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What does Pape Avenue have in common with bees, dragonflies, and basketball?

Pape Avenue looking north from Eastern Avenue – March 25, 1957
Location, location, location. Pape Avenue stretched south to the shore of Ashbridge’s Bay at Eastern Avenue.
1884 Goad’s Plan – Willow Street is now Pape Avenue from Eastern to Queen Street
(some modern street names have been added to help viewers orient themselves)
Willow Street Auction sale property, Globe, September 26, 1885
Pape Avenue looking north from 8 – March 25, 1957
Ashbridges Bay, by John Wilson, 1900, looking west towards the city of Toronto near the foot of Leslie Street
Sandbar Willow, USDA, 2011
Beaverpond Baskettail dragonfly (from the Master Naturalist course I attended at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus)
Bumblee pollen basket on leg
Women’s Basketball, Globe April 18, 1895
Ashbridge’s Bay with tall grass and willows, looking east towards the foot of Leslie Street from around the foot of Pape near Eastern Avenue.
Anibhnaabe families, including the KIchigos, frequented Ashbridges Bay up until World War I, according to oral history. Basket Makers, Mount St. Hilaire, Quebec, ca. 1870
Mi’kmaq child and woman weaving a basket, Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, no date
(where some of my ancestors came from and no doubt weaved baskets — JD)
Hanging Baskets George Leslie, Globe, May 31, 1873
Basketmaker, Globe, Sept. 25, 1925 (Fleet Street is now part of Lakeshore Blvd. through Leslieville. Some of my ancestors came from Sussex in England where baskets like these, called trugs, are made. JD)
Willow renamed to Pape, Toronto Star, June 25, 1925
The gardener for whom Pape Avenue was named.
Willow Branch changing room Leslie Beach Globe & Mail, 07 July 1938
“You don’t know what you’ve lost till its gone…” Joni Mitchell
Ashbridge’s Willow, photo by Joanne Doucette, May 18, 2009

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From Farm to Shacktown to Bungalowland: Gerrard-Coxwell

The First Landowners
The First Land Grants. The road at the bottom of the map is Queen Street, first known as Kingston Road. It is the surveyor’s base line from which they laid out the grid of lots. The road at the top is Danforth Avenue. The double lines running north to south are sidelines dividing the area into three sections. Each section is subdivided into 5 lots numbered from east to west with the name of the man who owned that farm. The Don River is at the west and what is now Victoria Park marks the boundary between the Township of York and Scarborough. The sideline between 5 and 6 is Coxwell Avenue.
1851
The First Land Grants. The road at the bottom of the map is Queen Street, first known as Kingston Road. It is the surveyor’s base line from which they laid out the grid of lots. The road at the top is Danforth Avenue. The double lines running north to south are sidelines dividing the area into three sections. Each section is subdivided into 5 lots numbered from east to west with the name of the man who owned that farm. The Don River is at the west and what is now Victoria Park marks the boundary between the Township of York and Scarborough. The sideline between 5 and 6 is Coxwell Avenue.
1878 County Atlas Map Erie Terrace - Copy
Close up of the 1878 County Atlas Map of the Township of York. I’ve turned the map on its side so that west is at the top, east is at the bottom; south is at the left and north is at the right. The map is somewhat distorted but clearly shows the layout of the various farms. Each of the farms between Greenwood and Coxwell were owned by the Ashbridge’s family and men who married into the family e.g. Sam Hill, a farmer and ice dealer.
1878 Country Atlas with modern overlay. I've turned the previous 1878 County map so that could overlay a grid with modern streets shown. It then becomes quite clear how our street system is based on the farm boundaries.
1878 Country Atlas with modern overlay. I’ve turned the previous 1878 County map so that could overlay a grid with modern streets shown. It then becomes quite clear how our street system is based on the farm boundaries.
City Engineers Map 1892

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.

1896 Goads
The First Land Grants. The road at the bottom of the map is Queen Street, first known as Kingston Road. It is the surveyor’s base line from which they laid out the grid of lots. The road at the top is Danforth Avenue. The double lines running north to south are sidelines dividing the area into three sections. Each section is subdivided into 5 lots numbered from east to west with the name of the man who owned that farm. The Don River is at the west and what is now Victoria Park marks the boundary between the Township of York and Scarborough. The sideline between 5 and 6 is Coxwell Avenue.

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 in the 1860s by one of the most enterprising and important business men in the area, Joseph Simpson (1824-1898). I will write a separate story about this intriguing Jewish businessman from Charleston, South Carolina who panned for gold in the 1848 California Gold Rush and came to Canada as a “draft dodger” because he did not want to fight for the Confederacy. Ernest Simpson, the E. Simpson on the map, was his son.

EH Duggan ad
E. Henry Duggan, Vice-President, Ontario Industrial Loan and Investment Co. advertisement, Arcade Guide and Record, Toronto, Canada (1884), Developer of Coxwell, Rhodes and Craven
1893 Goad's Atlas map shwoing the farm boundaries.
1893 Goad’s Atlas map showing the farm boundaries.

In the 1893 map Reid Avenue (now Rhodes Avenue) has been laid out north of the track. The subdivision has been registered (the numbers in the oval). South of the tracks no road has been opened up yet Erie Terrace (Craven Road) is now a registered subdivision (see the number) and has been divided up into tiny lots on its side. Coxwell Avenue has also been subdivided all along its west side to Danforth Avenue. Duggan intentionally developed Erie Terrace as a “shacktown” with tiny houses on tiny lots and no infrastructure. At the same time, he held back the farm to the west, intending it to be developed later for more lucrative lots with more substantial houses. That is why the west side of Erie Terrace (Craven Road) was not built on.

Erie Terrace ad
Enter a captionOpening Erie Terrace (Craven Rd) west of Reid Ave (Rhodes Ave) Toronto Star, May 29, 1906
1903 Goads Atlas map
1903 Goads Atlas map.

In this 1903 map, 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 in the 1860’s by one of the most enterprising and important business men in the area, Joseph Simpson (1824-1898). I will write a separate story about this intriguing Jewish businessman from Charleston, South Carolina who panned for gold in the 1848 California Gold Rush and came to Canada as a “draft dodger” because he did not want to fight for the Confederacy. Ernest Simpson, the E. Simpson on the map, was his son. Joseph Simpson grazed his own sheep where Gerrard Square is today. Only the best wool was good enough for his Toronto Knitting Mills.

1894 Map showing the 1884 City of Toronto annexations in the East End. The area in yellow is still in the Town of York and could not be systematically developed for housing until it was part of the City of Toronto because there were no water mains, sewers, fire or police services.
1894 Map showing the 1884 City of Toronto annexations in the East End. The area in yellow is still in the Town of York and could not be systematically developed for housing until it was part of the City of Toronto because there were no water mains, sewers, fire or police services.
An 1891 map given away by the Bank of Commerce showing the Ward boundaries.
An 1891 map given away by the Bank of Commerce showing the Ward boundaries.
In 1909, after a referendum, the City of Toronto annexed the areas marked with pink.
In 1909, after a referendum, the City of Toronto annexed the areas marked with pink, as well as the Village of East Toronto which lay between the two pink areas on the right of the map.
CG 1910 Goads Atlas
The First Land Grants. The road at the bottom of the map is Queen Street, first known as Kingston Road. It is the surveyor’s base line from which they laid out the grid of lots. The road at the top is Danforth Avenue. The double lines running north to south are sidelines dividing the area into three sections. Each section is subdivided into 5 lots numbered from east to west with the name of the man who owned that farm. The Don River is at the west and what is now Victoria Park marks the boundary between the Township of York and Scarborough. The sideline between 5 and 6 is Coxwell Avenue.

Duggan has developed Ashdale Avenue as a slightly more upscale working class street than Erie Terrace (Craven Road). The backyards of the houses on Ashdale extend to Erie Terrace. There are no houses, therefore, on the west of Erie Terrace — just a few sheds. The houses are little rectangular squares. The ones in yellow (all of them) are made of wood or are roughcast (stucco and wood). Erie Terrace is on the right. There are, of course, shacks scattered all over “Shacktown” but they were not considered even houses by the those who drew up this map for fire insurance purposes. So they are not marked. Morley Avenue is Woodfield Road. Applegrove became part of Dundas Street in the 1950’s.

The subdivision and lot numbers are clear on this 1910 map, making it easier to research the history of individual houses. Robin Burgoyne of Caerwent House Stories is that expert on this.

See more at http://www.housestories.ca/

1907 Dominion of Canada topographical map. Coxwell Avenue is beginning to fill in with houses and Rhodes Avenue is built up too. Erie Terrace has houses on the one side.
1907 Dominion of Canada topographical map. Coxwell Avenue is beginning to fill in with houses and Rhodes Avenue is built up too. Erie Terrace has houses on the one side.
1923 Dominion of Canada topographical map. The neighbourhood west of Coxwell is beginning to look more like that of today. East of Coxwell is not yet build up yet although real estate agents were trying! The big open area between Grenwood and Woodfield Road south of Gerrard will, in1925, become the Ulster Stadium.
1923 Dominion of Canada topographical map. The neighbourhood west of Coxwell is beginning to look more like that of today. East of Coxwell is not yet build up yet although real estate agents were trying! The big open area between Greenwood and Woodfield Road south of Gerrard will, in1925, become the Ulster Stadium. The Duke of Connaught School is marked S for school as is Roden School north of Gerrard between Ashdale and Hiawatha. The streets are lined with bungalows and larger houses. There are still a few shacks, probably being remodelled and added to, but Coxwell-Gerrard is no longer Shacktown.
Toronto Star Jan 21 1924
Street name changes Toronto Star, Jan. 24, 1924
A 1947 Dominion of Canada aerial photo.
A 1947 Dominion of Canada aerial photo.
Goad's Map 1910. I have added labels.
Goad’s Map 1910. I have added labels.

I know many people may not enjoy maps. So I put this one last map in as a reward for those who don’t like maps but read this post anyway.

Flat Earth - Copy
A “Flat Earth” map from the 19th Century. Some days I do hope angels are holding the whole thing up!
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There’s a crack in everything

liberty_bell_2008
The Liberty Bell
Photo by Tony the Misfit on Flickr – [1], CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11201228

Well, to paraphrase as Leonard Cohen sang, “Everything has a crack in it, that’s how the light gets in…”

Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in


From Anthem by Leonard Cohen

It appears I was “snookered” along with a whole lot of other people on the quote on our plaque.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  -Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)

It appears that Harriet Tubman did not say the words attributed to her on the plaque.

https://gizmodo.com/even-google-got-fooled-by-a-fake-harriet-tubman-quote-1772260111

Thanks to Toronto historian Kathy Grant, I’m aware of the problem with the plaque wording.

