Etobicoke (pronounced /ɛˈtoʊbɨkoʊ/, the last two letters are silent) is the westernmost of the six former Metropolitan Toronto boroughs before the city of Toronto was amalgamated in 1998. It is a predominantly suburban area, intersected by several major arterial highways, and home to a population of over 500,000. Most of the borough's industry is located in the northwest corner of Etobicoke, near Pearson International Airport in adjacent Mississauga.
While a majority of this enormous chunk of land is single family-homes, there are also notable enclaves of high-density high-rises apartments in the north, and low-rise apartments along Lakeshore Blvd. in the south. Other exceptions include the neighbourhood surrounding Islington subway station, at the intersection of Islington Avenue and Bloor Street which was intended as a 'downtown-west' with a transit-oriented centre integrated with a high-rise office / condo project, and plenty of street-level restaurants and shops. Continuing to the east along Bloor Street around its intersection with Royal York Road the affluent Kingsway neightbourhood is widely known for it's high concentration of high-end restaurants and boutiques. The current City-Centre-West is located at the former Etobicoke City Hall at the intersection of Burnhamthorpe Road and Highway 427, however in 2017 a design competition will be held for a new City Centre adjacent to the Kipling Subway Station at the intersection of Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street West, and Dundas Street West (the 'Six Points' Interchange).
Some other well-known and popular neighbourhoods in Etobicoke are Markland Woods, the furthest residential community along Bloor Street West, the trifecta of Mimico-New Toronto-Long Branch, which cover the entire width along Lakeshore Boulevard from the Humber River to the border with Mississauga, and Rexdale-Thistletown-West Humber which cover the entire portion north of Highway 401.
As it was formerly a separate municipality ('the City of Etobicoke'), this section of Toronto has clearly defined perimeters: the Humber River (which separates Etobicoke from Old Toronto, York and North York in the east), Etobicoke Creek / Eglinton Ave / Highway 427 (the border with Mississauga in the west), Steeles Ave (the border with York Region in the north) and Lake Ontario (in the south).
Etobicoke has some pocketed communities, such as the shops on Bloor Street West near the Royal York subway station. Abundant with restaurants such as the French Merlot, Spanish Barcelona's and Italian cuisine it is rather nice to take a stroll before dinner and experience some smaller, community oriented shops.
The Kingsway area has always been known for its opulence. Large, older homes have a lot of character and full-grown trees that canapé the roads in the area. They are particularly beautiful in the autumn season.
Surrounded by trails that connect Etobicoke's many parks, residents are often found jogging, bike riding or going for a stroll. The Terry Fox Run landmarks can be found throughout the trails.
The crown jewel of Etobicoke parks is Centennial Park, a 525 acre park inaugurated in 1967 on the occasion of Canada's centennial birthday. Today it offers Etobians myriad opportunities for: Skiing, BMX Biking, Frisbee Golf, Go-Carts, an 27-hole Public Golf Course & Driving Range, double Indoor Hockey Rink, as well as hiking, trails, fishing, soccer and baseball fields, and plenty of free parking. It also plays host to many seasonal Festivals including Ribfest and Jerkfest.
- Etobicoke is directly across the Toronto-Mississauga border from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ IATA), Canada's largest. Two Toronto TTC bus routes (52 and 192) serve Malton; both must cross Etobicoke to reach the subway at Lawrence West (52) or Kipling (192) [dead link]. Premium fares apply if travelling beyond the airport into Malton village (effectively, the standard TTC fare plus the equivalent of the Mississauga MiWay fare).
- Most intercity rail goes to Union Station in downtown Toronto, but a few "GO" commuter trains do stop in Etobicoke on their way into the city from points further west. Etobicoke's GO stations are on three different lines, which all converge in downtown Toronto at Union Station:
- Long Branch and Mimico are on the Lakeshore line (Hamilton-Toronto-Oshawa daily), the summer weekend service to Niagara passes through without stopping here.
- Kipling is on the Milton line (Milton-Mississauga-Toronto, weekdays) and connects directly to the otherwise little-used TTC subway station of the same name.
- Etobicoke North is on the Kitchener line (Kitchener-Guelph-Georgetown-Brampton-Malton-Toronto, weekdays)
By intercity bus
- Most intercity bus ends at Bay/Dundas in downtown Toronto, although a handful serve Malton airport directly from Ontario cities such as Kingston and Peterborough
- GO commuter bus services stop at the Etobicoke North rail station, at the Woodbine mall/racetrack (Hwy. 27 @ Rexdale Blvd) and at Dixon @ Martin Grove Rd.
- Etobicoke is the western endpoint of Toronto's subway system and has four stations (Kipling, Islington, Royal York, Old Mill) on the Bloor-Danforth line 2.
By local bus
- From Mississauga, many (if not most) local routes use Islington TTC station in Etobicoke as the primary transfer point into Toronto. Mississauga "MiWay" transfers or transfers from other systems are not valid fare media on TTC vehicles within Toronto.
