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Vimy Park
Vimy Park
Mimico is located in Toronto
Location within Toronto
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto
Community Etobicoke
Established 1856 (Subdivision)
1858 (Postal village)
1905 (Police village)
Incorporated 1911 (Village)
1917 (Town)
Changed Municipality 1954 Metropolitan Toronto from York County
1998 Toronto from Etobicoke
Annexed 1967 into Etobicoke
 • MP Bernard Trottier (Etobicoke-Lakeshore)
 • MPP Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke-Lakeshore)
 • Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore)

Mimico is a neighbourhood and a former municipality in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located in the south-west area of Toronto, along Lake Ontario. It is the south-east corner of the former Township (and later, City) of Etobicoke, and was an independent municipality from 1911 to 1967.

Mimico is the oldest of the former Lakeshore Municipalities. The Town of Mimico was sub-divided from the former Township of Etobicoke in 1911. The land area of Mimico was mainly from three estates (former farms): Stock Estate (North of Portland), Hendry Estate (between Royal York and Queens Ave), Van Every Estate (between Royal York Rd and Dwight Ave). Mimico was an independent municipality until 1967, when it was amalgamated into the new Borough of Etobicoke (later, City of, in 1984), which was itself amalgamated in 1998 into the current city of Toronto.

Today, Mimico is primarily a residential area with two commercial strips; one along Royal York Road and the other along Lake Shore Boulevard West, parallel to the shoreline (from Louisa Avenue to Allen Avenue). There is also a former commercial strip along Mimico Avenue connecting Royal York Road and Lake Shore Boulevard West. Some areas of industrial use exist along the railway corridor.

In early 2012, Toronto Life magazine ranked Mimico first on their "Where to Buy Now" list of Toronto neighbourhoods.[1]


  • Character 1
    • Main streets 1.1
    • Recreation 1.2
    • Schools 1.3
      • George R. Gauld Junior School 1.3.1
      • John English Junior Middle School 1.3.2
      • David Hornell Public School 1.3.3
    • Boundaries 1.4
    • Transportation 1.5
  • History 2
    • Mill settlement 2.1
    • First plan for Mimico 2.2
    • Second plan for Mimico 2.3
    • Incorporation 2.4
    • World War I and the Depression 2.5
    • World War II 2.6
    • Postwar growth 2.7
    • Slow decline 2.8
    • Attempts at rejuvenation 2.9
    • Notable persons 2.10
  • Landmarks 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7


Condominium towers on Humber Bay

Historically, Mimico had few buildings and few of these survive. Architecturally, homes in Mimico range from grand lakeside estates to bungalows built in the 1920s to 1940s, and low rise apartment buildings built in the 1950s and 1960s. East of historic Mimico between Mimico Creek on the west and the Humber River to the east, there is a large area of condominium high-rise tower development along the lake shore. Lake Shore Blvd. West is also home to many Eastern European delicatessen, independent stores and bakeries, giving the area an Eastern European atmosphere.

Businesses in Mimico's commercial strips along Royal York (north of the railway) and Lake Shore Boulevard West (South of the railway) have organised themselves into two Business Improvement Areas: 'Mimico Village' (along Royal York Rd. in northern Mimico) and 'Mimico by the Lake' (the heart of the former 'Mimico Beach' postal area along the lakeshore in eastern Mimico).

Main streets

Looking east to Sir Henry Pellatt's 'Bailey House' (later the Legion Hall) at bend in Lake Shore Road, east of Mimico, 1936
Looking east to row houses east of Mimico at bend in Lake Shore Blvd. West, 2007

Lake Shore Boulevard is a four-lane arterial that runs parallel to the Lake Ontario waterfront from east to west, and is primarily residential within the Mimico area. The major north-south route is Royal York Road.

