Summerhill, which runs east and west of Yonge Street from the railway track to just south of St Clair Avenue, is named for ‘Summer Hill,’ a grand estate built in 1842 by Charles Thompson, a Canadian transportation baron. The house was located on the top of the hill where Summerhill Gardens is located today and the coach house, with its distinctive slate roof still stands at the rear of number 36.
A neighbourhood landmark is the clock tower atop the former North Toronto Railway Station, which is now a liquor store and coffee shop next to the Summerhill subway station. There is an attractive mix of independent stores and restaurants along the Summerhill stretch of Yonge Street, as well as several fine furniture stores and galleries.
The original housing stock in the area was a mix of semi-detached and detached Victorian homes on relatively narrow lots and private driveways are at a premium. However, on street parking is available by permit and many of the newer homes which have been built in recent years have built-in garages or front yard parking pads. There are several luxury condominium developments along Yonge Street.
Rosedale Reservoir Park is located east of Yonge Street and connects with Vale of Avoca Ravine. Its trails are popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. To the west of Yonge is Lionel Conacher Park, named for the famous hockey player, later a politician, who grew up in this neighbourhood. It features a baseball diamond, wading pool and children’s playground.