Etobicoke /ɛˈtoʊbɪkoʊ/ ( listen) (with a silent 'ke')
is an administrative district and former city that makes up the
western part of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Etobicoke was first settled
by Europeans in the 1790s; the municipality grew into city status in
the 20th century. Several independent villages and towns developed
within the area of Etobicoke, only to be absorbed later into Etobicoke
during the era of Metro Toronto.
Etobicoke was dissolved in 1998, when
it was amalgamated with other Metro
Toronto municipalities into the
City of Toronto.
Etobicoke is bordered on the south by Lake Ontario,
on the east by the Humber River, on the west by
Etobicoke Creek, the
city of Mississauga, and
Toronto Pearson International Airport (a
small portion of the airport extends into Etobicoke), and on the north
Steeles Avenue West.
Etobicoke's population (365,143 in 2016) is very diverse, with people
from all over the world including Afro-Eurasians (Europeans, South
Asians, East Asians, Middle Easterners and Africans) and West Indians.
Etobicoke is primarily suburban in development, with a lower
population density than the other districts of Toronto, larger main
streets, shopping malls, and cul-de-sac housing developments.
Etobicoke has several expressways within its borders, including the
Queen Elizabeth Way, Gardiner Expressway,
Ontario Highway 427, Ontario
Highway 401 and
Ontario Highway 409.
Etobicoke is connected to the
Toronto by four stations of the Bloor-Danforth subway, which
has its western terminus at Kipling Avenue, and by four GO stations.
Etobicoke has one post-secondary institution: Humber College, which
has two campuses.
8.2 Further reading
8.3 See also
9 External links
Different groups of First Nations peoples used the land that is now
Etobicoke at different times. As the Algonquins gradually moved west
from the Atlantic to Lake Erie, it is almost certain that they would
have occupied this land at some point. By the time they were mostly
settled on the shores of Georgian Bay, the Huron-Wendat were the
primary residents of the north shore of Lake Ontario. During the 17th
century they were pushed out by the powerful
confederacy, made up of nations based to the south of the lake.
After continued harassment from the
Iroquois to the south, a coalition
of the Ojibway, Odawa, and
Potawatomi Algonquin nations, known as the
Three Fires, gradually pushed the
Haudenosaunee off this land. The
Mississauga settled here by 1695, fishing and
growing crops more locally in the summer and hunting farther afield in
The name "Etobicoke" was derived from the
wah-do-be-kang (wadoopikaang), meaning "place where the alders
grow." This was the way they described the area between Etobicoke
Creek and the Humber River. The first provincial land surveyor,
Augustus Jones, also spelled it as "ato-be-coake."
finally adopted as the official name in 1795 at the direction of
Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe.
The British officials intended
Etobicoke to be included in the Toronto
Purchase of 1787. However, the
Mississauga and government disagreed
as to whether the western boundary of the purchase was the Humber
River or the
Etobicoke River (now,
Etobicoke Creek). The Mississauga
Indians allowed British surveyor
Alexander Aitkin to survey the
disputed land, and the British paid an additional 10 shillings for the
purchase, although the purchase was never formally agreed to. The
dispute was eventually settled between the Government of
Mississauga First Nation in 2010.
Immigrants from the British Isles were among the new settlers, as well
as Loyalists who had left the rebellious Thirteen Colonies, by then
the new United States. Early settlers included many of the Queen's
Rangers, who were given land in the area by Simcoe to help protect the
new capital of Upper
Canada and to develop this frontier area. In
1793-95, the Honourable Samuel Smith, a colonel in the Queen's
Rangers, received land grants of 1,530 acres (6.2 km2), extending
Kipling Avenue to
Etobicoke Creek, and north to Bloor
Street. The first land patent was issued to Sergeant Patrick Mealey
on March 18, 1797, for a plot on the west side of
Royal York Road
Royal York Road on
Lake Ontario. This was part of the First Military Tract, or
"Militia Lands", which extended from today's
Royal York Road
Royal York Road to
Kipling Avenue, south from Bloor Street. The Crown was providing land
to Loyalists in compensation for property they left behind in the US
and to veterans of the American Revolution in payment for service. In
other parts of Ontario, the Crown granted land to the Iroquoian First
Nations who had served as allies during the war and were forced to
cede most of their land in New York to the state. The Crown granted
more land to the members of the
Queen's Rangers in the First Military
tract, but most Rangers did not occupy their land. Many sold their
acreage to others after a short time.
The census of 1805 counted 84 people in the township of Etobicoke. In
1806, William Cooper built a grist mill and saw mill on the west bank
of the Humber river, just south of Dundas Street. The 1809 census
counted 137 residents. The Dundas Street bridge opened in 1816,
making the township more accessible.