Here’s the back story. We did our best three years ago in terms of due diligence, believing our sources were valid and checking with various authorities. However, this was before the word was out there on the Net that this was very likely not Harriet Tubman’s words even though a scholar discovered that the quote didn’t begin to appear until 2007. http://www.harriettubmanbiography.com/harriet-tubman-myths-and-facts.html

Here was one of our original sources for the quote:

Barbara Lee, Renegade for peace and justice Congresswoman Barbara Lee speaks for me, 2008 cover
Barbara Lee, Renegade for Peace and Justice: Congresswoman Barbara Lee speaks for Me, 2008 see p. 125

Our own [belated] search for original 19th century sources came up with nothing, no evidence that Harriet Tubman said this or anything like this. However, there is an eerie echoe from another leading Black American:

How easy, then, by emphasis and omission to make children believe that every great soul the world ever saw was  a white man’s soul; that every great thought the world ever knew was a white man’s thought; that every great deed the world ever did was a white man’s deed; that every great dream the world ever sang was a white man’s dream. — W.E.B. Dubois, W.E.B. Dubois, Darkwater: voices from within the veil, 1920, p. 2

The sentiments in the quote purportedly from Harriet Tubman are still true though the quotes we have from her are generally pithy and too the point. 

Harriet Tubman, on bringing people to Canada from Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman By Sarah Hopkins Bradford.

But the real value of the plaque is not that quote but the recognition of the people and families who came here and made their homes here after escaping slavery. Their lives were hard, marked by tragedy all too often.

March 21, 1876 The Times
But from the earliest days here in Toronto, members of Leslieville’s black community like the Cheney family were involved in the Underground Railroad. Globe, April 29, 1851

I can personally vouch for the research on that and am more than happy to share the sources with anyone who is interested. If it brings a little more light to this history through this particular crack, then good.
 
“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven”.

Harriet Tubman, Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman by Sarah Hopkins Bradford, 1869

PS We should say up front that the quote is “attributed to Harriet Tubman”.

Joanne Doucette

 

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Plaque to Underground Railroad

We hope you will be able to join us for at 11:30 a.m. on November 19, 2019, at The Logan Residences, 899 Queen Street East. The Leslieville Historical Society and The Daniels Corporation will unveil a plaque recognizing the Underground Railroad and the families who made their way to freedom, forming a black community here from the early 19th century.

Here is the wording of the plaque:

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)

Many families came to Toronto in the1800s to escape slavery, violence and oppression in the American South. They courageously followed the dangerous path to freedom via the Underground Railroad and some settled here, near the corner of Queen Street East and Logan Avenue. While a few returned south after the Civil War (1861-1865), many remained, helping to forge the identity of Leslieville today.

This plaque commemorates these families: the Barrys, Cheneys, Dockertys,Harmons, Johnsons, Lewises, Sewells, Whitneys, Wilrouses, Winders, Woodforksand others who came here from Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and other States.

BY THE LESLIEVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETYWITH THE DANIELS CORPORATION AND THEIR PARTNER STANLEY GARDEN
2019

In 1793 Upper Canada passed law banning the import of slaves (first such law in British Empire (9 July). The Abolition Act decreed slave children born in Upper Canada from this day forward are to be freed when they are 25. In the 1840s and 1850s a series of American court decisions and laws tightened slavery’s grip and made escape even more dangerous. Increasingly, refugees from slavery headed to Canada, many using the secret network known as The Underground Railroad, but most travelling alone or in small family groups with no help from anyone, using the Northern Star to guide their way.

By the mid-1860s 60 to 75 black people lived here, out of a population of Leslieville’s population of about 350. We honor their contributions to our community where their descendants still live and work today.

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1909 Map: The East End

1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto East Toronto (north of Benlamond)
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto East Toronto (south of Gerrard but not including the Beach)
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto- Woodbine to Victoria Park
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto Leslieville and Riverside
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Torontonorth shore of Ashbridges B
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto Midway (north)
1909 Map of Township of York and City of Toronto Midway (south)
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TTC Greenwood Avenue Yard A Visual History

Globe and Mail, February 15, 1956
Toronto Star, Nov. 1, 1957
Globe and Mail, April 22, 1959
Toronto Star, February 22, 1966 Advance Subway Information regarding the new Bloor-Danforth Subway Stations
Toronto Star, Feb 6 1966 East West Line Opens
Toronto Star Feb 26 1966

1965 Photographs of new Greenwood Yard follow

Photos from the TTC Greenwood Yard, 1965
TTC Greenwood Yard, photo by Joanne Doucette 2010
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Some assorted maps

1802 Chewitt map
detail 1802 Chewitt map (digitally enhanced)
A new map of Upper and Lower Canada, 1807
1810 Map of Don River and nearby creeks
1811
1813
1813 Sketch of the ground in advance of and including York, Upper Canada
York, 1814
1817 Plan of York
Plan of the Town of York, 1818, unknown
1819
1833 Bonnycastle No.1 Plan of the Town and Harbour of York
1834
Toronto in 1834
1837
1843
1846 Holloway map
1846
1851
1851 Detail showing the subdivision near the Leslie Street School
1857
Boulton, W. S. Atlas of the City of Toronto and Vicinity, 1858 detail
1860 Tremaine map of Leslieville and Beach
1868
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The Secret History of Our East End Streets: 1 – 17 Austin Avenue

London, England has a BBC show, The Secret History of Our Streets. The series claims to explore “the history of archetypal streets in Britain, which reveal the story of a nation.” Our streets are just as interesting and our stories goes back millennia before Austin Avenue existed to when Leslie Creek was full of salmon and Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee and Wendat gathered wild rice in Ashbridge’s Bay. I hope you enjoy this page. My research ends in 1919, a century ago. I have not explored the history of every family, Austin Avenue has more secrets to tell.

Here are some of those stories — those from 2 to 17 Austin Avenue

2 Austin Avenue

Walter Gray was born on November 9, 1857 in at Gray’s Mills, York Township, now part of the Donalda Golf and Country Club. He married Annie Emma Clifford on January 30, 1884 and they had five children in 11 years. The Grays had a grocery store at 2 Austin Avenue and lived above the store. They moved to 100 Boulton Avenue about ten years later.

His wife Annie Emma passed away on July 29, 1916, on Bolton Avenue, at the age of 49. They had been married 32 years. Walter Gray died on April 8, 1938, in Dunnville, Ontario, at the age of 80.

Son William John was born on December 19, 1885, in Toronto, Ontario. He Gray married Annie Mary Norris on June 28, 1907, in Toronto. They had two children during their marriage. He died in 1948 at the age of 63, and was buried near his parents. Annie Mary Norris died in 1960 and was laid to rest next to her husband. The Gray family plot is in Saint Johns Norway Cemetery and Crematorium, Woodbine Avenue.

Ironically both the Gray family homestead and Leslie Street School principal Thomas Hogarth’s house have been honoured with historical plaques.

2 Austin Avenue, Many of these small family businesses have been converted into homes. Globe, May 25, 1909

4 Austin Avenue

4 Austin Avenue was the home of Henry Bowins in 1919 and, in 1921, by widow, Mrs. Louisa (Beckett) Greenslade and her five children, ranging in age from 7 to 17. in 1921. Her husband, William Henry Greenslade, a market gardener, had dropped dead of a heart attack in 1915. The family lived in Etobicoke at that time.

6 Austin Avenue

6 Austin Avenue, Toronto Star, October 6, 1918

8 Austin Avenue

8 Austin Avenue William Robertson Hodge
8 Austin Avenue, William Robertson Hodge, Circumstances of Casualty
8 Austin Avenue, Globe, November 9, 1918
8 Austin Avenue, William Hodge’s death was reported on the day the Great War ended: now known as Remembrance Day. Toronto Star, November 11, 1918
8 Austin Avenue, discharge papers for John Christopher Waldron, marked “medically unfit”.

John Christopher Waldron married William Robertson Hodge’s sister Eveleen in 1919 and was lived with her, sister Jean, and their mother, Mary. Like his brother in law he was a tall man for the time (5’11”) and fit. He was an Irish Catholic while Eveleen Hodge was an Irish Protestant. Both were from Dublin. Unlike his brother-in-law, he was not conscripted but volunteered. Like his brother-in-law he was hit by shellfire. Clearly from the medical records doctors had a hard time identifying just what was wrong with Pte. Waldron, apart from flat feet which was easy. The blast buried Waldron completely under mud, timbers and rubble, causing a severe concussion and what was known as “shell shock “. He died in 1964.

10 Austin Avenue

10 Austin Avenue: Highway Robbery Globe, September 10, 1909

It appears that Mrs. Robinson at 10 Austin Avenue took in lodgers, as many widows did. Since the lodgers were mostly young men who moved frequently, it is difficult to determine just which Frank Mulhern was responsible, but it appears to have been Frank Beauchamp Mulheron (1881-1917) who moved to the U.S. permanently shortly after this assault occurred. Strong-arm tactics to hijack valuable cargo was not uncommon though this was particularly audacious. Often the motive was to re-sell the produce and sometimes simply to get something to eat. The perpetrators usually knew their victims and counted on intimidation to keep the victims from reporting to the police. Gangs were a reality back then too. Timothy Lynch of 51 Austin Avenue took the law into his own hands shooting those who robbed his orchard. But that’s another story.

10 Austin Avenue, Globe, January 2, 1917

Dudley Seymour Robinson was born on July 6, 1892, in San Jose, California, USA,. Both his parents were English. He married Gladys Elsie Moffat on October 6, 1920, in Toronto. They had two children during their marriage. He died in March 1963 in Michigan, USA, at the age of 70. In 1911 he was living with his widowed mother Rosina Alice Robinson at 10 Austin Avenue and working as a Foreman in a leather shop. Dudley Seymour Robinson enlisted on February 16, 1916 and sailed to England where he became an Acting Sergeant but injured his left knee while training. A torn meniscus kept out of the trenches, he was discharged from the army on Dec. 17, 1916 and sailed on the troop ship Metagama back to Canada, arriving in St. John, New Brunswick on Christmas Day 1916. He married Gladys Elsie Moffat in Toronto, Ontario, on October 6, 1920, when he was 28 years old and they lived in an apartment on Silverbirch Avenue. His mother Rosina Alice passed away at home 10 Austin Avenue on November 9, 1922, at the age of 55 from pneumonia. After his mother’s death Dudley Robinson moved to Detroit and died at the age of 70 in March 1963 in Michigan, USA.

