Alderwood

Nick Sweetman and Philip Cote Thirtieth Street Underpass Mural
Railway Underpass between Akron Road and Elder Avenue
This mural was a collaboration between artist Nick Sweetman and artist, story-teller and historian Philip Cote. Sweetman painted many species of animals and birds found across Canada, such as the herons, redwing blackbirds, snapping turtles, salmon and wood buffalo. Woven throughout the design are stories and teachings of the Anishnaabe, painted by Cote, that represent the energy that flows through all things and tells stories about humanity's relationship with nature. The mural depicts the four plants of a medicine wheel - sweetgrass, tobacco, cedar and sage - which is a symbol used in health and healing that represents a number of teachings related to astronomy, spirituality, lifecycles and the four elements, directions and seasons.

Franklin Horner Community Centre
432 Horner Avenue
This heritage-designated building has a long, rich history and has been a vital part of the Alderwood community since its inception. It was originally constructed as a public school in the 1910s, designed by famed Toronto architect EJ Lennox (who also designed Casa Loma and Old City Hall). In 1926, it was named after Franklin Horner, a local resident who previously owned much of the land surrounding the school, and who helped negotiate its construction on this site. The building underwent several renovations and additions over the ensuing years as Alderwood's population grew rapidly during the Second World War. After the school closed in 1984, it was transformed into a community centre thanks to a grassroots community effort led by local resident Don Law (a mural on the side of the building pays tribute to Law). The Franklin Horner Community Centre opened in 1986 and continues to serve the community to this day.

Lafferty/O'Connor House
12 Connorvale Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe plaque and property from the sidewalk only. A plaque on the grass outside of 12 Connorvale Avenue notes the history of a farmhouse that used to be situated here. This farmhouse was built by William Lafferty, a Black man who left the United States for Canada in the 1830s. Lafferty was a successful grocer in Toronto, and purchased this property with the intention of growing food for his stores. Lafferty's son Alfred was a gifted academic who attended Upper Canada College and became the first Black lawyer in Chatham, Ontario. The house was later purchased in 1879 by the O'Connor family. Six of the O'Connors' daughters went on to become The O'Connor Sisters, a famous vaudeville act that toured around North America, performing with big stars of the day. The home stayed in the O'Connor family until 1989, until it was sold and demolished.

Dufferin Gate Studios
20 Butterick Road
This film studio production facility offers eighty thousand square feet of studio and support space, and has been involved with several notable productions, including 'The Tudors', 'Queer as Folk', 'Rookie Blue', and 'Transporter: The Series'. It is one of many studios that have set up shop in Etobicoke, taking advantage of the area's proximity to both downtown Toronto and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The film production industry in Toronto generates over two billion dollars in revenue each year and employs forty thousand people.

Douglas Park
481 Evans Avenue
A 2.1-hectare park on Evans Avenue featuring two bocce courts, a children's playground and open green space. Keen observers can spot the grassed ditch that constitutes the remnants of Jackson Creek, a lost creek that once flowed through this area.

EL MAC 'To The Future' Mural
4 Bestobell Road
This spectacular 1500-square-foot mural entitled 'To The Future' is painted on the second floor of a building close to the Gardiner Expressway. It was painted by artist EL MAC, in collaboration with artists STARE and KWEST. EL MAC wished to honour Canadian artist Alex Colville in this work and was specifically inspired by his 'To Prince Edward Island' painting. EL MAC has painted works all over the world, including in Belgium, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam, and many other countries, and has been featured in Interior Design Magazine.

McGillion House
631 Evans Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This beautiful, heritage-designated home was originally constructed by Charles McGillion and his wife Margaret as a farmhouse in 1901. McGillion built the house with grey shale and limestone stones from the nearby Etobicoke Creek Valley, transporting them via horse and wagon to the site. Its architectural style is similar to that of many other Ontario Gothic Revival farmhouses, though this one is unique in that it is 2.5 storeys high and features Romanesque style windows. Charles was a very popular figure in the local community who participated in local politics and won many ploughing matches. Members of the family continued to live in this house until 2005.

Brown's Line Hydro House
756 Brown's Line
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This house, which by all outside appearances looks to be a habitable dwelling, is anything but. The 'house' is actually a hydro transformer that converts raw high voltage electricity into a voltage low enough to be safely distributed to the residential neighbourhoods surrounding it. Constructed to blend in with the neighbourhood surroundings, there are about 80 of these hydro homes hiding throughout Toronto, and over 40 can be found in Etobicoke alone. The number of these homes remaining in the city has been falling in recent years, as Toronto Hydro has changed the way it delivers electricity and no longer builds them.

Julia Antohi Artbox
Intersection of Brown's Line and Horner Avenue
Every big, modern city has its great patios prepared to make city inhabitants' life more pleasurable. Patios are an important place where different groups get together and socialize. Table patios are essential to the city's life and its urban diversity.

