Toluca Lake: Past and Present. By Joan Duffy.
Have you ever been to Toluca Lake?
Toluca Lake is one of Los Angeles’ most coveted neighborhoods, located in the Southern part of the San Fernando Valley it truly is one of a kind and it’s name couldn’t describe it more perfectly; Toluca is a Paiute word meaning “beautiful.”
The history of Toluca Lake dates all the way to the Tongva Native American tribe. In recent years however, the illustrious neighborhood has been known for it’s notable residents in the entertainment industry. It was even the site of Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s wedding.
The current site of Toluca Lake was originally known as Forman Toluca Ranch which was owned by Charles Forman- who was originally from Nevada and one of the wealthiest men in the Western United States at the time. He made his fortune from mining, ranching, and lumber in the state of Nevada, later moving to California after marrying the love of his life, Los Angeles native- Mary Agnes Gray. Their ranch eventually became known for it’s delicious peaches, apples, and walnuts. The area unofficially became known as “Toluca” in 1893 when the citizens petitioned for the area’s first post office which they called the Toluca Post Office.
In 1923 the Forman’s sold the ranch to wealthy investors who developed the land into Toluca Lake Park. This initial endeavor failed, but the next development group to purchase the land was more successful, creating what is now officially known as the gorgeous Toluca Lake that has been the home of some of California’s most notable people. In 1928 Warner Brothers opened the doors to their studio just a few blocks away from Toluca Lake, it was then that Hollywood’s elite discovered the hidden lake right in the San Fernando valley. Toluca Lake has since been home to Amelia Earhart, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, just to name a few. Currently Toluca Lake is home to Miley Cyrus, Kirsten Dunst, and Hilary Duff.
So what is it exactly about this neighborhood that attracts some of Hollywood’s most notable names? Well let’s start with the location! Toluca Lake has a pleasant amount of anonymity to it, it is small and hidden between Burbank, Universal City, and Universal Hollywood and there are only 3 entry ways to get into the neighborhood. It is also incredibly close to the vast majority of film studios which are located in nearby Studio City. The second reason is of course, the lake. Not only is it a rare amenity to live on a lake in central Los Angeles, Toluca Lake specifically is extremely private and residents who live directly on the water are adamant about maintaining the privacy of other residents in the neighborhood. The final, and potentially most important reason to love Toluca Lake is the lack of traffic, being ever so slightly off the beaten path Toluca Lake doesn’t attract the same caliber of traffic jams that occur in other Los Angeles neighborhoods – an extremely important feature to anyone who has ever spent time driving in the Los Angeles rush hour.
According to Realtor.com– The current population of Toluca Lake is 10,610 with a median age of 41 years old, the median household income is $80,262, and the average household net worth is $739,348.