Fairbank is named after the former "Fairbank" farm, which had been owned by a pioneer settler named Matthew Parsons. The "Fairbank" farm was situated just north of Eglinton Avenue between Dufferin and Keele Streets.
Fairbank's early development centred around the intersection of Dufferin Street and Eglinton Avenue. This neighbourhood began with a one room school house which was built in the 1860's and followed by a hotel, a post office, a church and a handful of stores.
A stone marker from the original Fairbank school house has been preserved on the south wall of the present day Briar Hill School. The only other vestiges of the old Fairbank community are the Fairbank United Church, circa 1889, located at 2750 Dufferin Street, and a Georgian Survival style house located at 108 Stayner Avenue. This red brick house was built in 1852 by Jacob P. Ross, a Fairbank farmer.
Fairbank's growth from a rural hamlet to a big city neighbourhood began to take shape in 1892 when the short lived Belt Line Railway opened a station here. Fairbank's development was further enhanced in 1924 when the Toronto streetcar railway began service to this area.
Fairbank is poised for growth with the soon to be opened Eglinton Crosstown subway spurring on a revitalization of this neighbourhood.
The defining feature of the Fairbank neighbourhood is its topography, which features a series of rolling hills that climb their way northward from Rogers Road to the northern tip of Fairbank at Briar Hill Avenue. Many of these hills are bisected by curvilinear one way streets that add an old world charm to the neighbourhood.The Fairbank neighbourhood offers modest house prices and convenient access to transit and highways. Fairbank's demographics include a large number of people of Italian, Portuguese, and West Indian heritage.