Sir Adam Beck Public School
544 Horner Avenue
Sir Adam Beck Public School originally opened in 1921, and became the site of a fascinating piece of Great Depression history in Toronto. In the summer of 1936, many men in Alderwood had lost their jobs, and were receiving relief benefits in exchange for working on various governmental manual labour projects. Many felt as though their pay was inadequate, and 5,000 went on strike in late June, with the school as a frequent gathering spot for strikers. On July 8, two governmental officials responsible for relief payments were barricaded in the basement of the school and not permitted to leave. They were held for 18 hours with a crowd of 500 outside, and were only released when one agreed to better compensate the strikers. Most of the old school was torn down in 1999, but the heritage-designated front facade of the building remains, and has a plaque on the front noting the wild events of July 1936.

'Lost Girl' Filming Location
Brown's Line between Roseland Drive and Woodbury Road
This section of Brown's Line was used as a filming location for a pivotal scene in the fifth season of TV series 'Lost Girl'. In episode 9, called '44 Minutes to Save the World', characters Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and Bo (Anna Silk) walk along this stretch of Brown's Line in front of several local businesses. Lauren steps out into the street and is hit by a truck, and Bo attempts to revive her using her superhuman abilities. 'Lost Girl' was well received by critics, and was particularly praised for its ground-breaking portrayal of bisexuality.

Etobicoke Valley Park
615 Horner Avenue
This 19.6-hectare park runs along the east bank of Etobicoke Creek from The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) down to the Canadian National Railway (CNR) tracks. This park features four ball diamonds at the north end of the park, a children's playground near Horner Avenue and a trail that runs along the bank of Etobicoke Creek. Rock walls and fields of wild flowers and wild grass can be seen while strolling along the trail.

Explore Alderwood

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Mark Reinhart
New Toronto Branch
110 Eleventh St, Etobicoke, ON M8V 3G5

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

This mostly residential neighbourhood offers plenty of trees and has a long agricultural history (as reflected in several historic buildings that remain throughout the neighbourhood). It also features spectacular natural settings along Etobicoke Creek (the neighbourhood's western border) as well as industrial sections along the railway tracks that make up its southern and eastern borders. Great local businesses can be found along three of Alderwood's main thoroughfares: Brown's Line, Evans Avenue, and Horner Avenue.

