Located just west of the city, Humber Bay has its own mini skyline, where a growing cluster of modern condo towers sit sentry above the lake. This idyllic location also provides exceptional views of downtown Toronto. It has a quaint area just north of the Queensway shaped by natural features and mature trees. Here homes offer generous lots, lovely shaded streets, and large doses of charm. While nature plays a dominant role in the lifestyle here, the faint memory of the old motel strip slowly eaten up by burgeoning condo development adds a kitschy feel. With its highly desirable parkland, lake and city views you’ll discover a sequestered urban neighbourhood with its own quiet existence. Despite being slightly distant from downtown, it’s moments to the trendiest spots for entertainment, dining, and shopping.
Humber Bay Village is ideally situated with the lake to the south, Berry Road to the north, Mimico Creek to the west and Humber River Valley to the east. The area was originally populated by farmers who grew vegetables, fruit, and berries. The first school was built in 1888 on High Street where 35 students attended classes. As the population expanded so too did the school. It became the community centre for locals who attended meetings, concerts, movies, and sports events. The school remained a major part of the community until it was demolished in 1986 just shy of its 100th birthday. The land made way for more housing developments.
Thanks to the many orchards and berry patches in Humber Bay, the area was also the site for Toronto’s first farmers’ market at Park Lawn Road and the Queensway. The farmers set up stands often tended by their children where fresh vegetables and fruit were sold. This is now the location of the Ontario Food Terminal.
In the 1920s the area attracted more industry including a brick yard and cement block factory. Churches also began to pop up and a golf course was developed where South Humber Park now sits. This is also the location of the Humber Sewage Treatment Plant.
However, the most exciting aspect of Humber Bay’s history is its early life as a vacation and recreation spot. It’s ideal location on the lake attracted people from the city and beyond to Crowe's Beach which initially offered tourist camps dating back to the early 1910s. The area’s popularity grew, leading to the development of many cottages, hotels, and restaurants. Despite the rather compact size of the area, it still contributed to the tourist trade.
By the 1950s the area was home to dozens of “motor courts” offering amenities and accommodations backing onto Lake Ontario. This vacation strip was bustling with activity in the summer months. The Palace Pier was another major attraction during the 1940s and it continued to draw crowds until it burned down in the 1960s.
It wasn’t until 1978 that the first condo, Palace Pier, was built. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1991 that the next condo went up, which proved to be just what the area needed. Its popularity created a buzz amongst developers who soon caught on this was the perfect spot for vertical housing. By the 2000s the area was overtaken by builders anxious to tear down the historic motels, leaving behind nothing but memories of the once popular vacation destination.
Located right off the QEW, Humber Bay is just a few minutes’ drive into downtown Toronto. There are also bus routes along Berry and Park Lawn Roads as well as Stephen Drive connecting locals to the Old Mill station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
The area is slightly separated from amenities, but the Stonegate Plaza on Berry Road is a few minutes away providing ample shopping with a large supermarket, pharmacy, and professional health services. You’re also just minutes from many Toronto hot spots including shopping and dining at Bloor West to the north and areas such as Roncesvailles to the east.
This truly is a nature/activity lovers paradise with parkland abounding along the lakeshore as well as the city’s trendy High Park. South Humber Park and its paved trails are popular with people walking their dogs, going for strolls, jogging, cycling and in-line skating. It connects to the Martin Goodman Trail along the waterfront and the iconic footbridge crossing the Humber River.
You’ll always have stellar views of downtown Toronto from Humber Bay Park, providing an excellent spot to watch the sunset and see the lights of the city sparkling at dusk. Activities are available at Park Lawn Park, a multi-use recreational facility featuring an outdoor pool, baseball diamond and summer tennis courts cum winter skating rink.
Thanks to the condo towers, this tends to be a singles/couples haven much like the rest of Toronto’s condo communities. However, families with at least one pre-school aged child at home are not unusual either. This is an area where highly educated people live bringing in a respectable income averaging around $93,800. Just slightly more than half own, but again, the number of multi-unit properties also brings the number of renters up.
The Best Part
Did we mention the views? Not only do condo dwellers get their pick of unparalleled views be they lake or city, but many houses are located on picturesque lots either backing onto or offering stunning views of the Humber Valley or Mimico Creek.
The Worst Part
The slightly sequestered location of Humber Bay means you’ll face some travel time for amenities, which are manageable if you have a car.
The Real Estate
This is condo heaven far away from the more congested condo communities like Liberty Village or Harbourfront. Here residents find outstanding views from every unit whether you take in the lake, the city skyline, or the green parkland to the north. But there’s more to the area than luxury condos. You’ll also find pockets of houses from the early 1900's, the former homes of the farmers who settled here. A selection of bungalows, split-level houses, multi-plex dwellings, low-rise apartment buildings and newer custom designed homes were built from the 1920s through to the present day. Many of the post-war and mid-century homes located on rolling hills overlook Mimico Creek or the Humber River Valley. Home prices here vary greatly starting as low as the $500k mark for a small one-bedroom condo, up to close to $2 million for a luxury primo view 2- or three-bedroom unit. Houses average about $800k although you can find some fixer uppers in the lower $700ks and larger custom homes reach well over the $1 million mark.
The high ratio of singles and couples might also be due to the fact there are no schools in the immediate area of Humber Bay. However, there are some schools nearby for those with kids.
Are you thinking about calling Humber Bay your new home?
Contact us today, and we can get started on finding you a home in this one-of-a-kind Toronto neighbourhood