Hillsview History:The five original tracts of land bounded by Sixteenth Avenue in the south, Major MacKenzie Drive to the north, Yonge Street to the west and Bayview Avenue to the east became known as the community of Hillsview. The north/south Canadian National Railway track bisects this community. At one time, Hillsview Drive ran between Bayview and Yonge Street over the tracks. However, when the Town was trying to limit the number of railway crossings, the decision was made to stop vehicular traffic over the tracks on Hillsview Drive. Now, the only street that runs, directly, between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue is Weldrick Road East, and it has no grade separation at the tracks. Here there is only flashing red signals and barrier arms.
David Dunlap Observatory
German Mills Creek: Hillsview
Of the original owners, Robert Marsh farmed the southern tract on the north side of Sixteenth Avenue. He, also, purchased the land, immediately, to the north of this one. The Marsh home, built in 1844, still stands on the David Dunlap Observatory property, and was used for a long time by the Director of the Observatory. The domed telescope and the administration building were built in 1935 for the owner, The University of Toronto. In recent years a controversy over the future of the property continues to make news. It appears that new housing will, eventually, occupy much of the property, but the actual Observatory buildings will be preserved, even though the potential use of the telescope has been reduced. For years leading up to the sale of the property, the use of the Observatory had an impact on all development in the area. Studies on light pollution by the construction of new homes and commercial buildings and its impact on the effectiveness of the telescope, had to be undertaken by each developer. The costs of such studies were, of course, passed on to each new home buyer.
The middle tract of land was once owned by Captain James Fulton. Upon his death, his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Richard Vanderburgh, built a two-storey frame home on the property about 1833. This house was relocated a bit to the east, and is now the home of the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce at the south-east corner of Church Street South and Weldrick Road East.
In 1833, Alexander Lawrence sold the fourth parcel of land to William Harding for whom Harding Boulevard is named.
The northern 200 acres went from Abner Miles to John Langstaff. Langstaff's son, Lewis, sold the piece to John Palmer in 1853. Palmer's house still sits at the southwest corner of Major Mackenzie Drive and Yonge Street just north of Palmer Avenue.
Today, at Yonge Street and Sixteenth Avenue, lies South Hill Shopping Centre on the east side of Yonge Street, and Hillcrest Mall on the west side, both providing local shopping convenience. Elvis Stojko Arena and parks such as David Dunlap Observatory Park, Palmer Park, Harding Park, Gapper Park and Lennox Park, and German Mills Creek and Trail are, also, attractive for Hillsview community residents.
Hillsview Real Estate:Much of the neighbourhood consists of older homes of varying types, styles and sizes. As the homes age, they become a target for demolition. New, infill homes are continually emerging, and begin to dwarf the other homes. Many of the lots have, relatively, larger frontages, and can, therefore, accomodate the new homes. Some original homes have been renovated, and should resist the trend for more modern dwellings. In the northern part of the community, on either side of the tracks, the variation in the appearance of each home provides an ambiance that is attractive to buyers and sellers, alike.
Hillsview Real Estate
Hillsview Real Estate: Condominiums
At the northwest corner of Bayview Avenue and Sixteenth Avenue, lies a newer collection of subdivision homes, originally, started by Wycliffe Homes. Most of these detached homes are between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet. When they were constructed in the early 1980's, they were accepted, immediately, as a neighbourhood of prestige. This location is desired by buyers, but newer, more functionally updated homes in other parts of Richmond Hill have attracted some buyers to those areas, as well.
Stamp, R.M., Early Days in Richmond Hill, A History of the Community to 1930, Richmond Hill Public Library Board, 1991.
Price Range of Hillsview Homes: 2012
Vacant (Land Value Only)
Schools In the Hillsview Neighbourhood:
Adrienne Clarkson P.S. (F.I.)
Beverley Acres P.S.
Michaelle Jean P.S. (F.I.)
Sixteenth Avenue P.S.
Walter Scott P.S.
Alexander Mackenzie H.S.
St. Joseph C.E.S.
Jean Vanier C.H.S.
Richmond Hill Daycares
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