These are communities are nestled between Highway 400 and the Humber River. These communities grew in the early 1800s water-powered mills which processed timber and grain from surrounding farmlands, which were settled by United Empire Loyalists and those fleeing religious persecution in their homelands. In the late 1870s, the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway built a station at Finch Avenue, out of which grew Emery. From about 1900 to the 1940s, the farms in and around these communities helped feed nearby Toronto. Hurricane Hazel, which hit Toronto in 1954, devastated all communities along the Humber River with its flooding, and many homes were swept away. The area's rural peace ended during the 1960s with the boom in residential subdivisions in & around Toronto, and the construction of industrial areas close to Pearson International Airport.
Motorists are 10 minutes from Highways 400 (via Finch Ave W) or 401 (via Islington Avenue or Weston Rd). Transit users can catch the GO Train to Union Station at the Weston station, or take TTC's Islington Avenue bus connecting at the Islington station (Bloor-Danforth subway) or take the Finch Avenue bus to the Finch station (Yonge-University-Spadina subway).
This area is served by 5 public elementary schools, 4 Catholic elementary schools, 2 public high schools, 1 Catholic high school, and 2 public libraries. These communities are midway between Humber College's North Campus to the west and York University to the east on Steeles Ave.
Islington Avenue and Weston Road in this area have a number of small shops & services, and there are a number of malls & plazas along Finch including Finchdale, Finch Weston Centre, and Finch West Mall. Food shops and restaurants in this area cater to a range of tastes including African, West Indian, Jamaican, East Indian, Asian, as well as European cuisines like German, Italian and Spanish.
This area is very suburban, and there are great paved recreational pathways along the Humber River Valley, including through Rowntree Mills Park and Blue Haven Park. These parks also have picnic areas and nature trails through woodlands and river valley meadows. These trails also link to the 5.5 km West Humber Trail to the Humber Arboreteum and Humber College's North Campus. Golf can enjoy the Humber Valley public golf course, accessed via Beattie Avenue at Albion Road. These neighbourhoods also have 2 ice arenas, and indoor pool, an outdoor pool and number of public tennis courts, and 2 running tracks.
Humber Summit has some older cottages dating to the 1940s and 50s. East of Islington are semi-detached homes with built-in garages, built in the 1960s. On Riverside Drive and Rowntree Mill Road, homes have Humber Valley views. Most homes in Emery are 1960s-built bungalows and 2-storey brick semi-detached homes, all with driveways & garage. The development just north of Humber Valley Golf Club has streets named for Florida communities, with single family detached, ranch-style bungalows. The homes in this community are in the low to low-medium price range.