Living in Smithfield
Smithfield is located at the far north-west boundary of the City of Toronto. It is bordered on the south, east and west by the Humber River Valley. Neighbourhood landmarks include Etobicoke General Hospital and Humber College (North Campus). Smithfield is home to many new residents of Canada and includes one of the largest concentrations of subsidized housing in Toronto. This neighbourhood has recently received a tremendous boost with the ten million dollar North Kipling Junior-Middle School and Community Centre Project situated at 2 Rowntree Road.
History of Smithfield
Smithfield is named after Robert Smith who was a major landowner in this area dating back to the 1830’s. It was Smith who donated the land for the first community church at the corner of Albion and Martin Grove Roads. Smithfield Church is described in the Story of Etobicoke written by Robert Given, as a “simple log structure … When it was torn down the logs were taken to Rowntree’s saw-mill on the Humber for lumber which was used in the building of a church in Thisletown in 1873.” From 1874 onwards this pioneer community revolved around the Smithfield school that was situated on Albion Road, west of Martin Grove. This two room schoolhouse was designated as School Section #7 by the former Township of Etobicoke. The original Smithfield school was closed in 1954, however, when the present day neighbourhood was developed in the 1960’s, a new Smithfield school was opened on Mount Olive Drive. The School Section #7 plaque from the original Smithfield school is mounted in the foyer wall of the present-day Smithfield school.
Homes in Smithfield
Smithfield’s housing stock was built up during the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s and includes a handful of recent new home developments located along Finch Avenue, west of Highway 27. Smithfield houses feature concrete and clay brick exteriors or frame siding and are situated on decent size lots with private drives. The style of houses found here includes split-level houses, bungalows and detached, two-storey houses. Smithfield also contains a large number of private and subsidized townhouse complexes and high-rise apartment buildings. There are a handful of high-rise condominium buildings on Kipling Avenue, at Rowntree Road.
Lifestyle in Smithfield
Shoppers World Albion, located at the intersection of Albion Road and Kipling Avenue, is a large indoor mall anchored by a department store and a supermarket. This mall contains a mix of franchise stores and independent retailers. Smaller shopping plazas can be found scattered throughout the Smithfield neighbourhood. The retail corridor along Highway 27 north of Finch Avenue includes a large garden centre, a car dealership, big box stores, a discount mall, a bingo hall and the Albion Flea Market which includes over 400 vendors.
Recreation in Smithfield
Smithfield residents can exercise or take a leisurely stroll in the West Humber Parkland trail that skirts this neighbourhood. This nine kilometre, paved trail extends from Albion Road through the valley to Finch Avenue west of the Humber Arboretum. Entrances and parking to this trail are located west off Albion Road or off Westhumber Boulevard between Martin Grove Road and Kipling Avenue. It’s worth a visit to the Humber Arboretum – a large botanical garden highlighted by extensive ornamental gardens, a hillside of roses and over 100 hundred species of flowering Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Smithfield residents of all ages can enjoy a variety of recreational activities at the Smithfield Community School, located at 175 Mount Olive Drive, the Albion Pool and Health Club, located at 1485 Albion Road, and the Humberwood Community Centre, located at 850 Humberwood Boulevard.
Transportation in Smithfield
There is bus service along the major streets and many of the secondary streets in the Smithfield neighbourhood. These bus lines connect passengers to either the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line or the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Highway 27 runs through the centre of this neighbourhood and is easily accessed as is Highway 401 with on-ramps at Kipling Avenue. Both of these highways connect motorists to Toronto’s network of commuter highways.