On May 18, 1846, the Albion Road Company was incorporated. Its purpose
was to build and maintain a road to the north-west corner of
Etobicoke, where a new community was planned. At the same time, John
Grubb, who had already founded Thistletown, hired land surveyor John
Stoughton Dennis to plan a community at the intersection of Islington
Avenue and Albion Road, to be named Saint Andrew's. Plan 6 for this
community was registered on October 15, 1847. The French master of
Canada College, Jean du Petit Pont de la Haye, contracted land
surveyor James McCallum Jr to create a plan for the community planned
by the Albion Road Company, and Plan 28 was registered for Claireville
on October 12, 1849.
Etobicoke township in 1878
The township of
Etobicoke was incorporated on January 1, 1850. The
first meeting of the town council was held on January 21. Present at
the meeting were reeve William Gamble, vice-reeve W. B. Wadsworth and
aldermen Moses Appleby, Thomas Fisher, and John Geddes. The council
convened monthly meetings at a variety of places. In 1850, the
population of the township was 2904. By 1881, the
Etobicoke township was 2976.
In 1911, the community of
Mimico was incorporated on land taken from
Etobicoke township. New
Toronto was incorporated on January 1,
1913. Early on, there was talk of merging
Mimico and New Toronto. A
1916 referendum on amalgamating the two communities was approved by
the residents of Mimico, but rejected by residents of New Toronto.
Mimico became a town and in 1920, New
Toronto became the Town
of New Toronto. Long Branch was incorporated in 1930 as a village.
Etobicoke Township became a part of the newly formed regional
government, the Municipality of Metropolitan
Toronto ("Metro"). In
1967, the township of
Etobicoke was merged with three small lakeside
municipalities — the Village of Long Branch, the Town of New
Toronto, and the Town of Mimico — to form the Borough of
Etobicoke. The borough was reincorporated as a city in 1984. In
1998, six local municipalities (including Etobicoke) and the
Toronto government merged to form the amalgamated city of
Etobicoke has the lowest population density of the former cities and
boroughs that currently make up the city of Toronto. This is mainly
due to its expanses of industrial lands along the various expressways.
The residential areas consist primarily of single-family dwellings,
although several large multi-storey high-rise condominium developments
have been built in south
Etobicoke near the Humber River over the past
The central areas of
Etobicoke are generally middle class. The central
and northern areas of
Etobicoke contain numerous high-density
apartment complexes set in the middle of sizable, open fields and
parks. The central/southern areas of Etobicoke, such as Markland Wood,
The Kingsway, New Toronto,
Mimico and Long Branch, consist of large
green spaces, numerous parks, and main street shopping areas. The
Kingsway neighbourhood has attracted many affluent individuals and
families (as of 2001, over 50% of households have an income in excess
Etobicoke has numerous public parks. Notable among them is James
Gardens on the banks of the Humber River. The park includes seasonal
flowers, walkways, a rock garden, streams, and waterfalls. It is a
very popular site for taking wedding photographs. Also located in
Etobicoke are Centennial Park, a large recreational park and Colonel
Samuel Smith Park and
Humber Bay Park
Humber Bay Park on the lakeshore.
numerous golf courses including St. George's Golf and Country Club,
which in 2007 was ranked as one of the three best golf courses in
Etobicoke is generally divided into three large areas that roughly
correspond to the three political ridings. Each consists of
neighbourhoods, mostly developments of 19th-century 'postal villages'
(rural neighbourhoods), that were built at important points along the
early roads and railways; especially the three former 'Lakeshore
Municipalities' that separated from
Etobicoke in the early 20th
century and Etobicoke's central Islington community:
The Lakeshore (Etobicoke—Lakeshore), along the north shore of Lake
Ontario and the 'Lake Shore Road' (now Lake Shore Boulevard West),
comprises three former municipalities that were the first in Etobicoke
to urbanize and became separate municipalities during the first half
of the 20th century: Mimico, New
Toronto and Long Branch, and related
communities that were never separate from the Township of Etobicoke;
namely, Alderwood (originally a suburb of New Toronto), and Humber Bay
(a historic gateway community connecting to Toronto) which was
originally sprawl from the east side of the Humber River that was
subsequently split by the construction of Ontario's first motor
vehicle 'freeway' in 1938, which cuts across the top of southern
Etobicoke; (the Queen Elizabeth Way). The original remnant residential
(northern) section of
Humber Bay today is located north of The
Queensway, east of
Mimico Creek to the Humber River. The commercial,
southern section of
Humber Bay today retains only Christie's Biscuits
bakery, as high-rise condominium towers and clustered row housing have
forced out virtually all other commercial/industrial employment uses.
