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North Toronto is the northern section of the old, pre-amalgamation City of Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. It occupies a geographically central location within the current "megacity" boundaries. It is a relatively narrow strip, centred around Yonge Street; it extends from the CP tracks south of St. Clair Avenue north to Yonge Boulevard, with its core area between Davisville Avenue and Blythwood Road. The Town of North Toronto was incorporated in 1890, when much of the area was still farmland, and annexed by the City of Toronto in 1912.

Toronto's Yonge Street streetcar line was then extended through North Toronto, replacing the former radial railway service. North Toronto soon emerged as a popular streetcar suburb, with the area becoming completely developed by the 1940s. The streetcar was replaced in 1954 by the Toronto Transit Commission's Yonge subway as far as Eglinton Avenuemarker and a trolleybus running north from there, which was replaced in turn by a subway extension in 1973. Today North Toronto is a relatively affluent community, and very popular with young families.

The neighbourhood has had a mixed-density design for some time, but this is rapidly changing to a greater density with the construction of condos in the area. The southern part of the neighbourhood is densely populated, with the entire section between Yonge Street and Mount Pleasant Road south of Davisville Avenue built up into high rise apartment buildings. More recently, condo structures have further added to this density, especially south of Merton Street (backing on to the distinguished privately owned Mount Pleasant Cemeterymarker). Additional condo projects have begun on Mount Pleasant Road, and the existing medium-rise dwellings southeast of Yonge and Eglinton are being joined by a Minto condo project with towers of 39 and 52 stories.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery serves as a major green space for the southern end of the neighbourhood. South of the cemetery are trails in two ravines of the former Mud Creek and Yellow Creek, which lead to the Don River. On the north side of the cemetery is the Kay Gardner Beltline Park, a heavily-used path on the route of a former railway line. The Belt Line Railway was a short-lived commuter route in the 1890s. It was subsequently purchased by Canadian National Railway and used for freight until service was discontinued in the 1960s. The path goes northwest to Eglinton Avenuemarker, then curves west, and ends at the William R. Allen Road, known locally as the Allen Expressway. Other green spaces includes Eglinton Park just west of Yonge Street and Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens at Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue, which connects to Sherwood Ravine Park and Sunnybrook Park to the east.

North Toronto is served by north-south commercial strips on Yonge Street, Mount Pleasant Road, and Bayview Avenue, and an east-west strip on Eglinton Avenuemarker. These offer an array of shopping and dining aimed primarily at the local market, and as with many main streets in Toronto neighbourhoods, are largely given to small, locally-owned shops in free-standing buildings. The corner of Yonge and Eglinton features the Yonge Eglinton Centre complex, which includes a shopping mall, multiplex cinema, and both office and residential towers; and Canada Squaremarker, an office complex with a small shopping concourse and another, older multiplex. Both are connected to Eglinton subway station.
A street sign designed in honour of North Toronto
Libraries can be found on Bayview Avenue, at Yonge and Lawrence, and near Yonge and Eglinton, along with a children's-focused library on Mount Pleasant. There are two community centres in North Toronto; Central Eglinton Community Centre, at Eglinton and Redpath, offers a wide variety of programs and services for caregivers & young children, adults. and people 50+. North Toronto Memorial Community Centre is located at Eglinton Park (Eglinton Avenue and Oriole Parkway). What was once North America's largest bridge club, Kate Buckman's, was on Mount Pleasant near Eglinton for many years until its closure in 2007; the Toronto Bridge Club is on St. Clair near Yonge. The Toronto Camera Club finds its home on Mount Pleasant Road near Millwood Road.

More recently, North Toronto has become synonymous with Midtown.

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