Living in Birch Cliff
Birch Cliff is an established, family oriented neighbourhood set amidst the idyllic backdrop of the Scarborough Bluffs and Lake Ontario. Drawing attention away from the lake is Kingston Road, a major thoroughfare that arches it’s way through the centre of this neighbourhood. The annual Birch Cliff community parade held in May, takes place along Kingston Road. Two distinct residential pockets within the greater Birch Cliff area include the exclusive “Fallingbrook” community, located west of the Toronto Hunt Club to the south of Kingston Road, and the “Birch Cliff Heights” community, situated on the north side of Kingston Road, between Birchmount and Kennedy Roads.
History of Birch Cliff
The Birch Cliff area began to be developed in 1895, when the Toronto Hunt Club relocated here. Fox Hunts were held at this club up until the 1930’s, when golf became the memberships preferred activity. In the late 1890’s and early 1900’s many Toronto residents built summer cottages on the property adjacent to the Toronto Hunt Club. These cottagers were attracted to the area by the magnificent Scarborough Bluffs. The crest of the Scarborough Bluffs was lined with birch trees which prompted a cottager by the name of John Stark to name his cottage “Birch Cliff”. The Birch Cliff name was adopted by the local post office, which opened in 1907 in Arthur Mitchell’s grocery store. This store formerly stood at the corner of Kingston Road and Birchmount Avenue. Birch Cliff emerged as a year round residential community beginning in the 1910’s and 1920’s. From 1922 to 1947, it held the distinction of being the meeting place of the Scarborough Municipal Council. Birch Cliff’s residential development was completed shortly after World War II.
Homes in Birch Cliff
Birch Cliff contains an excellent selection of bungalows, storey-and-a-half houses and detached, two-storey homes that feature Tudor, Edwardian and Cape Cod designs. This neighbourhood’s original housing stock dates from the 1910’s all the way up to the 1950’s. Birch Cliff also contains a fairly large number of modern homes that have been built in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The highly sought after “Fallingbrook” district is known for its lush ravine topography and splendid manor houses that overlook Lake Ontario. Fallingbrook also contains a large number of houses that back onto the picturesque grounds of the Toronto Hunt Club.
Lifestyle in Birch Cliff
The retail corridor along Kingston Road contains a mix of convenience-type stores, neighbourhood bars and restaurants, and professional and medical offices. Kingston Road west of the Toronto Hunt Club, is more gentrified and includes an art gallery, a doggie daycare and apparel store, a party and play centre for children, and upscale restaurants and cafes. The artsy tone of this shopping district continues west past Victoria Park Avenue and into the Upper Beach neighbourhood.
Recreation in Birch Cliff
The Birchmount Community Centre is located across from the arena. This centre offers a full range of adult, seniors’ and children’s programming. This modern community centre also features a large indoor pool that is used for recreational swims and lessons. The Taylor Memorial Branch Toronto Public Library located at 1440 Kingston Road offers children’s programming. The R.C. Harris Filtration Plant situated at the foot of Victoria Park Avenue is Toronto’s largest water filtration plant. This art deco edifice has been declared a National Historic Civil Engineering Site. Free guided tours of this Toronto landmark are available to the public.
The Robbie International Soccer Tournament began in 1967 when a remarkable group of volunteers at the Scarborough Minor Soccer Association held a meeting to discuss staging an annual soccer tournament for charity. Now in its 43rd year the “The Robbie” is the world’s largest annual charitable soccer tournament. To date this celebrated event has raised over 1.5 Million dollars for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy. Boys and girls from a myriad of age groups will compete in this competition on the weeeknd of July 3-5. Games will be held at soccer fields across Scarborough. The main event will be preceded by the Robbie Mini Soccer festival Under 8 & 9s on June 27 and 28.
Transportation in Birch Cliff
The Danforth Road bus connects passengers to stations on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Danforth Go Train station situated on Main Street shuttles commuters to Toronto’s Union Station in approximately ten minutes. Motorists can access downtown Toronto in fifteen minutes via Kingston Road which links up with the Gardiner Expressway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and the Don Valley Parkway.