North Finchley used to be called North End (1462), but there were few houses until the enclosure of Finchley Common in 1816. Where the police garage is today a man called Thomas Rawson built a windmill in 1627. By 1754 the windmill was an inn called the Swan. It was the only building on the road between Fallows corner and Whetstone.
In 1756 Ballards Lane was extended to North End creating a new junction. In the 1820s and 30s a company called the Tally Ho Coach Company kept 16 horses near the corner, the first change of horses for the Birmingham coach. In 1837 there was a 'Cottagers Chapel', which had been converted from the stables of Orchard Cottage.
In 1844 the first houses were let in Torrington Park. During the 1850s and 1860s Woodside Lane, Friern Park, Grove Road, Finsbury Road (now Finchley Park) had all been laid out. In 1872 Torrington Park Station was opened (renamed Woodside Park in 1882) on the Great Northern Railway. A church had been constructed by 1869 which was formally opened in 1870 as Christ Church. It became a new parish in 1872. By 1874 it was said that there were 350 dwellings within this ecclesiastical parish, and there were a number of new shops and inns on the High Road.
In 1905 a tramline between Highgate and Whetstone opened which was crossed by another from New Southgate to Golders Green in 1909. To facilitate this a tramway depot was opened in Woodberry Grove. Trams and motorbus services brought people from miles around and created the retail district we see today. In 1937 the Gaumont Cinema was opened. It was demolished in 1987 and replaced with an arts centre.