William Edward Harrold, 14 Austin Avenue, is likely in this photo of the band of the 48th Highlanders.

14 Austin Avenue

William Edward Harrold was born in March 1873 in Monkton Combe, Somerset, England, his father, William, a wheelwright, was 54 and his mother, Amelia Ann, was 29. Though in 1871 the family owned their own home and even had a servant, Ten years later family was destitute and he was educated in a pauper school. In 1881 his father was in the Poor House as a pauper, as was William and his brothers, Alfred and Henry, but there was no sign of his mother. His father died in 1887. In 1890, at the age of 17, he immigrated alone to Canada. He was related to the Billing family, another Somerset family, for whom Billings Avenue is named. William Harrold married Ellen Sophia Eva Cox on June 15, 1897, in Toronto, Ontario. They had two children during their marriage: Alfred William Badgerow Harrold and John E Harrold. He died at home 14 Austin Avenue on November 11, 1936 of heart disease. Though he spent his working life in a foundry, his death certificate lists his true vocation: musician.

Nominal Roll and Paylist, band of the 48th Highlanders, 1904
Wheelwright Arms, Monkton Combe, Somerset, England

The Wheelwright’s Arms pub in Monkton Comb, now part of the City of Bath, was likely the family home of the Harrolds. To see photos of the pub go to: https://the-wheelwrights-arms-gb.book.direct/en-us/photos

17 Austin Avenue

Every family has stories and secrets. We don’t know why 17-year-old Kate Wellings mysteriously left home, alarming her parents. But perhaps the numerous articles about the Wellings family might hold a clue. My sympathies are with Kate. I was a teenage daughter of a man with some “unique” ideas, obsessed with politics and who wrote numerous Letters to the Editor. I was sometimes proud of him and sometimes embarrassed. Perhaps Kate felt the same or perhaps there was another reason.

The Wellings family were the first to live at 17 Austin Avenue and built the house there where Katherine “Kate” Wellings was born on January 31, 1887, but their story, like every family’s, goes back further.

An early map of Birmingham, England, showing Duddleston, now a downtown industrial area, but home to the Wellings family 150 years ago.

Father George Washington Wellings was born in 1855 in Birmingham, England, the centre of Britain’s steel industry. His grandfather had been a blacksmith. His father, George Wellings Sr., was a “steel toy maker”. However, at the time, “toys” were not the playthings we think of today, but the term meant small metal items like buttons and buckles, and was part of the jewelry trade.

In 1830 Thomas Gill described the production of steel jewelry in Birmingham, from cutting the blanks for the steel beads or studs, to final polishing in a mixture of lead and tin oxide with proof spirit on the palms of women’s hands, to achieve their full brilliance. Gill comments: No effectual substitute for the soft skin which is only to be found upon the delicate hands of women, has hitherto been met with.” from Revolutionary Players Making the Modern World, published by West Midlands History at https://www.revolutionaryplayers.org.uk/birmingham-toys-cut-steel/

George Sr. also worked as a gun maker during the 1850’s and 1860’s. This was a lucrative business during that period. Between 1855 and 1861, Birmingham made six million arms most went to the USA to arm both sides in the American Civil War. Not long after George Wellings Sr. father retired from gun making and opened a pub, The Wellington, in the Duddeston at 78 Pritchett Street. German aircraft bombed the area heavily in World War. The pub no longer remains.

For more about Birmingham’s gun making history go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2009/02/18/birmingham_gun_trade_feature.shtml

George Jr. became a jeweller specializing in engraving on gold.

George Washington Wellings married Anna Maria Johnson in 1875 in Birmingham. They and their five children immigrated to Toronto in 1884. They would have seven more children, all born in Toronto.

Walter was their first child born in Canada – at home 13 Munro Street. Dr. Emily Stowe delivered the baby. Florence was born at home 17 Austin Avenue in 1889 and was soon joined by sister Hilda Marie was born on October 4, 1891. Harold was born on July 14, 1893. Another son Howard George was born on January 1, 1896, but died two years later on March 21, 1898. Irene Wellings was born on September 18, 1897.

listing from the Canadian Trade Index 1900
Toronto Star, December 28, 1896

In 1896 George Wellings ran for Alderman for the first time and was beaten badly by brick manufacturer John Russell.

Toronto Star, January 5, 1897
Toronto Star, November 17, 1897

Wellings a proponent of the ideas of Henry George, popular at the time, but still on the fringes. For more about the Henry George Club, go to:

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2006/0306gluckman.html
or
http://henrygeorgethestandard.org/volume-1-february-26-1887/

Toronto Star, April 19, 1901

A tireless activist, George Wellings persevered. In the days before social media, Letters to the Editor had to fill the need for expressing political ideas.

Toronto Star, December 11, 1901

Unsuccessful in his attempt to enter municipal politics as an Alderman, in business George Wellings prospered, renovating his home at 17 Austin Ave and building a new factory downtown on the site of his previous manufacturing plant.

Toronto Star, July 18, 1904
Toronto Star, August 22, 1904 Building permit factory George Wellings Mfg Co, 67 Richmond Street East.
17 Austin Avenue, Globe, May 19, 1905
17 Austin Avenue, Globe, May 19, 1905

Katherine “Kate” Wellings married Albert Edward Ward in Toronto, Ontario, on November 13, 1911, when she was 24 years old.

Toronto Star, September 16, 1911

Wellings Manufacturing Company continued to proper, turning out buttons, badges, etc., what were known as “toys” in Birmingham in the mid-nineteenth century. Many thousands of Wellings cap badges, buttons and medals went overseas on the uniforms of Canadian soldiers during World War One.

Kate’s husband died of a heart attack on January 8, 1927 at their farm on the 3rd Line West, Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario.

Canadian Jewish Review, February 17, 1922
Toronto Star, May 30, 1931

George Washington Wellings passed away on May 31, 1930, in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 75. Though he tried and tried again, he never succeeded in becoming a Toronto alderman.

Katherine Wellings married James Templeman in York, Ontario, on March 27, 1937, when she was 50 years old. Both were widowed. Katherine was living at 17 Austin Avenue at the time of her marriage. James Templeman was a truck driver from Todmorden Mills. Her mother Ann Maria passed away on April 12, 1938 at her son-in-law’s home on Oakdene Crescent. Kate Wellings died in 1960 when she was 73 years old. She is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 67 Richmond Street East is now a Domino’s Pizza take-out.

To see all of this large table drag the bar below across. The table shows who lived where and when on this part Austin Avenue from 1887 when the street was born to 1921. The 1888 City Directory was based on 1887 date and there were no street numbers as it did not get mail delivery. Postal service required numbers. Joanne Doucette

1888 City DirectoryLot # Subdivision 549#1889 Directory1890 Tax Assessment Roll Occupier1890 Tax Assessment Roll Owner1890 Directory1891 Directory1894 Directory1895 Directory1900  Directory1903 Directory1904 Directory1905 Directory1906 Directory1907 Directory1912 Directory1919 Directory1921 Directory1921 Census
North
Vacant lots 3 frontage on Pape2Vacant lotsGray Walter, grocerGray Walter, grocerGray Walter, grocerGray Walter, grocerGray Walter, grocerHannigan & Gunn, grocersBest Wilbert EWells George A, Hardware
Vacant lots34Vacant lotsLowman CharlesLowman Charles ELowman Edwin CPettit John EPettit John EPettit John EPettit John EBurkholder Albert/Pettit John EKing SamuelBowins HenryGreenslade Louisa MrsGreenslade Louisa  
Vacant lots36Vacant lotsPerkins Charles EFortier William JOverdale Christian SOverdale Christian SOverlade Pauline MrsOverlade Pauline MrsMundy WilliamMundy WilliamVacantBruce CharlesBruce CharlesBruce Charles
Vacant lots38Vacant lotsField Emma GFarmery CharlesBooth AlbertBooth AlbertBooth AlbertHalliburton JamesPettit William HPettit William HBrittain Rev DavidHodge Mary MrsHodge Mary MrsHodge Mary  
Vacant lots310Vacant lotsVacantCosgrove John JMulheron Mrs SarahTurner JosephRobinson FrederickRobinson FrederickRobinson FrederickRobinson FrederickRobinson Rose MrsRobinson Rose MrsRobinson Rose MrsRobinson Rose  
White Henry312White HenryWhite HenryWhite HenryWhite HenryJarrett GeorgeDoxsee George WVacantCrawford Walter LCrawford Walter LCrawford Walter LMontgomery Norman HMontgomery Norman HMontgomery Norman HNicholson JohnMacdonald WmIreland LouisIreland Lewis
Vacant lots314Vacant lotsPrivate GroundsVacantKordell George HLiley HenryTaggart Thomas RMontgomery Norman HStewart William HStewart William HStewart William HHarrold William EHarrold William EHarrold William EWilliam Harrold
Vacant lots316Vacant lotsPrivate GroundsVacantStewart WilliamSimmonds AlfredSimmonds AlfredMurphy JohnRidley JosephRidley JosephRidley JosephRidley JosephRidley MarkRidley JosephRidley Joseph
LANEA LANE
South
Vacant lots4  frontage on Pape1Vacant lotsStore, s eStore, s.e.
Vacant lots43Private Grounds
Vacant lots45
Vacant lots47
Vacant lots49
Vacant lots711
Vacant lots713
Vacant lots815Unfinished houseTaylor EdwardClifford C HTaylor Edward STaylor ESClifford JamesFredenburg George AClifford Caroline MrsClifford Caroline MrsClifford Caroline MrsClifford Caroline MrsClifford Caroline MrsClifford Caroline MrsClifford CharlesClifford CharlesClifford Charles
Vacant lots817Wellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings, Annie M. and George WellingsWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings GeorgeWellings George WWellings George WWellings George WWellings George WWellings George WWellings George W
Private GroundsPrivate grounds
Featured

Riverdale Collegiate

by Joanne Doucette

A ghostly Riverdale Collegiate stands behind an orchard. Workers with pick and shovel fill in the Devil’s Hole or Devil’s Hollow, a ravine cut by Hastings Creek and widened and deepened by brickmakers. Nearby Harriet’s Hill shows how deep the hole really was and even the bottom of the gully there has been filled in with brickyard waste — broken bricks and cinders. Riverdale Collegiate itself was built of those deep red bricks from the local brickyards.

