Posts Tagged ‘Alexandra Hood’

Going east to Scarborough again….   You can find Highland Creek village at the east end of Old Kingston Road while the West Hill neighbourhood is at the other end of Old Kingston Road.  This short stretch of road winds down to the Highland Creek and then back up the hill on the other side.  It was bypassed when a new wider and higher bridge was built over the river.

scarborough blue and white street sign for old kingston road, highland creek

Although this area was one of the first parts of the city that was settled, there are still lots of signs of the rural nature of the area.

split cedar rail fence between autumn leaf covered sidewalk and trees

There are plenty of signs of changes too…. but there are no glass and steel highrise condos being built out here (in Highland Creek) where the developments are just as likely to be single family homes.

development imagining of housing in large picture beside a new development, large single family homes with large trees, with real trees and grass surrounding the picture

There is a mural on the side of one of the stores, it also happens to be beside the cemetery. This is Mural 8 in the Heritage Trail by Mural Routes. “Community Spirit in Early Highland Creek, Winter 1867” the building of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.   It was painted in the summer of 1994 by John Hood, Alexandra Hood, and Zeb Salmaniw.  For more information, see a previous blog post from 2017 Heritage Trail, mural 8

The tombstone in front of the mural is for Nelson Hawkins and his wife Susan Cornell who were married in 1877. Nelson was a farmer and he and Susan raised 6 children in the area (not all lived to adulthood).

part of a mural routes mural on the side of a building, beside a cemetery. some old tombstones, autumn scenery,

old small tombstone in a cemetery with a wall behind it, mural on wall of a woman sitting by grave stones in a cemetery

Also in the cemetery is a plaque to commemorate the life of Cpl. Michael William Simpson (1948-1974) who died in Syria while on a UN peacekeeping mission – all nine Canadians on UN Flight 51 died that day.

blue plaque in Highand Creek cemetery for cpl Michael William Simpson

below: Deer by the creek in “Creekside” designed by Emily Harrison and painted by a group of youth and local volunteers in 2014.

vehicles parked in front of a large mural of a forest scene with deer, a creek,

The Scarborough Historical Society website tells the story of William Knowles who purchased land in Highland Creek in October 1802 and moved his family from New Jersey. …  “Knowles was a blacksmith and built the Township’s first smithy, making the nails for the first frame barn in Scarborough and planting one of the first orchards. His son, Daniel, kept the first store in Highland Creek, was a Commissioner for the straightening of Kingston Road in 1837 and was a prominent member of the Scarborough, Markham and Pickering Wharf Company which did an excellent business in shipping grain, timber and cord wood from Port Union to Oswego, New York and other Lake Ontario ports.”

below: Shadows on the door of St. Josephs Church.   This Roman Catholic church first served the influx of Irish immigrants who started arriving at the time of potato famine in 1847.  It was the first RC community in Scarborough.

shadow of a large tree on the wall of a church, pattern of crosses in the brickwork, steps up to the door

front of St. Josephs Roman Catholic church, including steeple

The early history of these communities is dominated by families with roots in England, Scotland, and Ireland but like the rest of Toronto, it has become much more multicultural.

below: On a quiet corner in Highland Creek, Baitul Afiyat Mosque

Mosque in Highland Creek village

below: And another mosque under construction in West Hill

behind a black wrought iron gate, construction of a new mosque

below: A short walk through St. Margarets (Anglican) cemetery reveals a more multi-cultural side of the neighbourhood.   This is just a small sample of the diversity of surnames found there.

monument stones in St. Margarets cemetery in winter, two with veerasingham surname, a zimmerman, and a de nobrega

monument stones in St. Margarets cemetery in winter with surnames quail, thoss, and nikolic

a row of old cars and trucks parked beside a road
two old red trucks

below: Another Highland Creek mural.

part of a mural, a couple walking their dog beside a creek, with trees

mural in Highland Creek, painted grey brick wall, the front of a vintage red truck has come through the wall, pile of bricks beside, a young boy in blue cap and brown overalls sits with his dog in another hole in the wall

part of a mural, a parent raccoon and a young one peer out from a hole in a stone wall

part of a mural, a young girl in blue top and blue shorts, arms upraised, like she is asking to be picked up

below: Centennial Community Scarborough consists of the southeast corner of Scarborough and includes both Port Union and Highland Creek Village neighbourhoods.

stop sign at all way stop with a toronto road sign for Ivan Road, with top part that says Centennial Community

below: This is the intersection of Kingston Road with Military Trail and Morrish Road, looking southwest towards a wide bridge over the Highland Creek.  There is an entrance to Colonel Danforth Park on the other side of Kingston Road (off the left side of the photo) but getting there is very difficult.  In the background, right side of photo, are hoardings.   Construction has begun on two 8 storey buildings, Highland Commons.

