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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Historic Triangle Photo Worth a Second Look

By John Ellis

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The photo printed in the Winter 2006 Triangle Topics was interesting to a lot of people, so we are re-printing it here with more commentary. The photo portrays the corner of Queen and Woodbine circa 1905 (Woodbine appears to bend at Queen because of a distortion resulting from putting two photos together).

Beach Triangle Panorama circa 1905
Beach Triangle Panorama circa 1905

First, a resident called to say, “I was really thrilled to see the house I live in” – one of two houses on Queen just west of Woodbine. In fact, it is one of only four or five houses visible in the entire Triangle in this view (there were a few other houses further north on Woodbine). Just beyond these two houses is the rather odd looking building still standing on the northeast corner of Rainsford and Queen Street.

In the distance we see a rather large house on Queen near what today would be Lark. Finally, there are buildings just beyond this house and opposite the original Woodbine Race Track Grandstand that may have been the home and stables of Joseph Duggan, owner of the farm that today is the Triangle. Duggan sold the land south of Queen to Howell and Pardee, who established the racetrack in 1875. Duggan also owned the Woodbine Hotel at the intersection of Queen and Kingston Road (where the little plaza is today). Although the alley behind the houses on Queen is clearly visible, there is no sign of any of the inner-Triangle streets.

Speaking of the fire hall, Triangle Topics editor, Keith Schengili-Roberts, pointed out that the Toronto Archives dating of the photo as circa 1902 should be revised, since the photo was taken from the fire hall tower, which wasn’t completed until 1905.

Also of interest is Small’s Pond clearly visible to the right, just beyond Kingston Road, a popular recreational area for boating, picnicking, games and walking. The pond was later diverted underground and parts were filled in for development. The base and banks of the pond are still visible east of Coxwell, north of Gerrard.

Finally, looking across the racetrack to the south, there is a natural sand spit that began at Kippendavie and extended west to today’s Toronto Islands, creating Ashbridge’s Bay. In 1912 the Toronto Harbour Commission began to fill in the bay. Today, Lakeshore Boulevard, the Sewage Treatment Plant and the Port Lands are in this landfill area.

This is a most interesting photo, indeed.

Do you know of the history of your home? Share it – contact John Ellis at ellisjohn@rogers.com or at 416-694-3288.