1910 Devils Hollow labelled
1910 map with my labels. 

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 women were all members of local brickmaking families who actually seemed to have got along quite well.

 

5
This is likely along Hasting’s Creek near Riverdale Collegiate. Note the orchard at the top of the bank. The Clay Worker, November, 1906.

Slide 22
The area was still quite rural in 1907 when Riverdale Collegiate began as can be seen in this photo of Pape Avenue looking north from about the railroad tracks.

Slide 23b
A cartoon appealing for British immigrants to come to Toronto. From the Globe, March 19, 1908. 

Canada’s immigration policy was openly racist and specifically sought white Scottish, Irish and English immigrants to counter the feared “Yellow Peril” — immigration from China and, to a lesser degree, Japan. This is clearly and, none to subtly, reflected in the poem below. John Wilson Bengough (1851-1923) was one of Canada’s leading cartoonists.

Slide 23a

British immigrants crossing the “Bridge of Tears” over the railway tracks at Union Station around 1911. It was called this because here people said goodbye to loved ones or cried because they had left everything they had to gamble on a new start in a new country. Everything they own is in their hands.

Most came in family groups like this. Mother has baby in her arms. Dad is at the back. Two teens carry the luggage and grandmother is at the back carrying another child. The grinning child on the right reflects the hope they had, but others don’t look so enthralled with Toronto.

Slide 24

At the same time that a Shacktown was growing outside the city, families like the Andersons built brick and brick-fronted houses like these west of Greenwood Avenue. The City of Toronto imposed stricter building requirements due to the danger of fire. The so-called “Fire Limits” required brick construction at least on the street facade and fire resistant cladding on the other walls. Much of that cladding was Insulbrick, a kind of asphalt impregnated with asbestos. There is still a lot of that material around, often covered with newer aluminum siding.

The Andersons, professional builders from Scotland, preferred to build solid brick, sturdy houses, like these three. Many of those still stand today near Riverdale Collegiate. (Photos courtesy of Guy Anderson)

Slide 25

After 1905 a Shacktown developed east of Greenwood Avenue on land that was still outside of the limits of the City of Toronto. A flood of impoverished British immigrants arrived here to start new lives only to find that while jobs were available (at least at first), there was no housing for them. So they bought lots at around $5 to $10 a foot of frontage and scrounged bits of lumber, old crates, tarpaper, tin and whatever could use to create their own homes. These are on Coxwell Avenue.

Slide 26
City of Toronto Building Construction Dates City of Toronto Works and Emergency Services, Technical Services, Survey and Mapping Services, Mapping Services. Produced by Patricia Morphet, September 2003 This map is on line at http://oldtorontomaps.blogspot.com/2014/06/contemporary-maps-with-historical.html

Slide 28
From Goad’s Atlas, 1913, Plate 100, showing Riverdale Collegiate. Curzon Street was later renamed Bushell Avenue north of Gerrard. Bushell may have been named after a brickmaker named Bushell who was killed in World War One. After that bloodbath the City of Toronto renamed a number of small streets after particularly courageous men who died. Another such street is Dibble near Eastern Avenue and McGee.

Skating on Hastings Creek The Devil's Hollow

December 22, 1919 Boys playing hockey on Hastings Creek. Hastings Creek crossed the Danforth just east of Jones and cut a ravine at Ravina Crescent in “The Pocket” and another gully, known as the “Devil’s Hollow” between Jones & Greenwood.

The creek continued south through the Hastings’ farm (Hastings Avenue to Alton Avenue) and across where Greenwood Park is to enter Ashbridge’s Bay between Leslie Street and Laing Street. The City filled the ravine in a number of times and finally buried the creek in the sewer system in the early 1920’s.

A staff member at the East End Garden Centre recalled when her grandfather caught fish in this pond. Others have told me of their grandparents tobogganing down the hill or skating on the pond.

Slide 29

Cattle and pigs were driven along roads leading into Leslieville from very early in the 19th century. The men and boys who managed the cattle en route were called “drovers”. Later they were brought in by train. When they reached Leslieville the animals were let loose to graze on the nutritious meadow grasses along Ashbridge’s Bay.

Some were even fed on the leftovers from the Gooderham Worts Distillery. Then they were slaughtered by butchers in the many abattoirs that were feature of Leslieville’s economy. Of the cattle that were fed on whisky mash, it is said that they died happy.

Slide 30

This is looking west along Jones Avenue just north of Riverdale Collegiate. Heavy industry lined the track, including a pork packinghouse on the west side of Jones where pigs where slaughtered. The stench was incredible especially on hot days, making nearby houses and the high school even more uncomfortable in the days before air conditioning,

Contour Map 1908 Hastings Creek labelled
This map was published in 1908 and is based on surveys done in 1907.

Lazeby 1921 TTC close up topo map Leslieville labelled
Hastings Creek has now been put underground as part of the sewer system. The penciled in line just east of Leslie Street may indicate the path of the sewer. By this time the creek was heavily polluted with industrial and human effluent. But public health was coming into its own by the 1920’s and chlorination of drinking water, immunizations against infectious diseases, pasteurization of milk, and the invention of new drugs like penicillin began to revolutionize society in ways that we often don’t recognize today. Nonetheless, the teenagers of Riverdale paid a heavy price in the First World War and Great Flu pandemic that followed. I hope the short history of the Riverdale Collegiate site that I have written will help all of us appreciate young people more through understanding the area that they grew up in.

Slide 31
Globe, Sat., Aug. 31, 1907 On the former exterior south wall, now inside an atrium, a 1965 Toronto Board of Education plaque. This is what it says: “In co-operation with the Riverdale Business Men’s Association, the Toronto Board of Education persisted in building a school on Gerrard Street, named Riverdale Collegiate Institute. The original school, consisting of a principal’s office, library, auditorium, four classrooms and two science rooms, was occupied in 1907.”  Contrary to some sources such as Wikipedia, Riverdale Collegiate Institute was first called Riverdale High School NOT Riverdale Technical School. Riverdale Technical School, founded in 1919 on Greenwood Avenue north of Danforth Avenue was renamed Danforth Technical School.

Slide 32
Colourized postcard, 1907

Slide 33
Photo from The Report of the Dept of Education 1910 By the second and third years, classes had to be held in the cloak rooms. The first addition was completed in 1910 and consisted of the assembly hall and the eight classrooms to the north and south of it.

Slide 34
Photo from Report of the Dept. of Education, 1914. Additions were built in 1914, 1922, and 1924, in accordance with the architect’s original plan for the expansion of the school.

Slide 35
Architect’s blueprint showing planned extension to Riverdale Collegiate. City of Toronto Archives.

Slide 36
Postcard of Riverdale Collegiate after 1924 when additions were added to enlarge the school further. This is likely from an architect’s drawing prepared for that extension to the school.

Riverdale_CI_From_Jones_(Phone)
CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1201756

Riverdale_CI_Crest
THE END

Featured

ON A WHEEL: A Trip for Cyclists in Eastern Suburbs, 1894

ON A WHEEL.

A Trip for Cyclists in Eastern Suburbs.

DOWN THE KINGSTON ROAD.

Beauties of Nature Which Many Miss.

SIGHTS ALONG THE WAYSIDE.

A Run From Little York to Wexford.

The Agricultural Wealth of York County viewed From the Saddle of the Bicycle.

1895 Mights Toronto Directory
1895 Mights Toronto Directory

It is questionable if one out of every ten of those in this city who possess bicycles really appreciates a quarter of the opportunities for enjoyment which it places within his reach, and it is certain if he does that he makes little attempt to improve them.

With the average rider the question of largest moment seems to be that of covering the greatest amount of space in the least possible time, and in the runs into the country which he takes once or twice a week the terminal point of his trip, and the desire to reach it as soon as possible, usually possesses his mind to the exclusion almost of everything else. He is carelessly conscious, perhaps, of a pretty country through which he may be passing, but he is so indifferent to such matters that no considerations of this kind would tempt him to deviate from the straight road leading to his goal.

18900000 Toronto Bicycle Club
1890 Toronto Bicycle Club

There are many, too, who are not constantly attempting to make or break a record, and who in their leisurely journeys succeed in obtaining all the benefit and delight which a healthy exercise and charming surroundings can give them, but who always keep to the same beaten track over which they repeatedly pass, oblivious to the fact that there is a wealth of scenic beauty lying all about them if they would only rouse themselves to seek it out.

Royal Canadian Bicycle Club 1899
Royal Canadian Bicycle Club 1899

There are indeed few cities which contain in their outskirts so many delightful spots as does Toronto.

Toronto of Today creek
Ravine Toronto

To the north, the west and the east are successions of wooded ravines, and, running along the hilltops above them shaded and, in the main, well-made roads, from which may be obtained in hundreds of places outlooks over lake and stream and meadow too beautiful for the brush of any painter adequately to portray.

All the enjoyment, whether real or fancied, which can be gathered from contact with nature and from communion with her in the secret recesses of her home, are obtainable by the people of Toronto if they would but care to know what they possess. To the bicycle rider, especially during the long summer days, these charming places should be as familiar almost as the street on which he lives. A number of the points will be indicated in other articles, and in the meantime, several of the favorite runs on the wheel will be spoken of.

1898 Cyclists Map
Detail, 1898 Cyclists Road Map of the County of York

A POPULAR TRIP.

Among the popular trips from the city is that along the Kingston road to Whitby, to which place and back again a fair rider can “wheel” without fatigue in one day.

18940113 GL Kingston Rd Queen Junction
Globe, Jan. 13, 1894

The road throughout almost is good; here and there occasionally heavy, and in some places cut up by the traffic which passes over it, but in general such as no bicyclist can reasonably complain of.

Michael Hannaford, Scarborough Heights, 1883
Michael Hannaford, Scarborough Heights, 1883

The most difficult part of it, by reason of the hills which have to be climbed, is that from the Woodbine to Highland Creek, but this, too, is the prettiest portion, containing many charming bits of scenery, and having in view the broad, blue stretch of the lake to the right.

