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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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History of Triangle Homes

By John Ellis

This article was originally published in the Winter 2004 edition of the Triangle Topics newsletter.

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As we accumulate more histories on Triangle homes, we see how much more there is to learn. One of our pursuits is to determine the time frames in which different parts of the area were developed.

For example, we have published a photo from 1912 of the original Woodbine Racetrack on the south side of Queen, that shows homes on Woodbine but none on the north side of Queen and none on the streets that then ended at Queen. It appears that homes along Queen and the lower ends of Lark, Lockwood, Brookmount, and Rainsford were developed later than 1912.

We have established that at least one home, at 232 Woodbine, was built in 1907. This supports evidence in the photo of the racetrack – housing was already on Woodbine by 1912.

The original zoning plans we published earlier seem to suggest that the first homes in the Triangle would be along Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue. These plans suggested that development would have spread west and south from the intersection, perhaps as early as the latter decades of the nineteenth century, but we have little direct evidence of this.

Meanwhile, the history on the home at 29 Lockwood established that houses in that block were built in 1917. However, some Triangle residents on interior streets have established that their homes were built as early as 1910. For example, our two-storey detached home, at 52 Rainsford Road, was built in 1910. Our neighbour’s home, at 50 Rainsford, is also detached but is a threestorey home with a stone foundation. The rest of the homes in the block are all semi-detached. The “elderly sisters” that were the first occupants of the semi at 54/56 Rainsford told us that our house “was already there when their house was built”.

Also, our home is on the north half of one lot and the south half of the next. What do we take this to mean? Clearly, the street lots were rearranged to accommodate different planning needs. Is it possible that the houses at 50 and 52 Rainsford were among the earliest in this block and the semi-detached houses came later under a revised lot plan?

We’d also love to know the histories of the fine homes at the intersections throughout the Triangle, for example, at the intersection of Dixon and Rainsford or Columbine and Rainsford. Were these homes built at the same time as the semi’s, or earlier, or later?

Do you have any historical records for your Triangle home? Please share it with us so we can build on our knowledge of the very special part of the Beach in which we live. Contact John Ellis at ellisjohn@rogers.com, or by mail at 52 Rainsford Road or by phone at 416-694-3288.