As we greeted our neighbors and friends at Toluca Lake’s National Night Out in August, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come over the past two years. When we attended the event in 2017 to spread the word about Toluca Lake Magazine, we hadn’t yet published our first issue and could only attempt to describe our vision for a publication that would showcase everything that makes this neighborhood so special. At each step of our journey since then, I’ve been inspired by how warmly the community has welcomed us and embraced our mission. People from outside the area sometimes ask me how this small enclave can generate enough subject matter to fill a 50-page, bimonthly magazine indefinitely. In answer, I point to the 13 issues we’ve produced thus far, all packed with stories about amazing local people and places, and add that we’ve only just scratched the surface — there are many more tales to tell.
We’ve come far, but as we mark our second anniversary with our second annual history issue, I’m reminded that we’re still relative newcomers in the context of the long tradition of Toluca Lake. Just across the street, Generales & Generales Jewelers are celebrating their 50th year of serving the community. And our local hospital, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, is commemorating its 75th anniversary! In our cover story, we document how the Valley’s first hospital started as a 100-bed wooden building in a bare Burbank field and grew to become a leading medical institution recognized as one of the top 100 in the nation, evolving to meet the needs of the population it serves. As we heard time and time again from the leaders, doctors and philanthropists we interviewed, while Providence Saint Joseph has been a local bedrock since its founding, its incredible success would not have been possible without the ongoing support of this community, which has always given generously of its time and funds to ensure that all can receive the care they need.
Throughout this issue, we trace the saga of the neighborhood’s development from rural ranchland to star-studded retreat. It always surprises me how many people still don’t know there’s a real lake in Toluca Lake, so our article “Cream of the Crop” offers glimpses of the changing landscape — including those secret, sparkling waters — over the years, while “Vintage Vignettes” rounds up some of the other remarkable historical images we’ve encountered and the fascinating trivia behind them. With its blend of natural beauty, thriving industry, small-town charm and Old Hollywood glamor, Toluca Lake’s past never ceases to enchant me, and I hope you feel the same thrill of discovery.
As always, I want to thank all those who have helped us along the way, and especially our loyal advertisers who make this community resource possible. If you enjoy the magazine, I ask you to show your support by subscribing, following us on social media, placing an ad and choosing to give our advertisers your business whenever possible — and be sure to let them know you saw them in Toluca Lake Magazine.
We appreciate your readership and look forward to all the anniversaries ahead!