Green Spaces

  • Nordheimer Ravine
    This quiet oasis features a rustic wood path with many excellent picnic spots and a large variety of trees, plants, and wildlife.
  • Sir Winston Churchill Park & St. Clair Reservoir
    Located at 301 St Clair Avenue W, the park is well-maintained by the City of Toronto. It has ten tennis courts and a jogging path, and it is also ideal for kids, as it features a children’s playground and a wading pool. Do not hesitate to sunbathe if that is your thing! By the St. Clair and Spadina intersection, discover the hidden St. Clair Reservoir and its stylish pumphouse buildings towards the southwest corner of the park, which are mini versions of the grand R.C. Harris Filtration Plant

Other Nearby Parks

Recreation & Culture

  • The Brown Community Centre and School, 454 Avenue Rd., (416) 392-6826. Known for its French Immersion Program, the centre is ideal for both adults and children. It features an indoor pool, a gymnasium, a baseball diamond, and two tennis courts.
Sir Winston Churchill Park by ryPix
Sir Winston Churchill Park by ryPix

Other Recreational Opportunities

Libraries

Schools, Colleges & Universities

Arts & Entertainment

Attractions & Museums

  • Spadina Historic House & Gardens
    There are many reasons to visit Spadina House. For over a century, Spadina House was home to three generations of the Austin family, located in an area that was starting to become “Millionaires Row”. Since 1984, it has been one of 10 historic museums operated by the City of Toronto. It illustrates the evolution of styles from mid-Victorian to 1930s Colonial Revival and includes items from both the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic Movements, as well as items in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
  • Casa Loma gardens by mark watmough
    Casa Loma gardens by mark watmough
  • Casa Loma
    Torontonians and tourists alike, be sure to take your loved ones for a visit to Canada’s Majestic Castle, Casa Loma, which used to be the home of Sir Henry Pellatt. Casa Loma will leave you breathless with its amazing decorated suites, secret passages, 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and the beautiful 5-acre estate gardens. Thanks to its unique architectural character, Casa Loma has been a popular location for movies and TV shows, such as X-Men, Strange Brew, Chicago, The Tuxedo, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The Pacifier. It was also temporarily transformed into “Hogwarts” for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Do not miss the Queen’s Own Rifles Of Canada Regimental Museum, on the third floor of Casa Loma!
  • Hallway Casa Loma by C P Storm
    Hallway Casa Loma by C P Storm
  • Oaklands
    Built in 1860 by John Macdonald and named after the Oak trees surrounding it, Oaklands mansion now houses a private co-educational school, De La Salle College.
  • High Level Pumping Station
    Located near the intersection of Avenue Road and Dupont Street, the High Level Pumping Station is home to the central control for the city of Toronto’s water distribution system. It was erected in 1906, expanded in 1910, and designated a heritage site by the city in 1985.
  • Baldwin Steps
    Dating back to the 19th century, the stone and concrete Baldwin Steps are a public outdoor staircase which transcend a steep escarpment that marks an ancient shoreline. They are named after Robert Baldwin, a former landowner of the area. Do not miss the plaque for the stairs at the intersection of Spadina Road and Davenport Road!
  • Baldwin steps by ryPix
    Baldwin steps by ryPix

Shopping
South Hill residents enjoy upscale shopping in Forest Hill Village, Yonge and St. Clair, and the mecca of Yorkville, which are not distant from the neighbourhood. You can also find a variety of exclusive shops clustered around Davenport Road and Avenue Road.

Strolling in the neighbourhood, you may stop…

For Flowers and Gifts

  • Summerhill Nursery & Floral, 301 MacPherson Avenue, (416) 922-6902
  • Mayfair Mansions Smoke & Gift, 398 Avenue Road, (416) 922-2127
  • Balloonagram, 222 Avenue Road, (416) 975-0500

For Books

  • Anson-Cartwright Hugh Books, 238 Spadina Road, (416) 979-2441
  • Contact Editions, 491 Davenport Road, (416) 322-0777

For Furniture

  • Aziz Designs, 493 Davenport Road, (416) 921-3809
  • Touch Wood, 217 Avenue Road, (416) 922-1886

For Sporting goods

  •  Fortune & Strength, 271 Spadina Road, (416) 977-7988

Restaurants

Transportation

  • By Bus & Subway The Avenue Road bus connects passengers to the Museum subway station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line and the St. Clair streetcar connects passengers to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
  • By Car South Hill motorists enjoy access to major roadways including Yonge Street, Avenue Road, and Bathurst Street. These roads provide commuters with quick and easy access both into and out of the city.

Doctors & Medical Centres

  • Dr. Wade Phillip, 271 Spadina Road, (416) 924-2288
  • The Balmoral Club (Retirement centre), 155 Balmoral Avenue, (416) 927-0055
  • Lincoln Place Nursing Home, 429 Walmer Road, (416) 967-6949

Police Station

  • 13 Division, 1435 Eglinton Av. W.,(416) 808-1300 (East of Spadina Rd.)
  • 53 Division, 75 Eglinton Av. W., (416) 808-5300 (West of Spadina Rd.)

Fire Station
Station #344, 240 Howland Avenue

Post Offices

  • Canada Post, 509 Street Clair Avenue W, (416) 535-9122
  • Canada Post, 1245 Dupont Street, (416) 537-1402

Churches & Religious Institutions

Demographics

  • Total Population: 5,307
  • Total Households: 2,694
  • Average household income: $141,305.00
  • Average age: 48
  • Top religion: Jewish (26.06%)
  • Top ethnicities: English (12.0%), Scottish (10.0%), Jewish (10.0%)
  • Top job types: White collar (63.1%), Grey collar (31.7)%, Blue collar (5.2)%
Map of South Hill Neighourhood
Map of South Hill Neighourhood
South Hill satellite view
South Hill satellite view, courtesy of Google Maps

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