In the late 1990s, the former McGuiness Whiskey factory was converted
into a high-rise loft condominium which became the centrepiece of the
Mystic Pointe development. Etobicoke's first railway opened through
the area in 1855, just north of the Lake
Ontario shoreline, leading to
the first period of growth as it replaced Dundas Street in Central
Etobicoke as the main means of transportation and the industrial
centre along its right-of-way.
Etobicoke Centre); the oldest communities in
Etobicoke developed along the first street, Dundas Street, in the
south of this area, which crosses the width of
Etobicoke on the
escarpment formed by the ancient shoreline of Lake Iroquois. This area
centres around the Islington community, the former administrative
Etobicoke and later Etobicoke's 'downtown' which is near the
central 'Six Points' intersection at its western boundary. The rural
Richview community developed directly to the north of Islington in the
19th century on Eglinton Ave. (formerly Richview Rd.), as did the
gateway Humber Heights communities (connecting to Toronto): Westmount
and Humbervale, to the east on Eglinton. Development of the until-then
largely undeveloped eastern part of central
Etobicoke (originally a
forest reserved for the use of government mills as "The King's Mill
Reserve"; 'Kingsmill'), the 'Humber Valley', was largely the work of
Robert Home Smith starting about 1900 and including the communities of
the Kingsway and Edenbridge. As
Etobicoke developed in the post-war
years, low-density residential areas filled in most of the rural areas
between the old communities including
Princess-Rosethorn and Eringate
– Centennial – West Deane as well as the older Eatonville
community to the west of Islington. Central
Etobicoke's most exclusive neighbourhoods, with fine housing stock and
many large treed properties. Along the East and West Mall parallel to
Highway 427 exists a mix of hi-rise rentals, townhouses and post-war
Markland Wood is the farthest western community within
Etobicoke/Toronto; situated along
Bloor Street West, it is
predominately single family housing with some mixed hi-rise rentals.
North Etobicoke; The 19th-century
Etobicoke communities are
Clairville, Highfield, Rexdale, Smithfield,
Thistletown which grew
along two formerly private roads (now Albion Rd. and
constructed diagonally across farms in Northern
Etobicoke as a
shortcut for travellers to Peel County (especially modern Brampton).
First developed as an urban area by
Rex Heslop in the post-war years
around the new
Rexdale (the Elms) community, northern
has many apartment buildings as well as a large 'skyway' industrial
park to the west, developed after Malton Airport (in nearby
Mississauga) became Toronto's main "Pearson International" Airport,
and faces many of the problems associated with such areas.
See also: People from Etobicoke
In 2011, according to the National Household Survey,
58.7% White, 13.6% South Asian, 10.5% Black, 3.0% Latin American, 3.0%
Filipino, 2.2% Chinese, 1.4% Korean, 1.3% Southeast Asian, 1.3% West
Asian, 1.2% Arab, and 3.8% Other. 46.9% of the population are
immigrants and 37.2% of North
Etobicoke is of South Asian origin, the
highest such percentage in Toronto. English is the most spoken
language in Etobicoke, followed by Italian, Punjabi, Russian,
Ukrainian, Gujarati, Korean, Spanish, Persian, Portuguese, and
Toronto skyline taken from
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke.
A view of
Etobicoke from Budapest Park, looking west across Humber
See also: List of educational institutions in Etobicoke
Secular Anglophone public schools in
Etobicoke are overseen by the
Toronto District School Board. High schools include Central Etobicoke
Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, founded in 1928; Kipling
Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
Lakeshore Collegiate Institute (originally New
Toronto Secondary School, founded in 1950); Martingrove Collegiate
Institute; North Albion Collegiate Institute; Richview Collegiate
Institute, founded in 1958; Silverthorn Collegiate Institute;
Thistletown Collegiate Institute; West Humber Collegiate Institute,
founded in 1966;
Etobicoke School of the Arts, founded in 1981 in the
former Royal York Collegiate Institute; Scarlett Heights
Entrepreneurial Academy (formerly, Collegiate Institute); and the
School of Experiential Education, an alternative school founded in
1971. Until 1998, the anglophone secular public schools were operated
Etobicoke Board of Education.
In addition to the secular anglophone public school system, Etobicoke
is home to several public anglophone Catholic schools, overseen by the
Toronto Catholic District School Board. These include Michael
Power/St. Joseph; Bishop Allen Academy; Don Bosco Catholic Secondary
School (formerly Keiller Mackay Collegiate Institute); Father John
Redmond; Father Henry Carr; Holy Child Catholic School; Our Lady of
Sorrows Elementary School; Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School;
Father Serra Catholic School; and Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic
Other schools include
Humberwood Downs J.M.A.; West Humber Junior;
Smithfield; Elmbank; Humbercrest;
Eatonville Junior School
Eatonville Junior School and
Mississauga private school. West Glen Junior School, located on Cowley
Avenue, educates in grades JK-5 (1953); Norseman Junior Middle School
opened its doors to students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in January
1953. From 1968 to 1981, it became the middle school for the area with
Grades 6, 7, and 8. Since 1981, the school has served students from
Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. The second storey houses the senior
elementary school, Grades 6 to 8. Hilltop Middle School and John
English Junior Middle School are home to students in both the English
and French stream. Hollycrest located on Renforth Drive is a
sports-oriented middle school.
