Posts Tagged ‘Theosophical Society’

The other day I was walking a section of Dufferin Street,  I came across this Heritage Toronto plaque in a little park at Dufferin and Briar Hill.

Heritage Toronto plaque for the community of Fairbank

“European farmers began a community here in the early 19th century on land that was included in the 1805 Toronto Purchase treaty between the Mississauga of the Credit River and the British Crown. When a post office was established in 1874, the area was named Fairbank after a farm belonging to settler Matthew Parsons.
By 1881, about 17 families lived in the community, near the present-day intersection of Dufferin Street, Vaughan Road, and Eglinton Avenue. The Fairbank Wesleyan Methodist Church was constructed in 1889 with bricks made in a local kiln, the building still stands across the street. When he died in his nineties in 1924, Isaac Dollery, a carpenter and early settler, had witnessed his community evolve from a farming outpost to a suburb of Toronto.
Land in Fairbank was subdivided in 1890, coinciding with the construction of the Belt Line Railway commuter line. The railway made travel to Toronto easy, yet the line failed financially and ceased operation in 1894, after only two years.
Between the world ward, residential development grew and the streetcar arrived in Fairbank in 1924. Industries such as the Paton-Baldwin Knitting Works and Fairbank Lumber and Coal Co. also opened in the area. Fairbank was part of the City of York until amalgamation with the City of Toronto in 1998.

below: This is the church mentioned in the plaque – now part of the United Church.

exterior of Fairbank United Church, red stone church, on Dufferin Ave

sign outside Fairbank United Church, in lights, that says Let's end this together, Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Cough into your elbow.

below: By the time I had finished walking, I wanted to know more about Matthew Parsons and the community of Fairbank.  I found this map showing property owners with some of the modern streets added.  It looks like its original source was the book, “Historic County Map of York County”, published in 1860 as part of a series of map books covering the early counties of what is now Ontario.

old map showing location of Dufferin Ave, Glencairn, Briar Hill, and other streets in relation to original land owners in the area

Matthew Parsons bought the farmland in 1835 when he was only 19 years old.  Originally he owned 200 acres of land in a rectangle bounded by Glencairn, Dufferin, Eglinton, and Keele.

below: The intersection of Dufferin and Eglinton in 1919

old black and white photo of dufferin and eglinton in 1919 showing narrow dirt roads and farms

photo credit: From the City of Toronto Archives, but found online on the Fairbank Village BIA website. Follow this link if you are interested in more of the history of the area.

My walk that day did not cover all of Matthew Parson’s farmland and at one point I wandered farther east. Some of the pictures that I took that day include the following.  In general, to the east of Dufferin is residential and to the west is light industrial (as well as warehouses and wholesalers).

below: Glencairn and Caledonia, the western end of Glencairn.

a little white house with teal or turquoise trim, with signs advertising business of a psychic

below: Like everywhere around the city, you never know what kinds of posters or stickers you’re going to find on the poles.  I’m not too sure how fast they come, but they’re discreet apparently.

a sticker on a ttc bus stop pole that says believe in one love

street signs at the corner of Dufferin and Tycos

hydro poles and concrete barrier blocking access to street behind

two low rise warehouses, one is Janet Ladieswear with faded pictures of women's clothing in the window, sign beside it for Fashion Cage ladies clothing wholesale,

a fence with a no trespassing sign, with industrical building behind

below: A building with symmetrical curved walls, a hint of art deco in the architecture.   It is empty and available for sale or lease like a lot of buildings in the area (southwest of Glencairn and Dufferin)

front of a low rise brick building with curved exterior walls on either side of the entrance way

low rise brick light industrial building with an old boat parked beside it

below: Tucked in amongst the industrial buildings is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Menbere Berhan Kidest Mariam ( Saint Mary) Cathedral, consecrated in November 2012.

below: East side of Dufferin at Glencairn.

strip mall, plaza on Dufferin

below: Chalkboard notices in the window on Dufferin Street

two chalkboard signs in the window of a store

below: Trilingual car sales people.

used car lot with trilingual sign,

a row of parked cars, light trucks, and ambulances behind an auto mechanic shop

a bunch of fake flowers tied to a pole at an intersection, beside a metal box that has been painted with flowers

below: The Easter Bunny may be faded but its still happy!

happy easter bunny sign in the window of number 2841

below: She has been dancing for them, in the same spot, for so long that time has stopped.

sign in front of a framing store, epty frame on top and an old faded picture on the bottom

below: Two roses for Darosa.

a metal sidewalk box painted with two pink roses

below: Southeast corner of Dufferin and Glencairn

stores on the corner of

below: Glencairn and Marlee

a sign that says men hair cut fifteen dollars, beside the sidewalk in front of a plaza

windows, looking through 2 sets of windows, through an empty store on the corner

below: Looking north on Marlee

sidewalk lined with wood utility poles with wires, a sign for Variety store with store that sells DVDs

restaurant, white wall, three windows and old sign advertising lunch special

below: I don’t purposely go looking for redevelopment projects but I keep stumbling on them wherever I go.  This is near Glencairn and Marlee where a group of houses are all boarded up.

house, bungalow, boarded up and empty, for redevelopment

below: The backyards of these houses are adjacent to the backyard of the house above.  They are all going to be replaced with a midrise condo.

blue and white development notice in front of a small white house and a vacant lot, to be replcaed with 8 storey condo

below: As well, the strip mall, or plaza, on the other side of Marlee will be demolished.

old sign on the side of brick store that says customer parking in faded red letters and then it lists the stores in that plaza

below: Home of the Toronto Theosophical Society.

sign outside a brick building says Toronto Theosophical Society

below: A lovely old Chevrolet (early 1940s?)

old red chevrolet car parked in a parking lot
white wall, brick, painted, four large colourful flowers painted on it, 2 pink and 2 orange. Also a red heart with turquoise lines above and below, street art

below: The Allen, looking north from Glencairn.  Technically it is the William R. Allen Road but no one calls it that.  At Glencairn it is an expressway.  The road was part of the Spadina Expressway proposed in the 1950s – Metropolitan Toronto was formed in 1954 and highway building was one of its priorities.  The Spadina Expressway would join downtown with the 401 highway at the new Yorkdale Mall.    The more northerly part of the road was built prior to 1971 when the project was cancelled.   Here, at Glencairn, the road site had only been leveled and it became known as the ‘Davis Ditch’, after Bill Davis the Ontario Premier at the time.  It wasn’t until 1976 that the stretch between Lawrence and Eglinton was finished.

looking north on the Allen Expressway from the bridge over it at Glencairn, some traffic on the road, a subway track northbound on the tracks between the two sections of the Allen

below: The south entrance to Glencairn station (the north entrance looks exactly the same and is located directly across the street).  It opened in 1978.   Note the coloured glass roof.

Glencairn subway station south entrance on the side of Glencairn bridge over the Allen Expressway

below: There is a yellow glow in the interior from the stained glass roof.  The skylight roof has been refurbished; Rita Letendre’s artwork “Joy” had become very faded since its installation in 1978 .

interior of Glencairn station, escalator going down, colour yellow from the glass roof that is being refurbished

After Glencairn crosses over the Allen Expressway, it continues east all the way to Yonge Street.