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Tell us what Sylmar means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


I was born and raised in Sylmar, back since 1990.

Sylmar is completely different from the rest of the valley.

The Good/What I like:

-The mountains, just 2 minutes away, I love hiking up the trails past Veterans Park.

-AMAZING view when you walk up the mountains, you can see the whole valley!

-The hills, I get a great workout walking or running up to Veterans Park or El Cariso.

-El Cariso Golf Course, great view and scenery.

-Los Angeles Mission College, takes me 10 min to get there walking.

-Classic Car Museum, Post Office, local gyms

-Parties every weekend

-Most people are pretty nice

-210 and 5 freeway run through town for quick access



-Gangs, graffiti (I used to do it myself)

-Some drug users

-Traffic in the morning on Hubbard (ramp to 210) and every other hour you'll have some traffic because of all the college students going to Mission College

-No real nightlife

-Only places to drink that I know of are Shakey's, El Chaparral, Red Vest Pizza

-Wished some shopping centers were closer, not necessarily in Sylmar

— Emeterio
November 20, 2011 at 11:11 p.m.

graffiti has recently been on the rise in the Santiago Estates where we live. Yes we love the mountain views and watching hang gliders over our house but the crime is already taken a toll here. Car theft and property theft is frequent now and I hardly ever see police officers up here patroling. Maybe it would be helpful if they showed their presence a bit more often.

— Kellbee
November 3, 2011 at 11:51 p.m.

The air is good and the view from my front yard is sometimes breathtaking, especially when there is an amazing sunset. I love the mountains and the palm trees and the fact that I am so high above the city rush down below.....but, the crime is getting worse and the barking dogs and crowing roosters are a nuisance! Never mind the drug dealers, (LAPD-Where Are You?) run down shops and lousy grocery stores! Come on Von's and Ralph's can't you do better than that or don't you like catering to people who don't live in Northridge or Granada Hills? I've been here 32 years and truthfully I'd leave in a heartbeat if I could take my house and the hills with me.

— LindyLoo
September 22, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.

I've lived in Sylmar since 1977. My husband since 1956. My husband has the best memories, but they're mostly about his early years, when Sylmar was starting to rid itself of olive and orange groves and replacing them with tract homes and neighborhoods. His neighborhood was brand new, still being built, when his parents moved her. Moreover, the world was a lot safer, then. There was still a good mix of races, but everyone respected everyone and crime was low. Kids could walk the streets, day or night, and not worry about rape, assault, pedofiles, and gangs/drugs.

My memories of Sylmar, both past and present, are of a city that is over-crowded, loud, unsafe, run-down (tho there are pockets of upscale homes, but they're surrounded by run-downs), and devoid of any decent shopping/department stores. Most chain stores - outside of JC Penney in next door San Fernando - avoid Sylmar. There are no theaters or other family-oriented facilities. This says a lot about a city. The lack of these establishments imply an unsafe environment for kids. Gangs are a plenty, as are drugs and crime. Sylmar would be the very last place I would move to. The only reason why we're still here is because this has been my husband's home since he was 8 years old and he doesn't do 'change' very well. Otherwise, we'd be 'outta here'.

— Rein
August 13, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.

Was about 10 when my family moved to Sylmar around 1975

Things i liked...

playing in the local mountains

having orange fights in the groves

riding down tyler on my steel wheel skateboard


frisbee golf at veterans park


el chaparral

the local mountain playground

the mirkwood

always somewhere to go and party

always a party somewhere

olive trees(but not the purple on my tennies)

cops telling me to leave my car and just walk home(heh heh)

just sitting on my front lawn and doing artwork

Never liked the schools.

Phillipe elementry,

Olive vista,

Slymar high.

A few stand out teachers like mr Kirby and Boone helped a bit.

The place is not the same anymore,

but it seems most arnt now a days.

It had a horse town feel to it,

with plenty of horseback riders up and down the streets.

— paul
March 15, 2011 at 1:38 p.m.

I agree with all the positive comments here. The major downside that nobody mentions is the poor quality of ALMOST ALL the public schools in this area. Check it out for yourself...

— Zitro
March 9, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.

It has its share of positives and negatives. I live on Foothill Blvd. and walk the streets a lot. I see homeless people and the aftermath of people breaking into cars. I also see drug dealers on the corners trying not to get caught but the locals already know who they are.

I also see great views of both sunsets and sunrises. I see a community in flux. This economy is really hurting us but I can see how it really improve if we care more about it.

— - LD
January 7, 2011 at 5:36 p.m.

Hills, horses, hang gliders, more sunshine, less smog. Active Neighborhood Council, and other great groups: Tia Chucha's, Buffalo Bruce's, Caruso's, Shakey's, El Chaparal, Mission College culinary dept - Mmmmm! And a new Farmer's Market!

