Forest Hill is an established, affluent neighbourhood with growing appeal to international families. The houses here tend towards being grand and stately. Robert Fulford has noted that “where big Rosedale houses shout ‘history,’ big Forest Hill houses shout ‘grandeur.’ More than any other district in the central city, Forest Hill has become the site of spectacular new ‘neo-traditional’ homes built on a grand scale, usually with lawns to match.”
The houses are large, with good setbacks and wide lots. As well, there are pockets of condo opportunities in the area. In a city that’s known for its multiculturalism, Forest Hill reflects the upper end of this diversity and has become a bit of a melting pot for the successful.
Forest Hill was originally incorporated as a village in 1923, and annexed by the City of Toronto in 1967. The village was named after the summer home of John Wickson. It had previously been known as “Spadina Heights”, a derivative of an Ojibwe word for “a sudden rise in land.”
In the late 1960s, the City of Toronto had planned to construct a highway that would bisect Forest Hill and the Annex. Local residents protested vigorously and the plan was withdrawn – but not before the project was partially finished. So the area is now served by the Allen Expressway, which creates a line of access from the heart of the neighbourhood to the major highways that surround the city of Toronto.
The neighbourhood’s original boundaries were Bathurst Street to the west, Upper Canada College to the east, Eglinton Avenue to the north, and Lonsdale Road and a portion of Montclair Avenue to the south. Neighbourhoods north of Eglinton are sometimes regarded as being part of Forest Hill.
Located close to the downtown core, Forest Hill is also a bit of an inner city oasis of grandeur. It takes just five minutes to get to the heart of the city, but there is also Forest Hill Village – which offers quieter shopping and dining options.