Islington-City Centre West

Village of Islington Mural Mosaic
Along Dundas Street West Between Kipling Avenue and Islington Avenue
28 murals can be found painted on buildings along this stretch of Dundas Street West. They cover an incredible 15,000 square feet of space, and mostly feature actual people, places, and events from the past that connect viewers to the area's rich history. Most of the murals were painted by artist John Kuna, with Arts Etobicoke, Creative Village and Sarah Collard also contributing works. The murals were commissioned by the Village of Islington BIA beginning in 2004, hoping to beautify the area and help preserve its history. Group tours of the area are available through the Village of Islington BIA's website.

Nicole Little Artbox
Dundas Street West and Michael Power Place
This traffic signal box has been painted to reflect the fantastic, the mundane, the original and the extraordinary faces of the neighbourhood, with love.

Mabelle Park and Mabelle Avenue
49 Mabelle Avenue
Mabelle Park shows ongoing community artworks led by MABELLEarts called A Park of Many Paths. The project brings artists and residents together to transform and animate the park. Mabelle Park is used as an outdoor kitchen, includes community gardens and holds performances and ceremonies. MABELLEarts artists have worked with over 2,000 residents of all ages to transform what was once a neglected thoroughfare in the heart of the neighbourhood into a vibrant art-park and community hub. Mabelle Avenue is also a great place to observe Islington Village's urban development. A number of residences on Mabelle Avenue were constructed by Toronto Community Housing in the late 1970s and say much about how planners wished to develop the land. There is green space located around the buildings - this type of development is called a Tower in a Park design concept, originally proposed by Le Corbusier, a French architect and urbanist who was highly influential in the mid-twentieth century.

Islington Burial Grounds
4956 Dundas Street West
The Ontario Genealogical Society dates the establishment of the Islington Burying Grounds to 1844 or earlier. The oldest gravestones date back to 1807, but these stones were likely moved to the grounds after the cemetery was established. The cemetery is the final resting place of many key community builders. In the back-left corner are two tall monuments erected to the Montgomery family (whom nearby Montgomery's Inn is named after). The graves show the fragility of life at the time. Child mortality rates were much higher and more than 40 children under the age of five are buried here.

Etobicoke Township Hall
4946 Dundas Street West
This heritage-designated building may not look very old, but beneath the new facade is one of the oldest buildings in Islington: the village's first Methodist church built around 1843. In 1887, the congregation moved and the land was sold to the Etobicoke Township. The building was used for council meetings, social gatherings as well as the village's first public library. After the Second World War, a second storey and a large neo-classical addition was put on the front. After the Town Council moved to the new civic centre in 1958, the building became the district police headquarters. A subsequent owner adapted the building into a restaurant. What remains of the original church are some wooden beams hidden deep inside the current building. However, inscriptions on the structure are still visible today. 'Etobicoke Municipal Offices' can be found over the front door and 'Police' can be found over the east door.

Musson House
4884 Dundas Street West
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This is a large two-storey Regency-style, heritage-designated house, a relatively rare remaining historic building. This house was built in 1880 and served as a community hub. Thomas Musson was the postmaster of the Village of Islington for 30 years until his death in 1899. Musson rented the property from Alexander MacPherson who built the house as an income property. The house operated as the post office in a room on the main floor at the rear of the house from 1887 to 1906. In 1912, the house was bought by William and Olive Newlove. Olive operated the Islington Telephone Exchange at the house in the same room where the post office had been. The house has been altered over time and the widening of Dundas Street.

Johnston Farmhouse
1078 Kipling Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This heritage-designated home was once part of the Johnston family farm. The Johnstons were among the earliest European settlers in the area, arriving in the early 1800s. They originally built a log cabin near what is now the intersection of Dundas Street West and Royalavon Crescent. They later purchased 100-acres of farmland west of present-day Kipling Avenue between Bloor Street West and Burnhamthorpe Road. Six generations of Johnstons continued to live on this property until the last family member sold out in 1985. Many members of the family played key roles in the development of Islington Village, including being among the founding families of Islington Methodist Church, and acting as school trustees. This Gothic Revival farmhouse is one of the few remaining buildings from the Johnston farmstead, and was constructed at some point in the late 1800s.

