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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Etobicoke (pronounced /ɛˈtoʊbɨkoʊ/ ( listen), with a silent 'k') is the western portion of the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with an official population of 338,117 as measured by the 2001 Census and 334,491 people as of the 2006 Census. While it only contains 13% of Toronto's population, it occupies about 20% of its total land area. It is bordered on the south by Lake Ontario, on the east by the Humber River, on the west by the city of Mississauga and Toronto Pearson International Airport (though a small portion of the airport extends into Etobicoke), on the north by the city of Vaughan, and on the northwest by the City of Brampton.
Different groups of First Nations peoples used the land that is now Etobicoke at different times. As the Algonquins gradually moved west from the Atlantic to Lake Erie, it is almost certain that they would have occupied this land at some point. By the time they were mostly settled on the shores of Georgian Bay, The Huron-Wendat were the primary residents of the north shore of Lake Ontario and, somewhere in the 1600s, they were pushed out by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people. After continued harassment from the south, a coalition of the Ojibway, Odawa and Potawatomi Algonquin nations, known as the Three Fires, gradually pushed the Haudenosaunee off this land and the Mississaugas settled there by 1695, fishing and growing crops more locally in the summer and hunting further afield in the winter.
It is thought that the French explorer, Étienne Brûlé, was the first European to visit the area, circa 1615.
The name "Etobicoke" was derived from the Mississauga word wah-do-be-kang (wadoopikaang), meaning "place where the black/wild alders grow", which was used to describe the area between Etobicoke Creek and the Humber River. The first provincial land surveyor, Augustus Jones, also spelled it as "ato-be-coake". Etobicoke was finally adopted as the official name in 1795 on the direction of Lieutenant GovernorJohn Graves Simcoe.
Etobicoke was intended by the British to be included in the Toronto Purchase of 1787. However, whether the western boundary of the purchase was the Humber River or Etobicoke Creek was disputed. The Mississauga Indians allowed British surveyor Alexander Aitkin to survey the disputed land, and eventually the dispute was settled, with the Mississauga recognising the purchase as extending to Etobicoke Creek, and the British paying an additional 10 shillings for the purchase.
Settlers began to move in from Britain. Early settlers included many of the Queen's Rangers, who were given land in the area by Simcoe to help protect the new capital of Upper Canada. In 1795 the Honourable Samuel Bois Smith, a captain in the Queen's Rangers, received a grant of 1530 acres, extending from Kipling Avenue to Etobicoke Creek, and north to Bloor Street. The first land patent was issued to Sergeant Patrick Mealey on March 18, 1797 for a plot on the west side of Royal York Road on Lake Ontario. More land was given to the members of the Queen's Rangers between Royal York Road and Kipling Road south of Bloor Road.
The census of 1805 counted 84 people in the township of Etobicoke. In 1806 William Cooper built a grist mill and saw mill on the west bank of the Humber river, just south of Dundas Street. The 1809 census counted 137 residents. The Dundas Street bridge opened in 1816, making the township more accessible.
On May 18, 1846 the Albion Road Company was incorporated. Its purpose was to build and maintain a road to the north-west corner of Etobicoke, where a new community was planned. At the same time, John Grubb, who had already founded Thistletown, hired land surveyor John Stoughton Dennis to plan a community at the intersection of Islington Avenue and Albion Road, to be named Saint Andrew's. Plan 6 for this community was registered on October 15, 1847. The French master of Upper Canada College, Jean du Petit Pont de la Haye, contracted land surveyor James McCallum Jr to create a plan for the community planned by the Albion Road Company, and Plan 28 was registered for Claireville on October 12, 1849.
Etobicoke township in 1878
The township of Etobicoke was incorporated on January 1, 1850. The first meeting of the town council was held on January 21. Present at the meeting were reeveWilliam Gamble, vice-reeve W. B. Wadsworth and aldermen Moses Appleby, Thomas Fisher and John Geddes. The council convened monthly meetings at a variety of places. In 1850, the population of the township was 2904. By 1881, the population of Etobicoke township was 2976.
In 1911, the community of Mimico was incorporated on land taken from Etobicoke township. New Toronto was incorporated on January 1, 1913. Early on there was talk of merging Mimico and New Toronto. A 1916 referendum on amalgamating the two communities was approved by the residents of Mimico, but rejected by residents of New Toronto. In 1920, the village of New Toronto became the town of New Toronto. Long Branch was incorporated in 1931.
