Living in Mimico
Mimico is the gateway to Toronto’s west-end waterfront neighbourhoods. This established community is well known for it’s scenic lakefront parks and excellent recreational facilities. Mimico is within a short commute of downtown Toronto and features its own Go Transit train station located on Royal York Road. Mimico residents come out in droves to show their community spirit at a number of local events including the annual “Lakeshore Community Festival” and the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Christmas Parade. There is also an annual “Mimico Festival” held every August in Amos Waites Park. This event is always followed by a kite flying contest held the next day at Humber Bay Park.
History of Mimico
Mimico was originally known by the First Nations People as “Omimeca,” meaning “the resting place of the wild pigeons.” The Passenger Pigeon is now an extinct species whose memory lives on in the name of this community. The present day Mimico neighbourhood began to be developed in the 1890’s south of Lake Shore Boulevard, where many of Toronto’s wealthiest families built their summer homes. Some of these estates are still intact however most were lost to development after World War II. Mimico began to emerge as a year-round community in 1906, when the Grand Trunk Railway opened the Mimico Yard. This led to a building boom as houses were needed to accommodate the influx of workers who found employment at the Mimico Yard. Mimico’s meteoric growth led to its incorporation as a Town in 1917. Mimico retained its Town status until 1967, when it was amalgamated with the Township of Etobicoke which is now part of the City of Toronto.
Homes in Mimico
Mimico has pockets of charming older houses that have an Arts and Crafts or Tudor architectural style. Charming little bungalows perfect for first time buyers can be found throughout the neighbourhood. Some of these are ultimately torn down to make way for new custom homes while others are spared demolition and topped up with a second storey. There are also a growing number of new townhouse and condominium developments in Mimico. Low-rise rental apartment buildings are in abundance along the Lakeshore.
Lifestyle in Mimico
Mimico residents are well served by the shopping districts on Lake Shore Boulevard and on Royal York Road. These shopping areas feature an excellent variety of small locally owned stores and restaurants.
Recreation in Mimico
Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in Etobicoke, Mimico Waterfront Park connects people to the water across a lakefront area that historically has lacked public access to the waterfront. When completed in 2012 the park will provide 1.1 kilometer of linear waterfront park space between Norris Crescent Parkette and Humber Bay Park West. When complete this waterfront park will feature a boardwalk, a separate multi-use trail located along the backshore that provides cycling and in-line skating access adjacent to the boardwalk, small pockets of wetland habitat and landscaping and park lighting. Restoration and shoreline enhancements to terrestrial and aquatic habitats were key elements of the park’s design and construction. Phase Two includes the creation of small pockets of wetland habitat and native plantings.
Mimico is well known for its sports clubs and recreational facilities. Much of this activity takes place at the Mimico Arena located off Royal York Road at Drummond Street. During the winter this arena is used extensively for hockey and skating programs and in the summer by the Mimico Minor Lacrosse Club. National Hockey League star Brendan Shanahan grew up in Mimico and played hockey and lacrosse at the Mimico Arena.
The John English Community School, located at 95 Mimico Avenue, offers preschool programs as well as a variety of sports and arts programs for children and adults. The Mimico Tennis Club, located at 29 George Street, is unique in that it has Toronto’s only red clay surface tennis courts. The Lakeshore Lawn Bowling Club is located in Coronation Park off Royal York Road. Amos Waites Park at 2445 Lake Shore Boulevard West has an outdoor swimming pool. The Mimico Centennial Public Library is located at 47 Station Road. This library offers children’s programming.
The Metropolitan Toronto Region Conservation Authority has recently established a wetland habitat in Humber Bay Park located along Lake Shore Boulevard West at Park Lawn Road. This peninsula park, joined together by a pedestrian bridge is teeming with birds including Canadian Geese, Swans, Mallard Ducks, Seagulls, and Red Winged Blackbirds. Humber Bay Park also features a pond for model boats and a fly casting pond. The Mimico Cruising Club, Etobicoke Yacht Club and Humber College Sailing School are all based in Humber Bay Park.
Etobicoke’s new MasterCard Centre For Hockey Excellence located at 400 Kipling Avenue, is the first community rink built in Toronto in the last 25 years. This state of the art , world class, four ice-pad facility will be open 365 days a year from 7am untill Midnight.
MasterCard Canada plans on donating 250 hours of ice time to the local community each year. They will sponsor a free community skate for families every Saturday from 2:15pm – 4:15pm from September through June and will provide additional ice time during these months to community groups. Ice time will also be made available to students on PD Days.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies are the major tenants in the The MasterCard Centre For Hockey Excellence, as they use this centre as their primary training and practice facility. Hockey Canada’s Ontario office and the Hockey Hall of Fame’s research and archives division are the other high profile tenants. This centre is also be the home of the Etobicoke Dolphins, Canada’s second largest women’s hockey organization and the Faustina Sports Club.
Transportation in Mimico
The Royal York bus connects to the Bloor-Danforth subway line, while the Lake Shore Boulevard bus connects to Union station and the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line. Mimico also has its own Go Transit train station located off Royal York Road. It is approximately a fifteen minute ride from Mimico station to downtown Toronto’s Union station. Motorists can reach downtown Toronto in approximately ten minutes via Lake Shore Boulevard or the Gardiner Expressway.