Frank Ridley House
289 Burnhamthorpe Road
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This beautiful heritage-designated home was built by home builder Frank Ridley, who lived here from 1945 until his death in 1985. Ridley built many homes around Toronto, attracting the attention of Robert Home Smith, who developed much of the Kingsway area. Home Smith asked Ridley to build homes in the Kingsway without prior approval of his architects (he was one of two builders granted this exception). Ridley was also an amateur archaeologist, writing scientific reports on 119 sites he explored across Ontario between 1966 and 1975. At one point, it is believed he held the largest private archaeological collection in Ontario. This home was designed in French Provincial style, which is very uncommon in Canada outside of Quebec. Notable architectural features include a steeply-pitched roof, gable-style dormers, and multi-paned windows.

Echo Valley Park
1124 Kipling Avenue
This 9.1-hectare park is a naturalized ravine through which Mimico Creek flows. There are several trails through the park that connect it to neighbourhood streets. The Echo Valley name comes from that of a nut farm owned by George Hebden Corsan that used to be located here. Corsan planted 15 varieties of nut trees on the property in the 1910s, and encouraged those interested to come and tour the farm, helping to earn Corsan the nickname, 'the Nut Man of Islington'. A true Renaissance Man, Corsan also had a regular column in the Toronto Star, oversaw the construction of the 850-acre Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was a renowned instructor for swimming and lifesaving techniques. Metropolitan Toronto purchased the land in 1959 and turned it into the park that it is today, and a plaque honouring Corsan was unveiled in 2019.

Hampshire Heights Park
231 Martin Grove Road
Hampshire Heights Park is a 7.8-hectare wooded ravine park near Martin Grove Road south of Rathburn Road. The park follows the Mimico Creek south from Rathburn Road to where it flows into Echo Valley Park. The Mimico Creek Trail runs along the east bank of the creek connecting to Ravenscrest Park at the north end of the park and Echo Valley Park in the south.

East Mall Park
355 The East Mall
This 3.3-hectare park features three outdoor tennis courts, a children's playground and open green space.

John McEwen 'Spillway 2013/Sherway Gate'
225 Sherway Gardens Road
This beautiful public art installation by artist John McEwen features two hollow, welded-steel jugs with skins composed of tiny stars. McEwen utilized a labour-intensive process to construct the piece, utilizing a high-intensity laser cutter to cut pieces of steel and weld them together with a plaster cast base.

Cinespace Studios
777 Kipling Avenue
*Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the street only. Previously a glass factory, this large complex was converted into a film studio in 2009. Many more film studios began popping up in this part of Etobicoke in the years since, with many companies wanting to take advantage of the area's close proximity to downtown Toronto. The film production industry in Toronto generates over $2 billion in revenue each year and employs 40,000 people. Many major productions have filmed at Cinespace Studios, including 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Chicago', 'Good Will Hunting', 'Resident Evil', 'Hairspray', 'Taken' (TV series), and 'See', among many others. During the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, it was announced that Cinespace would be constructing two new film studios on-site that would provide an additional 50,000 square feet of space.

'The Boys' Filming Location: Tony Cicero's Restaurant
1045 The Queensway
This building was used as a filming location for TV series 'The Boys'. It is featured as 'Tony Cicero's Restaurant' during episode two of the second season when the Boys take antagonist Translucent to a restaurant.

John McEwen 'Between Heaven and Earth'
1025 The Queensway
One of several public art pieces by John McEwen around the city, this piece was constructed in 2002 as a starry gateway to the parking lot of a cinema complex.

Explore Islington-City Centre West

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.
Hiba Abdallah
Montgomery’s Inn
4709 Dundas St W, Etobicoke, ON M9A 1A8

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 neighbourhood covers a large piece of Etobicoke, highlighting the dual urban/suburban dynamic that makes this area so great. The rich nineteenth century agricultural roots of the area can be explored in the old Village of Islington, with plenty of spectacular murals and historic buildings to be found. Much of the rest of the neighbourhood is reflective of Etobicoke's rapid development as a post-war suburban area. Great local businesses can be found in the Village of Islington and Shop the Queensway BIAs.