Kingston Rd, looking south-west, Norway School
Kingston Rd, looking south-west, Norway School

Leaving the Woodbine, what is, perhaps, the least agreeable piece of the journey is immediately met with.

19180407 NARCH Wagons collided on hill on Kingston Road, Toronto, Ontario. April 7, 1918. Library and Archives Canada
Wagons collided on hill on Kingston Road, Toronto, Ontario. April 7, 1918. Library and Archives Canada

This is the half mile hill at Norway, which is certainly full of ruts at the present time and anything but pleasant wheeling especially to experienced riders. A good shower of rain, however, remedies this, and also lays the heavy dust; and when in this condition no better place could be found for practice in hill-climbing.

5269352281_08e59905d8_b

To the left of this hill, along which the electric road to Victoria Park runs, the deep and thickly-wooded ravine presents as charming a bit of scenery as could well be wished for, but at this point the rider is usually too much occupied to give it the attention it deserves.

Half-Way House, Kingston Road. - [1920?]
Half-Way House, Kingston Road. – [1920?]

At Norway the climb and the ravine both terminate, and an excellent run is offered to a considerable distance beyond the Halfway House, almost eight miles from the city.

18940113 GL Palisade Park
Globe, Jan. 13, 1894

On the short stretch from Norway to this point the road is gradually rising till the rider can command a view of the lake from the elevation of Scarboro’ Heights and especially on a fresh summer morning, before the heat of the day brings fatigue with it, the sight presented is worth a hundred-fold the labor of the run. The strong, fresh breeze from the water, carrying with it the odor of the fir trees over which it blows from the shoe; the awakening voices of the new day and the half-solitude of the country make up a condition of things the pure delight of which those who have never experienced it are unable to imagine.

18940113 GL The Lake Front
Globe, Jan. 13, 1894

At the Halfway House the rider usually halts for refreshment, and, perhaps, for breakfast or dinner. Many there are, too, who in the morning or evening run out here for the short trip, and when this is the case it is not unusual for them to seek the lake shore and enjoy a dip in the water. At this point, however, the land is some hundreds of feet above the level of the water, and the descent to the shore is somewhat of a task. From the Halfway House to Highland Creek numerous hills are met with, and one of them especially taxes the strength of the riders to surmount, but once over this part of the road the run to Whitby is easy and rapid.

18960425 GL Toll house Rouge River Kingston
Toll house Rouge River Kingston Road, April 25, 1896

The return trip is especially pleasant by reason of the fact that a great portion of it is down grade.

Cycling club in Swansea, Toronto, Canada, 1899
Cycling club in Swansea, Toronto, Canada, 1899

A CROSS-TRIP

Instead of gong on to Whitby from the Halfway House, the rider, if he chooses, can take the side line across to the Don and Danforth road, and run by it to Woburn. This road is on the whole superior to the Kingston road, being built of excellent gravel, and not being cut up so much as the other, over which a far greater amount of travel continually goes. If the bicyclist should take this road, however, he would do better by running up Broadview avenue where he meets it, take the sidewalk as far as it goes, and soon on through Little York, than by way of Norway, as he would by doing so avoid the heavy climb at the half-mile hill. From Little York half way to Scarboro-station a long ridge of gravel on the centre of the roadway, placed there for purposes of repair, renders this part not quite as good as the rest of the way, but with reasonable care a path on either side can be picked out by the rider.

1890s Danforth
1890s Danforth

These two roads, however – the Kingston and the Don and Danforth – are well known and continually travelled by bicyclists.

LITTLE YORK TO WEXFORD

House in Milne Hollow 1884
House in Milne Hollow 1884

A trip that offers many attractions and can be accomplished in a few hours is from Little York straight north to the pleasant hamlet of Wexford, about three and a half miles’ run, and, after crossing the bridge over the C.P.R., west along the side line to Millen’s Hollow, nestling beneath the hills which enclose the east branch of the Don, up the opposite bank, and along for some miles further to the west fork of the Don, and on to the second concession, which is a mile and a quarter from and runs parallel with Yonge street; due south along the second concession to Moore Park road, and by way of Reservoir Park to Yonge street.

Highlands of Toronto Moore Park

This run is principally over clay roads, and there is no more accommodation, by the way, than is afforded by forest shade and the pure water from the farm house pumps, but the trip is only a matter of from fifteen to eighteen miles and can be covered leisurely in two hours.

Artwork on Toronto, 1898, Reservoir Park
Artwork on Toronto, 1898

The roads are excellent during dry weather, except at the passages of the river, where the rider will find it to his advantage to dismount, at least in descending into the valleys, as the highway at these spots is steep, circuitous and rocky. After rain the road will be found less easy and pleasant to run on, as the farmers’ waggons are apt to cut it up while the clay is soft. The whole road, however, is full of interest to a visitor from the city, and the crossings at the river are picturesque in the extreme.

Artwork on Toronto, 1898, Scene on the Don River
Artwork on Toronto, 1898

The run form Little York to Wexford gives one a fairly good idea of the excellence and wealth of the County of York as an agricultural section. The houses of the farmers are substantial brick structures, erected with some attention to style and possessing pleasant and tasteful surroundings. The growing or ripening crops evince the richness of the soil, and the sleek and contented stock show the care which they receive at the hands of their owners. The same condition of things, indeed, prevails all along the route, broken only by the wide and untillable valley of the river.

Female cyclist wheeling bicycle up muddy hill on St. Clair Avenue West. - 1907At the point at which the Don is reached jut about Millen’s Hollow the river makes almost a half circle, opening up a wide stretch of valley, along which between the branches of the trees one catches glimpses of the running water. It is indeed a pleasant place, seated in the shade, from which to enjoy the cool breeze and pretty picture, after a sharp run.

Wheel outings in Canada and C.W.A. hotel guide women
C. E. Doolittle editor, Wheel Outings in Canada and C.W.A. Hotel Guide, 1895

IN MILLEN’S HOLLOW.

In the hollow beneath is Millen’s factory, in which blankets and other woollen goods are made, and where the families who live there rejoice in coolness in summer and shelter from the blasts of winter. The road up the opposite bank can be made in the saddle by a good rider, but the average man will find more comfort and quite as much satisfaction in walking. The road to the other fork of the Don is somewhat sandy in places, but otherwise good.

Artwork on Toronto, 1898, Reservoir Park
Artwork on Toronto, 1898

Once across the other valley and on to the second concession there is a fine road and a beautiful run to the turn to Moore Park.

1893 Woodbine GTR Bicycle Club

From the highway the rider catches a magnificent view of the southeastern portion of the city over the ravines running through Rosedale, and the eye travels with pleasure over house and garden and church steeple and away across the lake, dimly descrying the line of coast on the other side.

x65-13
Toronto Bicycle Club, 1890

The sidewalk, of generous size and in good repair, which was laid down along Moore Park road during boom days, makes good way for the rider, and he takes it without hesitation, knowing that in that spot he is little apt to meet any pedestrians. A stop at Reservoir Park for a cup of water, a short run down Yonge street, and a two-hours’ pleasant ride is brought to a conclusion.

Globe, August 2, 1894

18870600 Canadian Wheelman No. 8
Featured

The Toronto Golf Club: First 18 Hole Course in Canada

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Golf Club Grounds
Toronto World, Jan. 22, 1911 drawing
Toronto World, January 22, 1911

Globe, September 3, 1872 First article on golf
Globe, October 30, 1874 Second Globe article on golf
Globe, January 26, 1875 Third article on golf
Globe, October 4, 1875
James Lamond Smith
James Lamond Smith

An 1851 map with the log numbers. The east-west street is Queen St. (Kingston Rd in 1851). Kingston Road turns north just east of Coxwell. A small settlement is at the corner of Coxwell and Queen clustered around a steam saw mill, a tavern and a tollgate. The north south street between Lot 8 and 7 will become Coxwell Avenue. A larger village is clustered around Woodbine and Kingston Road. It was called the Village of Norway for the Norway or Red Pine that grew there so abundantly.
An 1851 map with the lot numbers. The east-west street is Queen St. (Kingston Rd in 1851). Kingston Road turns north just east of Coxwell. A small settlement, called Small’s Corners, is at the corner of Coxwell and Queen clustered around a steam saw mill, a tavern and a tollgate. The north south street between Lot 8 and 7 will become Coxwell Avenue. Lot 7 was originally granted to Paul Wilcott and sold in 1801 to John Small. A larger village is clustered around Woodbine and Kingston Road. It was called the Village of Norway for the Norway or Red Pine that grew there so abundantly.

Small's farm3
Globe, June 5, 1880

Globe, May 7, 1881 First mention of the Toronto Golf Club
Globe, June 3, 1881 Golf at Norway
Globe, October 22, 1881 Toronto vs Brantford

Globe, April 8, 1882 Small's Farm and TGC
Globe, October 6, 1883 Interprovincial
Globe, September 22, 1885

Small's Pond

East of Coxwell Avenue, Goad's Map, 1903.
East of Coxwell Avenue, Goad’s Map, 1903.
1882 Ontario Quebec tournament

