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There's a pocket in between Toronto and Mississauga that offers the best of both worlds. It's the definition of dichotomy - urban and suburban. It's city and country. It's Toronto and Mississauga. Etobicoke borders Mississauga at Etobicoke Creek and along Highway 427 on the west, while it's defined from Toronto by the Humber River. It starts at Steeles to the north and goes right to the lake. It's highrise and lowrise. It's historical and modern. It's industrial and nature. It's got its own unique identity too.
Etobicoke has been a favourite because it's got great urban access, but the lifestyle is a lot more relaxed. There's very little concentration of tall buildings, with virtually no skyscrapers of its own. It's a comfortable sprawl with low population density for its 350,000 residents, and the residential communities take great care to encompass and make good use of amazing natural amenities.
Etobicoke is a huge draw for lifestyle, and the waterfront has seen an especially huge renewed interest over the past decade. The area has been well planned, with parks and trails.
The Martin Goodman Trail is the Toronto section of The Waterfront Trail, a continuous lakefront system which spans 780 kms, from the Niagara region to the Quebec border. The Etobicoke span is an incredible draw for residents of all ages, with runners, rollerbladers, bike riders and people walking their dogs, young couples pushing strollers and lots of people just out for a leisurely stroll and fresh air. Some stretches of the trail have beachfront, like The Boardwalk area south of Windermere Avenue. Designated as a footpath, bare toes enjoy groomed sand, and bathers can venture out into the water for a swim.
Westward, there are fantastic points with impressive architecture, including the graceful Humber Bay Arch Bridge that crosses the water and, pre-city amalgamation, 'bridged' the former City of Etobicoke with Toronto.
Humber Bay Park West is designated a protected area and home to the The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat. The City has designated the area for ecological restoration and the habitat has been carefully planned and developed with native plants, flowers, grasses and shrubbery that encourages and supports native butterflies through their natural lifecycle. Visitors can enjoy the garden setting and learn more about the Butterfly Habitat and native wildlife.
On the other side of Mimico Creek, The West Humber Bay Park offers up some nautical opportunities including The Mimico Cruising Club and The Etobicoke Yacht Club, offering boat slips, the clubhouses and luxuriously manicured grounds. The historic lighthouses are an intriguing element. Not your typical urban amenities, life by the lake really incorporates the best of city living with the luxury of a resort setting.
Surrounding the Etobicoke waterfront there are a variety of excellent restaurants - some ZAGAT-rated - as well as The Old Mill, renown for their spa services. The Queensway delivers a wide variety of options, from movie theatres to upscale shopping at Sherway Gardens. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, services and businesses throughout the area.
Highway access is key, it doesn't get easier. The Gardiner Expressway runs east to downtown Toronto, while the QEW goes west, to Mississauga, Oakville and beyond. Highway 401 runs through the middle while Highway 403 splits off to the west. Highway 427 makes travel from north to south quite convenient. Etobicoke meanders around Pearson International Airport - though it makes the location ideal for frequent flyers.
With a school for the arts and great educational and sports facilities, Etobicoke has, for a municipality with a low population density, produced quite a number of famous names. Hockey player-turned-politician Ken Dryden and Mayor Rob Ford; blues legend Jeff Healey and band members of The Rheostatics; actors Dave Foley, Catherine O'Hara and numerous hockey, soccer and baseball names of note.
Apartments in Etobicoke