General History
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Morse Street: By The Numbers

18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations

18 Morse Street Globe, July 2, 1907

Morse Street opens and first house built Globe July 24 1883

Morse Street

John Brickenden lived on Morse Street. Toronto Star March 11, 1899 The Brickendens were well known butchers, carriage makers and builders.

Alderman Stewart lived on Morse Street and improved his grounds and painted his house in 1894. Toronto Star July 27, 1899 Before the soap factories, tanneries and other heavy industries moved in on Eastern Avenue, Morse Street was a desirable middle class location.

“There is considerable stir in real estate east of the Don.” George C. Gilmore purchased 102 Morse and a Mr. Tarlton bought 111 Morse for their own residences. Toronto Star Oct. 25, 1900

The population in the area around Morse Avenue boomed in the 1890s as heavy industry moved in and workers came to be near their job sites. Referring to schools, the Toronto Star noted, “The most crowded districts in the city are east of the Don, and in the neighborhood of the Gladstone avenue school.” Toronto Star March 12, 1901

”A progressive euchre party was given by Mr. Wm. Booth, of Morse street, at his home last evening.” Toronto Star March 15, 1901 Local butcher, ice merchant and builder, William Booth, was the source of the street name Booth Avenue.

“Mr. John Beamish, of Morse street, who was injured by falling off a load 18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations2of barrels Thursday evening, is somewhat improved.” Toronto Star April 15, 1901 Many new immigrants, primarily from Britain, moved onto Morse and the nearby streets. However, many old Leslie families like the Beamish also had a continous presence early on. The Beamish had worked in George Leslie’s nurseries in the early days.

”Miss Kingston, of Morse street, and Miss Clifford, of Louis street, are leaving to visit Niagara Falls friends.” Toronto Star April 27, 1901 Newspapers were full of items like this before 1920 as were small town newspaper right up into the 1960s.  Full of what we consider gossip, they are valuable sources of genealogical and local history.

Miss and Master Arthur Ayre, of Morse street, will return from Hawkstone to-morrow.” Toronto Star June 25, 1901 The Ayres owned the hotel at Eastern and Morse for many years.

Toronto Star June 25, 1901“Mr. and Mrs. W. Fitzgerald, of Morse street, will leave this evening on a …” Toronto Star Aug. 9, 1901 It wasn’t always wise to announce when you would be away, considering, that is, if the 18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations3burglars were literate.

”For the convenience of East End residents, a four-foot sidewalk and a railing is being carried out from the end of Morse street, to Ashbridge’s Bay, to reach the Island boat.”Toronto Star Oct. 16, 1901 Lol Solman, operator of the Toronto Island ferries and the baseball stadium on the Toronto Islands, ran a ferry for a short time from the foot of Morse Street. However, Ashbridges Bay was too shallow and it kept grounding on shifting sand bars. The service didn’t last long.

FOX FAMILY

Letta Fox, a 15-year old staying with her family on a summer’s cottage on the sandbar on Ashbridges Bay, saved a man from drowning in the deep water at the foot of Morse Street. She was on Morse Street and ran out to the end of the sewer pipe which extended into the Bay and pulled a drowning man’s head to the surface.

18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations4“The girl had not the strength to draw the victim to the wharf, but pluckily held on and shouted until assistance came.”

She had also saved another man the summer before. Her family, including father Robert Fox, were known for rescues:

“Other members of the Fox family have also rescued persons from drowning and an uncle holds the Royal Humane Society’s medal.” The so-called “water rats” of Leslieville and Fisherman’s Island were skilled boats operators, fisherman and strong swimmers — lucky for those who weren’t.

”The East End merchants are decorating for the Christmas trade.

“Mr. James Frame, of Morse street, is likely to be a candidate for alderman.”

TRUE BLUES MEET.

There was a special meeting of the members of the True Blues last night at the residence of the Grand Master, Mr. W. Fitzgerald, Morse street, to discuss important matters to be brought up at the Grand Lodge meeting next week in Barrie.”

It must have come as a deep shock to her employers when Mary O’Connor, a “drummer’ or travelling sales person, was deported back to Canada from the US on very flimsy grounds despite the fact that she had become an American citizen. Clearly misogyny was at work as the US Customs official De Barry had no valid grounds for his decision. Unmarried women were unusual in the sales business back then. Her employers, J. H. Farr and Company, had a large soap manufacturing plant at the foot of Morse Avenue on Ashbridge’s Bay near what is now Lakeshore Blvd. O’Connor had been working as a “drummer” for Farr’s in the States for some time but, as the Toronto Star sarcastically reported, “Inspector De Barry of buffalo fancied that her presence would paralyze the trade and commerce of the whole United States” and come back to Toronto, “And Miss O’Connor had to return to the land of freedom from the land of guff”.

