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Toluca Lake

Tell us what Toluca Lake means to you

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

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Toluca Lake. I was born and raised as 3rd generation in our house.Born in 56' & resided there til81.Grandparents, Babe & Shemp Howard bought this home at 4604 Placidia Ave. My grandpa was Shemp, The original of the Three Stooges. Our home was on the corner of Placidia and Sara St. They lived there from the 40's -mid 50's. They had chickens, a Victory Garden. My grandfather own a gun only to use on pesty Gophers that would steel all the carrots.My dad bought the home shortly before I was born. We didn't have air conditioning nor a pool for many years.I recall the fwy being put in.Stayed cool by sprinklers, Water Wiggles, Slip & Slides. All the kids played together. Boys and girls, roller skating, riding bikes, having flour fights.We walked the back wall to get to friends houses regardless of being scratched or cut up by brush and bushes.Toluca Lake kids on Saturdays would spend much time on Riverside Dr. at Pop & Cork for a 'BigStick Popsicle then to The Five & Dime to play with all the open tables of toys. We'de walk through the T.L. Pharmacy where we were not allowed to touch anything.The T. L. Market where you could actually pick up the phone and order your groceries and have them delivered. Bobs Big Boy's car hops to see rollerskating waitresses.Patti's for the big Pineapple and Marshmallow syrup. The Pancake House syrups. The Little Green Store on Camarillo. . It was safe! Neighborhoods of Walnuts, Birch and Magnolia's. 'The Rock'on our lawn was the meeting spot for the kids.A mom would call and the friend would run home.I listened for the St. Charles Church bells at 6:00pm. T.Lake. Safe, quaint and well kept neighborhoods. Jill and I both had our weddings in our backyard.Doors of the house were only locked by Skeleton Keys. We had many varieties of fruit tree's from Satsuma Plums to Comquats. At 23, mom leased the house to Densel Washington then sold it to him.I was crused not to have an afiliation to that neighborhood anymore. I honestly thought someone in the family would be in that house, in Toluca Lake forever. I make a point to drive through the neighborhood still. I want to go inside to see my house but i don't have the nerve- yet.Toluca Lake is still quaint today.Still close with a couple of kids from the blocks.Many of businesses are still thriving. If you can raise a family in T.L. you are be blessed.

— Sandie Howard
August 20, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.

I grew up in Toluca Lake. Whipple Street. I recall the great days at Toluca Lake Little league. We had some great teams and too much fun just playing over-the-line when games were going on and we did not have one. Spent every day there. The snack bar was the best with the round pizzas.

I remember riding my bike to the lake and sneaking down and borrowing someone's boat, we always returned them, and using it to swim in the lake and going off others slides on the docks into the lake as well the rope/tire at the end of the lake.

Halloween nights were the best.

I remember my father shutting down Whipple Street with road blocks on the 4th of July and we always had the biggest block party.

Just riding our bikes around Toluca Lake we felt SAFE and it was always a great place to grow up. I miss those days

Going to Pop-N-Cork Liquor store to get candy or whatever and then going to Bobs to get the great shakes in the silver goblet.

Too many cool actors lived there as well and they were always friendly to us kids.

I recall the Candy lady on the corner of Valley Spring lane and Forman, in the yellow house, we would ride our bikes and knock on her door and everyday she had candy for us.

I remember the days before the roof was put on the Universal Amphitheater when you could hear the concerts from our backyard and it was cool just to sleep outside.

Best childhood memories were in Toluca Lake, it was and I am sure still is what neighborhoods are supposed to be like.

— Scott Isaacson
April 6, 2011 at 11 a.m.

My grandmother and I would to to the Tick Tock from Glendale when i was a child. I have wonderful memories of the shrimp cocktail and all of the clocks.

I am am 67 yers old now and have never found such a wonderful place.

— Sheri chalstrom
December 29, 2010 at 10:54 a.m.

My Mother and Father owned the Tick Tock Restaurant and it was their lifelong pleasure to serve the communities of Toluca Lake and Hollywood. As children we LOVED growing up in a town where everyone knew you and people took care of each other. Toluca Lake was truly the diamond of the valley.

— Helene Johnson Bradley
December 25, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.

Where to begin? I grew up on Forman and Kling (my parents bought the house from the Tick Tock owners!) My grandparents had a house right on the lake... that was awesome! We would sail, swim and swing on the swing at the end of the lake near Lakeside.

Tick Tock restaurant was the best! Loved the peppermint ice cream at Chapman's. I also remember the Green Store, that someone else already mentioned. Pop'n Cork used to deliver to our house! I also remember my brother and I riding our bikes to the Hot Dog Show.... many memories!

— Christina Carroll
September 1, 2010 at 2:43 p.m.