In 1954, Etobicoke Township became a part of the newly-formed regional government, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto ("Metro"). In 1967, the township of Etobicoke was merged with three small lakeside municipalities — Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico — to form the borough of Etobicoke. The borough was reincorporated as a city in 1983. In 1998, six local municipalities (including Etobicoke) and the Metropolitan Toronto government merged to form the amalgamated city of Toronto.
In 2006, Etobicoke was 61.5% White, 14.0% South Asian, 9.3% Black, 3.1% Latin American, 2.6% Chinese, 2.5% Filipino, 1.4% Korean, 1.1% West Asian, 1.0% Arab, 1.0% Southeast Asian, and 2.5% Other. 47.8% of the population are immigrants.
Arts and culture
See also: People from Etobicoke
Toronto Skyline taken from Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke.
Etobicoke has the lowest population density of the former cities and boroughs that currently make up the city of Toronto. This is mainly due to its expanses of industrial lands. Several major freeways are routed through the area, making the area ideal for automobile-based transportation. Public transit does not serve the area well, with few rapid transit connections; however, there are many bus routes that service the area frequently.
Many exceptions to Toronto's gridded street matrix are found in Etobicoke. A number of overpasses and awkward intersections, such as Bloor/Kipling/Dundas West, have been created in an effort to reconcile the grid with these planning anomalies.
Etobicoke has numerous public parks, notable among them is James Gardens on the banks of the Humber River. The park includes seasonal flowers, walkways, a rock garden, streams, and waterfalls. It is a very popular site for taking wedding photographs. The Humber Bay park is located in Etobicoke.
A view of Etobicoke from Budapest Park, looking west across Humber Bay.
The central/southern areas of Etobicoke are better served by public transit and closer to the city centre. These areas, such as Markland Wood, The Kingsway and New Toronto, consist of large green spaces, numerous parks, golf courses (including St. George's Golf and Country Club, ranked 3rd best in Canada), numerous restaurants and cafes, and fine boutiques. Residential development consists primarily of single-family dwellings. Kingsway South neighbourhood has attracted many affluent individuals and families (as of 2001, over 50% of households have an income in excess of C$100,000/year), and remains one of Toronto's more prominent neighbourhoods.
The central areas of Etobicoke, although farther from the subway line, are still well-served by public transit buses. These neighbourhoods are generally middle class.
Unfortunately, some areas in Etobicoke have become neglected, "inner-ring" suburbs, such as Rexdale. These central and northern areas of Etobicoke contain numerous high-density apartment complexes set in the middle of sizable, open fields and parks.
Etobicoke is home to Humber College, University of Guelph-Humber, Woodbine Race Track and Slots, Woodbine Centre and Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre.
Public schools in Etobicoke are overseen by the Toronto District School Board. High schools include Central Etobicoke High School, Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, founded in 1928, Kipling Collegiate Institute, Lakeshore Collegiate Institute, Martingrove Collegiate Institute, North Albion Collegiate Institute, Richview Collegiate Institute, founded in 1958, Silverthorn Collegiate Institute, Thistletown Collegiate Institute, West Humber Collegiate Institute, founded in 1966, Etobicoke School of the Arts, founded in 1981, Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy (formerly Collegiate Institute), and the School of Experiential Education, an alternative school founded in 1971.
In addition to the public school system, Etobicoke is home to several Catholic schools, overseen by the Toronto Catholic District School Board. These include Michael Power/St. Joseph, Bishop Allen Academy, Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School (formerly Keiller Mackay Collegiate Institute), Father John Redmond, Father Henry Carr, Holy Child, Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School, Nativity of Our Lord Elementary School, and Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School.
Other schools include Humberwood Downs J.M.A., West Humber Junior, Smithfield, Elmbank, Humbercrest, Eatonville Junior School and Missisauga private school. West Glen Junior School, located on Cowley Avenue, educates in grades JK-5. The school was founded in 1953 and the principal is Jeanette Lang. An English-language school, it is attended by around 240 students. David Hornell Junior School, situated on Victoria Street, educates in grades JK-5. The school was founded in 1961 and the principal is Carolyn Wright. An English-language school, it is attended by around 190 students.