Don't forget to visit the Nethercutt Automotive Museum.

Best SLO's on the LAPD force! - Nick

— Nick
May 24, 2010 at 4:10 p.m.

I love living in Sylmar the air is great and there are no malls. Plenty of churches and plenty of parks. Altho there are no off leash dog parks - all that space and no place to run my dog. People are friendly

— Georgia
May 19, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.

Lived in Sylmar between 1979 and 2001. I loved it's freeway accessible location and breezes created from the mountain passes. I still miss my evening mt bike rides above Veterans Park to the fire station and Olive View. The view from the top was to die for. I would still be there if there was less traffic pressure (Hubbard) and renters with no community pride.

— TI Simshaw
April 26, 2010 at 7:05 a.m.

I lived in Sylmar in the early 70's, 11th and 12th grade of High School and a little beyond. What fine memories. We kids walking on the unfinished, unopened 210 fwy down the street, we could also stay out late playing tag, hide and seek, no worries. Then the big quake, wiping out Olive View Hospital a few blocks away. Recently, I went by the old neighborhood, which back then was quite nice. It's all in disrepair now. Sad.

— JJ
February 14, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.

All of the above positive comments are true. But I don't like the fact that if I want to walk around my neighborhood, there are always stray dogs in the street, plus it seems almost every house has a yapping dog in its front yard, dying to attack me. And if I want to see a movie, the closest theatre is the one in Granada Hills, six miles away. Oh, and the roosters are annoying.

— Carol Mulligan
February 13, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

What can I say about Sylmar.... Excellent view lot of outdoor activities, unfortunatly gang bangers also enjoy being out there.

— Sammy
February 9, 2010 at 7:22 p.m.

I love living in Sylmar not only because of the great weather and exceptional air quality, considered the best air in the SF Valley, the mountains, the views, the horses and the parks. I love the people who live in Sylmar, never too rushed to say 'good morning' or 'have a good day.'

I like all the different freeways and main streets that go to Sylmar. If one way has too much traffic, I have the option of going other ways.

Some of my neighbors say they wish Sylmar had a big shopping mall so they wouldn't have to go to Northridge or Santa Clarita but I'm glad there is no big mall here.

— Sandra
November 22, 2009 at 3:12 p.m.

I love BUFFALO BRUCES, in Sylmar.Awsome coffee, and breakfast! They have the best BarBque around! And they always have something going on.They have been selling the best Christmas trees for the last 18 years too! I can't wait for Christmas!!

— Shemp
November 13, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

Sylmar comes from the Latin word meaning "Ocean of Trees", Which Sylmar was founded on was a grove of Olive trees. You can still see a blanket of trees covering Sylmar from the top of Polk Street.

— Ben
September 29, 2009 at 2:17 p.m.

I grew up in Sylmar and loved it! I went to Light & Life Christian School, Herrick Elementary and Olive Vista Jr. High. Members of my extended family also lived in Sylmar, so the area holds a special place in my heart. Even though I'm across the country a part of me will always consider Sylmar home.

— Addie Rising
September 9, 2009 at 10:40 a.m.

We have been living in Sylmar since 6 years ago. From our frontyard, we have a mountain view (which sometimes are covered w/snow in the winter) and from our backyard, a beautiful view of the San Fernando Valley. Metrolink station is 2 miles away, close access to Freeways: 2, 5, 14, 101, 118, 170, 210 & 405. Beautiful parks: El Cariso & Veterans. El Cariso Golf Course, Mission College, Merle Norman Car Exposition (entrance is free), San Fernando Mission, Olive View Hospital(UCLA ctr) and Hang gliders. Very

quite and relaxing place.

— Gladys Ruano
September 6, 2009 at 4:36 p.m.

been living in sylmar since 1982,lots of changes but still a good place to live

— dee
August 24, 2009 at 8:38 p.m.

my friend lives in sylmar and i went to go visit him for 2 weeks im from houston but i fell in love with everything about sylmar its a nice place i miss it

— lisa
August 21, 2009 at 2:03 p.m.

I lived in Sylmar for one year. And I was thrilled every morning with the inspiring view of the mountains seen from El Cariso State Park. I like Sylmar parks. I like Sylmar.

— Paul from Poland
August 18, 2009 at 12:41 a.m.

One of the best facets of living in Sylmar is the good air quality. Because our district is situated at the base of the mountains, we get a constant breeze blowing through our streets most of the time. The net effect of this is some of the best air quality in the city. Also, Sylmar has good rental prices for apartments and easy access to many different freeways. Sylmar might not be a glamorous place to live, but it's clean, comfortable, and calm. What else could a person want?

— Gray J. George
June 18, 2009 at 7:37 p.m.


is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County.
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Sylmar is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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