Main Streets: Brown's Line, Evans Avenue and Horner Avenue
  1. Nick Sweetman and Philip Cote Thirtieth Street Underpass Mural
    Railway Underpass between Akron Road and Elder Avenue
    This mural was a collaboration between artist Nick Sweetman and artist, story-teller and historian Philip Cote. Sweetman painted many species of animals and birds found across Canada, such as the herons, redwing blackbirds, snapping turtles, salmon and wood buffalo. Woven throughout the design are stories and teachings of the Anishnaabe, painted by Cote, that represent the energy that flows through all things and tells stories about humanity's relationship with nature. The mural depicts the four plants of a medicine wheel - sweetgrass, tobacco, cedar and sage - which is a symbol used in health and healing that represents a number of teachings related to astronomy, spirituality, lifecycles and the four elements, directions and seasons.
  2. Franklin Horner Community Centre
    432 Horner Avenue
    This heritage-designated building has a long, rich history and has been a vital part of the Alderwood community since its inception. It was originally constructed as a public school in the 1910s, designed by famed Toronto architect EJ Lennox (who also designed Casa Loma and Old City Hall). In 1926, it was named after Franklin Horner, a local resident who previously owned much of the land surrounding the school, and who helped negotiate its construction on this site. The building underwent several renovations and additions over the ensuing years as Alderwood's population grew rapidly during the Second World War. After the school closed in 1984, it was transformed into a community centre thanks to a grassroots community effort led by local resident Don Law (a mural on the side of the building pays tribute to Law). The Franklin Horner Community Centre opened in 1986 and continues to serve the community to this day.
  3. Lafferty/O'Connor House
    12 Connorvale Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe plaque and property from the sidewalk only. A plaque on the grass outside of 12 Connorvale Avenue notes the history of a farmhouse that used to be situated here. This farmhouse was built by William Lafferty, a Black man who left the United States for Canada in the 1830s. Lafferty was a successful grocer in Toronto, and purchased this property with the intention of growing food for his stores. Lafferty's son Alfred was a gifted academic who attended Upper Canada College and became the first Black lawyer in Chatham, Ontario. The house was later purchased in 1879 by the O'Connor family. Six of the O'Connors' daughters went on to become The O'Connor Sisters, a famous vaudeville act that toured around North America, performing with big stars of the day. The home stayed in the O'Connor family until 1989, until it was sold and demolished.
  4. Dufferin Gate Studios
    20 Butterick Road
    This film studio production facility offers eighty thousand square feet of studio and support space, and has been involved with several notable productions, including 'The Tudors', 'Queer as Folk', 'Rookie Blue', and 'Transporter: The Series'. It is one of many studios that have set up shop in Etobicoke, taking advantage of the area's proximity to both downtown Toronto and Toronto Pearson International Airport. The film production industry in Toronto generates over two billion dollars in revenue each year and employs forty thousand people.
  5. Douglas Park
    481 Evans Avenue
    A 2.1-hectare park on Evans Avenue featuring two bocce courts, a children's playground and open green space. Keen observers can spot the grassed ditch that constitutes the remnants of Jackson Creek, a lost creek that once flowed through this area.
  6. EL MAC 'To The Future' Mural
    4 Bestobell Road
    This spectacular 1500-square-foot mural entitled 'To The Future' is painted on the second floor of a building close to the Gardiner Expressway. It was painted by artist EL MAC, in collaboration with artists STARE and KWEST. EL MAC wished to honour Canadian artist Alex Colville in this work and was specifically inspired by his 'To Prince Edward Island' painting. EL MAC has painted works all over the world, including in Belgium, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam, and many other countries, and has been featured in Interior Design Magazine.
  7. McGillion House
    631 Evans Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This beautiful, heritage-designated home was originally constructed by Charles McGillion and his wife Margaret as a farmhouse in 1901. McGillion built the house with grey shale and limestone stones from the nearby Etobicoke Creek Valley, transporting them via horse and wagon to the site. Its architectural style is similar to that of many other Ontario Gothic Revival farmhouses, though this one is unique in that it is 2.5 storeys high and features Romanesque style windows. Charles was a very popular figure in the local community who participated in local politics and won many ploughing matches. Members of the family continued to live in this house until 2005.
  8. Brown's Line Hydro House
    756 Brown's Line
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This house, which by all outside appearances looks to be a habitable dwelling, is anything but. The 'house' is actually a hydro transformer that converts raw high voltage electricity into a voltage low enough to be safely distributed to the residential neighbourhoods surrounding it. Constructed to blend in with the neighbourhood surroundings, there are about 80 of these hydro homes hiding throughout Toronto, and over 40 can be found in Etobicoke alone. The number of these homes remaining in the city has been falling in recent years, as Toronto Hydro has changed the way it delivers electricity and no longer builds them.
  9. Julia Antohi Artbox
    Intersection of Brown's Line and Horner Avenue
    Every big, modern city has its great patios prepared to make city inhabitants' life more pleasurable. Patios are an important place where different groups get together and socialize. Table patios are essential to the city's life and its urban diversity.
  10. Sir Adam Beck Public School
    544 Horner Avenue
    Sir Adam Beck Public School originally opened in 1921, and became the site of a fascinating piece of Great Depression history in Toronto. In the summer of 1936, many men in Alderwood had lost their jobs, and were receiving relief benefits in exchange for working on various governmental manual labour projects. Many felt as though their pay was inadequate, and 5,000 went on strike in late June, with the school as a frequent gathering spot for strikers. On July 8, two governmental officials responsible for relief payments were barricaded in the basement of the school and not permitted to leave. They were held for 18 hours with a crowd of 500 outside, and were only released when one agreed to better compensate the strikers. Most of the old school was torn down in 1999, but the heritage-designated front facade of the building remains, and has a plaque on the front noting the wild events of July 1936.
  11. 'Lost Girl' Filming Location
    Brown's Line between Roseland Drive and Woodbury Road
    This section of Brown's Line was used as a filming location for a pivotal scene in the fifth season of TV series 'Lost Girl'. In episode 9, called '44 Minutes to Save the World', characters Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and Bo (Anna Silk) walk along this stretch of Brown's Line in front of several local businesses. Lauren steps out into the street and is hit by a truck, and Bo attempts to revive her using her superhuman abilities. 'Lost Girl' was well received by critics, and was particularly praised for its ground-breaking portrayal of bisexuality.
  12. Etobicoke Valley Park
    615 Horner Avenue
    This 19.6-hectare park runs along the east bank of Etobicoke Creek from The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) down to the Canadian National Railway (CNR) tracks. This park features four ball diamonds at the north end of the park, a children's playground near Horner Avenue and a trail that runs along the bank of Etobicoke Creek. Rock walls and fields of wild flowers and wild grass can be seen while strolling along the trail.

Accessibility information: Most points of interest featured on this stroll are viewable from the street. Douglas Park is mostly grass but has a paved path leading from its Thirtieth Street entrance. Etobicoke Valley Park has mostly paved trails, though areas closer to the water may be unpaved.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.