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Places within Toronto

Today’s Toronto has an area of 641 square kilometres or 247 square miles and encompasses many historic communities. Many survive as neighbourhoods, others as street names, and some only in history books and archives. The place names listed below may describe the residence of your ancestor or places he or she visited. This list is intended to guide you to the jurisdictions that may have created records, and to other Internet sources of information about the place. Please contact us if you come across other communities, or sources that might be useful for researchers.

Agincourt: a community near Sheppard Avenue and Midland Avenue in Scarborough named in 1858 when it was granted a post office
Annex: part of York Township from about Avenue Road to Christie Street, from Bloor Street to Dupont Street, annexed to Toronto in the 1880s and 1890s. See: The Annex Residents Association
Armadale: a post office hamlet at Steeles Avenue and Markham Road on the north boundary of Scarborough, originally named Magdalla
Baby Point: a scenic residential area developed in 1912 on a bend of the Humber River in the west part of York Township, named for early French settler James Baby. See: Baby Point Heritage Foundation.
Balmy Beach: a community in the south east part of York Township annexed to Toronto in 1909.
Beach(es): a residential, retail and recreational area in east Toronto including Balmy, Kew, and Woodbine beaches. See: Beaches Business Improvement Association
Bedford Park: a community on Yonge Street at Lawrence Avenue in York Township that was amalgamated with Eglinton and Davisville and incorporated as North Toronto in 1890
Bendale: a community that grew around the 1796 Thompson Settlement near Lawrence Avenue and McCowan Road in Scarborough; the name was changed from Benlomond to Bendale in 1881
Benlomond: an early name for Bendale
Berkeley: an area in York Township also known as Norway
Big Creek Bridge: an early name for York Mills
Birch Cliff: a scenic residential area near Kingston Road and Birchmount Avenue in Scarborough dating from 1895 when the Toronto Hunt Club moved to the area. See: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/regions/scarborough/125.html
For A Short History of St. Nicholas, Birch Cliff, see http://www.stnicholasbirchcliff.com/pages/05_about_st_nicks.html
Blue Hill: the once steep descent and rise of Yonge Street through the ravine north of Davenport Road, so name for the treacherous blue clay
Bracondale: a community at St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street in York Township annexed to Toronto in 1909, named for the home of the Turner family
Brockton: a village in the west part of York Township incorporated in 1880, annexed to Toronto in 1884. See: http://www.lostrivers.ca/points/parkdale.htm
Brown’s Corners: a community at Finch Avenue and Markham Road in Scarborough
Cabbagetown: originally a colloquial name for the poor residential area of Toronto east of Parliament Street and south of Gerrard Street—but now used for a prestigious residential area north east of Parliament and Gerrard. See: http://www.cabbagetownpa.ca/, http://www.cabbagetownpeople.ca/index.html and http://www.crpmuseum.com/index.php
Carlton: see Carlton West
Carlton West: a village, and a station on the Grand Trunk Railway on Old Weston Road in York Township, annexed to West Toronto Junction in 1888
Carronbrook: an early name for the Dublin post office
Cedarvale: a residential area bordered by Eglinton Avenue West, Bathurst Street and Vaughan Road in York Township, laid out in 1912 by Sir Henry Pellatt, around the Cedarvale Ravine. See: http://www.torontoneighbourhoods.net/regions/york/147.html
Centre Island: see Toronto Islands
Chester: a hamlet near Broadview and Danforth in York Township
Clairville: a hamlet near Albion Road and Steeles Avenue in Etobicoke
Cliffside: a neighbourhood on the lakeshore east of Kennedy Road in Scarborough, formerly called Mortlake
Coleman’s Corners: a community near Dawes Road and Danforth Avenue in York Township
Coonat’s Corners: an early name for Thistletown
Corktown: a colloquial name for the largely Irish residential area near King Street and Parliament Street in Toronto. Also used for the West Hill area in Scarborough.
Cummer’s Settlement: see Willowdale.