The original naming convention for Mimico side-streets was for English community names: Buckingham, Windsor (now Blue Goose Street), Newcastle, Portland, Burlington, Manchester, Oxford, Dorchester (now in The Queensway), Southampton (Cavell), Salisbury Ave. (Park Lawn Rd.), Torrington (Grand Ave.), Cambridge (to the North became Mendota), Coventry (to the East became Queens Ave.).[2]

Some later streets were named for Mimico settlers: O'Donnell, Van Every, Robert Hendry (Wheatfield), George (Hendry), Pidgeon (western part of Stanley), Howland (Ourland), Stock's Side Road (Queen St., later The Queensway); and more recently for former mayors of Mimico: Skelton, Norris. The Griggs and Edwards retirement homes are also named for former mayors.


Recreation options in Mimico include the Mimico Tennis Club, the Mimico Cruising Club and the Etobicoke Yacht Club.

Near the foot of Park Lawn Road is Humber Bay Park, land created by infill of the lake, creating an artificial peninsula and enclosing Mimico Harbour at Mimico Creek. It has a few picnic areas, boat slips, walking trails and grasslands for recreational use.

In 1890, a waterfront walkway was planned consisting of The Parade at the bottom of Superior Avenue and Marine Parade starting at the bottom of Royal York Road.[3] This plan had disappeared by 1911 except for a small part of Marine Parade (Sussex Drive).[4] The City of Toronto, along with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, is building a publicly accessible waterfront.[5] The first phase of the Mimico Linear Park, opened in July 2008, connects three small parks using cobblestone beaches, boardwalks and sand dunes, and will eventually connect with Humber Bay Park to the east.[6] As of 2008, construction of the second phase was delayed due to a minority group of property owners who refused to sell their lakefront access.[7] This project has been completed through the Humber Bay neighbourhood with a roadway named Marine Parade Drive after the original one in Mimico.

Mimico has had a long reputation for supporting both of Canada's national sports. In hockey, Mimico has developed a number of NHL players; there was even a Wayne and Shuster sketch where Johnny and Frank played for the mythical Mimico Mice against the then-Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs. Mimico's lacrosse clubs have been in existence since the 1800s and have won a number of National Championships.


Former Mimico High School on Central Ave
George Gauld former 'Girls' Entrance
Old John English Public School

George R. Gauld Junior School

George R. Gauld Junior School is a Mimico Correctional Centre).[8] The school has had two additions, one in 1932 and another in 1959.

John English Junior Middle School

David Hornell Public School

David Hornell Junior School, built in 1961, is located on Victoria Street. It is named after Mimico resident and World War II flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient, Flight Lieutenant David Ernest Hornell. Hornell was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for service during the Second World War serving in RCAF No. 162 Squadron. On July 24, 1944, Lieutenant Hornell's Consolidated Canso was damaged by gunfire while attacking (and successfully sinking) U-1225 off the Faroe Islands. Hornell successfully landed the crippled and burning flying boat in heavy seas, but died of exposure. An outdoor plaque and an display of memorabilia in the front hall are dedicated to Hornell and the school honours his memory annually on Remembrance Day. The school serves a diverse population of students. For many of them, David Hornell School is their first link with Canadian culture. A large number of the students speak another language at home while they acquire English skills at school.

Other schools:


Old Barn behind houses on Superior Ave

The former Town of Mimico was bounded by Evans Avenue, Algoma Street and Manitoba Street to the north,

External links

  • Currell, Harvey (1967). "The Mimico Story", Corporation of the Town of Mimico, Mimico, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • Given, Robert (2007). "Etobicoke Remembered", Pro Familia Publishing, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ISBN 978-1-896596-14-3
  • Hayes, Derek (2008). "Historical Atlas of Toronto", Douglas & McIntyre Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ISBN 978-1-55365-290-8