Main Streets: Dundas Street West, Bloor Street West, The Queensway, Islington Avenue, Kipling Avenue, Burnhamthorpe Road, The East Mall, North Queen Street and Sherway Gardens Road
  1. Village of Islington Mural Mosaic
    Along Dundas Street West Between Kipling Avenue and Islington Avenue
    28 murals can be found painted on buildings along this stretch of Dundas Street West. They cover an incredible 15,000 square feet of space, and mostly feature actual people, places, and events from the past that connect viewers to the area's rich history. Most of the murals were painted by artist John Kuna, with Arts Etobicoke, Creative Village and Sarah Collard also contributing works. The murals were commissioned by the Village of Islington BIA beginning in 2004, hoping to beautify the area and help preserve its history. Group tours of the area are available through the Village of Islington BIA's website.
  2. Nicole Little Artbox
    Dundas Street West and Michael Power Place
    This traffic signal box has been painted to reflect the fantastic, the mundane, the original and the extraordinary faces of the neighbourhood, with love.
  3. Mabelle Park and Mabelle Avenue
    49 Mabelle Avenue
    Mabelle Park shows ongoing community artworks led by MABELLEarts called A Park of Many Paths. The project brings artists and residents together to transform and animate the park. Mabelle Park is used as an outdoor kitchen, includes community gardens and holds performances and ceremonies. MABELLEarts artists have worked with over 2,000 residents of all ages to transform what was once a neglected thoroughfare in the heart of the neighbourhood into a vibrant art-park and community hub. Mabelle Avenue is also a great place to observe Islington Village's urban development. A number of residences on Mabelle Avenue were constructed by Toronto Community Housing in the late 1970s and say much about how planners wished to develop the land. There is green space located around the buildings - this type of development is called a Tower in a Park design concept, originally proposed by Le Corbusier, a French architect and urbanist who was highly influential in the mid-twentieth century.
  4. Islington Burial Grounds
    4956 Dundas Street West
    The Ontario Genealogical Society dates the establishment of the Islington Burying Grounds to 1844 or earlier. The oldest gravestones date back to 1807, but these stones were likely moved to the grounds after the cemetery was established. The cemetery is the final resting place of many key community builders. In the back-left corner are two tall monuments erected to the Montgomery family (whom nearby Montgomery's Inn is named after). The graves show the fragility of life at the time. Child mortality rates were much higher and more than 40 children under the age of five are buried here.
  5. Etobicoke Township Hall
    4946 Dundas Street West
    This heritage-designated building may not look very old, but beneath the new facade is one of the oldest buildings in Islington: the village's first Methodist church built around 1843. In 1887, the congregation moved and the land was sold to the Etobicoke Township. The building was used for council meetings, social gatherings as well as the village's first public library. After the Second World War, a second storey and a large neo-classical addition was put on the front. After the Town Council moved to the new civic centre in 1958, the building became the district police headquarters. A subsequent owner adapted the building into a restaurant. What remains of the original church are some wooden beams hidden deep inside the current building. However, inscriptions on the structure are still visible today. 'Etobicoke Municipal Offices' can be found over the front door and 'Police' can be found over the east door.
  6. Musson House
    4884 Dundas Street West
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This is a large two-storey Regency-style, heritage-designated house, a relatively rare remaining historic building. This house was built in 1880 and served as a community hub. Thomas Musson was the postmaster of the Village of Islington for 30 years until his death in 1899. Musson rented the property from Alexander MacPherson who built the house as an income property. The house operated as the post office in a room on the main floor at the rear of the house from 1887 to 1906. In 1912, the house was bought by William and Olive Newlove. Olive operated the Islington Telephone Exchange at the house in the same room where the post office had been. The house has been altered over time and the widening of Dundas Street.
  7. Johnston Farmhouse
