Beach Triangle Heritage… Fading

Apr 15th, 2015 | By | Category: Home History, Spring 2015, Triangle History
1905 Picture of Triangle Region - Looking West

1905 Picture of Triangle Region – Looking West

Above is a view from the Fire Hall tower dating to 1906. Woodbine Ave. is horizontal in the foreground. Queen St. E. is shown from Woodbine into the distance beyond Kingston Rd. (Photo courtesy Toronto Archives).

To the left is the original Woodbine Race Course, first opened in 1874 (renamed Woodbine Racetrack, and then Greenwood Raceway in 1963. The racetrack was the oldest, continuously-operated race track in North America when closed in 1993, and demolished by 1996).

1878 and 1880 Queen Street East

1878 and 1880 Queen Street East, as seen from Queen. Note the ‘twin’ houses behind the shops.

Two of the oldest homes in the Triangle, 1878 and 1880 Queen St. E, are slated for demolition to make way for the condo development at 200 Woodbine Avenue. This article is to ensure we have a record to remember this aspect of Triangle history and heritage.

Chris Gonsalves, manager of Barber Cuts, for 14 years

Chris Gonsalves, manager of Barber Cuts, for 14 years

1878 Queen Street East: In 1901, James Lumbers of 67 Front Street acquired two lots at this location (he also built 1800 Queen East, as detailed later). By 1902, he had an “unfinished house” at 1878 Queen. The lot was valued at $150 and the house at $600. By 1903, the house at 1880 (an exact twin to the one at 1878) was complete and occupied by tenants.

Current owner of the home at 1878, Ruth Pooran (centre), who has lived there for 25 years (her father, Kris, has lived there since 1971); Lena Tinits, manager of The Wardrobe Designer for 28 years and Piret Sarapuu.

Current owner of the home at 1878, Ruth Pooran (centre), who has lived there for 25 years (her father, Kris, has lived there since 1971); Lena Tinits, manager of The Wardrobe Designer for 28 years and Piret Sarapuu.

1878 Queen Street East: In 1901, James Lumbers of 67 Front Street acquired two lots at this location (he also built 1800 Queen East, as detailed later). By 1902, he had an “unfinished house” at 1878 Queen. The lot was valued at $150 and the house at $600. By 1903, the house at 1880 (an exact twin to the one at 1878) was complete and occupied by tenants.

Renting 1878 in 1903 was William Hogan, 31 years old, with his wife, Mary Kyle, and five children. He was born in Ireland, she was born in Canada and they were married in Egmondville, Huron County, 2 June 1896. Hogan was a jeweler. The next tenant, in 1904, was Thomas C. Greenwood, an editor (we have so far found nothing of his history), who lived there with someone, perhaps his wife. In 1905, Peter C. Parker, a Baptist clergyman, moved in with his wife, Jane, and their five children. He was born in Scotland in about 1856, although his parents were born in England. He and Jane immigrated in 1884 and settled for a time in Peterborough. Their children, Agnes, Welmer, Evlyn, Clifton and Ishbel lived with them at 1878 Queen.

By 1907, 1878 was rented by Charles K. Miller, a 23-year-old jockey (he was probably attracted to this location by being able to walk across the street to Woodbine Race Course!). Although we found nothing of his history, there were seven people living in the house. The value of the property was now $250 and the house $1,100.

1880 Queen Street East: This was also a rental property. A twin to 1878, but with flipped floor plan. Through the entire period 1903-1907, 1880 was rented by Elizabeth M. Smith. In 1903 and 1904, she lived there with her husband and two children. By 1905, her husband had died and she lived on at 1880 with her children until the end of our study, in 1907.
1878 and 1880 are, possibly the oldest two homes in the Triangle, with 1878 having the edge. These twins were lost behind storefronts, and soon will be gone forever.

1864 Queen Street East: The curiously shaped, flat-roofed building on the northeast corner of Rainsford Road and Queen East in the Triangle was demolished to make way for the One Rainsford condo development.
Built in 1905-1906 by the owner, Samuel G. Thompson, at a cost of $900 and a total assessed value of $475, 1864 Queen East was one of the first homes in the Triangle. At that time, it didn’t have the addition on the front – probably added later to be retail space. It was a frame building. The connecting street was called “Hanover Road”, later named “Rainsford Road”.

The first tenants were Seth and Jane Evelyn (or Eve) Station Mawson, who lived there, somehow crammed in with their five children. City of Toronto Assessment Roles confirm them living there from 1906 to about 1918, when it was taken over by George Wong to be a laundry.

1800 Queen Street East: 1800 Queen Street East, owned by Edythe Gerrard and beautifully preserved, is one of the five oldest houses in the Beach Triangle (1778, 1878 and 1880 are of the same vintage). The earliest record found for 1800 Queen is in the 1902 Assessment Roll: “Unfinished House” on Lot 9. The home, valued then at $750, was built by James Lumbers, of General Trucking Corporation at 67 Front Street, and the property was owned until at least 1911 by his wife, Maria. Like several of the houses on Queen, the purpose was for renting to tenants. The Lumbers family owned several Triangle properties, including 1878 and 1880 Queen, and lots 14 and 15 to the east, as well as others within the area. By 1911 the value of the lot and building had skyrocketed to $1,975!

According to the Assessment Rolls, the first residents of 1800 Queen were Harry Elliott, 38 years old, a Motorman (a transit driver, probably on the Queen Street route), and his wife and child. The entire Elliott family is interred at St. John’s Norway Cemetery: Henry’s father, William Henry (1857-1937), and mother (“Polly”) Maud Laone (1854-1941), Henry’s daughters; Dolina (1902-1951) and Ruth (1911-1933); Henry (1881-1964) and his wife, Mabel (1877-1957). By 1908, John Dick, a 44-year old printer lived there with his wife and two children.

Thus we come to the end of a look into the oldest houses in the Beach Triangle and our effort to preserve a memory of those gone or soon to go.

 

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