  1. ^ "Where to Buy Now: Mimico", Toronto Life, 4 January 2012.
  2. ^ Plan of the Town of Mimico in the Township of Etobicoke & Adjoining the Railway Station, J.O. Browne, 1856, Archives of Ontario AI 1231
  3. ^ a b Mimico, Etobicoke Township, York County, Province of Ontario, Chas. E. GOAD, 1890
  4. ^ Goad's 1913 Fire Insurance Atlas, Mimico
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Mimico Waterfront Park opens Monday
  8. ^ education in the Lakeshore Area, A History, Susan Berry, 1967
  9. ^ Town of Mimico, Ward Map (1930)
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ Historical Atlas of Toronto Pg 166: Metro Transit System Normal Routes, Toronto Transit Commission, 1955
  14. ^
  15. ^ Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary
  16. ^ Simcoe Diary
  17. ^ a b Etobicoke Remembered, p.48.
  18. ^ The Mimico Story, p.28.
  19. ^ The Mimico Story, p.27.
  20. ^ Historical Atlas of Toronto Pg 51
  21. ^ Plan of the Town of Mimico in the Township of Etobicoke & Adjoining the Railway Station, J.O. Browne, 1856, Archives of Ontario AO 1321
  22. ^ a b The Story of Wesley-Mimico 1864–1964 The United Church of Canada
  23. ^ Description Page of District 1, 1861 Census, Canada West by William Noble
  24. ^
  25. ^ City of Toronto Map showing annexations; City Engineering Department, 1967, City of Toronto Archives published in Historical Atlas of Toronto 2008 By Derek hayes
  26. ^ a b City of Toronto (Showing Annexations), City Engineering Department, 1967, City of Toronto Archives Series 727, File 9
  27. ^ The Mimico Story, p.107.
  28. ^ The Mimico Story, p.54.
  29. ^ a b Etobicoke Remembered Pg 84
  30. ^ Village of Etobicoke, Mimico by Lynne Haslett Pg 52
  31. ^ The Mimico Story Pg 74
  32. ^
  33. ^ 75th Anniversary St. Leo's Parish 1909–1984
  34. ^ The Mimico Story, p.80.
  35. ^ The Mimico Story, p.81.
  36. ^ The Mimico Story, p.84
  37. ^ The Mimico Story, p.108
  38. ^ Toronto Sketches by Mike Filey, 1995
  39. ^ The Mimico Story, p.132.
  40. ^ The Mimico Story, pp.56-59.
  41. ^ 75th Anniversary St. Leo's Parish 1909–1984
  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ The Mimico Story, p.61.
  44. ^ a b The Mimico study: review of submissions made to Development Committee, By: Etobicoke (Ont.). Planning Dept., 1983
  45. ^ Etobicoke Life, 1988, 'School Boards Still Far Apart'
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ The Mimico Story Pgs 131-136
  52. ^
  53. ^ [3]
  54. ^ [4]
  55. ^ Mimico Lacrosse Association
  56. ^ Mimico Tennis Club
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^


See also

Although they take the name, the Mimico Correctional Centre (former Victoria Industrial School), the Mimico Railway Yards and the Mimico Lunatic Asylum (former) are not actually located in the neighbourhood, but are a bit further west in New Toronto and the former Etobicoke Township.

  • Christ Church Anglican (Burnt down)[57] First Church in Etobicoke
  • Wesley Mimico United Church[58] 1927 Union of Wesley Methodist Church (1863) and St. Paul's Presbyterian Church
  • Mimico Presbyterian Church Built 1891, a new church building built beside the old in 1958
  • Mimico Baptist Church[59] Built 1922
  • St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church First Catholic Parish in Etobicoke, Also home of the Lakeshore Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
  • Martin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church[60]
  • Mimico Gospel Hall
  • Mimico United Pentecostal[61]
First brick Christ Church, 1889
  • Mimico Arena[55] also known as the Drummond Bowl to many former lacrosse players.
  • Mimico Tennis Club[56]
  • Mimico Yacht Club
  • Amos Waites Park and Swimming Pool
  • Vimy Memorial Park
  • Mimico Town Hall (Demolished) Former Wesley Methodist Church
  • Mimico Post Office (Now in a Pharmacy) Original site is now St. Leo's Church, the Postmaster's home (Werden House) is now St. Leo's Rectory
  • Mimico Police & Fire Station (Closed, now demolished by a developer for Eleven Superior condos)
  • Mimico Centennial Library[53] Site of former Mimico Carnegie Library.
  • Mimico GO Station
  • Connaught Masonic Hall, Mimico
  • Mimico Legion Hall[54] (Closed) Joined with New Toronto Legion Hall
  • Hogle Funeral Home (former Methodist Manse)
Former Mimico Police & Fire Station


