Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hester Drummond House - 230 Royal York Road

Hester Drummond House
© Michael Harrison 2011

The last great home still standing on Church Street (now 230 Royal York Road) is the Hester Drummond House.  The large house was designed by Gibson and Simpson, Architects and built in 1890 for Hester Doel, widow of John W. Drummond.

Hester Drummond
Biographical Record of York County 1907

The home is large, three stories tall with a turret on the north side. It was originally sited on a much larger lot with ample gardens and lawns around the house.  However in the 1960s the lot was severed and the home directly to the north was built.

John W. Drummond was born in Toronto in 1817.  His mother died when he was a child and his father was lost on a whaling expedition and never seen again.  In his youth he was apprenticed to Jacques and Hay furniture manufacturers of Toronto.  He later went to New York City to learn more about the furniture business and upon his return to Toronto in 1840 entered into partnership with his brother-in-law and established his own furniture business.  

He married Hester Doel in 1847 and they had five children.  Their eldest daughter Hester became the wife of Austin Werden, postmaster and merchant at Mimico.  John Drummond died in Toronto in 1881 and about 1890 his widow Hester and their daughter Evelyn moved to their large home in Mimico at the north west corner of Church and Drummond Street.

The house remains as a reminder of the large homes that once graced this area of Church Street (Royal York Road).

The home does not appear on the City of Toronto's Heritage inventory.

In April 2011 it was up for sale at a price of $1,070,000.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Town of Mimico 1930

This is a map of the Town of Mimico from 1930 showing the 3 wards that the town was divided into politically.  However it is more interesting for what it shows.  It includes schools, parks, municipal buildings (Town Hall, Police and Fire Station, Public Library), important institutional buildings (churches, fraternal organizations) and commercial enterprises such as lumber yards, the vast area of greenhouses in northern Mimico, as well as local businesses.  

As you can see the main commercial area was centred on the Lake Shore Road from Superior Avenue to Mimico Avenue.  There were additional businesses located along Mimico Avenue west to Church Street.  To the north of the rail line is another commercial area on the west side of Church Street (present day Royal York Road) between Simpson and Hay Avenues, and vast areas of greenhouses to the east of Church Street.  

The Town Hall (demolished) was located on the east side of Church Street north of Mimico Avenue.  The Police and Fire Station (demolished in 2012) was located on Superior Avenue just north of the Lake Shore Road (now 13 Superior Avenue), next to Connaught Hall, the Masonic Temple.  St. Andrew's Hall is located on the west side of Church Street just north of Macdonald Street.

Miles Park is located on Miles Road east of the Lake Shore Road.