191 Booth Ave, City of Toronto Archives, Billie Hallam, Miss Toronto 1937

191 Booth Ave, City of Toronto Archives, Billie Hallam, Miss Toronto 1937

178 Morse Street Toronto Star July 27, 1899

178 Morse Street Toronto Star July 27, 1899

176 Morse Street Toronto Star, Sept. 21, 1905

176 Morse Street Toronto Star, Sept. 21, 1905

176 Morse St., Toronto Star, Sept. 19, 1905

176 Morse St., Toronto Star, Sept. 19, 1905

174 Morse St. Toronto Star, March 28, 1904

174 Morse St. Toronto Star, March 28, 1904

66 AND 168 Morse St will Toronto Star Aug. 22, 1904

66 AND 168 Morse St will Toronto Star Aug. 22, 1904

152 Morse St. Toronto Star, Dec. 3, 1901

152 Morse St. Toronto Star, Dec. 3, 1901

148 Morse Street Ald Stewart Toronto Star Jan. 8, 1900

148 Morse Street Ald Stewart Toronto Star Jan. 8, 1900

148 Morse St., Toronto Star, Oct. 16, 1901

148 Morse St., Toronto Star, Oct. 16, 1901

148 Morse St., Toronto Star, Dec. 23, 1905

148 Morse St., Toronto Star, Dec. 23, 1905

142 Morse St. Toronto Star, Oct. 19, 1904

142 Morse St. Toronto Star, Oct. 19, 1904

131 Morse St.  Toronto Star, Sept. 11, 1907

131 Morse St. Toronto Star, Sept. 11, 1907

129 Morse St. Toronto Star, Nov. 5, 1914

129 Morse St. Toronto Star, Nov. 5, 1914

128 Morse Street  Toronto Star, Nov. 1904

128 Morse Street Toronto Star, Nov. 1904

125 Morse Street Toronto Star, Dec. 28, 1908

125 Morse Street Toronto Star, Dec. 28, 1908

123 Morse Street  Toronto Star Sept. 12, 1903

123 Morse Street Toronto Star Sept. 12, 1903

123 Morse Toronto Star Oct. 23, 1902

123 Morse Toronto Star Oct. 23, 1902

122 to 132 Morse St Toronto Star June 24, 1902

122 to 132 Morse St Toronto Star June 24, 1902

121 Morse St Toronto Star, Sept. 11, 1907

121 Morse St Toronto Star, Sept. 11, 1907

120 Morse St Toronto Star March 12, 1901

120 Morse St Toronto Star March 12, 1901

112 Morse St. Dec. 16, 1938, City of Toronto Archives

112 Morse St. Dec. 16, 1938, City of Toronto Archives

111 Morse St Toronto Star May 3, 1894

111 Morse St Toronto Star May 3, 1894

103 Morse St, Toronto Star, Oct. 28, 1905

103 Morse St, Toronto Star, Oct. 28, 1905

103 Morse Howard Ayre Toronto Star Oct. 25, 1900

103 Morse Howard Ayre Toronto Star Oct. 25, 1900

102 and 111 Morse St Toronto Star May 3, 1894

102 and 111 Morse St Toronto Star May 3, 1894

100 Morse St Toronto Star Aug. 17, 1909

100 Morse St Toronto Star Aug. 17, 1909

94 Morse Street Toronto Star April 15, 1901

94 Morse Street Toronto Star April 15, 1901

88 Morse St Globe Jan 31, 1914

88 Morse St Globe Jan 31, 1914

81 Morse St Toronto Star June 25, 1901

81 Morse St Toronto Star June 25, 1901

61 Morse St. Globe, Aug. 4, 1930

61 Morse St. Globe, Aug. 4, 1930

49 Morse St,Toronto Star Oct. 28, 1903

49 Morse St,Toronto Star Oct. 28, 1903

49 Morse St Toronto Star Oct. 27, 1903

49 Morse St Toronto Star Oct. 27, 1903

45 Morse St Toronto Star, April 27, 1901

45 Morse St Toronto Star, April 27, 1901

39 Morse Street, Toronto Star, Aug. 12, 1905

39 Morse Street, Toronto Star, Aug. 12, 1905

29 Morse Street, Toornto Star, Oct. 02, 1906

29 Morse Street, Toornto Star, Oct. 02, 1906

22 Morse Street, Toronto Star, Nov. 6, 1911

22 Morse Street, Toronto Star, Nov. 6, 1911

18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations3

18 Morse St 19020702GL Two Coronations4

This entry was posted in: General History

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Welcome to the Leslieville Historical Society's website. Please feel free to join us, to ask questions, to attend walking tours and other events, and to celebrate Leslieville's past while creating our future. Guy Anderson, President, Leslieville Historical Society and Joanne Doucette, local historian and webmaster.

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