With tree-canopied winding roads, grand homes on spacious lots and lovely green spaces found in charming pocket parks, Forest Hill real estate is considered one of Toronto’s most prestigious and exclusive communities.

The homes of South Hill, which borders on the Casa Loma neighbourhood, have many of the same attributes as those in Forest Hill with magnificent properties and well-manicured landscapes. Both neighbourhoods are in close proximity to highly-regarded private and public schools, various high calibre shops and restaurants, and have easy access to Toronto’s downtown core, making them desirable communities for affluent professionals and families.

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Homes

A majority of the homes in Forest Hill were built in the 1940s to 1950s and you will find a variety of architecture. The Tudor and Georgian styles tend to dominate, though you will also find a range of styles from French Colonial to English country manors in Forest Hill. Currently many of the homes are being significantly renovated, even torn down to build neo-classical homes, which is giving the streets a fresh look. It should be noted that due to building codes and laws from the 1920s and 1930s, homes in Forest Hill are required to be designed by an architect and a tree must be planted at the front of each property. A fair number of luxury condominiums, west of Spadina on Lonsdale Road, are also found in Forest Hill real estate. South Hill homes were built from 1890 to 1920 and the neighbourhood features some of the largest homes in Toronto. Those that were built on the crest of the hill even boast distant views of Lake Ontario. You will find executive townhomes built since the 1980s scattered among the single-family homes, as well as modern luxury condominiums and even luxury rental apartment buildings such as The Clarendon.

Are you interested in learning more about the financial aspect of moving into this neighbourhood? I have compiled Forest Hill’s real estate statistics here.

Schools

Forest Hill and South Hill both feature outstanding public schools as well as some of Canada’s most renowned private schools: Upper Canada College for young men and Bishop Strachan School for young women. Private academies De La Salle College and Mabin School are located in South Hill as well as Brown Public School which offers a French Immersion Program and residents consider a privilege to attend. Institutions of higher learning are also in close proximity, such as George Brown College and the University of Toronto.

Recreation

Situated At the north end of Forest Hill real estate, the Kay Gardner Belt Line Trail provides 14.5 km of scenic pathways for walking, biking, and jogging. The Cedarvale Ravine passes through the Forest Hill neighbourhood with trails and opportunities for bird watching and enjoyment of flora and fauna. The Forest Hill Library and the local community centre offer a myriad of programs for all ages. South Hill real estate, similar to its neighbour, Forest Hill, has plenty of green spaces, most notably the Nordheimer Ravine and Sir Winston Churchill Park. This park is a destination in itself and is equipped with 10 tennis courts, a children's playground and wading pool and paths for jogging or biking. The Brown Community Centre at the well-known school features an indoor swimming pool as well as programs and activities for every age range.

Transportation

Forest Hill is well served by public buses which also connect commuters to the nearby subway stations Davisville, Eglinton, and St. Clair West. The Allen Expressway is easily accessed by drivers from Eglinton Avenue West. South Hill commuters can connect to the Yonge-University-Spadina and Bloor-Danforth lines at subway stations which can be reached by both buses and streetcars. Motorists can access major thoroughfares via Yonge Street, Avenue Road, and Bathurst Street.

Shopping

The Forest Hill Village at Spadina and Lonsdale is truly the hub of the community and caters to the needs of residents with speciality shops, boutiques, trendy cafes, beauty and spa services, galleries, eclectic eateries, and more. For big box shopping, locals head to Fortinos at Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue, the Metro at Bathurst and Lawrence, or the Loblaws at St. Clair and Bathurst. Clothing and home décor shops, as well as high-end speciality boutiques, can also be found along Eglinton Avenue West. Yorkdale Shopping Centre just north of Forest Hill, was one of Canada’s first suburban malls and has been revitalized and expanded over the years and is now the fourth largest mall in Canada with 250 stores, many of them luxury retailers.

The South Hill community enjoys many of the same shopping opportunities as Forest Hill such as the Forest Hill Village which is only a few minutes away by car. Also in the vicinity are the shops, restaurants, and professional services on Dupont Street, Davenport Road, and Avenue Road, as well as the upscale shopping district in Yorkville. Designer’s Walk on Bedford Road is one of my favourite destinations where Toronto’s premier interior design showrooms are located.

Local Gems

A hidden gem of Forest Hill Village, Pizza Banfi offers not only excellent service but superb Italian dishes made with the highest quality ingredients. Sofra serves up Mediterranean cuisine with a Middle Eastern essence to create a medley of flavours on your palate. Next time you crave Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare, head over to Mashu Mashu for more outstanding food and let me know which one of the two you prefer—I’m still undecided. For award-winning Italian meals in an elegant atmosphere with an extensive wine list and certified Sommelier, Il Mulino in the heart of Forest Hill Village is where residents head for their special evenings out.

Dupont Street’s hidden treasure, Nord Bistro is the perfect place for a mouth-watering brunch or an intimate dinner in South Hill. Playa Cabana offers authentic Mexican dishes featuring sauces bursting with flavours in a cozy locale that blends a South American feel with a trendy North American vibe. Skyline views and French haute cuisine marry at Scaramouche Restaurant and Pasta Bar where you will delight in culinary perfection. For a contemporary take on Mediterranean comfort food, Flor De Sal is located in a beautifully decorated house with several secluded nooks to enjoy your dining experience in South Hill.

Location