Overview of Forest Hill
The Forest Hill neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most prestigious districts. The mansions in Lower Forest Hill are rivalled only by those found in Rosedale. Forest Hill’s schools are among the best in the country. They include two of Canada’s most revered private schools: Upper Canada College for boys, and Bishop Strachan School for girls. Forest Hill is one of Toronto’s prettier districts. Its topography is very diverse with gently sloping hills, winding roads, and numerous little parkettes all adding charm to the neighbourhood.
History of Forest Hill
Forest Hill was incorporated as a village in 1923. It was named after the summer residence of John Wickson, built in 1860, at the junction of Eglinton Avenue and Old Forest Hill Road. The hill is still there, but the forest is long since gone, having been replaced by apartment buildings.
Prior to its incorporation, Forest Hill had been known as “Spadina Heights”. Spadina is a derivative of the First Nations word “Ishapadenah”, which means a hill or sudden rise in land. The boundaries of the present day neighbourhood are shaped from the old Spadina Heights school district.
“Lower Forest Hill”, south of Eglinton, was completely developed by the 1930’s. “Upper Forest Hill” was slower to develop due to the fact it had previously been occupied by the old Belt Line railway, and then by industry.
In 1967, Forest Hill Village joined Swansea Village as one of the last two independent villages to be annexed by the City of Toronto.
Homes in Forest Hill
Forest Hill’s old building codes and bylaws, dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s, required that all Forest Hill houses be designed by an architect, and that a tree be planted at the front of each property. This foresight by Village planners has left a legacy of beauty in the brick and stone mansions, and majestic trees that grace the streets of Lower Forest Hill. The Upper Village houses were built mostly in the 1940’s and 1950’s. These houses are more modest than their Lower Village counterparts, however the lot sizes are comparable between the two districts. Forest Hill also contains a fair number of luxury condominium apartment buildings, located west of Spadina on Lonsdale Road and Heath Street West.
Schools in Forest Hill
- (P) Forest Hill Jr. & Sr., 78 Dunloe Road, (416) 393-9335
- (P) Alternative Primary Jr., 1100 Spadina Road, (416) 393-9199
- (P) North Preparatory Jr., 1100 Spadina Road, (416) 393-9230
- (P) West Preparatory Jr., 70 Ridge Hill Drive, (416) 393-1633
- (PH) Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, 730 Eglinton Avenue W., (416) 393-1860
- (PR) Bishop Strachan School, 298 Lonsdale Road, (416) 483-4325
- (PR) Upper Canada College, Upper School, 200 Lonsdale Road, (416) 488-1125
- (PR) Upper CanadaCollege, Prep School, 220 Lonsdale Road, (416) 488-1125