These communities on the edge of a Hill overlooking downtown Toronto, lie just south of St Clair Avenue between Bathurst and Avenue Road. This posh Toronto community is in the shadow of Casa Loma which sets a high standard for the homes of its wealthy residents.
Avenue Road Hill marks the former shoreline of ancient Lake Iroquois formed by glacial meltwaters about 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age. As the channel to the Atlantic drained waters via Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, the water levels fell to form present-day Lake Ontario. This escarpment was forested until the early 1900s. Rathnelly was settled in 1830 by Senator William McMaster, who named his house (in the days before street numbering) for his birth place in Ireland. His estate was sold to developers in the 1880s. South Hill's location on Avenue Road with great views and natural beauty in the late 1800s, made it a popular location for a diverse range of mansions along Spadina. Casa Loma was built in 1911 by Sir William Henry Mill Pellatt, a prominent industrialist and land developer, in the style of a medieval castle at a cost of $3.5 million, though he later sold it when unable to pay his debts and taxes. In 1920, the grounds were subdivided and the neighbourhood's other houses
Motorists have fast access into downtown via Bathurst, Spadina, Avenue Road, and Yonge Street. Yonge Street or Avenue Road are fast routes to the 401. TTC has excellent bus service, with routes along St Clair connecting to St Clair and St Clair West stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. The Avenue Road bus connects to the Museum station on the Bloor-Danforth line, and the Davenport bus connects to the Bay station
The community is served by 6 elementary schools, 3 public high schools, 3 private schools, and 1 public library. De La Salle College is on Avenue Road at Farnham, George Brown College is just south of Davenport, St Michael's College is nearby at Bathurst & St Clair. University of Toronto and Ryerson University are accessed via the Yonge-University-Spadina subway.
Locals do much of their daily shopping at the stores at Bathurst & St. Clair, with higher-end shopping & dining in Forest Hill Village (Spadina Road, north of St. Clair), at Davenport & Avenue Road, or in the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district (Davenport Road, east of Avenue Road).
The community is bisected by the Beltline recreational trail in the Nordheimer Ravine, which links from Casa Loma to the foot of the Allen Expressway and then back again to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The community's largest park is Sir Winston Churchill Park (Spadina Road & St. Clair Avenue) with ten tennis courts, a playground, and connects to the Beltline trail.The Tarragon Theatre offers live theatre is south of Davenporrt Rd, just east of Bathurst. The Casa Loma and the Spadina House historical sites are on the south edge of the neighbourhood.
South Hill homes (well, mansions) date to between 1890 and 1920, with some townhouses built since the 1980s. Likewise Rathnelly's large Victorian homes were built between 1880 and 1910, and include both detached and semi-detached houses on well-treed streets. Casa Loma is more recent, with most homes built 1905 and 1940, and has a mix of large Tudor, Georgian, Edwardian, and English Cottage style homes. The south side of Lyndhurst Court has spectacular skyline views, while homes in the north back onto the Nordheimer ravine, with its forest and recreational trails. There area some recent luxury condo high rises along Avenue Road. Homes in this area run from the medium to luxury price ranges. More Casa Loma Area Photos