Apple pickers1

Announcing a “Leslieville”, a new history by Joanne Doucette, available June 18, 2016.

George Leslie was Canada’s “Johnny Appleseed”, owner of the country in the 19th century. His apple trees, grown in this country’s largest tree nursery of the time, went across Canada and even both the Atlantic and Pacific to Europe and Asia. His efforts made orchards a major industry and apples a major Canadian export crop. His Toronto Nursery was responsible for trees on city streets and along country roads, in parks, public places and people’s yards from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. He promoted sustainable forestry before the concept was invented.

The book also tells of the Scottish Highlanders in the Napoleonic Wars and the Highland Clearances which formed their character and those descendants who played and still plays such a large role in history.

The book tells of the major industries in Leslieville: abattoirs and cattle ranching: growing vegetables, fruit and flowers; and brickmaking. Chapters explore the First Nations history of Leslieville, the life of the early settlers, taverns and shebeens, churches, crime, and so much more.

This book replaces Ms. Doucette’s earlier history  and includes up-to-date research and extensive new material, including the Leslie involvement in fighting slavery and the black community in Leslieville and much more.

Price $14.00 plus $10.00 for shipping and handling if requested by mail order. Cheques should be made out to “Joanne Doucette” and sent to: 330 Woodfield Road, Toronto, Ontario M4L 2X1. For more info: call 647-236-4980, email or visit

7 thoughts on “Leslieville

  1. Hi Joanne, Thank you for your very interesting website. I live in Australia and wonder if you might possibly be able to please put me in touch with David Foster. For a long time I’ve been trying to confirm if Thomas Beatty was the brother of my ancestor David Beattie and David’s brother William who migrated to Australia in the 1850s. The names of Thomas Beatty’s parents James Beatty and Margaret Potter are the same and the dates and places all fit from what I’ve learnt about Thomas so far. Thanks in advance, Kind regards, Rosemary Beattie

    1. Hello Rosemary,

      Thank you for your inquiry and kind works about my website. I’ve sent you David Foster’s e-mail address and website by e-mail. I hope this helps.


  2. Hi Joanne, I stumbled upon this history of Leslieville while researching the Ashbridge family to which a first cousin once removed married into. It’s a very interesting read although haven’t had time to read it all. My parents still live in one of those 6 room houses you mentioned on Pape Ave. as did my grandparents and I. I guess it is our family homestead. On my mother’s side I am also a relation to George Washington Badgerow. This family has quite a history I have found. You may find a book by Paul Arculus titled Mayham to Murder The history of the Markham Gang (organized crime in Canada west during the 1840’s) very interesting. It’s not much about Leslieville but early Ontario history.
    Regards, Sharon Crosby.

  3. Thanks for the article on Applegrove. My Grandfather built the house at 10 Applegrove (Carthew) and my Husband’s Grandfather (Goodwin) built a house further along (can’t remember the number). Descendants of these two families still live within two blocks of these houses. My Husband was born on Woodfield (across from the school) 80 years ago and we still live on Woodfield – 51 years. The “apple” doesn’t fall too far from the tree”. Also, my Husband’s paternal Grandparents lived on Rhodes Ave since the early 1900s. Many changes have taken place in the area but we were particularly interested in the photos. Many happy memories!

    1. Thank you, Sandra, for your kind words. I love to hear from families from the neighbourhood. It brings it alive for me and the whole point of local history, I think, is to help people connect with the place the live in and hopefully cherish it. Regards, Joanne

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