  • Robert Skelton (Reeve) 1911–1914
  • Caesar Coxhead (Reeve) 1915
  • John Harrison 1914, 1916–1918 (Mayor from 1917)
  • Louis West 1919–1920
  • John Doughty 1921–1925
  • William Savage 1926
  • Arthur Edwards 1927–1929
  • Robert Waites 1930–1932
  • Archibald Norris 1933–1935, 1941–1942, 1946, 1949–1954
  • Amos Waites 1936–1940, 1943–1945, 1947–1948
  • Arthur Edwards 1955–1960
  • Hugh Griggs 1961–1966
Election poster for Amos Waites
  • James Stock, Edward & Harriet Stock
  • William & Catherine Van Every (Loyalists)
  • George & Margaret Hendry
  • Kelvin Angela

Notable persons

Efforts have also been made recently to prevent the demolition of the Town of Mimico's last municipal building (Firehall at #13 Superior Ave. - now demolished for a condominium) and the Franceshini/Ormsby Estate (Amedeo Garden Court property).

Mimico's oldest church, Christ Church Anglican experienced two fires within a short period of time and the remains were demolished leaving the old cemetery and a new park where the church once stood.[48] The possibility of Mimico 'gentrifying' is sometimes mentioned in plans for Mimico but this has only taken place on a very small scale. Greater attempts at preserving Mimico's history are also being made with the historical designation of Eden Court (former home of Edward Stock)[49] and the preservation and ongoing restoration of Mimico's old railway station.[50]

In 1998, Etobicoke was amalgamated with Metro Toronto and its five other municipalities into the new City of Toronto. Much of the former industrial land was subdivided for 'Monster Homes' in the 1980s and later for townhouses, a process that continues today.[47] Old plans for rejuvenating Mimico and its waterfront are also slowly being realized. In recent years the tide of condominium development along the lake shore has closed in on Mimico.

Attempts at rejuvenation

With declining enrollment at Mimico High School, the building was offered to the Catholic board as the number of Catholics had been increasing with many Italian and Polish immigrants arriving in Mimico. This offer was refused[45] and an Adult Learning Centre was opened there. The Centre has since swapped buildings with John English Elementary School. An estate on Lake Shore Boulevard was bought by the Polish government at this time to become their Toronto Consulate.[46] A new railway station was built in the 1970s to service GO trains on the site of the 1855 station on the north side of the tracks just south of Christ Church on Royal York while the old 1916 station fell into disrepair.

The same year Humber Bay Park was opened; two artificial peninsulas, one in the east and one in the west (enclosing Mimico's beach to create a harbour), which connect to the main land at the end of Mimico Creek. The creation of the artificial park led to unintended consequences with some of the sandy shoreline in Mimico eroding away.

Mimico began slowly to decline as the children of families who lived in the small houses of the 1940s moved to the growing outer suburbs and the apartments did not live up to the hopes they had generated as they quickly deteriorated. Businesses also continued to fail[44] and many of the small industries moved out. In 1984, Etobicoke became a city and a plan was prepared to rejuvenate Mimico which called for limiting the amount of commercial space by rezoning Mimico Avenue as non-commercial.[44]

Slow decline

In 1967, the Town of Mimico was merged with two other lake shore communities (the Town of New Toronto and the Village of Long Branch) and the Township of Etobicoke to form the Borough of Etobicoke. The Last Mayor of Mimico, who was first elected in 1960, was Hugh Griggs who edited Mimico's official history 'The Mimico Story'. While Canada celebrated its Centenary, the new Mimico Centennial Library was opened. Mimico had torn down the Carnegie Library (the only of Toronto's Carnegie Libraries to be demolished) and two or three surrounding houses to build the larger Mimico Centennial Library, which was set back from the corner location of the previous library building.[42] The plaque honouring the towns First World War veterans was removed to a new park named 'Vimy Memorial' at Lake Shore Blvd. West and Queens Ave. The legion hall that had been in Sir Henry Pellatt's Bailey[43] house was moved to Eden Court, the former farm residence of the Stock family, when Bailey house was demolished for a street to serve new industries east of Mimico. Bailey House's time as the Legion hall is commemorated in the name of the street it was demolished for: Legion Road.