Toluca Lake still is what the whole valley could of been. It is now inhabited by the wealthy, but do you really have to be rich to keep your neighborhood clean and attractive?

The trees and gently curving streets are a lovely place to take an evening walk, with little concern for crime or violence, and I used to do just that.

I waved and said hello, and I do believe that many people thought I was a neighbor enjoying a stroll. It even made me consider writing a script about a guy (me) who lived in a bad part of town, who would visit this little oasis so often that he began to believe he really lived there.

On Halloween night you would swear someone turned the clock back thirty years, as the streets are filled with children just as I remembered during my childhood.

It is still the gem of the valley.

— montananow
July 5, 2010 at 11:40 a.m.

Hello

I visited my "Great Aunt Boo" (Betty Stewart)in the late 80's who lived in South Valley Street. She had the most amazing stories of growing up there. Sadly Aunt Betty passed away last year. I absolutely loved being there. Her house overlooked a lake and golf course I remember. I didn't want to leave.I thought it was so beautiful.You are all so lucky to be there!I Live in the UK and when I win the lottery you will have me as a neighbour!

— CAROL MARSHALL
March 28, 2010 at 3 a.m.

I grew up in Toluca Lake and have wondeful memories of it. My house was originally part of the Bing Crosby estate. I loved Toluca Little League, Lakeside Drugstrore and of course the most awesome place of all... The Tick Tock Restaurant.

Does anyone remember a penny candy store near Forman and Camarillo, right on the border of Burbank...we called it the Little Green Store and I was broken hearted when it was removed and replaced with a 7/11. It is now Prestige Liquor.

— Michael J Moran
December 30, 2009 at 7:20 p.m.

My parents bought 10502 Whipple Street in 1941 from actress Ann Sheridan, the year my brother Michael was born. I was born in 1944, and grew up in that beautiful home until we moved to Las Vegas in 1959 when I was 14. I attended Rio Vista Elementary School and later LeConte Jr. High. I loved singing in the Rio Vista School Chorus with the Sinatra kids, especially the Christmas pageant. My friends included Victor Patratta, Billy and Jimmy Harington, Steven Andrews, and John Teal who lived nearby and went to Rio Vista. My mom took me shopping at Toluca Mart every Sunday, and we enjoyed dinners at Bill Story's, King's Arms, and my favorite, Bob's Big Boy. I still return to drive by my old house that is now owned by Patrick Wayne, and to walk down those familiar streets. What a great place to have grown up.

— Stephen Miller
December 26, 2009 at 2:11 p.m.

I also grew up in Toluca Lake in the 1960s on Clybourn Avenue. I have very fond memories of my mom telling me that if I got hit by a car in front of our house to make sure I crawled over to the Burbank side! (Burbank police were faster) I also think fondly of Papoo's Hot Dog Show, Dale's Jr. Market, and the IHOP. My dad used to take us there for chocolate chip pancakes. I also remember Sir George's Smorgasbord, Barone's oblong pizza, the 5 & 10, Lakeside Pharmacy, and my very favorite store ever, Brainstorms. It was a small shop that specialized in miniatures and other gift items. The women who ran it were so kind to me--I'll never forget them.

— Beth Younger
October 22, 2009 at 3:44 p.m.

I think that the entire city should be returned to its historic past.

All of the nostalgia for yesterday should eclipse the entire question about how things need to and do change for a wide range of reasons. Los Angeles was once a peaceful plane with open valleys, vistas.

Lets all just move back to our original homeland and let the land return to its original pre America configuration.

Or should we just assume that the 40's and 50's were the way it should be.

Good luck in stopping time.

I personally don't see the benefit of having a nice farm in my neighborhood.

— yesterday
October 20, 2009 at 12:34 p.m.

I grew up on, Valley Spring Lane, in a classic Paul Williams colonial, at the end of the dead end street. (Late 1940's to 1960's) This gorgeous home has since been torn down, and a dreadful "mini mansion" built there.

Our back gate opened out, on to the, then, 1st tee of Lakeside Golf Course, and many celebrity golfers stopped in for refreshments. My Dad was a producer/director of many popular shows, in the Golden Age of Radio.

Up the street, just past, Forman Ave. was a small ranchette, complete with cows, horses, chickens, geese, etc. all the neighborhood kids loved hanging out there, and feeding carrots to the horses, and petting "honeycow".

In those days, just about every home still had a "victory garden" and many fruit trees, too.

What a glorious childhood, we could go anywhere; even riding our bikes, all the way over to the horse stables, in Burbank, via the back of Lakeside Country Club! We often stopped at the Lakeside, '' caddy shack", behind the club, for the best hamburgers, ever!

