Located in the Don River Valley, Hogg’s Hollow is an affluent and elite Toronto neighbourhood noted for its privacy and lush landscaping. It is located in the south-eastern corner of Yonge Street and York Mills Road, with its southern border, Donwoods Drive Drive, roughly following the perimeter of the Rosedale Golf Club. Traffic is infrequent, making this community ideal for those wanting a slower-paced, country-style life within the city limits.
Home listings generally range between $1 and $7 million, and its blue-and-white street signs announce private culs-de-sac and winding, tree-lined crescents free from sidewalks. Most of the neighbourhood’s 300-odd majestic homes were built between the 1920s and 1960s in a variety of architectural styles, including English Cottage, Colonial (think Spanish, German, Georgian and Neo), Georgian, Tudor and Modernist. Some are set high above the street, others are closer to the roadside and are hidden by well-tended hedges and shrubs in lieu of fences. Recent redevelopment has been matched by the construction of luxury condominium townhouses along York Mills Boulevard which overlook the valley.
Hoggs Hollow is minutes away by car from Highway 401 and is serviced by the York Mills subway station, which doubles as a GO Transit train station that has an express bus to Pearson International Airport.
Joseph Hogg was a Scotsman from Lanarkshire. He settled in the area which would later bear his name in 1824 and operated a whisky distillery and grist mill. He would go on to open the eponymous James Hogg Tavern in 1853 which would become the Jolly Miller Tavern, a notorious gambling den, in 1857.
The area became Hogg’s Hollow in 1856 when Hoggs’s sons, John and William, subdivided their father’s estate into 141 lots. Only a few houses were actually built, though, because of the area’s quick sand, swamps and bogs. Scottish, Irish and English immigrants settled into the subdivision, which stood in close proximity to the historic village of York Mills. They were serviced by St. John’s Anglican Church. Construction on the present-day neighbourhood, reflecting the aesthetic of the English countryside, began in earnest in the ‘20s with the creation of lots and roads; it ended in the ‘60s.
Four original Hogg’s Hollow houses remain. Two of them, former mill workers cottages, were relocated in 1986 to 4150 Yonge Street. They now serve as the entrance to the popular French restaurant Auberge du Pommier. Other historic landmarks in this neighbourhood include the George S. Pratt House, circa 1886, located at 17 Mill Street, and the Jolly Miller Tavern, circa 1857, situated at 3885 Yonge Street. The Jolly Miller is now the upscale Miller Tavern.
Hogg’s Hollow’s largest expanse of green is York Mills Valley Park. Located east of Yonge Street and south of York Mills Road, it is a large linear park that is traversed by the historic Don River. It contains a walking path, a children's playground and tennis courts.
Brookfield Park, on Brookfield Road, is a small neighbourhood park with a playing field that doubles as an outdoor ice rink during the winter. It plays host to an annual community fair where neighbourhood families get together to enjoy rides, races and food. (Notice of community events are made available on the “Notices” sign posts at Mill Street and at the community bulletin board in the Millstone Parkette on Plymridge Road.
Hogg’s Hollow golf enthusiasts are well-served by two nearby courses. Established in 1893, the Rosedale Golf Club (1901 Mount Pleasant Road) is a highly-rated 18-hole course which boasts spectacular scenery. Just north of York Mills, off Yonge Street, is the similarly beautiful public Don Valley Golf Course (4200 Yonge Street).
Children of all ages are serviced by a variety of nearby public and private schools.
Hillscrest Progressive (59 Plymbridge Road) is a private Jewish pre-school whose motto is “Where every day is a special day.”
Serving JK to Grade 6 students are Ecole Owen P.S. (111 Owen Boulevard) and Armour Heights P.S. (148 Wilson Avenue) which has a renowned soccer club and promotes “[t]he Spirit of Friendship and Learning.” St. Andrews J.H.S. (131 Fenn Avenue) services students in Grades 7 to 9, while York Mills C.I. (801 York Mills Road) is a public high school which offers Grades 10 to 12.
Hogg’s Hollow parents looking for schooling for their daughters also have options. The girls of Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School (101 Mason Boulevard) wear the double blue proudly and have done since its founding by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1847.Havergal College (1451 Avenue Road), meanwhile, is a prestigious private boarding and day school which provides university prep for young ladies from JK to Grade 12.
Like its sister neighbourhood to the south, Rosedale, Hogg’s Hollow is a residential community so the businesses which serve it – including grocery stores, clothing stores, professional and medical offices, and fine dining – are primarily located along Yonge Street. The upscale York Mills Centre (16 York Mills Road) is the closest service centre.
In its former guise as the Jolly Miller Tavern, the site of the Miller Tavern (3885 Yonge Street) was quite the den of iniquity in the early 20th century, often subject to police raids for late-night parties and illegal gambling. Renovated in 2004, it now specializes in “serious” seafood and steaks, and boasts an oyster lounge where the bivalves are shucked right in front of you. There is also outdoor dining year-round on the glass-enclosed, heated veranda.
As mentioned, the newly renovated Auberge Du Pommier (4150 Yonge Street) is built on the site of two of Hogg’s Hollows’ original houses and greets customers with a blazing hearth. Chef Jason Bangerter specializes in sophisticated, modern French cooking with a Canadian twist, and wine connoisseurs will be well-pleased by the breadth of selection. Two private rooms are available for business meetings or parties.
Amaya’s Bread Bar (3305 Yonge Street) is the brainchild of Hemant Bhagwani and Derek Valleau, co-owners of the highly-rated Indian restaurant Amaya. The more casual Bread Bar offers communal-style dining where customers tuck into small plates inspired by Indian street food. The lobster naanini (naan sandwiches) are highly recommended.