intersection of Kingston Rd., Military Trail, and Morrish Rd, large wide roads, one sign, low traffic levels, sidewalks, no people

Military Trail is a remnant of Scarborough’s first “highway built in Scarborough in 1799 by American Colonel Asa Danforth Jr.  It was a highway to connect the new town of York (i.e. Toronto) to Kingston.  The story is that the finished road was considered substandard and Danforth didn’t get fully paid.   Or maybe it was a backlash against American entrepreneurs trying to make a quick profit in Upper Canada.  Whatever the truth was, Danforth returned to the USA shortly after.

Kingston Road became Hwy 2 and was the main route to Kingston until the 401 was completed in the 1960s.

below: High And Plaza.   Strip malls or strip plazas are still plentiful.  There is talk of an Eglinton East LRT and many TTC express buses serve the area but cars still rule.

sign in a strip mall in Highland Creek, listing and advertising the businesses there such as CIBC, Scarborough Bitcoin, a pharmacy, By the Lake Dental, The Kilt Pub,

below: Proposal for a 9 storey building with 143 residential units plus retail at street level.  City infill on major routes…. and no Greenbelt is affected.
blue and white development notice in front of a strip mall on Lawrence Ave East in West Hill

below: Sign in the window: “This store is operated by Sovereign People on Sovereign Land.  We are exercising our constitutional and inherent rights.”

iroquois cannabis store in a strip mall plaza in west hill

below: Wine and yoga! Note the poster in the window about Metrolinx LRT plans on Ellesmere (just to the north).

looking in the window of In the Spirit a yoga studio and wine lounge with the motto wellness meets wicked in joyful harmony
exterior, strip mall, outside Creek Coffee Company on a sunny day

below: Morningside Ave with its red bus lanes. Looking north towards Ellesmere

Morningside Ave., looking north, from north of Lawrence to Centennial College, and U of T Scarborough. The red lanes are for buses.

below: Another stretch of Morningside, closer to Kingston Road.  Certainly not designed with pedestrians in mind. It’s scene like this that give credence to Scarborough’s nickname Scarberia.

morningside avenue, north from kingston road, some apartment buildings and trees, 4 lanes of traffic

below: Looking northeast at Galloway Road and Lawrence

2 rows of townhouses at Galloway road and lawrence in West Hill, intersection of two major streets, lots of lanes of traffic

below: Melville Presbyterian Church on Old Kingston Road.  It was built in 1852.

Melville Presbyterian Church on Old Kingston Road, red brick building with black and white steeple, on a hill, winter time, snow,

below: Very few traces of old West Hill remain.  The village got its own post office in 1879 (prior to that it was part of Highland Creek).

old two storey brick house on a hill surrounded by large trees, in the snow

below: West Hill suburbia.  There must be thousands of houses like these 1960s bungalows in Toronto and the GTA.  This street could be in Richmond Hill, Willowdale, or Rexdale.  West Hill must have had a major growth spurt in the 1960s and 1970s.

suburban street in winter, single car garages and 1970s bungalows, some trees, one car parked on the street, driveways,

tall horizontal murals on the sides of apartment buildings at Overture Blvd, on Lawrence

below:  On the southeast corner of Morningside and Lawrence is a mural painted in 2018 by BEHIND the Lines in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough.

mural at the corner of two walls, a person is peeling back a white curtain to reveal a planet and a phoenix with other things in the mural too, in front of an apartment building in Scarborough

mural in front of an apartment building at Morningside and Lawrence

below: Northwest corner of Morningside and Lawrence

intersection of Morningside and Lawrence, northwest corner, no frills grocery store, part of Morningsde commons retail

large deciduous tree with autumn gold and orange leaves towering over a fence with a street art throw up tag on it

below: garbage overflowing.  In the recent municipal elections there was a lot of talk about how something as simple as garbage collection was messed up in the city.  Although it is outsourced, it has always been problematic.  Bins get broken and never repaired.  Bins get filled and never emptied.  Now when I walk around I see how much of an issue this is.

overflowing city garbage container between sidewalk and street

below: Mayday SOS alert for a love emergency. Whoever scrawled this message probably had a more personal reason but I will use this image as my little prayer to the city. Do better. We can be more. The potential is there if we are willing to reach for it.

on a metal pole, a small painted white heart and three letters, S O and S.

poster on the outside of a store, blue wall, picture of a tree and words that say Love your hood, Birchcliff village

Birch Cliff, where one of the predominant themes is birch trees.

mural of birch tree trunks

Such as this mural on the side of the public school.