Danforth, The: a name for the retail and residential community on and adjacent to Danforth Avenue in Toronto
Danforth: a post office opened in 1859 in Scarborough
Davenport: a hamlet on Davenport Road in York Township that developed in the 1850s around a station of the Northern Railway, annexed to West Toronto Junction in 1888
Davisville: a community on Yonge Street at Davisville Avenue in York Township, named for first postmaster John Davis who immigrated from Staffordshire in 1840 and operated Davisville Pottery
Dayton: an early name for the Emery post office
Deer Park: a community on Yonge Street at St. Clair Avenue in York Township
Don Mills: or just “Don”, an area in York Township named for the Don River east of the river to Victoria Park Avenue from Eglinton to York Mills Road; later a planned residential development built between 1952 and 1965
Don Mount: a community on the Don River near Queen Street and Broadview Avenue in York Township
Doncaster: a community on the east bank of the Don River about half a mile south of Todmorden in York Township
Dovercourt: a subdivision in the west part of York Township annexed to Toronto in 1910, named for a home of the Denison family
Downsview: a large, mainly rural area in York Township named for John Perkins Bull’s farm, with approximate boundaries of Lawrence Avenue to Wilson Avenue, and Bathurst Street to Jane Street
Dublin: a crossroads village in York Township at Sheppard Avenue and Dufferin Street founded by William Duncan
Earlscourt: a community on St. Clair Avenue west of Dufferin Street in York Township annexed to Toronto in 1910
East Toronto: an incorporated town in York Township, which was annexed to Toronto in 1908.
East York (Township, Borough): a mostly rural area severed from York Township in 1923. See: City of Toronto Archives and East York Historical Society
Eglinton: a community on Yonge Street north of today’s Eglinton Avenue in York Township
Elderslie: a post office established in 1852 on Markham Road between Lawrence Avenue and Ellesmere Road in Scarborough; the name was changed to Woburn in 1856
Elia: an area in York Township north of Sheppard Avenue between Dufferin and Jane streets. Elia post office was at Finch Avenue And Keele Street.
Ellesmere: a community at Kennedy Road and Ellesmere Road in Scarborough where a post office was established in 1853
Emery: a community centred at Finch Avenue and Weston Road in York Township
Etobicoke (Township, Borough, City): an original township, surveyed in 1791, west of the Humber River. See: City of Toronto Archives and http://www.etobicokehistorical.com/
Fairbank: a community in York Township near the intersection of Eglinton Avenue, Dufferin Street and Vaugan Road, named for Matthew Parson’s farm. See http://fairbank.gloamingheritage.com/
Finch’s Corners: a post office on Yonge Street at Finch Avenue
Fisherville: a hamlet at Dufferin Street and Steeles Avenue on the north edge of York Township, overlapping into Vaughan Township
Flynntown: an area on Leslie Street north of Sheppard Avenue in York Township, named for early settler Martin Flynn
Forest Hill: a mostly upscale residential area severed from York Township in 1923 and annexed to Toronto in 1967
Government Park: the area south of Queen Street between the Town of York and the Don River originally reserved for government use
Green Grove: see Thistletown
Grouse Hill: an early name for the Emery post office
Hanlan’s Point: see Toronto Islands
Heron’s Bridge: an early name for York Mills
High Park: the residential area in the west part of Toronto surrounding the large park donated to the city in 1873 and 1890 by influential civic engineer and architect John George Howard. See: City of Toronto Archives and http://www.highpark.org/
Highfield: a post office village at Rexdale Blvd. and Highway 27 in Etobicoke. See: http://etobicokehistorical.com/
Highland Creek: an early settlement near the Highland Creek and Kingston Road in Scarborough; the west part became West Hill in 1879
Hillside: a small community on the Rouge River near Old Finch Avenue and Sewells Road in Scarborough
Hoggs Hollow: a small settlement named for the Hogg family in York Township on Yonge Street near York Mills Road
Hough’s Corners: an early name for Wexford
Humber: an early name for Weston
Humber Summit: a mill district on Islington Avenue between Finch and Steeles avenues in the north west corner of York Township
Humber Bay: a community in south Etobicoke between Mimico Creek and the Humber River. See http://humberbaysoldiers.blogspot.com/.
Island(s): see Toronto Islands
Islington: an early village on Dundas Street at Islington Avenue in Etobicoke. See: http://www.villageofislington.com/
Junction: see West Toronto Junction
Kaiserville: a community, named for the Kaiser family, on Steeles Avenue at Jane Street on the north edge of York Township and overlapping into Vaughan Township
Kensington (Market): a residential and commercial area south west of College Street and Spadina Avenue in Toronto that became home to several waves of immigrant communities beginning with Jews in first decades of the 20th century. See Kensington Market Historical Society.
Kew Beach: a post office community on the lakeshore in the east part of Toronto.
