Hillcrest Village is a traditional Toronto neighbourhood well known for its beautiful tree-lined streets and irregular terrain. The neighbourhood comprises a wide variety of houses, including some from the end of 1800s as well as early 1900s. Thanks to the area's low traffic, Hillcrest boasts a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, reminiscent of life outside the city, even though it's just 15 minutes from Toronto’s financial district. Due to its proximity to the city centre, fine neighbourhood amenities, and peaceful streets, Hillcrest Village has become a popular destination for families with children.
Located at the northernmost tip of the City of Toronto, Hillcrest Village encompasses two neighbourhoods known as Humewood, located north of St. Clair Avenue West, and Hillcrest, located south of St. Clair Avenue West. It's bordered by Davenport Road to the south, Oakwood Avenue to the west, Vaughan Road to the north, and Bathurst Street to the east.
A reformer from England, Robert John Turner, was the first to establish a settlement in Hillcrest in the 1840s. What was once the Turner estate transformed into a small village by the end of the 19th century. The majority of the population of Bracondale Village, located at the intersection of Christie and Davenport, were farmers, and the first postmaster was Robert Turner’s son, Frank.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the City of Toronto annexed Bracondale Village and Frank Turner’s heirs divided the Bracondale estate, making an exclusive subdivision called Bracondale Hill Park. However, in 1937, the Turner family lost their Bracondale ownership and the City demolished their estate in order to create space for Hillcrest Park.
Hillcrest Village in 1951 from TBL Archives
- Some of the detached houses that were built between 1910 and 1930 near Hillcrest Park were made with stone from the original Union Station, which was demolished after World War I.
- Hillcrest Village has the ninth-lowest number of robberies per 10,000 residents of all Toronto neighbourhoods, according to a 2011 list compiled by CBC News.
- The home ownership rate in Hillcrest Village is above 75 per cent.
- Hillcrest Village is the ninth most diverse neighbourhood in Toronto.
Homes, Architecture, and Real Estate
Hillcrest Village boasts some of the most attractive streets in Toronto, with homes that have lots of history and stories to tell. Even though the Turner house doesn't stand anymore, there's a number of houses in the neighbourhood that were built in the 19th century or in the early 1900s. The diversity of styles, shapes, and sizes defines the neighbourhood's unique atmosphere and charm. There are many popular architectural styles here, including Tudor (with decorative, steeply pitched roofs and narrow front doors and windows), English Cottage (with asymmetrical shapes), and Edwardian (with imaginative frontispieces) — all set in an interesting hillside landscape with plenty of trees.
Who's Your Neighbour?
According to statistics, your neighbour in Hillcrest Village is most likely a family with parents between age 45 and 49, one child, and Irish or Italian origins. However, with a growing number of new trendy restaurants and shops, there's also an increasing population of young professionals and singles. Moreover, Hillcrest Village is well known for its rich cultural diversity.
Parks and Green Spaces
Located at the south perimeter of the neighbourhood, Hillcrest Park offers a fantastic view of Toronto’s skyline as well as Lake Ontario. This 2.1 hectare park features four tennis courts, a wading pool, a playground, a baseball diamond, a basketball court, an off-leash dog park, and a community garden.
The northern part of Hillcrest Village is very close to the magnificent Cedarvale Park, which is a very popular dog walking destination as well as a great place for playing cricket or flying kites. This huge urban green space includes a wide variety of recreational amenities such as a baseball diamond, tennis courts, soccer pitches, a skating rink, and an innovative environmental educational program called Families in Nature.
Leaves by Svetlana Grechkina
Culture and Arts
The Artscape Wychwood Barns are a community cultural hub that encompass live-in work space for artists, seasonal festivals, a farmers market, a greenhouse, a community-run gallery, and administrative facilities for non-profit organizations. It operates on a self-sustaining model without any need for ongoing operating subsidy after the initial capital investment. The park’s green space offers many great facilities, such as a natural ice rink, playing fields, a stage, chess tables, beach volleyball, a water play area, and children’s swings and climbers.
Wychwood Public Library, opened since April 1916, is located just north of the Hillcrest Community Centre. It’s open all days of the week except Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and runs many programs for local children during the year.
Artscape Wychwood Barns by Ian Irving
Schools, Colleges, and Universities
- McMurrich Junior Public School, 115 Winona Drive, Toronto, 416-393-1770
- Humewood Community School, 15 Cherrywood Avenue, 416-394-2383
- Hillcrest Community School, 1339 Bathurst Street, 416-392-0746
- St. Bruno, 402 Melita Crescent, 416-393-5376
- St. Alphonsus, 60 Atlas Avenue, 416-393-5326
- Holy Rosary, 308 Tweedsmuir Avenue, 416-923-8471
- St. Michael’s College School, 1515 Bathurst Street, Toronto, 416-653-3180
The Hillcrest shopping district, located on St. Clair Avenue West, encompasses predominantly independent retailers who provide personalized and friendly service. Moreover, there are small convenience stores on Davenport Road as well as Vaughan Road. Hillcrest Village hosts one of the largest and best farmers markets in Toronto — the Stop Farmers' Market at Wychwood Barns. It's located at 601 Christie Street and open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- El Fogon, 543 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-850-8041
- Mezzetta Restaurant and Tapas Bar, 681 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-658-5687
- Taste of Thai House, 62 Vaughan Road, 416-652-0200
- El Rincon Mexicano Restaurant, 653 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-656-1059
- Tenoch Restaurant, 933 Saint Clair Avenue West, 647-345-0165
- The Stockyards, 699 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-658-9666
- Savera Indian Cuisine, 815 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-657-2500
Public transit in Hillcrest Village is very convenient, with the St. Clair Avenue streetcar and buses running along Oakwood Avenue, Bathurst Street, and Davenport Road. Plus, it's just a fifteen-minute drive to downtown. Its great location and easy connection via public transit to the city centre are a huge benefit to Hillcrest Village.
Medical Centres and Doctors
- Vaughan Medical Centre, 26 Vaughan Road
- Clair Vaughan Medical Clinic, 553 St Clair Avenue West, 416-652-3307
- Dr. Jaroslava Hrabalova, dentist, 845 St Clair Avenue West, 416-656-1442
- Dr. H Halim, dentist, 32 Vaughan Road, 416-652-1695
- Dr. Rebecca Yacobi, dentist, 576 Christie Street, 416-658-6144
- Clairhurst Eye Care, 511 Saint Clair Avenue West, 416-516-3937
- Dr. Adrian Cohen, chiropractic, 64 Vaughan Road, 416-654-4542
- Dr. Bryn Waern, family, 23 Biggar Avenue, 416-654-1333
- The closest police station: Toronto Police Station 13 Division, 1435 Eglinton Avenue West, 416-808-1300
- Toronto Fire Station 343, 65 Hendrick Avenue
- The closest post office is at 1161 St Clair Avenue West
Churches and Religious Organizations
- St Matthew’s United Church, 729 St Clair Avenue West
- Gaden Choling Mahayana Buddhist Meditation Centre, 637 Christie Street
- Hungarian United Church, 747 St Clair Avenue West
- Hillcrest Christian Church, 2 Vaughan Road
- St. Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Chapel, Winona Drive
- Sri Sathya Sai Baba Book, 58B Arlington Avenue
- Anglican Parish Churches in Toronto, 611 St Clair Avenue West
- Total Population: 28,090
- Total Households: 6,865
- Average Household Income: $81,046
- Average Age: 34.5
- Top Ethnicities: English, Jewish, Scottish