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West Humber-Clairville
—  Neighbourhood  —
New Hindu Mandir near the West Humber River
Location of West Humber-Clairville within Toronto
Coordinates: 43°45′00″N 79°38′20″W / 43.75°N 79.63889°W / 43.75; -79.63889
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Toronto
Community Etobicoke-York
Established 1849 (Subdivision)
Changed Municipality 1998 Toronto from Etobicoke
Government
 - MP Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North)
 - MPP Shafiq Qaadri (Etobicoke North)
 - Councillor Suzan Hall (Ward 1 Etobicoke North)

West Humber-Clairville is a neighbourhood within the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The neighbourhood is comprised with part of Rexdale, West Humber Estates and other smaller neighbourhoods of north Etobicoke.

Guardhouse estate at top of Rexdale Blvd, 1878

Contents

Character

The northwest area of West Humber-Clairville is mostly industrial/commercial. The rest of this neighbourhood is a mix of residential and commercial developments. The historical village of Claireville is located in the corner of Albion Road and Steeles Avenue.

History

This neighbourhood is a combination of two 19th century postal villages, both of which straddled Etobicoke's western boundary at the north-western end of two (originally private) streets; Albion Rd and Rexdale Blvd. Although both remained very small communities, Etobicoke's relatively small size and slow growth in the 19th century meant that many of the area's first institutions (churches, post offices, schools) were built in these communities to serve both Etobicoke and Albion townships:

  • north of the West Branch of the Humber River, centred on Etobicoke's north-western corner at the intersection of Steeles Ave and Indian Line, was Clairville. Owned by M. De la Haye, a French teacher at Upper Canada College, he developed a community on his estate which he named after his daughter Claire. A private street was built diagonally across northern Etobicoke as a shortcut to Albion Township (now part of Brampton), with a toll at Clairville. The street was originally named Clairville but was also called the Albion Road (the current name for this street)[1]. Clairville largely disappeared after a dam was built on the West Branch of the Humber creating Lake Clairville and the area around the old community was redeveloped as an industrial estate. In recent years a small residential community has been rebuilt on the site of Clairville. Humber College is located to the south along the West Branch of the Humber and a large, ornate Hindu Temple was constructed on the city's western boundary in 2007[2].
  • south of the West Branch of the Humber River, centred along Indian Line where modern Rexdale Blvd ends, was the community of Highfield. Named, like Etobicoke neighbourhoods Islington and Smithfield, after a neighbourhood in London, England, Highfield, though small, was the site of a number of early churches and schools serving both Etobicoke and adjacent townships. Like Clairville, this area was largely redeveloped as an industrial park ('Skyway') with the construction of Malton (now Pearson) airport across the boundary in Mississauga. Also like Clairville, the area has seen more recent residential development along the West Branch of the Humber River. The area is home to the new Woodbine Racetrack.

Although Clairville and Highfield were originally separated by the west branch of the Humber River which crosses through north Etobicoke, with the redevelopment of much of the original land as industrial park, most of the modern community resides between the old postal villages in 'West Humber' along the west branch of the Humber River on the Clairville (north) and Highfield (south) sides. With the construction of Malton (now Pearson Airport) nearby, many highways were constructed crossing the neighbourhood which limit residential growth.

Schools

Institutions

  • Woodbine Racetrack
  • Woodbine Centre
  • Royal Woodbine Golf Club
  • Etobicoke General Hospital
  • Humberwood Public Library
  • Humber Arboretum
  • Humberwoods Park
  • Skyway Industrial Park
  • Glendale Memorial Gardens
  • Westwood Arena
  • North Mimico Valley Park
  • Metro West Detention Centre
Churches
  • Swaminarayan Mandir
  • Greater Highway Redeption Ministries
  • Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship
  • Foursquare Gospel Church

Notes

  1. ^ Villages of Etobicoke, 'Clairville' by Mae Snider Hames; Argyle Print. Co., Weston Ont., Pgs 9 - 13
  2. ^ http://www.insidetoronto.ca/news/News/Etobicoke/article/29286
  3. ^ http://www.tcdsb.org/schools/holychild.asp

External links

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