Though its precise size is unknown, Toluca Lake must be large enough to accommodate the construction of two mid-sized towns upon its shores, with those towns being a boat-ride apart from each other. Numerous hills encompass it, suggesting it may rest in a valley. In addition to hills, rivers and swaths of pine forest are also shown to be plentiful.
Landmarks and Destinations
- Lighthouse - A lighthouse built on the northern shores of Toluca Lake, found in the town's Resort Area. It is said to be one of Silent Hill's older structures.
- Lakeside Amusement Park - A theme park overlooking the lake. It contains several entertainment attractions typical of venues of its type, such as a merry-go-round, a roller coaster, a haunted house and a divination tent.
- Lakeview Hotel - A once-prominent feature of Silent Hill's Resort Area, the hotel has since been consumed by fire.
- Toluca Graveyard - A small cemetery and church, overlooking the lake.
- Rosewater Park - A park built along the lake.
- Toluca Prison - A defunct prison named after the lake.
- Water Prison - A panopticon.
- Church of the Rebirth - A small church on Toluca Lake Island.
- Devil's Pitstop - A diner near the shores of Toluca Lake.
- Log cabin retreats, where tourists can stay overnight during their time in Silent Hill.
- Officer Cybil Bennett says there is a lookout tower on the opposite side of the lake in the Silent Hill film]].
Once part of an area claimed as "holy land" by indigenous native tribes, the area containing the lake entered into the hands of European settlers in the late 1600s when the original inhabitants were forced out of the area.
With the towns of Silent Hill, Maine and Shepherd's Glen built right upon its shores, it was hoped that with income lost from coal mining when deposits ran dry, Toluca Lake would become a beacon of tourism.
Toluca Lake began to become a famous touristic destination even before the coal mines closed. Many tourist offices opened across the town of Silent Hill, as well as boat launchers, hotels and motels, giving the tourists many options to choose where to relax during their trips in the region.
The Lakeview Hotel, for example, was one of the most notables ones, and is built right on the shore of the lake, offering the tourists immediate access to the lake for swimming at warm periods.
Even with the lake being an attractive destination for many tourists, some infamous but mysterious maritime accidents occurred in the lake at past times. It is a possibility that the area has seen a steep decline in terms of tourist economy.
With the influx of visitors to the area over time, accidents, in particular boating accidents, were an inevitability.
- During the year of 1918, a ship named Little Baroness goes missing. Its fate is unknown.
- With the closing of the area coal mines in 1939, coupled with an increase in tourism, a rather prolific rash of boating accidents occurs on the lake.
- During an argument with his brother Alex Shepherd, Joshua Shepherd accidentally drowns. His death marks the beginning of the dark times that have befallen the town of Shepherd's Glen.
- During his transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Prison, Murphy Pendleton and Anne Marie Cunningham, among others including Sanchez, crashed their transport bus on the shores of Toluca Lake.
The Toluca River is a river named after Toluca Lake and a water feature introduced in Silent Hill: Homecoming. Despite its name, Toluca River, according to the in-game map, does not appear to originate from or empty into Toluca Lake. It should be noted that because little of the area around the town of Shepherd's Glen is explored, it is impossible to know the origin or terminus of the Toluca River.
Due to Shepherd's Glen being engulfed in thick fog, a clear view of the river is all but impossible. However, a bridge crossing the river is in operation, as crossing it is required to progress game play. The bridge, coincidentally, is covered. This again prevents a clear view of the Toluca River. On the other side of the covered bridge lies Curtis Ackers's junkyard and a visible section of old coal mine. In addition to the covered bridge, a second bridge also crosses over the river. Unlike the covered bridge, the Main Street bridge cannot be crossed.
The significance of the river comes in the form of an event in Alex Shepherd's past. When Alex was eight years old, an accident occurred on River View Road. During that year, Shepherd's Glen and the surrounding area had experienced record-breaking rain, causing the Toluca River to rise 15ft or so above normal. Because of this, soil was eroded from under River View Road, weakening it. When a school bus, with Alex and other children on board, drove unto the weakened section of road, it was washed away. The bus was carried for a quarter mile before it became lodged under a bridge, and Martin Fitch happened upon the scene of the accident. At the risk of his own life, he aided in the rescue of the children and stayed with the young Alex, who had become stuck, until medical services arrived.
- In Silent Hill: The Arcade, the lake is shown to have an Otherworld version of itself, with bloodied waters and many monsters hidden within the deep.
- Although portrayed as a fictional place in the games, a real-life Toluca Lake does exist. It also may be possible that Toluca Lake (or at least its name) is based on Toluca, Mexico.
- It is known that in the comics, Silent Hill is built on the shores of Toluca Lake. Any history regarding this incarnation of the lake is unknown.