The area is named for the farm settled by John Perkins Bull called Downs View in 1842 near Keele Street and Rustic Road.
The military base and the de Havilland company, including the runway and all buildings, was closed and sold to Bombardier Aerospace in 1994. Bombardier has been manufacturing and testing commercial aircraft on the site since then.
Most of the houses were built immediately post-war and into the 1960s, though some houses and condos have been recently built near Downsview station. The subway ride south to downtown Toronto is approximately 30 minutes.
The east side of Dufferin Street is primarily residential, while the west side is industrial. This street has been relegated to a quiet service road in the adjacent neighbourhood of Bathurst Manor. Immediately beside Dufferin Street, William R. Allen Road brings large traffic volumes from the Ontario Highway 401 exit just a minute south.