Mimico Town Council in 1943 with Mayor Amos Waites

Postwar growth

Smaller 3-storey apartment buildings went up on almost every street while larger apartments appeared along much of the Lake Shore on the south side. More commercial space was also built especially on the northern side of Lake Shore Road from Mimico Ave. to Burlington St. A period of church expansion occurred with Christ Church Anglican and St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church[41] building new Churches at this time for larger congregations. St. Leo's new church was built on the site of Mimico's 1858 Post Office which was demolished and shortly after the postmaster's home (Werden House) was purchased to become the new rectory. In 1958, the Presbyterian Church built a new church building beside the old church. A legion hall was established in Mimico in Sir Henry Pellatt's former Bailey House.

Mimico's longest serving Mayor (at different periods from 1936–1948) was Amos Waites who alternated in this post with Mayor Archibald Norris.[39] About the time of the Second World War many 1-storey houses were built, filling in most of the gaps in the housing especially in northern and western Mimico. Smaller industries moved into areas around the railway tracks. Many new immigrants came to Mimico in the 1950s. In 1953, Mimico became one of thirteen cities and towns which formed the new Metropolitan Toronto. The next year Hurricane Hazel struck and while communities around Mimico were some of the worst affected, the storm left Mimico largely untouched. The Town of Mimico saw its future in attracting many more small families and working people to the area and began to tear down older homes that stood on large lots and filled in these and the last remaining empty lots with apartment buildings.[40]

Aerial photograph of Mimico, 1942

World War II

Doubts about Mimico's survival appeared during the Great Depression when the Town went deeply into debt and many businesses disappeared. The depression also bankrupted some of Toronto's wealthiest including Sir Henry Pellatt (builder of Casa Loma) who had already built a house in Mimico (Bailey House) which stood at the bend in Lake Shore near Fleeceline overlooking the commercial stretch on Lake Shore.[38] Just before the outbreak of war, Canada's first 'Limited Access' Highway, the Queen Elizabeth Way, was opened by Queen Elizabeth just north of the Town of Mimico's northern boundary.

With the union of the Methodist, Congregational and many Presbyterian churches, the old Wesley Methodist Church on Church St (Royal York Rd) became vacant as a new United Church was built on Mimico Ave.[22] The Town of Mimico purchased the old Methodist Church which served as the Town Hall.[36] In 1922, Mimico's Baptist Church was built.[37] Many bungalow style 1 12-storey homes were built in the interwar years, especially south of Mimico Avenue, and most notably, the tree-lined 'crescent' streets (Lake Cres, Eastbourne Cres, Dartmouth Cres and Lake Shore) were developed with large cottage–style homes. In 1928 the local streetcar line merged with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) which at first combined the line with Toronto's 'Queen' line.

During the First World War, in 1917, Mimico became a Town and elected its first Mayor, John Harrison, by acclamation.[34] The town also reacted to the sensational execution of British Nurse Edith Cavell by naming Mimico's old Southampton Street in her memory in 1916. Another street was also given this name in Toronto's East End leading to recent attempts by Toronto to rename Mimico's Cavell Ave.[35] At the end of the war, the local chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, who met at the Carnegie Library, presented the town with two plaques honouring all those from the town who had enlisted and another honouring those who had died.