Norseman Junior Middle School is a public elementary school in Etobicoke. It is located in the west end of the City of Toronto. It opened its doors to students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in January 1953. From 1968 to 1981, it became the middle school for the area with Grades 6, 7, and 8. Since 1981, the school has served students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. The second storey serves middle school, Grades 6 to 8.
Skyservice, an airline, is headquartered in Etobicoke.
Main articles: Amateur sport in Toronto and List of sports teams in Toronto
Etobicoke has a wide range of indoor and outdoor sporting leagues including baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and ringette. Some of the prominent clubs include the Etobicoke KangaroosAustralian rules football club the Serbian White Eagles FC club, the Stars Diving Club and Toronto Croatia. Southern Etobicoke is also home to the new Lakeshore Lions Arena.
Etobicoke is generally divided into three large areas that roughly correspond to the three political ridings. Each consisting of neighbourhoods, mostly developments of 19th century 'postal villages' (rural neighbourhoods), that were built at important points along the early roads and railways; especially the three former 'Lakeshore Municipalities' that separated from Etobicoke in the early 20th century and Etobicoke's central Islington community:
- Lakeshore (Etobicoke-Lakeshore); along the shore of Lake Ontario and the 'Lake Road' (now Lakeshore Boulevard), is comprised of three communities that, the first in Etobicoke to urbanize, became separate municipalities during the first half of the 20th century; Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch, and related communities; Alderwood (a suburb of New Toronto and Long Branch although never separate from Etobicoke) and Humber (a historic gateway community connecting to Toronto) as well as the the Queensway (originally sprawl to the north of the Lakeshore communities, separated from them by the construction of Toronto's first freeway which cuts across the top of southern Etobicoke; the Queen Elizabeth Way). Etobicoke's first railway was constructed though the area in the 1850s leading to the first period of growth as it replaced Dundas Street in Central Etobicoke as the main means of transportation, it has also given the area an industrial base to the north and west, some of which is now being redeveloped as modern commercial around Etobicoke's 'Sherway Gardens' mall. Markland Wood is the farthest western community within Etobicoke/Toronto along Bloor Street west.
- Central Etobicoke (Etobicoke Centre); the oldest communities in Etobicoke developed along the first street, Dundas Street, in the south of this area, which crosses the width of Etobicoke on the escarpment formed by the ancient shoreline of Lake Iroquois. This area centres around the Islington community, the former administrative centre of Etobicoke and later Etobicoke's 'downtown' which is near the central 'Six Points' intersection. The rural Richview community developed directly to the north of Islington in the 19th century on Eglinton Ave. (formerly Richview Rd.) as did the gateway Humber Heights communities (connecting to Toronto): Westmount and Humbervale, to the east on Eglinton. Development of the, until then largely undeveloped eastern part of central Etobicoke (formerly a forest reserved for the use of government mills; 'Kingsmill'), the 'Humber Valley', was largely the work of Robert Home Smith starting about 1900 which included the communities of the Kingsway and Edenbridge. As Etobicoke developed in the post war years, low density residential areas filled in most of the rural areas between the old communities including Princess-Rosethorn and Eringate-Centennial-West Deane as well as the older Eatonville community to the west of Islington. Central Etobicoke includes Etobicoke's most exclusive neighbourhoods.
- Rexdale (Etobicoke North); named after a 1950s development of the area, the name Rexdale is now more frequently used to refer to all the northern 19th century Etobicoke communities (Clairville, Highfield, Smithfield, Thistletown) which grew along two formerly private roads (now Albion Rd. and Rexdale Blvd.) constructed diagonally across farms in Northern Etobicoke as a shortcut for travellers to Peel County (especially modern Brampton). First developed as an urban area by Rex Hyslop in the post war years around the new Rexdale (the Elms) community, northern Etobicoke now has many apartment buildings as well as a large 'skyway' industrial park to the west which developed after Malton Airport (in nearby Mississauga) became Toronto's main 'Pearson International' Airport, and faces many of the problems associated with such areas.
Former Etobicoke Council Offices
- Islington Methodist Church (First Methodist Church in Etobicoke, later the Council Offices)
- Christ Church Anglican, Mimico (Burnt down) First Church in Etobicoke.
- St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church, Mimico First Catholic Parish in Etobicoke.
- Swaminarayan Mandir New ornate Hindu Temple in Etobicoke.