Toluca LakeOnce a farmland, Toluca Lake is now and upscale living, dining and shopping community and has been home to some very famous residents over the years, including the much loved Bob Hope. Itâ€™s sandwiched between Burbank and Universal City and the main drag is Riverside Drive. There are a number of small shops and a variety of restaurants to choose from with cuisine from all over the world. Unknown to many people there is actually a lake, Toluca Lake, in the neighborhood. Itâ€™s a 6-acre body of water that is virtually hidden by the surrounding property. It is owned by those homeowners who have houses that border up against the lake.
Toluca Lake was originally another Native American settlement but after the Spanish conquest, it became part of the Mission Fernando Rey de Espana, until it was taken over by the Mexicans and then finally bought by Isaac Lankershim in 1869. Toluca Post Office was founded in 1893, the name Toluca having been chosen from an Indian word meaning â€śfertile.â€ť By the early 1900â€™s the land was being using for agricultural production-peaches, apricots and walnuts, but the venture finally failed and a development company took over with a mind to create the first â€śbedroom communityâ€ť for Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. The name was then changed to Toluca Lake.
In addition to Bob Hope, other notable residents of Toluca Lake included Amelia Earhart and her husband, publishing magnate George P. Putnam and legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.
Toluca Lake is home to a few notable landmarks as well. The oldest Bobâ€™s Big Boy Restaurant, which was established in 1949, still sits along Riverside Drive, serving up its famous burgers, fries and shakes and even hosts a classic car night every Friday. The local Catholic church, Saint Charles Borromeo has been the site of several celebrity weddings and funerals, including those of Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.