- From Brampton (Züm) and Vaughan (York Region YRT, Viva), city bus connections lead to the Humber College North Campus in the northwest corner of Etobicoke
With attractions spread out and free parking available at most places, car is the most common and easiest way to get around.
- TTC (393-INFO, +1 416-393-4636 or ttc.ca) provides local city bus, streetcar and subway system within metropolitan Toronto, including Etobicoke
- 1 Islington Village murals, Dundas St W between Islington Ave and Bloor St W (Take the 37 Islington bus to Dundas St from Islington Station on subway line 2). There is an impressive set of murals painted on the sides of buildings along Dundas St W in Islington Village. Islington Village is a short distance west of Montgomery's Inn making both easy to visit in one day. Islington Village has a number of shops and restaurants, and a small town atmosphere.
- 2 Montgomery's Inn, 4709 Dundas St W at Islinton Ave (Take the 37 Islington bus to Dundas St from Islington Station on subway line 2), ☏ . Montgomery's Inn, an 19th-century colonial tavern, has been a landmark in Etobicoke for over 180 years. Restored to its heyday of 1847, the Inn still extends its tradition of hospitality, started by the Montgomerys in the 1830s. Visitors can view the lodgers' bedrooms, the barroom, second floor assembly room and the Montgomery family bedrooms, sitting room and office. The inn has a tea room for visitors.
- 3 Etienne Brulé Park, 13 Crosby Ave (from Old Mill Subway Stn along Old Mill Rd over a stone bridge). The park has hiking trails along the Humber River valley. It is a good spot to watch the fall salmon run up the Humber River. While walking from the subway station, take a look at the public spaces around the very quaint Old Mill hotel where there are some ruins of an old water mill. You cross into the park over a very attractive stone bridge built in 1916.
- 4 GO Transit Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility & Via Rail Toronto Maintenance Centre, 830 Islington Ave (501 streetcar to Islington Ave and then walk ½ km north, or 110 bus to Judson St). For railfans: Both GO Transit (commuter trains) and Via Rail (inter-city trains) have their maintenance facilities and storage yards here. Railfans can get great views from the Islington Avenue bridge over the yards.
Humber Bay Shores
The Humber Bay Shores neighbourhood has a beautiful series of inter-connected lakeside parks and walkways west of the Humber River in southern Etobicoke. There is about 7 km (4.3 mi) of walking distance if you decided to walk all the parks listed here. Thus, if either time or energy is in short supply, a short list would be: Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat, Humber Bay Park East (more attractive than Humber Bay Park West) and Mimico Waterfront Park. The following sites are listed in roughly east-to-west sequence.
- 5 Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Martin Goodman Trail & Humber River. This very attractive pedestrian/bicycle bridge connects the Sunnyside Boardwalk in Toronto/West End to Humber Bay Shores. The bridge is over the mouth of the Humber River, and offers a good view of the CN Tower on its south side.
- 6 Sheldon Lookout, Martin Goodman Trail. This small park with decorative boulders provides views of the mouth of the Humber River, Humber Bay Arch Bridge and the CN Tower.
- 7 Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat (Butterfly Garden), Humber Bay Park East (along the base of Humber Bay Park East). A habitat created for butterflies consisting of meadow-like environment with wildflowers, tall grasses, bushes and other plants. See the web link for the best times to see butterflies, which do not like wind, rain or the mid-day heat on hot days. Even if there are no butterflies to see during your visit, there are still the wildflowers.
Humber Bay Park consists of two man-made peninsulas each being a separate park, logically named Humber Bay Park East and Humber Bay Park West. Both protrude into the bay. The two parks are separated by Mimico Creek but connected by a pedestrian/cyclist bridge at the base of the two peninsulas. The east park is more rustic than the west park.
- 8 Humber Bay Park East (501 Queen streetcar to Park Lawn Rd). Humber Bay Park East has a large pond within the peninsula crisscrossed with footbridges. There is a small waterfall beside a bridge along the north side of the park. The far tip of the peninsula is rustic, and provides a view of the CN Tower in the distance.
- 9 Air India 182 Memorial, Humber Bay East Park. A memorial to the victims of the Air India Flight 182 disaster caused by terrorists. The flight originated at Pearson International Airport located just outside of Toronto.
- 10 Humber Bay Park West (501 streetcar to Legion Rd). Unlike in the east park, automobiles can penetrate the 1.1 KM length of Humber Bay Park West to its end at Etobicoke Point. The west side of this park is fenced off from public access to accommodate two private boating clubs.
- 11 Etobicoke Point, Humber Bay Park West. A lookout point with a beacon to guide boats.
- 12 Large lighthouse, Humber Bay Park West. This four-story lighthouse was built in 1895 and moved to its current location in 1981. The lighthouse is in a fenced-off location (to accommodate the Mimico Cruising Club) but can be viewed from the gazebo along Mimico Waterfront Park.
- 13 Small lighthouse, Humber Bay Park West. This small two-story lighthouse was built in 1895 and moved to its current location in 1981. The lighthouse is in a fenced-off location (to accommodate the Etobicoke Yacht Club) but can be viewed in the distance from the gazebo along Mimico Waterfront Park.