Birch cliff public school, a two storey red brick building, with a large mural of birch trees on one exterior wall

The other theme in this stretch of Kingston Road seems to be the blue and white Toronto notice of development signs and the consequent empty buildings.

Lenmore Court, an older brick apartment complex, with a blue and white Toronto notice of development sign on it

banner, density has to make sense, protest agains Atlree developers and their plan to redevelop Lenmore Court

two posters on a wood utility pole, protesting redevelopments in the neighbourhood

small mural of birch trees beside Scarborough bluffs, on outside wall beside a window with a protest sign in it. Poretesting redevelopment of parts of Kingston Road with buildings that are too big, too tall, too wide

three empty storefronts at 1557, 1559 Kingston Road, two storey buildings in shades of grey

three old two storey brick storefronts, one is Cheers restaurant painted bright red, the other is Barbers by Nature

beside a new condo building, older smaller buildings on Kingston Road, Lakeview Tavern,

looking across the street to Majestic Auto service and Fallingbrook garage, two businesses that share a building

side entrance and car door of Fallingbrook garage, mechanic, service entrance, now with a development notice sign on it

The old….

three storey red brick apartment buildings with large trees in front, one apartment has red curtains

… and the new. This is the only building that is close to being finished.   If the drawings on the development signs are to be believed, there will be several more in the neighbourhood just like it in a couple of years time.

six or 7 storey new condo development in birch cliff

below: Kingston Road is quite close to Lake Ontario. At this point the only thing between the road and the water is the grounds and golf course of The Toronto Hunt Club, a private members only club.

trees, in winter time, with snow on the ground, with Lake Ontario in the distance, Scarboruogh Hunt Club grounds

below: On the side of Legion 13 on Kingston Road is this large mural.  Painted in memory of Max Silverstein, by John Hood with help from Alexandra Hood and Asif Khan, 1991. Restored in 2010 by Blinc Studios.  It’s also part of the Heritage Trail murals, a Mural Routes project.

large mural on the side of Legion 13 building on Kingston Road, parade of soldiers

Plaque beside the mural says: “Scarborough Rifle Company marching to the Niagara Frontier, June 1, 1866. In 1862 the Scarborough Rifle Company was organized with headquarters in a school at Eglinton Avenue near Markham Road. It was the first of several militia companies formed in York County. The company was rushed to the Niagara frontier three times in 1865 and 1866 to defend Canada against the Fenians. The Scarborough Rifle Company later became No. 1 Company in the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the forerunner of Queen’s York Rangers.”

.

below: A smaller mural on the right hand side of the above one features portraits of two men, Captain Norris and Lieutenant Taber, soldiers in the Fenian Raids of 1866.

mural on side of Legion 13 building, two portraits in oval frames, Norris and Taber, Fenian Raids history

below: Another Heritage Trail  mural – “Mitchells General Store” by Phil Irish, 1998.  Mitchells store was one of the first businesses established in the Birch Cliff area.  The same store is mentioned in another Scarborough history mural just a bit north on Warden Avenue (see Scarborough Bells)

a mural on the side of a building, inside an old fashioned store with a man behind the counter and a woman shopper

yellow metal bucket hanging from a tree with evergreens and a red ribbon, also three gold christmas balls hanging with the bucket

below: An elaborate home for the birds with a tiny outpost below.

a large white bird house with a red windmill on it, behind a wrought iron fence, and a for rent sign on the fence

below: Ready for social distancing when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

an old beige arm chair, with snow it, outside beside industrial garbage bins

Molson Canadian flag outside a bar, also muskoka chairs and a carved wood bear, a Canadian flag too.

below: Buster’s ready to play

carved wooden bear, Buster, with Canada flag hockey shirt on, holding a hockey stick,

below: This guy needs a beer

posters and signs on the door of a bar

below: Looking in a window – framed pictures, old records, a trunk and a tripod.

looking in the window of a junk vintage store, framed pictures on the wall, a shelf of old records, a trunk, and other stuff

windows and entrance of Sharons Variety store on Kingston Road

below: A Beckers store, you don’t have to be that old to remember Beckers do you?  The original Beckers Milk Company was founded in 1957; they had five convenience stores that were open 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.  By 2006 when the company was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, there were 500 stores.  Most were converted to Macs convenience stores stores.  In 2013 the Beckers label was brought back and apparently there are now 45 Beckers stores.

row of two storey brick storefronts including a Beckers store with a birch tree mural on it

an old gas station that is now a used car dealership, with many cars parked outside in the snow

cars parked outside in the snow at a used car lot

below: St. Nicholas Anglican church, opened 1917.