Globe, August 7, 1886
Gordon T Cassels map
Map drawn by Gordon T. Cassels, from The Toronto Golf Club, 1876-1976 by Jack Batten.
Matching
Plan of Toronto Golf Club old grounds, Golf, Vol. III, No. 1 (July, 1898)
Toronto World, April 20, 1899
Toronto World, December 5, 1890
Toronto World, April 20, 1899 b
Toronto World, December 5, 1890 continued
Toronto World, December 5, 1890
Toronto World, December 5, 1890
Globe, Feb. 3, 1894
The Canadian Contract Record [Vol. 5, no. 13 (May 3, 1894)]
The Canadian Contract Record, Vol. 5, no. 13 (May 3, 1894)
The Punch Bowl from a private collection (date unknown)
Looking up the Dell from a private collection (date unknown)
Globe, June 16, 1894
Globe, June 16, 1894
Globe, June 16, 1894 Article
The Osler Cup
Globe, March 23, 1895 The Jack Gordon cleet
The Punch Bowl and Plateau from a private collection (date unknown)
The Punch Bowl and Plateau from a private collection (date unknown)
Globe, April 18, 1895
Globe, April 18, 1895
Weekly British Whig, 6 Jun 1895 (Kingston, ON)
Weekly British Whig, June 6, 1895 (Kingston, ON)
Toronto Star, October 30, 1895
1896 Fernhill, Toronto Public Library Collection
Toronto Golf Club House, “Fernhill”, ca. 1895. The photo was reproduced in Athletic Life, Vol. III, No. 1, January 1896, p. 25. Photographer Josiah Bruce also took all the photographs in the Globe article of November 7, 1896. Toronto Public Library.
18960501 TS Ladies CORRECT
Daily Maily and Empire, July 11, 1896 Collage
1
Daily Mail and Empire, July 11, 1896
2
On The Links
Daily Mail and Empire, July 11, 1896
3
Punch Bowl
Daily Mail and Empire, July 11, 1896
4
Daily Mail and Empire, July 11, 1896
A. W. Smith
Daily Mail and Empire, July 11, 1896 Andy Smith was one of Canada’s top golfers
A. W. Smith
A. W. Smith
Globe, Nov. 7, 1894
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 1
Globe, November 7, 1896 2
Globe, November 7, 1896 5
Globe, November 7, 1896 6
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 4
Globe, November 7, 1896 7
Globe, November 7, 1896 8
Globe, November 7, 1896 3
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 A1
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 A2
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 A3
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 A4
Globe, November 7, 1896
Globe, November 7, 1896 A5
Globe, November 7, 1896
Golfers, 1896. Photo by William James.
Golfers, 1896. Photo by William James. Andy Scott putting on the Toronto Golf Club grounds.
Golfers, 1896. Photo by William James. Second photo of group.
Golfers, 1896. Photo by William James on the Toronto Golf Club grounds
18961110 TS Sloane Hunter TGC
The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)]

The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)] 2
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)
Picture1
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)
The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)] 5
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)
The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)] 6
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)
The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)] 7
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)
The WEEK [Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)] 8
The WEEK, Vol. 13, no. 51 (Nov. 13, 1896)

Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 5
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 1
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 6
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 looking north west. Foreground Gerrard Street. Williamson’s Ravine is visible as is the bridge where the fence ends on the left. The Toronto Golf Club House is on the top of the hill.
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 2
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 continued
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 3
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 continued
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 4
Toronto Star, July 23, 1898 whole article.jpg
Toronto Star, July 28, 1898
Golf Magazine, Vol. III, No. 1, July 1898 Cover
Golf Magazine, Vol. III, No. 1, July 1898 Cover
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, July, 1898 International Team 262
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, page 262
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, July, 1898 p 263
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, page 263
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, (July, 1898), p. 264
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, p.264
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, July, 1898 p 265
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, p. 265
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, July, 1898 p 266
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, p. 266
Golf, Vol. III, No. 1, July, 1898 p 267
Golf, Vol. III, No. 5, October 1, 1898, International Team, p. 267
Globe, October 8, 1898
Globe, October 8, 1898
18981024 TS Lady Golfers
Toronto World, April 20, 1899
Toronto World, April 20, 1899
Toronto World, April 20, 1899 b
Toronto World, April 20, 1899
18990918 TS A W Smith was not Archie Smith
Archie Smith was the golf pro at the Toronto Golf Club — not to be confused with A. W. (Andy) Smith, the champion golfer of the Toronto Golf Club.
19010316 TS AGM
Cassels Avenue at the east side of the course is named for Walter Cassels who donated land to the Toronto Golf Club and was Captain (President)
Globe, June 11, 1901 a
Globe, June 11, 1901
Globe, June 11, 1901 b
Globe, June 11, 1901 continued The women members felt particularly threatened by the flying bullets of the In and Out Club and with good reason. The mound that was the barrier was too small and inadequate. The Toronto Police Force also practiced at this range near Small’s Pond.

Globe, August 30, 1901
Globe, August 30, 1901
Globe, September 11, 1901 a
Globe, September 11, 1901
Globe, September 11, 1901 b
Globe, September 11, 1901
Globe, September 11, 1901 c
Globe, September 11, 1901
Globe, September 11, 1901 d
Globe, September 11, 1901
Globe, September 28, 1901 1
Missing
Globe, September 28, 1901 3
Globe, September 28, 1901 4
Globe, September 28, 1901 5
Globe, September 28, 1901

19030627 TS George Cummings
George Cumming followed Archie Brown as Toronto Golf Club’s pro. He went on to be the Club’s “Old Man of Golf” and Professional for the next 50 years.
Club house (2)
By well known Canadian artist C. W. Jefferys. Note the windmill in the background for pumping water up to fill the water tank (not visible) that supplied the Grand Trunk Railway’s steam locomotives. Also note the new extension to the north side of the building.
Toronto Star, Sept. 24, 1903 a
Toronto Star, Sept. 24, 1903
Looking south September 25 1903
Looking south September 24, 1903 by C. W. Jefferys
Toronto Star, Sept. 24, 1903 new
Globe, May 11, 1904
Globe, May 11, 1904 Tea on the wide verandah is delightful.
Globe, October 4, 1904
Globe, October 4, 1904
Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, August 26, 1905 a
Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, August 26, 1905
Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, August 26, 1905 b
Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, August 26, 1905 continued
Mable Thomson winner, Toronto Star, September 26, 1906

Dorothy Campbell, Hamilton, runner up, Toronto Star, September 26, 1906
Dorothy Campbell, Hamilton, runner up, Toronto Star, September 26, 1906
Toronto Star, September 26, 1906
Toronto Star, September 26, 1906
Toronto Star, September 26, 1906 two
Toronto Star, September 26, 1906
Golfers and Caddie, 1907, by William James, Toronto Golf Club
Golfers and Caddie, 1907, by William James, Toronto Golf Club
The Canadian Courier, Vol. II, No. 6, July 6th, 1907 Hole 3
The Canadian Courier, Vol. II, No. 6, July 6th, 1907
The Canadian Courier, Vol. II, No. 13 (August 24th, 1907) Lady golfer
The Canadian Courier, Vol. II, No. 13 (August 24th, 1907)
Dorothy Campbell, from the City of Toronto Archives
Dorothy Campbell, 1908, Toronto Golf Club grounds, City of Toronto Archives
Globe, March 12, 1909
Globe, March 12, 1909 The Toronto Golf Club failed to negotiate a special deal on taxation with the City of Toronto, probably because it was political suicide for East End aldermen to support such a “goodie” for the privileged members of the Club.
Canadian Courier, Vol. VI, No. 6, July 6, 1909 stile scene
Canadian Courier, Vol. VI, No. 6, 1909 Note the stile in the background. These little steps over fences, allowed pedestrian access across fields and roads.
Canadian Courier, Vol. VI, No. 6, July 6, 1909
The Canadian courier Vol. VI, No. 6 (July 10th, 1909) bush
Canadian Courier, Vol. VI, No. 6, 1909
Globe, July 3, 1909
Globe, July 3, 1909
Globe, July 10, 1909
Globe, July 10, 1909. The shanties of “Shacktown” on Coxwell Avenue are visible in the background. The presence of these unwanted neighbours violated the club members’ sense of privacy. The lower crust stared at the upper crust through the fence and, although many local boys found jobs as caddies, the gulf between the classes made the golfers uncomfortable. Privacy was an important value to those who played “the Royal Game” then and is still now.
Toronto Golf Club 1910 Canadian Ladies’ Championship
Toronto Golf Club 1910 Canadian Ladies’ Championship
1910 Goad's Atlas
Goad’s Atlas, 1910, showing the location of the Toronto Golf Club House
Toronto Star, June 16, 1911
Toronto Star, June 16, 1911
Bridge over Small’s Creek, Upper Gerrard, Toronto Golf Club grounds, 1911
Summer, 1911, The City of Toronto’s Civic Car Line’s streetcar tracks being laid. This is looking eastward on Upper Gerrard at the bridge over Small’s Creek at Williamson Park ravine.
Canadian Courier, Vol. X, No. 22, October 28, 1911
Building Civic Car line on Upper Gerrard Street — with Toronto Golf Clubhouse in background, Canadian Courier, Vol. X, No. 22, October 28, 1911
Civic Car Line COnstruction Gerrard St E
Civic Car Line Construction – Upper Gerrard Street, 1911 – Bowmore Hill
From rattlesnake hunt to hockey, 1934, p. 189
W. Perkins Bull, From rattlesnake hunt to hockey, 1934, p. 189
Toronto World, Jan. 22, 1911
Toronto World, January 22, 1911
Globe, January 23, 1911
Globe, January 23, 1911
Globe, March 14, 1911
Globe, March 14, 1911 Harry Colt was a famous golf course designer.
Globe, April 29, 1911
Globe, April 29, 1911
Dorothy Campbell, Canadian Courier, Vol. X, No. 1, June 3, 1911
Dorothy Campbell, Canadian Courier, Vol. X, No. 1, June 3, 1911
London Standard, October 9, 1911, London, England
London Standard, October 9, 1911, London, England
London Standard, November 9, 1911, London, England
London Standard, November 9, 1911, London, England
London Standard, Feb. 1, 1912
London Standard, Feb. 1, 1912
Toronto Star, Feb. 12, 1912
Toronto Star, Feb. 12, 1912
Toronto Star, October 12, 1900
Toronto Star, Feb. 12, 1912
Globe, March 18, 1912
Globe, March 18, 1912
Toronto Star, June 18, 1912
Toronto Star, June 18, 1912 Note the somewhat misleading wording regarding sewers, roads, telephone, hydro, etc. This is what comprised “every convenience” at the time. The ad says “Every convenience is already installed in around this property”. Nothing was actually installed on the property yet and the Civic Car line wasn’t finished so there were no conveniences except golf greens. $35 dollars a foot frontage was expensive in those days. Craven Road sold for $5 and free lumber.
Toronto Star, June 19, 1912
Toronto Star, June 19, 1912 The Toronto Golf Club was stilling playing on its grounds while Frederick B. Robins and his sales people where taking buyers out to select lots. The property was already subdivided.
Toronto Star, Oct. 21, 1912

Kelvin Park.jpg
Close up of 1912 Subdivision Map
Detail, Toronto Star, October 25, 1912
Toronto World, December 26, 1912
Toronto World, December 2, 1912 a
Toronto World, December 26, 1912
Toronto World, December 2, 1912 b
Toronto World, December 26, 1912
19130328 TW George Cumming
The new course in Etobicoke and “The daddy of them all”.
From rattlesnake hunt to hockey, 1934, p. 189 new
W. Perkins Bull, From rattlesnake hunt to hockey, 1934, p. 189
George Cummings, October 2, 1925
George Cummings, Toronto Golf Club’s Professional for 50 years
Kingston Gleaner, December 9, 1916, Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston Gleaner, December 9, 1916, Kingston, Jamaica. Canadian golf professionals spent their winters in the Caribbean working at courses there.

