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New Toronto - Community Info

Overview

New Toronto

New Toronto is located along Toronto's western beaches. It is a neighbourhood in transition as the industrial corridor located at the north end of the neighbourhood has recently been converted to residential zoning. Industry is gradually moving out of New Toronto and plans are underway for new home developments in this part of the neighbourhood.

At present New Toronto is home to residents from a wide mix of cultures and incomes and includes a large seniors population. Some of the selling features of this neighbourhood are the bicycle trail, convenient TTC and Go Transit service, affordable homes and quick access to downtown Toronto via Lake Shore Boulevard.

History

New Toronto's history dates back to the 1890's when it was planned as a working town. This plan became a reality in 1906 when the Grand Trunk Railway opened repair shops, a roundhouse and a freight yard in New Toronto. The railway attracted industry to New Toronto. The areas largest employer was the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company which established a plant here in 1917.

New Toronto's rapid growth led to its incorporation as a Town in 1920. Frank Longstaff, in Villages of Etobicoke, recalls that during this period of prosperity, New Toronto touted itself as having the "highest value of manufacturing per square mile in North America." Thanks to this strong industrial base New Toronto was able to maintain one of the lowest residential tax rates in the Toronto area throughout much of its history.

In 1967, New Toronto was amalgamated with the former Township of Etobicoke, however it never lost its sense of identity as a working class town. Now, in the 1990's, the local industry is gradually being replaced with new home developments which are attracting more professional people to this neighbourhood.

Homes in New Toronto

New Toronto's small frame and brick bungalows and modest two storey houses were built largely between the 1910's and the 1950's. Larger single family homes are located closer to the lake, south of Lake Shore Boulevard.

A fairly recent addition to this neighbourhood is the Lakeshore Village subsidized housing development situated between tenth and thirteenth Avenues north of Lakeshore Blvd. This housing complex features an artists co-op, which accounts for its funky appearance.

New home buyers will want to keep an eye on the area north of Birmingham Road, between Islington and Kipling Avenues, for upcoming new home developments.

Recreation in New Toronto

New Toronto is blessed with a bevy of waterfront parks, including Colonel Samuel Smith Park. This park includes the first Wetlands-Wildlife Restoration trail on the Great Lakes. This wetland habitat is home to a large variety of fish and birds, as well as frogs, garter snakes, painted turtles and a vast array of wildflowers. The Lakeshore Yacht Club is also based in this park. New Toronto's smaller waterfront parks, east of Colonel Samuel Smith Park, include Cliff Lumsden Park, Prince of Wales Park and Rotary Peace Park. Cliff Lumsden and Prince of Wales Parks offer magnificent views of the Toronto waterfront. The Prince of Wales Park also features an artificial ice rink, a wading pool and a children's playground. Rotary Peace Park features a new outdoor swimming pool, a large baseball diamond, two tennis courts, and a children's playground. Adjacent to this park, overlooking Lake Ontario, is the New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club.

The new skating rink at Colonel Samuel Smith Park is Toronto’s first  artificial ice rink that is a trail rather than the traditional oval hockey rink style. The figure 8 design of this skating rink winds through the parks lush landscape. This skating trail is lit by overhead lamp posts for night skating. These lamp posts are fitted with speakers that play Christmas carols during the holidays.

The New Toronto Seniors Centre located at number 105, 4th Street, hosts the Etobicoke Seniors Games every year from March to June. This fifty-five plus seniors centre offers a variety of programs including ceramics, computers, euchre and Slo-Pitch baseball. The New Toronto Public Library is located on Eleventh Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard.

Lifestyle in New Toronto

The "Lakeshore Village" shopping district, located along Lakeshore Boulevard West, is a busy retail corridor that features fast food and family-style restaurants, and a wide mix of stores including food markets, bakeries, delis, coffee shops, bargain stores, drug stores, and convenience stores.

The Lakeshore Village shopping district is often lined with television and movie production crews that film on-site in New Toronto. Many of the Police Academy movies where filmed here.

Transportation in New Toronto

Bus service along Lake Shore Boulevard West provides connecting routes to the Mimico and Long Branch Go Transit service and to downtown Toronto's Union Station which is part of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.

Motorists are only a fifteen minute drive along Lake Shore Boulevard or the Gardiner Expressway to downtown Toronto's Harbourfront district.

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