Amelia Earhart, had lived in a lovely spanish home next door, to us, and then the great Special Effects genius, John Fulton, bought the house.( He parted the Red Sea in the Ten Commandments). The Sinatra's ,were directly across the street, from us, on the "big" lake. The house closest, to the back fence of the Country Club, on the lakeside, was developed by the local Pharmacist, who also owed the Lakeside Drug Store, which had a wonderful, "fountain" for Malts, Sodas, Ice Cream, etc. A couple of doors down was the perfect, 5 & dime store.

Everyone looked forward to the afternoon arrival of the Helms Bakery trucks; I can still taste those chocolate donuts! There was also a "tinker" who could fix anything; he came by, on a regular basis, as well. Of course, the classic, Good Humor ice cream truck, was a welcome sight, too.

Located in the village was, Alphonse's Restaurant, and his brothers seafood place, Sorrentino's. Delicious fresh fare.

Remember, Bireley's orange soda? The Bireley family lived on our side of the street, too. Down the block and onto Navajo street, was the very modern home of the jazz pianist, George Shearing. Of course, I was more interested in, Hop-a-long Cassidy, who lived on the other side of the lake, on, Toluca Lake Ave and I think, Talofa street.

I recall when the lake was drained, in order to pave it, and

although, all the kids were told not to go in it, we had to! Much to our delight, many artifacts and pre-historic bones were discovered, at that time. Apparently, the area had also been a tar pit.

I believe the first, International House of Pancakes, opened up, just outside of, Toluca Lake, in Burbank, by Bob's Big Boy.

— Cali
August 25, 2009 at 8:44 p.m.

I grew up in Toluca Lake. In fact, I am third generation Tolucan. It is a wonderful place to live with friendly neighbors and a "village" feel to it.

I have fond memories of Barone's, Bob's Big Boy and The Hot Dog Show. My friends and I frequent these places as kids. Does anyone remember the Pop N Cork? That takes me back!

Oh yeah.... my grandfather was a past President of Lakeside Country Club. I'm proud of that.

— Sabrina
August 14, 2009 at 11:09 p.m.

When I bought property in Toluca Lake 20 years ago, the boundaries were Cahuenga on the west, Camarillo on the north, the Los Angeles river on the south and the city of Burbank on the east. The communities of Toluca Woods and West Toluca Lake arose over the years as separate neighborhoods with their own neighborhood designations and signage. Maps of Neighborhood Council areas are not consistent with community boundaries. Toluca Woods and West Toluca Lake should be given their own separate designations in your list of Los Angeles Communities.

— Mike Rivers
June 22, 2009 at 6:56 p.m.

Your inclusion of West Toluca Lake in the description fails, as West Toluca Lake is bound by Camarillo to the north, Vineland to the east, the 134 to the south, and Riverside to the west. That area is not included in this map.

You also fail to include Toluca Woods and Toluca Terrace in the description, but they are within your map's boundaries.

— Missing Info
June 3, 2009 at 1:02 p.m.

Valley Spring Lane in Toluca Lake is the LOW point in the Valley. Before the Army Corp of Engineers created our concrete LA River, water would collect from this low point. I'm told that years ago, during a flood, Toluca Lake has expanded to the Sepulveda Basin. This also means that the Valley sewer lines flow to this area to take advantage of gravity (maybe you should map the Underground LA). Meanwhile, Toluca Lake is a private lake, with no public access. Few people have ever seen it. The surrounding property owners own the "land" to a center point of the lake and water does not appear on property maps. Lakeside Golf Club was founded in 1924 when a group of Hollywood businessmen came over the Cahuenga Pass and bought 144 acres of farmland bordered by a natural lake. The course used to be on both sides of the river until a flood in 1938 wiped out the footbridges and eroded holes on the south side.

While your information shows Toluca Lake as very "white," 44% of the kids going to Toluca Lake Elementary School speak English as a second langugage. Their families cannot afford to live in Toluca Lake, and typically live north of the area.

Toluca Lake retains a "village" ambience on Riverside Drive and is well-known for many years as the home of many celebrities, perhaps most famous being Bob Hope (deceased) whose widow just celebrated her 100th birthday. Mo Howard, from the Three Stooges, used to live in the house next door to my home.

As you may know, LAPD maintains a crime mapping program on their website. It would be a real service to include their real-time information on your static mapping.

Interestingly, you show 113 communities. LA has (I believe) 88 certified Neighborhood Councils, which receive funding from the City budget, administered by Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Perhaps your mapping will stimulate the creation of new Neighborhood Councils for under-served areas.

— Peter Hartz
June 3, 2009 at 10:02 a.m.

Toluca Lake

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County. It contains West Toluca Lake.
The neighboring communities are Burbank, Hollywood Hills, North Hollywood, Studio City and Universal City.
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About This Project
Toluca Lake is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.