A Brief History of the Area
INTRODUCTION TO HUMBER BAY SHORES
This picturesque spot where the Humber River embraces the sparkling shores of Lake Ontario, has a long and interesting history.
Prior to the 1850's, when first settlements appeared, Humber Bay was a trading hub for native Indians bringing fur pelts to distribute to urban markets. The name Mimico is an aboriginal word, translated from Ojibwe, which means "place where wild pigeons gather."
In the late1800's, the site became a popular recreation destination for vacationers and nature-lovers seeking refuge from the bustle of Muddy York. South Etobicoke was a wilderness paradise attracting travelers by horse and buggy, or a weekend ferry trip across the lake to this new Mimico cottage country.
By the early 1900's, rich industrialists built opulent summer mansions along the shoreline to capture the magnificent waterfront views and serene lifestyle. If you explore the Lake Shore and Royal York neighbourhood, you can still discover remnants of the former glory. An original coach house, ornate fountain and Romanesque garden statues can be found in Amadeo Garden Court, which recall the grandeur of these early beach houses built by tycoons.
During the 1950's and 60's, the new east-west QEW highway dramatically transformed the area, slicing it into industrial pockets and motels dotting the shoreline catering to families and business travelers. Soon after, the motel strip faded in popularity as motorists bypassed Lake Shore Blvd. for faster highway travel. These were declining years for the western waterfront and the area lost its luster.
A new wave of rejuvenation started in the 1980's when the first luxury condos popped up on the site of the old Palace Pier dance pavilion. Soon, major developers discovered the charms of the pristine waterways. Seedy motels were snapped up and demolished. A renaissance was triggered, creating the dramatic transformation of South Etobicoke which continues today. Humber Bay is a booming new condominium community, a vibrant vertical village, with a projected population of 20,000.
Throughout all the changes and reformations, the timeless magnet for residents in Humber Bay is the constant beauty of the majestic lake. Generation after generation, the allure of waterfront living never changes.
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