Conseil scolaire Viamonde
Conseil scolaire Viamonde operates secular francophone schools,
Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud
Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud operates
Catholic francophone schools.
Pizza Pizza and
Sunwing Airlines have their headquarters in
Etobicoke. Skyservice and
Canada 3000 had their
Etobicoke before the closure of these airlines.
The construction industry in
Etobicoke has been booming, with many new
condominium towers being developed along the waterfront near Humber
Bay and along Bloor street. This has helped increase Etobicoke's
population after a short period of decline. The area's film and
television industry is also promising.
Etobicoke is home to a rib fest that is held every year on
long weekend at Centennial Park. The weekend is filled with
entertainment, food, midway, and music.
Main articles: Amateur sport in
Toronto and List of sports teams in
Etobicoke has a wide range of indoor and outdoor sporting leagues
including baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and ringette. Some of
the prominent clubs include the
Etobicoke Kangaroos Australian rules
football club, the
Serbian White Eagles FC
Serbian White Eagles FC club, and
Etobicoke is also home to the new MasterCard Centre, the
practice rink of the
Toronto Maple Leafs. The
Toronto Patriots of the
Ontario Junior Hockey League are based out of Etobicoke.
the hometown of Major League Baseball Star
Joey Votto as well as
National Hockey League Star P. K. Subban, and Connor Brown (ice
hockey) of the
Toronto Maple Leafs.
Etobicoke is also home to
Centennial Park which is a huge green space in west Toronto, and poses
a great venue for soccer, basketball, skiing, hockey, basketball,
hiking, track and field and also rugby. Etobicoke,
Etobicoke)is home to the top ranked high school basketball program in
Canada, Henry Carr Crusaders. Producing notable US Division 1 and NBA
players such as Tyler Ennis and Sim Bhullar. Henry Carr Crusaders were
the 2016 AAA Provincial high school basketball champions.
A view of
Mimico Harbour in south Etobicoke.
Several major expressways like 427, 401, 407, 27 and QEW are routed
through the area, making it ideal for automobile-based transportation.
There are numerous four- and six-lane thoroughfares in Etobicoke, laid
out on a grid system. Many exceptions to Toronto's gridded street
matrix are found in Etobicoke. A number of overpasses and awkward
intersections, such as Bloor/Kipling/Dundas West (Six-Points), have
been created in an effort to reconcile the grid with these planning
Bloor-Danforth subway rapid-transit line has its western terminus
Kipling Avenue and Dundas Street. Islington Station is a transit
nexus for bus routes into
Mississauga to the west. There are many bus
routes that service
Etobicoke frequently. An LRT line is planned for
the north end of
Etobicoke along Finch Avenue to connect to the
Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
Etobicoke is also home to four GO stations:
Etobicoke North station on
the Kitchener line, Kipling station on the Milton line, as well as
Long Branch and
Mimico stations on the Lakeshore West line.
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Etobicoke Historical Society. Archived
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Toronto – The Weekender; March 27, 2005
List of mayors of Etobicoke
List of neighbourhoods in Etobicoke
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Etobicoke.
Etobicoke travel guide from Wikivoyage
Etobicoke Ethnocultural Profile
Markland Wood website, history of the Silverthorn Homestead
Former municipalities of
Toronto by year of amalgamation
Town of York
1888: Seaton Village
1890: Bedford Park
1908: Deer Park
1910: Moore Park
Neighbourhoods in Toronto
Bloor West Village
Bloor Street Culture Corridor
Church and Wellesley
East Bayfront District
Gerrard India Bazaar
High Park North
Queen Street West
St. James Town
West Don Lands
West Don Lands (Canary District)
Bayview Woods – Steeles
Don Valley Village
Jane and Finch
North York City Centre
Pelmo Park – Humberlea
York University Heights
Scarborough City Centre
Tam O'Shanter – Sullivan
Eringate – Centennial – West Deane
Humber Heights – Westmount
Humber Valley Village
Islington–City Centre West
The Queensway – Humber Bay
Old East York
Italics indicate neighbourhoods now defunct. For information on the
evolution of each neighbourhood in general, see History of
neighbourhoods in Toronto.