Deer Park is different from many upscale Toronto neighbourhoods in that its homes are not isolated on the periphery of the neighbourhood. The residential streets spill out onto either Yonge Street or St. Clair Avenue, right into the heart of one of Toronto’s busiest shopping, entertainment, and business districts.
Deer Park’s commercial centre provides a good balance for this neighbourhood which is surrounded by lush green parkland, majestic trees, and the Vale of Avoca Ravine.
Deer Park used to be referred to by the First Nations people as “Mushquoteh”, which means a meadow or opening in the wood where deer come to feed. In 1837, the Heath family purchased forty acres of land in “Mushquoteh”. Appropriately, they named their estate Deer Park.
By the 1850’s, the Deer Park area had grown to include a handful of country villas, a general store, a school, a cemetery, a race track, and a hotel that was located at the intersection of Yonge and St. Clair. Patrons at the Deer Park Hotel used to delight in feeding the deer that roamed on the hotel grounds.
The deer were long gone by the time Deer Park was annexed to the City of Toronto in 1908. Deer Park filled in very quickly after annexation. By the 1930’s the Deer Park neighbourhood was established as one of Toronto’s finest residential districts.
**The Toronto neighbourhood text profiles, sketches and maps displayed on this web site were originally published in “Your Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods”, by © Maple Tree Publishing Inc. and are also available on www.torontoneighbourhoods.net