    1078 Kipling Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This heritage-designated home was once part of the Johnston family farm. The Johnstons were among the earliest European settlers in the area, arriving in the early 1800s. They originally built a log cabin near what is now the intersection of Dundas Street West and Royalavon Crescent. They later purchased 100-acres of farmland west of present-day Kipling Avenue between Bloor Street West and Burnhamthorpe Road. Six generations of Johnstons continued to live on this property until the last family member sold out in 1985. Many members of the family played key roles in the development of Islington Village, including being among the founding families of Islington Methodist Church, and acting as school trustees. This Gothic Revival farmhouse is one of the few remaining buildings from the Johnston farmstead, and was constructed at some point in the late 1800s.
  8. Frank Ridley House
    289 Burnhamthorpe Road
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. This beautiful heritage-designated home was built by home builder Frank Ridley, who lived here from 1945 until his death in 1985. Ridley built many homes around Toronto, attracting the attention of Robert Home Smith, who developed much of the Kingsway area. Home Smith asked Ridley to build homes in the Kingsway without prior approval of his architects (he was one of two builders granted this exception). Ridley was also an amateur archaeologist, writing scientific reports on 119 sites he explored across Ontario between 1966 and 1975. At one point, it is believed he held the largest private archaeological collection in Ontario. This home was designed in French Provincial style, which is very uncommon in Canada outside of Quebec. Notable architectural features include a steeply-pitched roof, gable-style dormers, and multi-paned windows.
  9. Echo Valley Park
    1124 Kipling Avenue
    This 9.1-hectare park is a naturalized ravine through which Mimico Creek flows. There are several trails through the park that connect it to neighbourhood streets. The Echo Valley name comes from that of a nut farm owned by George Hebden Corsan that used to be located here. Corsan planted 15 varieties of nut trees on the property in the 1910s, and encouraged those interested to come and tour the farm, helping to earn Corsan the nickname, 'the Nut Man of Islington'. A true Renaissance Man, Corsan also had a regular column in the Toronto Star, oversaw the construction of the 850-acre Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was a renowned instructor for swimming and lifesaving techniques. Metropolitan Toronto purchased the land in 1959 and turned it into the park that it is today, and a plaque honouring Corsan was unveiled in 2019.
  10. Hampshire Heights Park
    231 Martin Grove Road
    Hampshire Heights Park is a 7.8-hectare wooded ravine park near Martin Grove Road south of Rathburn Road. The park follows the Mimico Creek south from Rathburn Road to where it flows into Echo Valley Park. The Mimico Creek Trail runs along the east bank of the creek connecting to Ravenscrest Park at the north end of the park and Echo Valley Park in the south.
  11. East Mall Park
    355 The East Mall
    This 3.3-hectare park features three outdoor tennis courts, a children's playground and open green space.
  12. John McEwen 'Spillway 2013/Sherway Gate'
    225 Sherway Gardens Road
    This beautiful public art installation by artist John McEwen features two hollow, welded-steel jugs with skins composed of tiny stars. McEwen utilized a labour-intensive process to construct the piece, utilizing a high-intensity laser cutter to cut pieces of steel and weld them together with a plaster cast base.
  13. Cinespace Studios
    777 Kipling Avenue
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the building from the street only. Previously a glass factory, this large complex was converted into a film studio in 2009. Many more film studios began popping up in this part of Etobicoke in the years since, with many companies wanting to take advantage of the area's close proximity to downtown Toronto. The film production industry in Toronto generates over $2 billion in revenue each year and employs 40,000 people. Many major productions have filmed at Cinespace Studios, including 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Chicago', 'Good Will Hunting', 'Resident Evil', 'Hairspray', 'Taken' (TV series), and 'See', among many others. During the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, it was announced that Cinespace would be constructing two new film studios on-site that would provide an additional 50,000 square feet of space.
  14. 'The Boys' Filming Location: Tony Cicero's Restaurant
    1045 The Queensway
    This building was used as a filming location for TV series 'The Boys'. It is featured as 'Tony Cicero's Restaurant' during episode two of the second season when the Boys take antagonist Translucent to a restaurant.
  15. John McEwen 'Between Heaven and Earth'
    1025 The Queensway
    One of several public art pieces by John McEwen around the city, this piece was constructed in 2002 as a starry gateway to the parking lot of a cinema complex.

Accessibility information: Most of the points of interest on this stroll are viewable from the street. Unpaved areas, steep hills, and uneven surfaces may be encountered in Echo Valley Park and Hampshire Heights Park.

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.