Month: February 2016

From Farm to Shacktown to Bungalowland: Gerrard-Coxwell

City Engineers Map 1892 Showing the boundaries of the City of Toronto as “City Limit” in red. The lot lines still show, but streets hadn’t been built on them yet. The lot lines were the farm boundaries and had muddy lanes the farmers used to access their fields. Coxwell Avenue is a rough dirt road. In the 1896 map, E.H. Duggan, a real estate developer, now owns the farms between Woodfield Road at the east of the Ashbridge Estate and Coxwell Avenue. He has subdivided the area directly west of Coxwell Avenue that includes Rhodes and Craven, holding it for future development. Erie Terrace is not yet built on. Houses show on the map as little black rectangles. Rhodes Avenue is very faintly marked between Gerrard and the railway tracks. Upper Gerrard exists as does lower Gerrard but they are both not much more that rutted dirt trails. If you look carefully at the very bottom of the map at the lower right you can see an estate marked “E. Simpson”. A knitting mill was built there …

Weaving Our History: The Isaac Price House and the Underground Railroad

An interesting house from the outside, the Isaac Price House at 216 Greenwood is even more interesting in ways we cannot imagine as threads of history run through it, weaving into a larger tapestry that includes the Underground Railroad. Isaac Price and Annie Margaret Price (nee Simpson) Toronto Star, Jan. 4, 1930 Isaac Price (Ike to his friends) was born on November 18, 1854 in Bridgwater, Somerset, England, into a family where the brickmaking trade was passed down through generations. John Price was the first brother to come to Canada, arriving in 1864, followed shortly by the rest of the family and many others from Bridgwater. This large brick villa showcases the Price skill and their products. It is featured on this advertisement for Riverdale Gardens, the subdivision from Prust to Greenwood, north of Gerrard.  William Prust (1847-1927), an English shoemaker turned carpenter and contractor, lived on the west side of Greenwood just north of Annie and Isaac Price. The area was then an old orchard. Prust wanted to save the trees as much as he …