Austin Avenue’s Ghost Creek

by Joanne Doucette This is a follow up to: Part 1: Austin Avenue blocked by A Creek Did you know that there was a creek at the east end of Austin Avenue? In 1918, the foreman of George Leslie’s nursery recalled Leslie Creek: a creek … also started near the sandpit and ran throughContinue reading “Austin Avenue’s Ghost Creek”

Urban Beekeeping, Austin Avenue, Leslieville, 1912

Perhaps nothing illustrates the value of knowing the background to your life and future than the environmental crises facing us today, including global warming and mass extinction. The bees of 32 Austin Avenue have a story to tell us about remembering the background to our lives. Collective amnesia is as if we suddenly forgot everythingContinue reading “Urban Beekeeping, Austin Avenue, Leslieville, 1912”

Riverdale Collegiate

by Joanne Doucette There is an urban legend that Myrtle, Ivy and Harriet Streets were named after local women (true) who argued so much that they could never meet so the streets don’t meet (not true). The deep ravine called “the Devil’s Hollow” had more to do with keeping the streets from meeting. The womenContinue reading “Riverdale Collegiate”

Wood’s Hotel From Mud Roads and Plank Sidewalks Part 12

William Woods, proprietor of the “Leslie Hotel,” Kingston Road, was born in King’s County, Ireland, and came to Canada in May 1853. For seven years [or until 1860] he occupied a position in the house of Robert Reford, establishing himself in the grocery and liquor business at the corner of Caroline and King streets afterwards.  From this locality he removed to the corner of Sackville and King streets, remaining there till he bought and took possession of the above hotel [in Leslieville] in 1876.  History of Toronto and County of York Ontario.  Vol. I. Toronto: C. Blackett Robinson, Publisher, 1885, 489 – 490.

Decoding City Directories to find out more about your home, your street, your city

Ever wondered who lived where your home is long, long ago? Well, I can give you some idea because I have directories from the early twentieth century and the nineteenth century. But there are no street addresses in the earlier directories. Look at this example from 1866 for Leslieville. I think you’d agree that thereContinue reading “Decoding City Directories to find out more about your home, your street, your city”

Riverdale Gardens & the Edwardian Dream Home

We think of the Edwardian period as the time when King Edward VII, Victoria’s son reigned. That is the period from 1901 to 1910. For Riverdale Gardens, this is the period when Albert Wagstaff and others opened brick yards along Greenwood near the railway tracks. William Prust, Riverdale Garden’s founder, retired from his positions inContinue reading “Riverdale Gardens & the Edwardian Dream Home”

345 Carlaw Avenue: Then and Now

345 Carlaw Avenue sits on a site by a lost creek, probably fished by the Mississauga and other First Nations for millennia. In the nineteenth century it was farmland and then market gardens, and then brick yard. Then in the early 20th Century Carlaw Avenue became the industrial heartland of Toronto’s East End and theContinue reading “345 Carlaw Avenue: Then and Now”