L’Amoreaux: (or L’Amaroux) a community on the border of York Township and Scarborough at Finch Avenue, named for an early Huguenot settler
Lambton (Mills): a mill village and post office on Dundas Street on the Humber River, the boundary of York Township and Etobicoke
Lansing: a community on Yonge Street at Sheppard Avenue in York Township
Leaside: The Town of Leaside was incorporated in 1913 and merged with the Township of East York in 1967. It is located mostly south of Eglinton Ave East, east of Bayview, and north and east of the Don Valley Parkway. See: http://leaside100.ca/ and Leaside Life News
Leslieville: a community on Queen Street in the south east part of York Township annexed to Toronto in 1884
Liberties of Toronto: the mainly undeveloped area within the boundaries of the City of Toronto when it was incorporated in 1834, but outside the “city limits”, which contained the developed and densely populated parts
Little Norway: an area on Toronto’s downtown lakeshore that was used by the Royal Norwegian Air Force as a training centre during the WWII. Flight training was based at the Island airport. See: http://www.emb-norway.ca/News_and_events/Historical-ties/Archive-WW2/littlenorway/history/
Little York: a community on Kingston Road east of Norway where the Grand Trunk Railway established a freight yard
Long Branch: a community on the lakeshore of Etobicoke that began as a summer resort in 1886. See: Etobicoke Historical Society
Macaulaytown: a colloquial name for the residential area that developed on land that had belonged to Dr. Macaulay near Bay Street north of Queen Street in Toronto
Magdalla: see Armadale
Malcolm’s Corners: an early name for Malvern
Malvern: a crossroads village at Finch Avenue and Markham Road in Scarborough, named when it was granted a post office in 1856
Metropolitan Toronto: an additional tier of government from 1953 to 1997 that concerned itself with issues of regional significance in Toronto, Etobicoke, York, East York, North York and Scarborough. See: City of Toronto Archives
Millford Mills: an early name for York Mills
Milliken: a rural community on Kennedy Road on the boundary between Scarborough and Markham, named for an early settler
Mimico: an early village near Mimico Creek in Etobicoke, incorporated as a town in 1917. See: http://etobicokehistorical.com/ http://mimicoestates.blogspot.com/, http://mimicosoldiers.blogspot.com/, and http://mimicohistory.blogspot.com/
Moffat’s Corners: a crossroads village in Scarborough, served by the Strangford post office which opened in 1863
Mortlake: see Cliffside
Mount Dennis: a community in York Township near Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue named for the Dennis family, early millers in the area
Newtonbrook: an early community on Yonge Street at Drewry Avenue near the north boundary of York Township
New Toronto: a village incorporated in 1913 on the shore of lake Ontario in Etobicoke, between Mimico and Long Branch. See: http://www.newtorontohistorical.com/
Northmount: a post office near Newtonbrook
North Toronto: a town in Yonge Street in York Township, incorporated in 1890, which included the communities of Davisville, Eglinton and Bedford Park. It was annexed to Toronto in 1912. See:http://northtorontohistoricalsociety.org/ , and http://newtorontosoldiers.blogspot.com/
North York (Township, Borough, City): a large portion of York Township that became a separate municipality in 1922. See: City of Toronto Archives
Norway, Little: see Little Norway
Norway: a community at Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue in the east part of York Township, known for a time as Berkeley
Oakwood: a community centred on St. Clair Avenue, east of Dufferin Street in York Township
Oriole: a small mill community near Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue in York Township
O’Sullivan’s Corners: a small community on the boundary of York Township and Scarborough, south of L’Amoreaux at Sheppard Avenue
Parkdale: a town incorporated 1878 in the west part of York Township, annexed to Toronto in 1889. See: http://www.parkdalevillagebia.com/history
Peninsula: prior to a storm in 1858 the Peninsula protected the York harbour. The storm opened the Eastern Gap near the mouth of the Don River and the Peninsula became the Toronto Islands
Regent Park: Canada’s largest and oldest publicly funded community, built more than 50 years ago, it was originally designed as a transitional community. The Regent Park area occupies the original site of Cabbagetown dating back to the 1820s. See the Cabbagetown/Regent Park Museum site at: http://www.crpmuseum.com/index.php
Richview: an agricultural community near Eglinton Avenue and Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke named for the post office opened in 1852
Riverdale: a Toronto community east of the Don River, south of Danforth Avenue (see Riverside). See: http://riverdalehistoricalsociety.com/
Riverside: an area of York Township east of the Don River annexed to Toronto in 1884, now called Riverdale
Rosedale: an early residential subdivision north east of Bloor Street and Yonge Street in York Township
St. Andrews: an early name for Thistletown
Scarborough (Township, Borough, City): an original township, surveyed in 1791 and named a few years later. See: City of Toronto Archives and http://www.scarboroughhistorical.com/ and http://www.beamccowan.com/notable.htm
Scarborough (village): an early crossroads village in Scarborough Township near Markham and Kingston Roads and Eglinton Avenue; a post office opened there in 1832
Scarborough Junction: a village that developed around the stations of the Grand Trunk Railway and Toronto-Nippissing Railway near Kennedy Road and St. Clair Avenue in Scarborough
Seaton Village: a community west of Bathurst Street to about Manning Avenue between Bloor Street and Dupont Street in York Township, annexed to Toronto in 1888
Silverthorn’s Mill: see Summerville
Smithfield: an early community at Albion Road and Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke
Strangford: a post office that operated from 1863 to 1873 at St. Clair Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue in Scarborough
Summerville: a small village on Dundas Street at Etobicoke Creek on the border of Etobicoke Township and Mississauga, known earlier as Silverthorn’s Mill. See: http://www5.mississauga.ca/library/history/Archives/summerville.htm
Sunnyside: a park on the lakeshore near Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto, very popular from about 1890 to 1950, and the surrounding area.