Afterword: After the Toronto Golf Club moved to Etobicoke

19261015ts-street-name-changes
Toronto Star, October 15, 1926
19270127-gl-street-name-changes-gainsborough-wildwood-etc
Globe, January 27, 1927
19470402ts-streets-renumbered-and-renamed
Toronto Star, April 2, 1947
00107
Goad’s Atlas, 1924, the southern part of the Toronto Golf Course Grounds is all built up as is the original few acres of 1876’s course at Queen Street East and Kingston Road.
00110
Globe, April 14, 1922
Globe, April 14, 1922 This house still remains at the s.w. corner of Gainsborough and Upper Gerrard. Kelvin Park was marketed as “The Beach Annex”.
20160822_104107_resized
The Electric House today.
Aerial shot, 1947. Dominion of Canada photo
Aerial shot, 1947. Dominon of Canada photo.

TIMELINE

DATETime line to 1912 Toronto Golf Club (Toronto Golf Club)
1801July 18 Paul Wilcott sold 200 acre property to John Small
1859Scotland hosts the first Open Golf Championship
1869James Lamond Smith introduced golf to Toronto
1873Royal Montreal is the first golf club formed in Canada, and in the present is the oldest continuously operating golf club in North America.
1876 – 1879James Lamond Smith, Captain  (President) & founder
1876Toronto Golf Club established
1876-1889Toronto Golf Club played just north of the Woodbine racetrack on leased land
1880Toronto Golf Club had 30 members
1880 – 1888R. H. Bethune, Captain (President)
1881Organization incorporated as “The Toronto Golf Club”
1886Aug. 7 Woodbine fire destroys Toronto Golf Club clubs and other equipment
1889Charles Hunter, Captain (President)
1889Toronto Golf Club evicted & Course near Queen north of Woodbine subdivided for housing.
1889Toronto Golf Club had 6 hole short course at Woodbine
1890 – 1891Col. G. A. Sweny, Captain (President)
1892 – 1893Sir E. B. Osler, Captain (President)
1894 – 1908Judge W. Cassels, Captain (President)
1894Women admitted
1894Incorporated as the “Toronto Golf Club Association”
1894Fernhill Land Company incorporated to manage the Fernhill property
1894Fernhill Land Company purchased 30 acres Fernhill & Opened Club House
1894Osler Cup presented to the Toronto Golf Club
1895 – 1910William Troughton, Steward Toronto Golf Club
1895Archie Smith, Toronto Golf Club Professional
1895April Toronto Golf Club leased fields to the east, bringing course up to full 18 holes
1895June Five Toronto Golf Club members charged with violating “The Lord’s Day Act”
1895First Royal Canadian Golf Association annual tournament
1896150 members (plus 125 lady associates)
1896A. W. (Andy) Smith returned to Scotland
1899Dec. 12 Five caddies charged under “Lord’s Day Act”
1899May Clubhouse remodeled with an extension on the back known as “the new clubhouse”.
1900George Cummings Toronto Golf Club Professional March 20 arrives from Scotland.
1900George Cummings redesigned the course
1901In and Out Gun Club
1905George Cumming wins Canada Open
1909Charles Cockshutt, Captain (President)
1909A new charter and name is again officially “The Toronto Golf Club”
1909City of Toronto annexed Midway
1910 – 1912Col. G. A. Sweny, Captain (President)
1910 – 1912J. Williams, Steward
1911Jan. Toronto Golf Club purchased land Etobicoke Creek
1912Oct. 12 Farewell dinner Club House
1912Dec. 16 Civic Car line opened
1912Jan. F. B. Robbins & Henry Pellatt buy Toronto Golf Club land for Kelvin Park Subdivision

Jack Batten, The Toronto Golf Club 1876 to 1976
An excellent history and an enjoyable read.

20151003_1425160
The graceful evergreen Wood fern grew on the sand soil under the pines of Fernhill. Other species of ferns grew in the wet rich soil of Small’s Creek ravine. Many species have “gone missing” due to the heavy use of this small ravine park.
ferns
img00118

Brandram Henderson paint, Maclean’s, April 1, 1923

This paint manufacturer operated a plant at 377-387 Carlaw Avenue for many years. This is just north of the intersection of Gerrard and Carlaw where there is a mall today.

Brandram-Henderson English Paint ca 1914. Item is a photograph of a billboard. In the background can be seen the water tower of Cowan’s Cocoa Works, 74 Sterling Road.
Construction [Vol. 5, no. 3 (Feb. 1912)]

Shacktown to Suburban Happiness: Rhodes from Hanson Street to Danforth Avenue

Rhodes Avenue north from GTR April 28, 1913
A railway siding to the old brickyard and a few scattered houses owned by market gardeners, but some houses on the west side.
Rhodes Avenue, Toronto Star, October 25, 1913
The streetcar changed everything. With transportation came population. With population came services. With services and jobs in the 1920’s, Shacktown disappeared. Toronto Star, December 16, 1912
Looking south on Coxwell Ave. Aug. 13, 1921 The Harris Coal Company, Peerless Artificial Stone and a City of Toronto Works Department occupied the abandoned clay pit between Coxwell and Rhodes north of the railway track. Now Monarch Collegiate occupies the site.
1924 Goad’s Plan
Plan of the subdivision to the west side of Rhodes Avenue, Jan. 8, 1912
Rhodes Avenue north of Hanson Street (formerly Stacey Street) is part of Tanner & Gates subdivision. Ad Monarch Park, Toronto Star, May 1, 1912
July 1, 1921 Creator: Goss, Arthur, 1881-1940 Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 52, Item 931 City of Toronto Archives http://www.toronto.ca/archives
Monarch Park ad, May 7, 1913 Soon the young men went off to war and when they came back they lived through a depression that only ended in the spring of 1923. But many had saved their money during their service for the King and the Empire. That enabled them to buy a lot in Shacktown and when the good times came in the Roaring Twenties, they built the houses you see today.
Looking south at the main entrance to Monarch Park, July 6, 1923 Creator: Goss, Arthur, 1881-1940 Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 52, Item 1132 City of Toronto Archives http://www.toronto.ca/archives
The men and women of the day fought hard for the services that they needed for themselves and their children. After having suffered so much during The War to End All Wars (World War One), they had a strong sense of entitlement and who can blame them! Monarch Park concerns, Globe, March 18, 1923
Monarch butterflies, July 21, 2010 photo by Joanne Doucette
Monarch Park playing field sits over an abandoned clay pit. Photo by Joanne Doucette.
Looking east over the ravine of lost east branch of Ashbridge’s Creek towards Monarch Park Collegiate, December 6, 2019 photo by Joanne Doucette
The Coxwell-Gerrard Facebook page area.

Action Needed Please!!!

Preserve Queen Street’s great buildings. Developers have their eye on almost all of them, if not all of them and the development business is already making its views known.

Please write in support of saving our buildings to: hertpb@toronto.ca

Here is the background info: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2021.PB22.3

My letter:

Please pass on to the Toronto Preservation Board and you have my permission to add it to the official published record.

Dear Toronto Preservation Board,

I am the author of Leslieville: Pigs, Flowers and Bricks, a history of area and am currently working on a history of Queen Street through the east end which is available digitally online at http://www.leslievillehistory.com

Consequently, I am very familiar with the buildings proposed for listing and strongly support the listing of these buildings.

We are in danger of losing our built heritage at a fast pace and listing these buildings would provide at least a minimum of protection. I should note that there is a distinct paucity of listed buildings in Leslieville. Queen Street through Leslieville has a “main street” feel thanks to these older buildings and this ambience is vital to the growth and sustenance of the businesses along the street, making it very special.

Please contact me if you require any further information as I’ve been researching the history of Queen Street for decades and have a vast amount of information.

Thank you, Joanne Doucette leslievillehistory@gmailcom

The Story of a Marsh — Now a Harbor

Ashbridge’s Bay, map from 1912
Ashbridge’s Bay painting by John Willson 1899
Ashbridge’s Marsh, Lucius O’Brien, 1873
Ashbridges Bay, John Willson, 1900
Michael Hannaford, Scarborough Heights, 1883. Ashbridges Bay on the left with the City of Toronto in the distance.
Sunset on Ashbridges, about 1909. Bay, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 248.
Ashbridges Bay, 1890s looking west towards Booth Avenue (buildings in distance are at what is now Booth and approx. Eastern Avenue).
Photograph of Lake Ontario shoreline by Joanne Doucette. Some parts of the old Ashbridges Bay may have looked similar — with a long line of sandy beach and dunes separating a shallow lagoon from the lake beyond.

Logan Avenue, 1890-1895

When we look at a photo, especially an old photo, we get the big picture but often miss the details that make the shot tell a story. And there’s even more details that unfolded once I dug into my files. They say that the devil is in the details, but so is the treasure!

We are looking north on Logan Avenue towards the Grand Trunk Railway line from the sidewalk 40 yards (36.5 metres) south of the tracks sometime between 1891 and 1895. Series consists of photographs by F.W. Micklethwaite which document the Dundas Street bridges, the Western Cattle Market Bridge, and a number of G.T.R. and C.P.R. level crossings over city streets. They were commissioned by the City Engineer’s Department, and some of the pictures were published in the department’s annual reports.
The photographer of the old photo was standing approximately where I’ve put a red X. I got out my rulers and dividers converted 40 yards to metric = 36.6 metres. The standard width for a rural sideroad back then was 33 feet or 10 meters.
The first car from the left is parked not far from where the photographer of the 1891-95 picture was taken. 401 Logan Ave – Woods Manufacturing Co., 1986 TPL
Grand Trunk Railway crossing, Logan Avenue, from south, 40 yards distant, 1891-1895 Wood pavers, not bricks, ironically were used to pave Logan Avenue, named after a brick maker.

When I looked at the photo in high resolution it was clear that Logan Avenue was paved with cylindrical cedar blocks. Cedar is rot-resistant but broke down over time and the heavy loads of bricks that horses hauled over the blocks. The ruts are visible in the picture.

