South Etobicoke in Toronto where I live is divided into three areas along the waterfront. The area on the east side is Mimico, New Toronto is in the middle and Long Branch is on the west side. Last week I took a drive over to Long Branch to check out the waterfront.
Long Branch was originally owned by Col. Samuel Smith in the early 1800s. He had a large family and he tried his hand at farming after he left military service. He apparently wasn’t a very good farmer and five of his seven children never married and continued to live in their parents’ home after they died.
In 1861, James and Margaret Eastwood purchased the old house and 500 acres of lakefront property from the Smith Estate. They cleared the timber and farmed the land. In 1883, they sold 64 acres on the eastern edge of their property to a consortium which developed it into an exclusive summer resort area. The land was subdivided into 250 villa lots where the well-off could build summer cottages.(copied from the Etobicoke Historical Society). http://www.etobicokehistorical.com/long-branch.html
Many of these magnificent ‘cottages’ still stand today. It always amuses me to think that people who lived in Toronto travelled 10 to 20 kilometres in the summer to travel to their summer homes.
Grimsby Beach Village is well known for it’s Painted Ladies or Gingerbread Houses. The community was originally a Methodist Bible Camp in the 1800s and when the tents came down they were replaced with modest cottages. In 1909 the camp went bankrupt. It was purchased by a developer who converted the area into an amusement park.
In the 1920s 30 of the cottages burned down and tourists went elsewhere. It was taken over by a Cottagers’ Association but over the years the remaining cottages suffered from disrepair. Fast forward to 1986 when a handyman Ed Giernat, purchased one of the 150-year old homes and decided to add gingerbread and other decorative trim moulding and paint his house orange, green, blue and white. Now dozens of “painted ladies” houses adorn the streets of Grimsby Beach because of Ed’s vision and his willingness to help others fix-up their homes. ( data re history came from Everyday Tourist https://everydaytourist.ca/wandering-canada/southern-ontario-road-trip-grimsby-beachs-painted-ladies)
From earlier posts you’ve probably noticed that my husband and I made a trip to Grimsby Beach last week and came across a village of very brightly painted homes. In this post I’ve concentrated on the windows. On Thursday I’ll post in Thursday Doors to feature the doors.
My submissions this week involve looking into the distance (yes there are three windmills), a black and white photo taken from behind and a coloured close-up of three dolls.
If you’d like to join Thursday Trios, simply find photos with people or objects grouped in threes and copy the link and paste it into your blog. I will comment on your contribution when I see the ping back. Enjoy!
Most of the buildings on the south campus of Humber College are from the late 18th century when the grounds were the Psychiatric Hospital. Originally built as a branch of the Toronto Asylum for the Insane, the hospital officially opened its doors in 1890 as the Mimico Asylum — the first such institution in Canada to be built on the cottage system. After the hospital closed in 1979 the buildings stood empty and in 1988 it was declared a heritage site.
When Humber signed a 99-year lease for the land and buildings in 1991, it began a complete restoration of the cottage buildings. Today the buildings have been restored to their original beauty and serve as classrooms and studios for the students. In between some of the old building a few new modern structures have been built. It’s a nice contrast between new and old.
On our outing last week to Niagara Falls I noticed a grand building high up on the cliffs and my husband told me that it was Oak Hall. Once we explored the falls, the river and Dufferin Islands we got in the car and drove up to the top of the cliff to take a closer look.
Oak Hall is a 37-room, three-story Tudor-style stone mansion that was built in the late 1920s for mining tycoon Harry Oakes. The Oakes family lived there for six years before moving to the Bahamas. Oak Hall was purchased by the Niagara Parks Commission on May 25, 1952 and for a few years, it housed displays by the Niagara District Art Association. Oak Hall currently houses 23 offices, meeting and storage rooms. Displays of Niagara Falls art and the furnished rooms are still open to the public.
The house overlooks the Niagara River and the Dufferin Islands. I can only imagine that it is a lovely place to sit in the summer while enjoying the view.
The Toronto Power Generating Station is a former generating station located along the Niagara River on the Canadian side. The building was completed in 1906 and was built by the Electrical Development Company of Ontario, hence the name inscribed above the doors. It supplied hydro-electric power to nearby Toronto, ON.
The plant is built on top of a deep wheel pit and when it functioned turbines at the bottom of the pit, turned generators at the top by means of long vertical shafts. The water from the turbines ran out at the base of the falls. In its prime, it had a generating capacity of 137,500 horsepower (102,500 kW).
The plant ceased operations on February 15, 1974. In its place Ontario Hydro used the water downriver at the power station in Queenston, ON. The plant is now vacant and was designated a National Historic Site in Canada in 1983, due to its importance in the development of business, industry and technology in Ontario. It is the first wholly Canadian-owned hydro-electric facility at Niagara Falls.
After doing a bit of shopping the other day I decided to drive down into Col. Sam Smith Park and go for a short of a walk. On my way back to the car I passed the outdoor skating rink. Even though we’ve experienced some pretty mild temperatures the rink was still operational because of the pipes under the ice.
In Toronto if you want to skate in one of the city ice rinks you have to book a time so that the area doesn’t become overwhelmed with too many people. A booth is set up outside the old Power Plant where you can sign in. The building itself is closed now during COVID but is used as a community centre.
Today my husband and I did one of our nature hikes outside of the city but the conditions were less than ideal. Although it was a beautiful, sunny and mild day the melting snow had turned to ice and walking was somewhat treacherous. After visiting a couple of waterfalls near Hamilton we decided to drive into Dundas and walk down the main street and take in the shops. Here are just a few of the interesting doors we observed on our stroll through town.