Where Is It?
I have a confession to make. Not all of these seven great neighbourhoods frst time buyers must see are offcially in Etobicoke.
Rockcliffe-Smythe Park is one which isn’t. It’s still a great neighbourhood and it is still a must see for frst time home buyers, but it’s offcially in York just over the Humber River.
It runs from St. Clair Ave West along the Humber River to Eglinton Ave West in the north and the train tracks in the east. Its covered by the W03 zone.
What Is It Like?
Smythe Park is named after the gravel pits once operated by Toronto Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe who built houses on his lands in the area for returning soldiers after World War II, selling them below cost.
With Toronto being a city of neighbourhoods, it’s no surprise RockcliffeSmythe Park actually comprises some smaller neighbourhoods.
Further to the east (beyond Hilldale road) is another pocket called Harwood. Harwood is bordered by creek in almost all directions. Just north of Smythe Park between Janes and Scarlett Road and south of Eglinton is Roselands.
There were stockyards there for many years but they have long closed and the area has been revitalized and is becoming quite trendy. Across the south side of St. Clair Avenue is the Junction, which itself was a run down, derelict area for many, many years and has also being undergoing reinvigoration as demand for homes in High Park North pushing further north.
The TTC 512 Streetcar loops west of Weston Road at Old Stockyard Road and runs back to Yonge St. along St. Clair through Corso Italia, stopping at St. Clair subway station at Bathurst on the Spadina Line. Buses also feed north and south into Jane St., High Park and Keele Street subway stations on the Bloor line.
The area is mostly residential with many detached single family homes though there are a number of high rise rentals along Jane St., Scarlett Road and Humber Boulevard.
There’s also a lot of storefront retail along St. Clair Avenue and Weston Road. Because of the proximity to the Humber River valley and the Black Creek, there’s lots of designated food buffers which takes the form of parks. The entire western boundary is green space including Lambton Park, and Lambton and Scarlett Woods golf courses.
The demographics for Rockcliffe-Smythe show a general population of about 23,000 with 54 per cent working adults between 25 and 54 which is a about 5.4 per cent lower than the Toronto average.
Youth, however, make up 13 per cent of the residents with children under 15 accounting for 17 per cent, 2.9 per cent higher and 11.8 per cent higher than the city average.
There are also 6.5 per cent more seniors over 65 at 15 per cent of the population. After English, Portuguese is the most predominant language with 11.4 per cent reporting it as their mother tongue and 6.9 per cent noting they speak it at home. It’s followed by Spanish, Vietnamese and Italian.
The residences in the area break down as follows. 2,785 detached single family homes, 1,045 semi detached homes, 225 row houses, 435 duplexes, 3,240 apartments in buildings more than five stories and 1,170 in low rise buildings.
Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School – A Catholic high school located on Humber Boulevard. November 1992 marked the start of a $12-million construction project that transformed the original building into a state-of-the-art facility. At a special ceremony on May 7, 1995 the school was offcially opened and blessed.
Cordella Avenue Junior Public School – A public elementary school located at 175 Cordella Avenue, at the end of Black Creek Drive on the west side of Weston Road. It frst opened in 1960 and was expanded in 1970 to include additional classroom space.
George Syme Community School is a large public elementary school on Pritchard Avenue, near Jane Street and St. Clair Avenue. The original fourroom George Syme School opened in 1909 and was replaced by the current building in 1970. It is a shared use facility, and is also home to adult ESL classes, the Syme-Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre, George Syme Daycare, International Language Programs and Escuela Pioneros de la Paz. The school celebrated its centennial in 2009.
Harwood Public School is a public elementary school located on Leigh Street, off McCormack Street, west of Weston Road. It was founded in 1928.
Rockcliffe Middle School is a school for grade 6-8 students, on Rockcliffe Boulevard, close to the intersection of Jane Street and St. Clair.
Roselands Junior Public School is a public elementary school located south of Eglinton Avenue on Jane Street. The school celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1997 and has gained a reputation for “Excellence in Education”. The school is wheelchair accessible with handicapped parking spaces located close to the building.
Santa Maria Catholic School is a Catholic elementary school located on Avon Avenue just west of Weston Road and south of Humber Boulevard.
Other Institutions in the area include:
James Gardens Annette Community Recreation Centre
David Appleton Community Centre
Church of the Good Shepard
Humber BLVD Baptist Church
North Runnymede United Church