About San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley known locally and in surrounding areas as “The Valley is an urbanized valley located in Los Angeles County, southern California, defined by the mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it. Home to 1.8 million people, it lies north of the larger and more populous Los Angeles Basin. The San Fernando Valley is home to numerous neighborhood city parks, recreation areas and large Regional Open Space preserves. Many preserves are maintained as public parkland by the National Park Service’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the California State Parks, and local county and municipal parks districts.
The Valley is home to numerous companies, the most well-known of which work in motion pictures, music recording, and television production. The former movie ranches were branches of original studios now consisting of CBS Studio Center, NBC, Universal, The Walt Disney Company ABC television network, and Warner Bros.
Communities of the San Fernando Valley
Reachable via the Ronald Reagan, San Diego and Golden State Freeways, Granada Hills is a City of Los Angeles district in the San Fernando Valley. It sits just north of North Hills and Northridge. It is the site where the Valley’s first oil well was drilled back in 1916 and the town was first founded and known simply as “Granada” in 1927. “Hills” wasn’t tacked on until about 15 years later. The area was primarily used as orchards and dairy farms, growing apricots, oranges, walnuts and beans. Peek in the neighbor’s back yard and you might see reminders of the former citrus groves in the form of clusters of orange, lemon or grapefruit trees.
A San Fernando Valley district that falls under the umbrella of the City of Los Angeles, Chatsworth was another area that was once home to a number of Native American tribes, including the Chumash. There is even a local area, the Burro Flats Painted Cave that today remains a memorial of the Chumash culture, including it’s rock art and spirituality. The first Europeans made their way to the area in the mid 1700’s and it became part of the route the Spanish would travel between the missions. In 1821, the area became part of Mexico and then finally was absorbed into the U.S. in 1873 as part of the single largest land grant in California.
The Ronald Reagan Freeway (SR 118) runs right through the middle of the suburban community of Mission Hills. The neighborhood also sits at the north end of snaking and long Sepulveda Blvd, which stretches from the northern starting point, all the way down through the city of Los Angeles. It is bordered by Granada Hills, Sylmar and Pacoima as well as the City of San Fernando. It is a small and fairly upper-middle class community with a relatively high median income in comparison with other Valley communities.
Formerly known as Sepulveda and renamed in 1992, North Hills is one of the oldest communities in the San Fernando Valley. It sits between Northridge, Panorama City, Van Nuys and Granada Hills. The district was originally named for the Sepulveda family, who claim roots that trace back to the founding of Los Angeles. The district even today retains much of its original small-town feel and has an active neighborhood community of residents committed to maintaining that kind of quality of life.
5Lake View Terrace
A suburb nestled in the north east part of the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace is reachable via the Foothill Freeway (I-210). It’s a middle class community with a fairly mixed racial profile made up mostly of Latinos, African-Americans, Whites and Asians. Horse ranches have been in the neighborhood since the 1800’s and there is still a significantly-sized equestrian community. It is also one of the last few areas in the City of Los Angeles where you are allowed to keep your horse at home with you.
a community in the San Fernando Valley, is perhaps most famous for the 1994 earthquake that rocked the area. The 45 second, 6.7 shaker caused extensive damage throughout the San Fernando Valley and across the City of Los Angeles, including 72 deaths, over 9,000 injuries and an estimated $20 billion in damage.
Located in the northwest portion of the San Fernando Valley, near Chatsworth and Northridge, Porter Ranch in an upscale neighborhood just south of the Santa Susana Mountains. The area was purchased in the late 19th century, by a man named Benjamin Porter. It had originally been part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando and for the first several decades of its existence, was primarily a collection of wheat fields. It eventually became home to the horse ranches of a number of celebrities and eventually, suburban development found its way to the remote community.
Pacoima sits between Mission Hills and Arleta and is a district neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, falling under the actual jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles. The first inhabitants of the area were semi-nomadic Native American tribes and the name Pacoima comes from the language of one of these original settlers. The area maintained its nomadic origins and didn’t settle down into a permanent community until the late 1800’s. The area was predominantly agricultural, and provided a bounty of citrus, nuts, beans, wheat and vegetables.
Once the site of the world’s second largest olive groves, Sylmar, which means “Sea of Trees,” is situated just east of Interstate 5 and north of the city of San Fernando. Long before the areas was settled by the Spaniards, this was another home for the Tonga Indians. When the Spaniards arrived, Father Iballa, from the nearby Mission, recognized the similarity of the climate and soil to that found in the best olive growing regions of Europe. By 1890, some businessmen from Illinois had bought up 2,000 acres of the land in the area and began a business of packing and selling the olives, which were known throughout the state for their sweetness and purity.
Stretching over 8 square miles, between Studio City, Van Nuys and Encino, Sherman Oaks is a largely urbanized district in the San Fernando Valley. Drive along Ventura Blvd, and you’ll see commercial skyscrapers sandwiched between shopping centers.
Named for one of the ranches given to the Mexican government by the Indians, Encino sits along the 101 Freeway and borders up to the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, sandwiched between Tarzana and Sherman Oaks.
Surrounded by Reseda, Woodland Hills, Encino and the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando Valley district makes its way along the major roads of Reseda Blvd, Tampa Avenue, Wilbur Avenue, and Burbank and Ventura Blvd.
Living along the Los Angeles River, the Native American were the first inhabitants of the San Fernando Valley district known as Reseda. Following the departure of the Indians, Reseda became a farm town, called Marian, in 1912, named for the daughter of the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Harrison Gray Otis.
Valley Village is a pocket neighborhood that is predominantly made up of small businesses and single-family homes.
Falling right in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys was first developed as a town in the early 1900’s. Though it was supposed to built on a well though out city plan, it is unfortunately prone to severe flooding during rainstorms.
Winnetka is a San Fernando Valley district located in the west-central part of the Valley, next to Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth and Reseda.
Originally named Girard, Woodland Hills is a San Fernando Valley district and located in the southwestern part of the region near West Hills, Canoga Park and Calabasas.
Calabasas is a fully incorporated city that is located along the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley and falls just into the side of the Santa Monica Mountains. It is next to Woodland Hills and Agoura Hills, and is fairly close to the beach community of Malibu. Calabasas is known as a fairly affluent community, with a number of mansions and gated homes. It is home to several celebrities including reality television stars, the Kardashians, and boasts some spectacular views from its hillside homes.
Agoura Hills sits in the eastern Conejo Valley, near neighboring communities of Calabasas, Malibu and Westlake Village.
West Hills is a San Fernando Valley District and part of the City of Los Angeles. It’s bordered by Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills and Hidden Hills.
Burbank is an incorporated city in the San Fernando Valley and is home to more than 100,000 people. It encompasses two areas, a downtown, civic center and residential neighborhoods that dot the slopes and foothills of the Verdugo Mountains.
Officially named North Hollywood in 1927, this region of the Valley, which has also been known as Toluca and Lanker shim, sits near the 170 and the 101 Freeways, just a short ride over the hill from Hollywood.
Studio City earned it’s moniker in the 1920’s when a man named Mack Sennett moved his studios to a spot near Colfax Avenue and Ventura Blvd. Today those same studios fall under the CBS family and is known as CBS Radford.
Toluca Lake Once 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.