Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

North York

Lawrence Heights

History of Lawrence Heights

Lawrence Heights is located on the old Mulholland farm. Henry Mulholland was one of North York's earliest pioneers settling in this area in 1814. Mulholland's heirs continued to live on the family farm until the 1940's when it was sold to developers.

In the early 1950's Lawrence Heights was transformed from farmland into one of Toronto's largest public housing developments. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation oversaw the design and building of this entire neighbourhood.

John Sewell in The Shape of the City writes that Lawrence Heights was originally slated to include high-rise apartment towers. This was before Jack Brown a government official and former World War II pilot, took a reconnaissance flight over the project site, and recognized that Lawrence Heights was to close to the Downsview Airport to permit high-rise apartments within this development. The revised plan incorporated the row-houses and low-rise buildings that comprise the present day neighbourhood.

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