All posts filed under: Streets

Time Travel Carlaw: Queen Street East Presbyterian and 181-183 Carlaw Avenue

Come with us way, way back to Carlaw Avenue 1921. We are going to walk up the east side of Carlaw all the way to Gerrard, experiencing some of the views and imagining some of the sounds and smells of Leslieville’s main industrial district. As we walk north away from Eastern Avenue towards Queen, we see how closely housing and factories sit. There was no city planning legislation in Ontario until just before World War One. Small working class houses line Carlaw up to Queen. Meet some new immigrants, mostly from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with some families who’ve been in Leslieville for years — Fogartys, Snooks and others.   A Presbyterian Church anchors the southeast corner of Queen and Carlaw. On November 16, 1877 local Presbyterians with the help of Rev. J.M. Cameron founded Leslieville Presbyterian Church. They worshipped in the Orange Hall (Gowan’s Hall). George Leslie, prominent nurseryman, is the first name in the Church’s register. On November 25th, 1877 they celebrated Holy Communion for the first time. Members built a new red brick …

Time Travel Carlaw: 1920s South of Eastern Avenue

Is time travel possible? Maybe not literally (yet), but with a little imagination, some good pictures, and a smidgen of narrative, the past can come alive. Use your imagination to go up Carlaw Avenue in the mid-1920s with the Leslieville Historical Society.     Foot of Carlaw Avenue, City of Toronto Archives         First stop, just south of Eastern Avenue on the shore of what is left of Ashbridges Bay. A wave of pure stink washes over you. Raw sewage in the water competes with the over-powering smells from Fuller Stanbury Co., pork packers and the penetrating stench of tallow renderers on your right hand as you face north. At your left H. B. Johnston & Co.’s tannery reeks to high heaven. But that’s just one smell and we’ve just begun. Consumer’s Gas plants on Eastern Avenue near McGee are belching smoke into the air, as are dozens of factories.         Tannery Ashbridge’s Bay, 1926 (Toronto Public Library) Looking north from Eastern Avenue at the rail overpass into the industrial heart of Leslieville, …

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 …

Leslieville

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, …