Better roads were an important enticement for residents who contemplated amalgamation with Toronto. At that time most roads were either dirt, planked or covered with wood blocks. The wood blocks, about eight inches in diameter, were laid down on the street, and held together with tar. Poor people stole the blocks in winter and used them for firewood. Even without these thefts, cedar block roads did not last long. However, obtaining gravel for roads was a problem. The gravel pits at Ben Lamond were treasured.  By 1886 the City had laid almost 48 miles of cedar block pavements and 121 miles of sewers. In that year cedar block was laid down on Kingston Road from the Don Bridge to Greenwood’s Lane, the City’s eastern limit. Even walking was not easy. There were few sidewalks in Leslieville and they often were wooden, ramshackle affairs.

Image from page 274 of “Text-book on roads & pavements” (1908)

Toronto’s Progress in 1886. Public Works constructed during the year. There are now 47.83 miles of cedar block Pavements and 121.2 Miles of Sewers in Toronto. Some interest figures showing increase in all Directions.  During the year just past there have been no less than 8.75 miles of cedar block pavements constructed in the city of Toronto. During 1885 there were 6.03 miles of block pavements constructed. There are now 47.83 miles of paved streets in the city. The total mileage of streets in Toronto is 172.  The following cedar block pavements have been constructed during 1886:– Kingston Road [now called Queen Street East], Don Bridge to Greenwood’s…Globe, Jan. 1, 1887

Aldermen often preferred the cedar blocks because they were cheaper than many of the alternatives as did some property owners who resented having to pay for the “improvements” in their neighbourhood. But developers wanted good streets, good sidewalks, sewers and the City to pay for all this. John Russell must have found himself conflicted from time to time.

FAVORS CEDAR BLOCK.  Mr. George Gooderham Says That Queen Street Cannot Pay For a Better Pavement.

Mr. George Gooderham has addressed a letter to the Council regarding the proposed new pavement in Queen street from the Grand Trunk tracks to Greenwood avenue The Engineer has recommended a block pavement, but several property owners are agitating for asphalt. Mr. Gooderham states that he is a heavy property owner on that part of Queen street, and declares that as much of the land is vacant it cannot maintain the burden of a high local improvement tax. He writes;  “I consider that the Engineer has no doubt thought out what was best for the street, and for the ratepayers; further, that the property immediately benefited is not of sufficient value to warrant the laying of a more expensive pavement, and further, I consider a cedar block pavement is quite well suited for the traffic on that part of Queen street.” Toronto Star, September 8, 1900 

In June the City of Toronto called for tenders to pave Logan Avenue with cedar blocks from Queen to Gerrard. Globe June 27 1888. By August John Poucher was offering “Semi-detached, brick-fronted, six-room houses, east end” for $750 and still selling lots. (Globe Aug 11 1888) John Love was a well known contractor and may have been the builder.   In September, sidewalks went on Booth (now formerly Bangor) to Paisley (formerly Jemima).   

In February, 1887, John Russell, local brick manufacturer, bought lots No. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, 300 feet on the north side of Natalie (Melford) west to what become Booth and 200 feet north on Logan and Booth. Globe 5 Feb 1887 Land Titles Act, 1885. Land ownership was transferred through registering title instead of using deeds. In April John Poucher, real estate agent (on behalf of John Russell) began offering lots for sale on Logan and Booth (Bangor), stating that all of the lots must be sold within a month.  In August the City called for tenders to open Booth Avenue from Queen to Natalie. At the same time the City of Toronto was opening a major trunk sewer up Logan Avenue to the Danforth, creating the infrastructure necessary for housing development.

Globe, April 23, 1887

By October Poucher was offering “choice building lots” on Logan and Booth, cheap if the buyer built at once. Lots on Logan and Booth were still available in January 1888.

In February 1888 the City of Toronto decided to build a sewer from Natalie to Paisley (Jemima) on Booth. By May of 1888, construction of the Russell Terrace on Logan, Natalie and Booth was under way. “There are upwards of 100 houses now under construction on the lots we have already sold” (Globe 24 May 1888) These were free-hold properties.

294 Logan Avenue, part of Russell Terrace

Here are a details from Goad’s Atlas plan from 1884 showing the crossing and the neighbours Thomas Mitchell (poultry dealer), John Logan (market gardener), Daniel Brook (absentee landowner and merchant), and John Russell (brick manufacturer).

The H-shaped wooden (yellow) building on Logan’s farm is likely a greenhouse. Ambrose Rudd was also a market gardener and those are very probably greenhouses as well.

A. RUDD is a native of Devonshire, England, where he was born in 1833. In 1853 he emigrated to Canada, and took up his residence in Quebec, where he stayed two years, afterwards coming to Toronto and entering into the employment of the Bank of Upper Canada. He remained two years at the bank, and then settled on what is now Logan’s Lane, where he acquired nine acres of land, and commenced the gardening business, in which he has been successfully engaged for over twenty-eight years. In 1828 he married Miss Elizabeth Tulford, of Cumberland, England, the marriage being productive of only one child, a daughter. ( Mercer Adam, History of Toronto and County of York, 1885, vol. II, p. 203)

Like Ambrose Rudd, Thomas Mitchell has a brick house (red) as well as a barn for his chickens. He may have got the bricks to build his house from his near neighbour across the tracks John Russell.

THOMAS MITCHELL is a native of Devonshire, England, where he was born in 1822, and emigrating to Canada in 1849, located first in London, Middlesex County, where he was employed by Judge Allen. The Judge removing to Toronto after Mr. Mitchell had been in his service six months, he removed with him and continued in his employment for three years. He subsequently engaged with Mr. John Cull, as foreman in the Starch Factory, with whom he remained eight years. He then began business for himself as grocer on Kingston Road, and built the first brick store east of the Don (1858). This was on the corner of Kingston Road and Scadding Street, and was known as “Mitchell’s Corner”. In 1861 he purchased a lot on Market Square, Barrie, Ontario, and built thereon the Victoria Hotel, which he afterwards sold. In 1871 Mr. Mitchell retired from business which is now carried on by his son. He purchased a private residence known as Rose Lawn, in St. Matthew’s Ward, where he now lives in ease and comfort. Mr. Mitchell married in 1852 Miss Mary Ann Joslin, of Devonshire, England, by whom he has one son and four daughters. Once only since leaving it has Mr. Mitchell revisited his beautiful native county which, with pardonable pride, he maintains is the “Garden of the World”. This trip he made in 1874. (Mercer Adam, History of Toronto and County of York, 1885, vol. II, p. 201)

Leslieville gardener, John Logan, (Logan Avenue is named after his family) was active in the City of Toronto Horticultural Society After John Logan Sr. died, his wife Elizabeth (1828-?) continued the market gardening business with the help of daughter Annie and sons William, George and John who became a brick manufacturer on Greenwood Avenue. They also owned a cottage downtown which Elizabeth operated as a store, selling their produce. John Logan, a tall shy man, preferred to look after the gardening, leaving his wife to handle the customers. John Ross Robertson describes the Logans in his Landmarks, Vol. 1, p. 126-127. What he doesn’t mention is that John Logan was instrumental in making Leslieville a welcoming place for refugees from slavery.

Detail showing sales window
Logan’s Cottage, Church St., n.e. corner Shuter St., 1888
Logan Avenue south of the tracks, 1884

John Russell (1838-1912) was probably the first to introduce new kiln technology to Leslieville. In 1894, he built a continuously-feeding kiln that could burn all year around, abolishing the brickmaker’s season. However, periodic or ‘beehive” kilns would continue to be used in Leslieville as well as the downdraft rectangular kilns The new kilns were more energy-efficient, but were not cheap, like scoved kilns. John Russell used 150,000 bricks to build the foundation for his kiln. Leslieville’s traditional brickmaking families passed down their knowledge from father to son (and from mother to daughter). They may not have welcomed innovations, but to compete with outsiders if not each other, they had to adopt new ways. Russell also was a contractor, building many houses in the neighbourhood, including the terraces on Logan Avenue and Booth Avenue. He was also a City of Toronto alderman and was characterized as a Sphinx because he rarely said a word.

John Russell married Mary Smith. They had ten children: nine girls and one boy. Their son, Joseph (1868-1925) was the brick manufacturer, politician and dog fancier who ran the brickyard where Alton, Hiltz, Dorothy, Parkfield, Stanton, and Sawden are today. The death of John Russell in 1912 triggered the sale of the brickyard at Greenwood and Queen. Real estate had to be liquidated in order to divide the Estate amongst his ten children.

Alderman John Russell, 1899

Most of the Russell land was clay pit. The largest brick house on Kingston Road (now Queen Street East) was his home and the wooden buildings around it were brick kilns, drying sheds and outbuildings for his business. Value Village is there now.

Toronto Star, December 31, 1901

Street names have changed and it can be, and is, in this case, confusing. Natalie was Melford. Booth was Bangor. Jemima is now Paisley. Logan was Fitzroy, Blong, and Sewell’s Lane.

Grand Trunk Railway crossing, Logan Avenue, from north, 25 yards distant – [ca. 1891] – [ca. 1895]
Logan Avenue crossing, 1893, the buildings on the right side of the photo were built by John Russell. John Poucher and Russell worked closely together in developing real estate. Poucher was a realtor.
Grand Trunk Railway crossing, Logan Avenue, from north, 25 yards distant – [ca. 1891] – [ca. 1895] detail
Logan, final grade GT crossing (Pape Ave, looking n. from n. of Gerrard St. E. showing CNR crossing), 1986 TPL
Logan Avenue, 1901 (looking south)

Heward’s lost creek

Lost Creeks 1909 map with labels added
Heward farm to lease, Globe, April 6, 1858
Globe, August 16, 1864 The gravel was from a deposit from the last glacier.
Toronto Star, April 11, 1907
Heward Avenue south of Queen, west side — Cracks in brickwork of house – February 5, 1912
Heward Avenue south of Queen, west side — Cracks in brickwork of house – February 5, 1912 2
Heward Avenue south of Queen, west side — Cracks in brickwork of house – February 5, 1912
A box drain, a drainage pipe made of wood, north west corner of Pape Avenue. This is the lost Holly Creek.

Hewards Creek 2015 This lost creek comes to the surface in construction excavations. Photo by Joanne Doucette