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Baby Point

A Baby Point mansion.

Baby Point is an upscale residential neighbourhood in Toronto's west end. Pronounced "Bobby Point" by long-time residents (using the French pronounciation for Baby, after whom the neighbourhood is named), a set of historic stone gates at the intersection of Jane Street and Baby Point Road mark the entrance to this neighbourhood, which could be said to be a precursor to modern gated communities. Baby Point is situated on a peninsula of land--or a 'point'--overlooking the Humber River and is surrounded by ravines and parkland.

Houses in Baby Point vary from large English manor houses shaded by towering oak trees to more modest two-story detached houses. The larger homes tend to back onto the Humber Valley ravine and are found along Baby Point Road and Baby Point Crescent, the neighbourhood's "signature" streets, while the smaller homes are found near the Jane Street and Baby Point Road entrance. Most of the homes in Baby Point were built in the 1920s and 1930s.

James Baby was a member of a prominent Quebec fur trading family and a former politician in Upper Canada. He settled at Baby Point in 1816, after discovering an abandoned Seneca village there. A lush apple orchard covered the area and salmon swam in the Humber River, giving it an Eden-like quality. Water from a fresh spring nearby was bottled and shipped worldwide.

Baby's heirs lived at Baby Point until 1910, when the government acquired the land with the intention of establishing a military fortress and barracks at the site. The government eventually changed their plans and sold the land to a developer named Home Smith, who began developing a subdivision in 1912. Home Smith would later develop a residential area across the Humber, The Kingsway.