Mimico Waterfront Park is a promenade running along the lakeshore from Humber Bay Park West to Norris Crescent Parkette for a distance of 1.1KM. Some of the walkway is on footbridges over the water along the shore. Inconsistant park signage names the promenade as Humber Bay Promenade Park and Mimico Waterfront Park. Another sign says the promenade is a component of the much longer Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
- 14 Humber Bay Promenade Park (Mimico Waterfront Park). Eastern end of Mimico Waterfront Park.
- 15 Gazebo (Mimico Waterfront Park). This gazebo juts over the water, providing views of the yacht harbour and its two lighthouses.
- 16 Norris Crescent Parkette (Mimico Waterfront Park) (501 streetcar to Hillside Ave). Western end of Mimico Waterfront Park.
- A walk/jog/cycle path along the Etobicoke Creek (the Etobicoke-Mississauga border) stretches from Neilson Park Community Centre to Centennial Park. Millwood Park, near the centre of this path in the quiet residential community of Markland Wood, has some of Etobicoke's oldest growth forest and an oak tree that dates back over 300 years.
- 1 Woodbine Racetrack, 555 Rexdale Blvd., ☏ . Thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing, gambling and restaurant on-site.
- 2 Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd (Exit Highway 427 at Rathburn Rd W), ☏ . Large park with many facilities, including bike park, sports fields. During the winter, skiing and snowboarding is available; one of two locations in Toronto.
- 1 Humbertown Mall, 270 The Kingsway (Bus 48 to Strath Humber Ct from Royal York Stn), ☏ , fax: . Post office outlet within Shoppers Drugmart store.
- 2 Sherway Gardens, 25 The West Mall (Bus 80 to 1800 The Queensway), ☏ . open until 9pm daily / 6pm Sunday. 200 stores. Post office outlet within Shoppers Drugmart store.
- 3 Woodbine Centre, 500 Rexdale Blvd (Bus 11 or 12), ☏ . 10AM-9PM wkdays, Sat 9:30-6, Sun noon-5PM.
- 4 The Kingsway, Bloor St W at Royal York Rd (Royal York Subway Stn). Bloor Street between Prince Edward Drive and Brentwood Road is lined with stores and restaurants on both sides of the street. Post office outlet within Shoppers Drugmart store (3010 Bloor St W).
- 1 Anatolia Restaurant, 5112 Dundas St W, ☏ . Turkish cuisine.
- 2 LaVinia Restaurant, 2350 Lake Shore Blvd W, ☏ . Spanish cuisine.
- 3 Halibut House Fish & Chips, 2814 Lake Shore Blvd, ☏ . A local fish and chips franchise.
- 4 Huevos Gourmet, 2888 Lake Shore Blvd W, ☏ . The Mexican cuisine meets the French!
- 5 New Orleans Seafood & Steakhouse, 267 Scarlett Rd, ☏ . Cajun cuisine.
- 6 Galata Cafe, 5122 Dundas St. West, ☏ . Turkish Cuisine
- 1 The Old Mill Inn (Old Mill Toronto), 21 Old Mill Rd (near Old Mill Subway Station on line 2), ☏ . 4-star, upscale hotel. The hotel has a very quaint Tudor style. It is located next to the ruins of an old water mill and is also next door to the rustic Etienne Brulé Park. Even if you are not a guest, it is pleasant to visit its public areas.
- 2 Woodbine Hotel and Suites, 30 Vice Regent Blvd., ☏ . Near Hwy 27; 1km from race track.
A large hotel strip on Dixon Road in Etobicoke (which becomes Airport Road across the 427 freeway in Malton) serves air travellers; see Mississauga for a few additional hotels on the other side of the 427.
- 3 Courtyard by Marriott, 231 Carlingview Drive, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 4 International Plaza, 655 Dixon Road, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 5 Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, 901 Dixon Rd, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 6 Quality Suites Toronto Airport, 262 Carlingview Dr., ☏ , fax: . Two-room suites, separate bedroom with king bed and television and living room with sofa sleeper, coffee maker, dining room table with chairs. Some suites include refrigerators and microwaves. Meeting and banquet rooms accommodate up to 120. Graffiti's Italian Eatery & Saloon on-site with room service. News stand and souvenir shop, Stay & Fly packages.
- 7 Radisson Suite Hotel Toronto Airport, 640 Dixon Road, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Includes airport shuttle and Wi-Fi. Fitness centre, on-site dining.
- 8 Travelodge Hotel Toronto Airport/Dixon Road, 925 Dixon Road, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
|Routes through Etobicoke|
|END ←||W E||→ West End → Scarborough|
|Kitchener ← Mississauga ←||W E||→ Midtown → Entertainment and Financial Districts|
|Toronto ← Harbourfront ←||N S||→ Mississauga → Niagara Falls|
|Milton ← Mississauga ←||W E||→ Entertainment and Financial Districts → END|