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The Los Angeles River: Part 8 – Studio City
July 18, 2018
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The Los Angeles River: Part 9 – Toluca Lake / Universal City

Chloe Universal
LA River Universal

Welcome to my second journey of discovery along the Los Angeles River.

Over 4 years ago, my pack set out to explore every accessible mile of our river from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. It was amazing. The walking was easy, the scenery was one of a kind, and we found some great parks too. There were some rough spots, but they were outnumbered by signs of progress in the county’s efforts to revitalize the river.

A lot has changed since we completed that journey. New projects have started, old landscapes have been transformed, and more people are enjoying the river than ever before. It’s time for an update. 

Join us as we explore the river again in search of fun things to do. We’re also going to check out every park in every riverside neighborhood we visit on the way. Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest on our progress.



PART 9: Toluca Lake / Universal City


– Neighborhood Pedigree


  • In 1893, the name Toluca (North Hollywood’s original name) was suggested to Fred Weddington by Gen. Charles Forman, the founder of Toluca Lake.

  • In 1923, “Lake” was added to the name when the area was sub-divided and made into an exclusive neighborhood with a long history of celebrity home owners.

  • In 1914, when the land was part of North Hollywood, Carl Laemmle broke ground on Universal City. Today it stands as the oldest movie studio still on its original site in the world.

  • The river is the border between the two neighborhoods. It’s been part of many film and TV productions over the years and it’s a collector of errant golf balls launched from Lakeside G.C.



– The River

The is no public access to the river anywhere along this 1.5 mile stretch between Lankershim Bl. and Olive Ave. in Burbank.


-The Parks

There are no parks in Toluca Lake or Universal City. 


Misc. Stuff

As we make our way downstream, we’re going to catalog every bridge that crosses the river. Not really sure why, but we’re doing it anyway. Check out the growing list here


Our favorite sources of Toluca Lake / Universal City information:

Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce

Universal City North Hollywood – A Centennial Portrait

Los Angeles Recreation and Parks

Down By The Los Angeles River

Los Angeles Times



All photographs taken by Jim Gross.


That’s it! This was the shortest blog post ever. That’s ok because we know there’s plenty of adventure ahead of us. See you on the river!