New Toronto was developed mainly for industrial purposes. With a major rail line running through it, New Toronto "was expected to rival - if not exceed - 'old' Toronto in manufacturing output".
In the 1880s, a farm south of the Lake Shore Road, Lake Shore Boulevard West was purchased by the Ontario Government. In 1888, it became the location of the Mimico Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital). Today this is where the current Lakeshore campus of Humber College stands.
New Toronto is now centred around the intersection of Seventh Street/Islington Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West with a commercial strip running east-west along the street. It shares the same somewhat cottagy feeling of Long Branch mixed with the commercial/residential feel of Mimico.