Humber Bay Shores: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods

Humber Bay Shores: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods

  • Fred Renna
  • 10/4/22

Humber Bay Shores: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods


The development of a city is a fantastic thing. Consider Humber Bay Shores. The journey that has led to today's neighbourhood on the shores of Lake Ontario didn't start with the development of the condo buildings. It began in the distant past, with every generation adding to the area and growing, developing it into what is now enjoyed today.


Humber Bay Shores is indeed its own community with its hidden gems and community charm, but it is also part of something bigger. Other communities call Humber Bay Shores part of their communities as well. Humber Bay Shores is unique because it is considered part of two different neighbourhoods, Mimico and Queensway-Humber Bay. It is also part of Etobicoke, one of the six municipalities amalgamated into the city of Toronto.


Being part of two neighbourhoods is a blessing many others don't have, and it is good to know what you are a part of when you live in Humber Bay Shores. 


Humber Bay Shores Neighbourhoods


  • Etobicoke


Etobicoke's history is long and dates back to well before the development of any permanent buildings. The boundaries of Etobicoke have been used as a home for many people over the years. Even before the 17th century, the land was inhabited by First Nations tribes. These lands were hunted, fished and farmed for many generations.


As settlers moved in and began building homes along the river's edge and the lake's edge, Etobicoke began to form. The 1805 census listed 84 people in Etobicoke. The development of railway companies and others led to the community's growth, resulting in the town of Etobicoke being incorporated on January 1, 1850.


Fast forward to the 1900s, the town of Etobicoke lost some of its land to the new town of Mimico. In 1954, the city became part of "Metro Toronto" and was joined by three other neighbourhoods to create the boroughs of Etobicoke, one of which was Mimico, which was then classified as a city in 1984. However, in 1998, 6 municipalities joined to create what is now the amalgamated city of Toronto.


As you can see, even in a small part of the city, change is constant, and the dynamics and the structure of neighbourhoods adjust with the times. The neighbourhood of Etobicoke has grown from a small, sub-100-resident town in 1805 to a community of over 365,000 residents today.


  • Mimico 


  • The Past


Since the neighbourhood of Mimico was established from land that was part of Etobicoke, their history is the same. Those same tribes fished the waters and hunted the forests of what is now Mimico. 


The town's name, Mimico, is actually derived from an Ojibwe word Omiimiikaa (pronounced Omimeca) which means the place of wild pigeons.


Railways and industrial development brought people in from all over the area, leading to new homes and new businesses. Then came WWII. WWII brought with it a host of challenges for Mimico, as it did for everywhere else. However, when the soldiers returned from the war, the city boomed. Neighbourhoods grew, businesses opened, families moved in, and the community developed. The trials and tribulations of the original residents laid the framework and foundation for what is enjoyed there today.



  • The Present



Today, the community of Mimico is tucked into the southeast corner of Etobicoke. Just west of Toronto's downtown, Mimico offers what few neighbourhoods do. Close access to the downtown core while still offering that small-town vibe. 


It also has great commuting options if you drive a car with quick access to the Gardiner Expressway and Highway 427. There are also many trains and transit routes that travel through the community. You can hop on the Mimico GO train and be in the downtown core in 15 minutes! 


Cool, Unique neighbourhoods Quirks


Every neighbourhood has its unique spots that the locals love, and the tourists want to visit. Mimico has plenty of options for events, activities and places to enjoy while in Mimico.


  • SamRemo Bakery 


SamRemo's Bakery is on every "best of Mimico" list you can. Since 1969, SamRemo's Café has served the community, providing high-quality food and a great atmosphere to enjoy.


  • Tich


This award-winning restaurant has been showcased on such shows as "You Gotta Eat Here" and "Delicious Destinations". Some of the best Indian food in all of Toronto can be found here, in Mimico, at Tich.



Mimico Waterfront Park is nestled between Humber Bay Park West and Norris Crest Parkette. Here you can find a playground as well as little pockets of wetland and great spots to sit and enjoy nature.



