Birch Cliff began to develop in 1895 with the relocation of the Toronto Hunt Club into the area. Inspired by the birch trees lined along the crest of the Scarborough Bluffs, a cottager by the name of John Stark named his cottage 'Birch Cliff'. The local post office which opened in 1907 in the Arthur Michell's grocery store at the corner of Kingston Road and Birchmount Avenue adopted the name. Birch Cliff's residential development was completed shortly after World War II.
Today, Birch Cliff is a family-oriented neighbourhood set along the Scarborough Bluffs and Lake Ontario. Located within Birch Cliff is a stretch of Kingston Road, home to an array of neighbourhood bars, restaurants, convenience stores, and professional and medical office. One of Toronto's largest multi-purpose recreational facilities is located at Kingston and Birchmount roads, amenities include a stadium, leisure pool, arena, and the Birchmount Park Community Centre which, in and of itself, contains baseball diamonds and sports fields. The neighbourhood's original housing stock goes as far back as the 1910s through to the 1950s. Here you will see a mix of storey-and-a-half houses, detached houses, bungalows, and two storey homes with Tudor, Edwardian and Cape Cod designs. There are also many modern homes which were built in the 1980s and 1990s. The most sought out properties are located in the Fallingbrook niche which overlooks Lake Ontario. The prices of all homes range from $300,000 to over $1 million.
Cliffside was formerly known as Mortlake with the opening of a post office in the Halfway House Hotel situated on Kingston Road. "Mortlake" is a reference to the English hamlet outside London. The St. Augustine Seminary is an enduring Cliffside landmark; it was the first Canadian seminary for the training of the English speaking clergy. In the early 1900s, the land west of St. Augustine Seminary began to evolve as a summer cottage community. Shortly after in the 1920s, the first year round residences were built, which set the tone for the present day neighbourhood.
Cliffside is a family oriented neighbourhood located near the Scarborough Bluffs. The neighbourhood offers a vibrant shopping district, beautiful water parks, well treed streets, and a mix of older style houses. There is a varied mix of housing styles which include: Tudor, Cape Cod, Edwardian, Craftsman style bungalows, and contemporary homes. Most of the Cliffside houses were built in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. The prices of homes in the neighbourhood range between $200,000 to $700,000.