Toluca Lake is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California, located in the San Fernando Valley 12 miles (19 km) northwest of downtown. The name is also given to a private natural lake fed by wells and maintained by neighboring property owners. Prior to the paving of the Los Angeles River in 1938 and L.A. well extraction in the late 19th and 20th century which lowered the water table, Toluca Lake was fed by artesian springs.
The history of Toluca Lake can be traced to the days of the Tongva Indians, followed by Spanish colonization and Mexican independence. Toluca Lake was part of the early rancho system. The original Toluca Lake was divided, with the neighborhood being known as Forman Toluca Ranch. In 1923, investors bought and developed the land as “Toluca Lake Park”.
The Toluca Lake neighborhood is situated on 1.22 square miles of the southeastern San Fernando Valley. The Mapping L.A. section of the Los Angeles Times website describes it as bounded on the south by Universal City, on the west by Studio City, on the north by North Hollywood and on the east by the city of Burbank.
The Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce website states that the district is not only a neighborhood in Los Angeles but that it “spills over into Burbank” and “Political entities and others, such as the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council each draw their own boundaries to suit specific needs. For example, the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce serves the entire community in Burbank and Los Angeles, while the City of Los Angeles considers its neighborhood called Toluca Lake to be entirely within its city boundaries
The geologic Toluca Lake is a 6-acre (2.4 ha) body of water located near the district’s southeastern boundaries. The historic natural lake was fed by springs of upwelling groundwater from the Los Angeles River and San Fernando Valley subterranean aquifers. Late 19th and 20th century L. A. DWP well extraction and 1930s concrete river channelization lowered the water table, and currently community wells at the lake’s edges maintain the water level. The bottom of the lake is surfaced with four inches (102 mm) of asphalt concrete to prevent seepage. Owned by the surrounding homeowners, the lake has been maintained by the Toluca Lake Property Owners Association, a non-profit corporation established in 1934. The lake, encircled by private residences and the Lakeside Golf Club, is completely inaccessible to and hidden from the public