Swansea: a community in York Township bounded by Grenadier Pond in High Park, the Humber River, Bloor Street and the lakeshore, incorporated as a village in 1926; annexed to Toronto in 1967. See: http://www.swansea.ca/ and http://www.swanseatownhall.ca/
Thistletown: a hamlet on Albion Road in the Humber River valley in Etobicoke named for a local family; known earlier as Coonats Corners and St. Andrews
Todmorden: a village on the east side of the Don River that grew around the mills of the Skinner, Eastwood and Helliwell families; named for the English home of the Helliwells. See: http://pubhist.info.yorku.ca/institution/todmorden-mills-heritage-museum-and-arts-centre/ and http://todmordenandwalsden.co.uk/
Toronto, City of: surrounded by York Township, the Town of York was renamed Toronto when it was incorporated in 1834. The city grew by annexing major portions of York Township and its incorporated municipalities, until in 1998 it became part of the much larger City of Toronto which amalgamated Etobicoke, York, North York, East York, Scarborough and Toronto. See: http://www.toronto.ca/archives/records_toronto.htm
Toronto Islands: a series of sandbar islands that protect the Toronto harbour. Originally a peninsula, severed from the mainland by a storm in 1858, the Islands have been augmented and stabilized from erosion, and now are mostly parkland with an airport, several yacht clubs, and limited residential development. See: http://torontoisland.org/
Toronto Junction: see West Toronto Junction
Toronto, East: see East Toronto
Toronto Metropolitan: see Metropolitan Toronto
Toronto, North: see North Toronto
Ward, The: a colloquial name for the slum area that developed north west of Queen Street and Bay Street, known earlier as Macaulaytown
Ward’s Island: see Toronto Islands
West Hill: an area on the west side of Highland Creek at Kingston Road in Scarborough, that had been part of the community of Highland Creek until it was granted a post office in 1879
West Toronto Junction: a town incorporated in York Township 1887, annexed to Toronto in 1909. See: http://www.wtjhs.ca/
Weston: an early hamlet first known as “Humber” that became an incorporated town in York Township and Etobicoke. See: http://welcometoweston.ca/
Wexford: a community dating from the 1840s near the junction of Lawrence Avenue and Pharmacy Avenue in Scarborough; known originally as Hough’s Corners
Willowdale: a community on Yonge Street in York Township, between Lansing and Newtonbrook, named in 1855 when it was granted a post office. Originally known as Cummer’s Settlement for early settler Jacob Cummer’s family
Woburn: a post office established as Elderslie in 1852 on Markham Road between Lawrence Avenue and Ellesmere Road in Scarborough; the name was changed to Woburn in 1856 and the community became the centre of township government in the 1850s
Wychwood Park: a private residential area laid out as an artists’ enclave by landscape painter Marmaduke Matthews north west of Davenport Road and Bathurst Street in York Township; annexed to Toronto in 1909. See: http://www.lostrivers.ca/points/Wychwood.htm
York (Township, Borough, City): the township that originally surrounded the Town of York and stretched from the boundaries of Scarborough to Etobicoke and from Lake Ontario to Steeles Avenue. Over the years many communities including North York and East York were severed from it and much of the remaining territory was annexed by the burgeoning City of Toronto. See: City of Toronto Archives
York Mills: a community near Yonge Street in York Township that originated in the 1820s around mills on the west branch of the Don River. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_Mills
York, East: see East York
York, Little: see Little York
York, North: see North York
York, Town of: founded in 1793 and incorporated as the City of Toronto in 1834
Yorkville: a village incorporated in 1853 at Bloor Street and Yonge Street in York Township; annexed by Toronto in 1883