Rockcliffe–Smythe was born of a working class neighbourhood in the York district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was part of the former City of York before the amalgamation of Toronto in 1998.
The area had been farmed since the 1800s. One of the first large-scale developments in the area was the opening of the Smythe gravel pit in the 1920s, by Conn Smythe.
The area is predominately residential in nature, and mostly single-family detached homes. There are apartment buildings in developments along Jane Street, Scarlett Road and Humber Boulevard. There is industry along the rail lines to the east and south and in pockets.