Mimico Trains Yards looking along Drummond from Church Street (Royal York Road), Stock's original home 'Harwarden' in foreground

World War I and the Depression

Mimico's largest employer was traditionally the railway (with its yards mostly located in New Toronto), but because New Toronto was planned as an industrial town, many larger industries located there. Nevertheless, a new train station was needed and was built on the south side of the tracks near the north end of Station Road. In 1909, a hotel was established beside the railway called the Windsor Hotel (today the Blue Goose Tavern). Although other 1890s subdivisions in Toronto at Roncesvalles and the Beaches were entirely built up in the pre-war years Mimico's growth was slow with no street being fully built and some still without any residences built on them. Nevertheless many foursquare houses were built mostly in south-central Mimico in this period. In 1916, a referendum was held on the question of New Toronto joining Mimico, this was accepted by Mimico voters but rejected in New Toronto.

Mimico became a police village in 1905[29] and the next year the Grand Trunk Railway's Mimico railway yards were opened. Mimico became a Village in 1911[26] electing its first Village Reeve, Robert Skelton.[31] The same year a second post office named 'Mimico Beach' was established to serve the southern half of Mimico, located on Lake Shore Road.[32] Mimico became the smallest community to obtain a Carnegie Library in which the town council met at first. The first immigrants began to arrive in Mimico and at this time Etobicoke's first Catholic Church was built in Mimico, St. Leo's.[33]

1913 Map of Central Mimico revised to 1926


The radial railway line brought many of Toronto's wealthy to The Lakeshore area in Etobicoke where several large estates were built. First and most impressive of which was the Featherstonaugh Estate which was shaped like a castle at the bottom of Royal York Rd.[29] This period in which Mimico took shape was also the period in which Mimico's namesake, the passenger pigeon, disappeared from the area, the last known bird dying near the beginning of the next century in the United States. A Mimico resident, Mr. John Kay on noticing the disappearance of this species donated a stuffed passenger pigeon to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to preserve some of the last evidence of what had been Mimico's namesake.[30]

Around that time, the Mimico area was incorrectly shown on some fire insurance plans as extending North of Lake Ontario, West of the Humber River, South of North Queen Street (Delroy Drive) and East of Mimico Avenue (now Kipling Avenue), as the community of Mimico was located in the immediate vicinity of the railway station and post office.[3] A year later a Presbyterian Church was built on Mimico Avenue.[27] Mimico was expected to grow quickly. A second post office was opened in New Toronto (established in 1890). A small number of Victorian buildings were built on the newly laid out streets assuring that this time they would not simply disappear. Mimico and the other lakeshore communities west of the Humber River were eventually linked by an independent radial railway line run by the Toronto and Mimico Electric Railway and Light Company,[28] which originated in the Sunnyside area. This line was originally intended to link with a line started from Hamilton. However, the western end of the T&M was never completed past Port Credit.

Between 1883 and 1893, there were 13 separate annexations to the City of Toronto[25] which brought the border of that city to the Humber R.[26] In 1890, the Mimico Real Estate Security Company Ltd was formed to divide and sell lots in the Etobicoke community of Mimico. This plan included the subdivision of Mr. Edward Stock's land as far north as the Stock's Side Road (an extension of Toronto's Queen Street, now the Queensway) and a cattle path he had established as a shortcut from Church St. (Royal York Rd.) to Lake Shore Road became Mimico Avenue.

Mimico; Goad's 1890 Plan

Second plan for Mimico

This prompted the original Mimico area on Dundas St. to adopt a new name; Islington. In Tremaine's 1860 Map of York County, the Mimico subdivision is reprinted with all its side streets, however by 1861, the plan had already failed,[23] the area largely returning to agricultural use. Mimico's founding families were therefore mostly farmers: the Van Everys (Loyalists), the Hendrys and the Stocks.[24]

Etobicoke survey map 1878

By 1850, after the Union of The Canadas, Etobicoke was formally recognised as a Township. The Great Western Railway (originally chartered as the Toronto & Hamilton Railway) was built through the southern part of the Township.[20] The first Mimico railway station opened in 1855, just north of the tracks beside Christ Church on Church St. (now Royal York Rd.). A plan of subdivision was commissioned with side-streets for the 'Town of Mimico'. Mimico was advertised as being '8 minutes' from Toronto[21] (by train), then bordered by Dufferin St. In 1858, a Mimico post office had been opened just south of the Railway Station on Church St. (Royal York Rd.) where St. Leo's Church is today and in 1863, the Wesley Methodist Church was established.[22]