St Nicholas church, red brick, no steeple, but a pointed roof

old two story brown brick building on Kingston Road

red wall, exterior of Fashion Sushi

below: An idea for a future walk!

Warden street sign, with traffic signals, also a sign pointing south to the Waterfront Trail

Sometimes when you search for one thing you find another.

The other day I posted pictures of the Cliffside murals in Scarborough.  When researching, them I discovered that there are other murals in Scarborough thanks to Mural Routes.  Of course, I had to go exploring!

Murals are often in parking lots or in alleys.  Last weekend I found one in a cemetery.   “Building the Addition to the Wesley Methodist Chapel, Highland Creek, Winter 1867” is on the side of a building that abuts the Wesleyan Methodist cemetery on the east end of Old Kingston Road.

below: Most of the mural.  Design and artwork by John Hood , assisted by Alexandra Hood and Zeb Salmaniw, 1994.  There is a small portion of the mural missing in this picture.  On the right is a panel that tells the story of the mural.

mural, winter scene, from about 1867, adding an addition, wood frame, onto a church, old house and store in the background. cemetery around the church, trees.

This is what the words say:

The following is an extract from the ‘The Christian Guardian’, a Methodist newspaper:
Your numerous readers will be glad to hear of the success of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at the Highland Creek, on the Scarboro’ Circuit. The above church was found to be entirely too small for the accommodation of its increasing congregation. The friends therefore decided to put an addition to the church 18 feet by 24 feet. It was re-opened and dedicated to God by divine service last Sabbath…” Wm. Tredway, Scarboro Dec 20, 1867
This mural depicts this event as it may have appeared from the northeast corner of this cemetery, looking southwest, across Old Kingston Road in mid November of 1867.

below: The William Tredway mentioned on the mural opened his first general store   at the corner of Eglinton Ave & Kingston Rd.  In 1865 he sold it and started over with a store on Old Kingston Road at Morrish Road.   It is this second store that is shown in the mural.  Tredway sold that store in 1878 to devote himself to politics as well as a career as a Justice of the Peace.

part of a mural, historic scene, old store with name W. Tedway above the door, people in period costumes, circa 1867. winter scene

part of a mural, horse drawn wagon, one man sitting at the front of the wagon, another man standing at the rear loading the wagon with lumber

men up on the roof of a new addition on a building, constructing roof joists, winter scene, old fashioned

below: The bronze plaque near the entrance to the cemetery.

bronze plaque on a stone wall in the Wesleyan cemetery on Old Kingston Road, Highland Creek, Scarborough

“This Highland Creek burying ground dates back to the reign of George III prior to 1800. On this site stood Wesleyan Methodist Church 1865-1891 merged with Bible Christian Methodist Church 1863-1891 which became Centennial Methodist in 1891 and later Centennial United Church 1925, plaque erected 1967, Centennial of Canada’s Confederation by Centennial United Church of Canada and Wesleyan Cemetery Board. “

The cemetery consists of a 1/2 acre plot.  Back in 1834 it was part of 500 acres that was acquired by Jordan and Melinda Post in trade for their 15 acres at King & Yonge.   Some of the stones predate 1834 and as mentioned on the plaque, there was a burying ground here before 1800.  The oldest stone might be that for William Pearce, son of John and Susan who died 18 Aug 1813 at age 11 years & 5 months.   Local legend says it became a burial ground when a passenger on a passing stage coach died there.

a real tombstone, surname Littlejohns, in a cemetery, with a mural in the background showing a woman kneeling by a grave in the winter, small amount of snow, no leaves on the trees

Jordan Post (1767-1845) and his wife Melinda (nee Woodruff, abt 1780-1838) were both born in Connecticut but were married in York (Toronto) in 1804.  Jordan was a watch maker and when he arrived in York in 1802 he was the first watch maker in the town.   He had other businesses as well but he probably made most of his money speculating in land.  In 1834 he moved to Scarborough township, to the location of this cemetery, where he built a sawmill.  Both Jordan and Melinda are buried here along with an unknown number of others, including other Posts and Woodruffs.   There are stones for 76 people including Ann (d. 1903) and Edward Littlejohns (d. 1887) pictured above.

below: An interesting juxtaposition – The real monument on the left is for Edith, infant daughter of Henry and Eleanor Lanktree, died 26 Sept 1872 at age 16 months.   The bottom part of other stone also mentions Henry and Eleanor Lanktree but I can’t read the inscription on the top part.

two real but old and weathered tombstones in a cemetery, with a mural of trees in winter around a cemetery where a woman sits by a grave

The church is no longer there.  It once stood next to the location of the mural with the cemetery around it.  Today the cemetery is maintained by the community.