Living in Baby Point
The historic stone gates at the corner of Jane Street and Baby Point Road mark the entrance to this exclusive west end neighbourhood. Baby Point is situated on a peninsula of land overlooking the Humber River. It is surrounded by ravine and parkland and is one of the prettiest settings in Toronto.
Ed Note: Long time Baby Point residents pronounce the name of this neighbourhood “Bobby Point”, using the French pronunciation for Baby, after whom this neighbourhood is named.
History of Baby Point
Baby Point’s rich history dates back to the 1600’s when it was a prosperous Seneca Nation village known as Teiaiagon. The Seneca people found Teiaiagon to be the perfect location for conducting their fur trading activities as this high peninsula of land located in a bend of the Humber River, was easily defended from attack. The Seneca village had long since been abandoned when in 1816 the Honourable James Baby settled on this peninsula of land overlooking the Humber River. The present day neighbourhood is named after Baby, a member of a prominent Quebec fur trading family and a former politician in Upper Canada. Baby’s settlement was a virtual Garden of Eden. A lush apple orchard occupied much of the land, and salmon swam in the Humber River. There was even a spring of fresh water that flowed from the hillsides. This water was bottled and shipped around the world. Baby’s heirs continued to live in Baby Point until 1910 when the government acquired Baby Point with the intention of establishing a military fortress and army barracks on this site. As fate would have it the government changed their plans and sold Baby Point to developer Robert Home Smith who began developing the Baby Point subdivision in 1912.
Lifestyle in Baby Point
Baby Point residents enjoy the luxury of being able to walk to the nearby shops on Annette and Jane Streets. These two shopping districts offer an eclectic mix of stores including European food shops, antique stores, a discount store, a grocer, variety stores and restaurants. Baby Point residents are a fifteen minute walk from the popular Bloor West Village shopping district which includes specialty food shops, bakeries, restaurants, gift shops, book stores and clothing stores.
Recreation in Baby Point
The social and recreational centre of this neighbourhood is the Baby Point Club, located off of Baby Point Road. This private neighbourhood club features two tennis courts, lawn bowling and a log cabin clubhouse that hosts various social events throughout the year. Baby Point is also an excellent place for exercise walks, jogging and cycling. Its picturesque, winding streets and hilly terrain provide a good challenge for fitness enthusiasts. Baby Point residents can walk to Etienne BržlŽ Park which has a paved trail that follows the course of the Humber River. This multi-purpose trail is ideal for walking, jogging, cycling and cross-country skiing. This park is also popular for fishing and picnics. Across the street from the park is the Old Mill Tennis Club which includes four public tennis courts.
The Humber theatre located on the south side of Bloor Street, west of Jane Street is a popular venue for movie goers as this theatre screens current Hollywood releases. Without a doubt one of the prettiest settings in Toronto has to be at the Humber River as it flows alongside Etienne Brule Park just below the historic Old Mill Inn and Spa. This is the setting every fall around Thanksgiving for dozens of anglers. These fishing enthusiasts wade with their leg high rubber boots into the chilly waters of the Humber River to test their mettle against the teeming amount of Salmon swimming upstream to spawning grounds.
Fishermen are not the only ones who gather here on a nice fall day. Curious onlookers also line the banks of the Humber river to marvel at this spectacle; as hundreds of Salmon attempt to jump the weir in the Humber river. These schools of Salmon travel this route each fall as they make their way up the river from the mouth of Lake Ontario to spawn upstream in the Humber River headwaters which originate all the way up in the Oak Ridges Moraine. This is not a recent discovery as far as fishing holes go. Salmon have been migrating along the river for thousands of years. The First Nations people fished here long before the settlement of Toronto. The Humber River was officially designated a Canadian Heritage River at a plaque unveiling ceremony in Toronto on September 24, 1999.
The beautiful Old Mill bridge, built in 1916, is the perfect backdrop for all the fishing enthusiasts. A short stroll from the bridge is the Old Mill Inn and Spa. This historic Inn has a very popular Sunday brunch and family dinner buffet, as well as a famous Thankgiving Buffet. Good to know just in case you get hungry after a busy day watching the Salmon run. If you prefer a more casual outing, Etienne Brule Park has numerous picnic benches. This park is a short stroll from the Old Mill subway station. If you are traveling by car there is plenty of parking available at the entrance to the park.
Transportation in Baby Point
Baby Point residents can take the Jane Street bus to the Jane station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line, or may walk to the station which is about fifteen minutes from the Baby Point gates. Motorists enjoy quick and easy access to Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway via the South Kingsway. Lake Shore Boulevard whisks motorists to Toronto’s Harbourfront and financial district as well as providing links to all of the major highways leading in and out of the city.