Railway Plan of Mimico; 1856

First plan for Mimico

After arriving in the Toronto area, Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of Upper Canada's first Governor and the founder of Toronto, refers to the large number of (passenger) pigeons[16] after which Mimico is named. The area known as "Mimico" originally extended up the Mimico Creek to Dundas Street,[17] where Upper Canada's early highway connecting Toronto to the west and the community of Mimico were located. One of Etobicoke's most prominent businessmen, William Gamble, opened a sawmill on the west bank of Mimico Creek up from the lake, and a small settlement for the mill workers was built nearby. With Mr Gamble's patronage Etobicoke's first church, Christ Church (Anglican), was opened on Church Street (Royal York Road).[18] At this time, Mimico was in Etobicoke Township, which had been meeting with the other townships in the southern part of the County of York (what would become Metropolitan Toronto) as the Township of York (excluding the Town of York, later City of Toronto).[17] Mr. Gamble eventually moved his business away,[19] but with the addition of a school at the foot of Church St (Royal York Rd), southern Mimico would not disappear.

Etobicoke's first church, the original Christ Church

Mill settlement

The name 'Mimico' is derived from the Ojibwe word omiimiikaa meaning "abundant with wild pigeons" (c.f. 19th century Mississaugas omiimii, "pigeon").[15] The 'pigeon' after which Mimico was named was the Passenger pigeon. It was thought to have been the most numerous species in the world at the time European colonization began in North America and is now extinct.



Before the building of the Bloor-Danforth Subway, the TTC operated a 'Mimico' bus route along a portion of Royal York and the Queensway from Humber Loop to the foot of Royal York.[13] A second route was the 507 Long Branch streetcar, which was joined in 1995 to the 501 Queen route (the longest streetcar route in the world), and therefore no longer turns at the Humber Loop. Because of poor service on the western section of the route, the TTC is considering reinstating the separate Long Branch route.[14]

The area is served primarily with buses along Royal York Road and Evans Avenue connecting with the Bloor-Danforth subway and with streetcars along Lake Shore Boulevard. The City of Toronto is in the process of studying various proposals to increase transit connections in the area to downtown. The Mimico GO Transit station provides regular east-west commuter rail travel to downtown Toronto and to as far west as Hamilton. Along the north of the area is the Gardiner Expressway, a large twelve-lane highway (originally built as the Queen Elizabeth Way).

Lake Shore Boulevard West looking East from Mimico 1927


For statistical purposes, a "neighbourhood planning area" named after Mimico (simply because it is the closest defined community) starts at the Humber River to the east, its northern boundary being the Gardiner Expressway as far west as the CPR north-south rail lines west of Kipling Avenue. The western boundary follows the CPR rail lines as far south as the CNR rail lines. The western boundary then continues along the CNR rail lines to Dwight Avenue, then south along Dwight Avenue to Lake Ontario.[12] This planning area includes part of the former Township of Etobicoke (including parts of Humber Bay and Alderwood), and are used for planning purposes (which also match the census tracts for that area).[12] This planning area also includes the recent Humber Bay Shores condominium developments along Lakeshore Boulevard West to the east, an area historically known as Humber Bay, as well as the industrial areas along the rail lines to the west, and an area to the north, all of which comprised part of the Township of Etobicoke. These areas were never part of the Town of Mimico and weren't previously considered part of the Mimico neighbourhood.

  1. Town of Mimico, Ward Map (1930)
  2. City of Toronto, Urban Development Services West District, map, Etobicoke Zoning Mimico South (April 2003) [10]
  3. Toronto, City Planning West District, map, Etobicoke Zoning Mimico North (February 2006) [11]

These boundaries for Mimico are defined on City of Toronto zoning maps. See: [9]

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