Amos Waites Park is a wonderful playground that is located on the Shores of Humber Bay. The whole park is themed after a sinking ship. All the play structures are built to look like part of a sinking ship, all tilted and at funny angles. For kids and adults alike, this park is one-of-a-kind.


  • Lakeshore International Film Festival 


Would you have thought that Mimico would have its own international film festival? Well, it does! Organized by Fifth Shore Entertainment and Etobicoke Arts, it is a weekend dedicated to the arts.



  • The Future



Grand Central Mimico. This is set to be one of the most major developments in the area for a long time to come. Set to be completed by the mid-2030s, Grand Central Mimico is a giant development that will include nine condo towers, tremendous amounts of office space and its own transit connections. 


This is exactly the type of real estate that millennials and Gen-Z are looking at. The location and the style of living that Grand Central Mimico will provide as it is completed will draw in families, single professionals and more. It is an exciting time for the neighbourhood of Mimico. 


  • The Queensway-Humber Bay 


  • The Past


The shared history of these two neighbourhoods is extremely similar due to their proximity. Up until 1917, Mimico was only a town in Etobicoke. After 1917, it became a separate municipality with its own government. 


That municipality begrudgingly agreed to rejoin the "Metro Toronto" municipality in 1953 and then was finally joined with the rest of Toronto in 1998. While they may have a shared history, each neighbourhood has its unique aspects to enjoy.



  • The Present


Queensway-Humber Bay is bordered on the west by Mimico Creek and runs east to the Humber River. That means that there are many riverfront walking trails and dog parks to enjoy with your furry friends.


Easy access to the 501 streetcar and the Gardiner Expressway makes this an easy area to get to and move around in. 


Cool, Unique Quirks In and Around the Neighbourhood




Humber Bay Arch bridge is a structural and architecturally beautiful pedestrian bridge that crosses the mouth of the Humber River as it empties into Lake Ontario. Amazing for photos and very handy if you are walking or biking in the area, the Humber Bay Arch Bridge is a must-see!


  • Jeff Healey Park


Just outside of the west-end border of the community is Jeff Healey Park. Located in the neighbouring community, the park is dedicated to the late Jeff Healey, a Canadian musician and cultural figure. In the park is a playground that is well maintained and is a favourite for local families. 



Everything cheese and more is available for you at the Cheese Boutique just east of The Queensway neighbourhood. For 47 years, the Cheese Boutique has supplied the area with the highest quality cheeses and snacks. Great gift baskets are available year-round, and they are a holiday favourite for family or corporate gifts.


  • Oculus Pavilion


Oculus Pavilion is a little-known gem that is located in Humber Park, which is on a bend in the Humber River near where it meets Lake Ontario. Oculus Pavilion is a funky bit of architectural work that can be found off the path in Humber Park. It was originally a washroom but had fallen into disrepair and was used mostly as a graffiti canvas. Oculus Pavilion will soon be getting a makeover, with the city funding a revitalization project for the pavilion in the near future.



  • The Future


Many communities within Etobicoke are undergoing massive development due to its amazing location and proximity to everything. Major highways, transit lines, Toronto's downtown and lake and riverfront property and homes, Queensway has it all. You can keep your eyes peeled for new developments as new projects are being completed and announced regularly.


Thinking of Moving to Mimico?


Understandably, the Mimico and Queensway- Humber Bay real estate are highly sought after. All demographics and lifestyle types fit well into these communities. Are you thinking of making a move and turning one of the most accessible and naturally scenic neighbourhoods in Toronto into your home?


If so, reach out! Let's discuss what would fit you and your lifestyle needs the best. Not sure if you are moving but are interested and have questions? Reach out, and let's talk! We are looking forward to showing you how these communities could be the next place you call home.





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Click below to learn more about getting your copy of this free guide and everything you need to know about this extraordinary community!


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