Seven quirky facts about Etobicoke.
Tuesday May 09th, 2023
- The name "Etobicoke" comes from the Ojibwe word "wadoopikaang," which means a place where alder trees grow. It was later modified and anglicized over time to become "Etobicoke." The land was obtained in the contentious Toronto Purchase of 1787, in which First Nations peoples traded a large portion of Toronto land for 2,000 gun flints, 24 brass kettles, 120 mirrors, 24 laced hats, 96 gallons of rum, and a bolt of floral flannel.
- Long Branch was once a summer resort established by Thomas Wilkie, who bought and subdivided the prime lakefront property into 219 cottage-sized lots. The area boasted a luxury hotel, a park named Sea Breeze, and several magnificent mansions. Prior to the streetcar, access was available by rail or steamer from the foot of Yonge St. Some of the original summer homes still stand today.
- During Hurricane Hazel's devastation of Toronto in 1954, the Humber River area was hit particularly hard. The river overflowed and destroyed bridges and homes. Raymore Drive lost 35 people due to their homes being washed away. This disaster was responsible for almost half of Hazel's deaths in Ontario, and the area is now Raymore Park.
- Back in the early 1980s, a plan was created to build a light rail transit line from Kipling station to Pearson Airport and then on to York University, running along the Kipling hydro corridor. Although the line would have used articulated streetcars, the only evidence left today is a partly built platform opposite the bus bays.
- Richview Memorial Cemetery, established in 1846, can be found in plain sight at Highway 427/401 interchange. Despite its location, the cemetery remains active, with about 300 individuals buried there.
- Tucked away on industrial Claireville Drive is a stunning Hindu temple. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was finished in 2007 and consisted of 24,151 intricately hand-carved marble and stone pieces. The 10,000-ton temple is entirely self-supporting, with no central steel structure or skeleton. It's constructed from Italian marble, Turkish limestone, Indian sandstone, and granite. During the grand opening, former Mayor David Miller, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper were in attendance.
- Etobicoke's oldest remaining residence, situated on the street with a view of the Humber River and adjacent to newer suburban properties, was built by businessman John Grubb between 1802 and 1820. The stone cottage, located on Jason Rd., predates the naming of the Thistletown neighborhood in which it resides. Despite the area being mostly rural until the 1950s and 60s, the cottage has survived to this day.
Etobicoke is located in the west part of Toronto. It has both high-rise apartments and older homes with character and charm. Etobicoke is also well-connected to the rest of Toronto, with easy access to highways and public transit options, including the TTC subway and bus system.
If you are looking to relocate to Etobicoke, I will be happy to find a perfect place for your family to live in. Get in touch.