Making their way from England, the Denison family settled in the area now known to Torontonians as Dufferin Grove in 1792. The clan were very active and visible in the early military and political matters of the young city and they had many country villas around with names such as 'Heydon Villa', 'Rush Holme' and 'Dover Court'. The Denisons soon began to take advantage of the fertile soil that their land boasted, cleared the thick forest on their property and began to plant crops which soon yielded abundant returns, bringing them great wealth. By the 1880's, the rows of crops were gradually switched for houses as the current neighbourhood now known as Dufferin Grove took shape. The green and natural centre of the area still holds in the namesake park, 14-acre Dufferin Grove which sits in the centre of the area, both literally and figuratively.
Dufferin Grove lays claim to larger semi-detached and detached houses than are found in most neighbourhoods in downtown Toronto. Once can expect to find examples of the ever-present Victorian and Edwardian in addition to English Cottage style with most being built in and around 1890 and 1930. There are still some single family dwellings but a good number have been split in to apartments with some in need of renovations, some of the best specimens to be found on Rusholme street. Apart from the homes, the towering oak trees and well cared-for street-scapes give the neighbourhood a distinct feeling that it is far from just a collection of streets in one area but a real special community in the city.
The area is centred around the Dufferin Grove Park. Reffered to by residents as their 'Big Backyard' it has become a veritable 'community centre without walls' recently with an organic market, 'wi-fi' and even a community pizza oven. It also has playground facilities, picnic areas and an ice hockey rink in the winter. 'Friends of Dufferin Grove Park' is a community support group that holds most events and activities in the park whereas most other parks in the city rely on the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation Department to handle theirs. The Dufferin Mall has had a few recent renovations and some bigger-named stores have moved in recently.