Tuesday, March 30, 2021

History of the Town of Mimico

The Town of Mimico began as a Police Village in 1905 when it requested, and was granted powers that enabled it to gain some independence from the more rural Township of Etobicoke.  Under the terms of the bylaw passed by York County Council on January 27, 1905, Mimico was able to elect three trustees who were empowered to set local taxes in support of local services.  By 1910 Mimico had a population of almost 800 and the citizens petitioned York County Council requesting that Mimico become a fully independent Village.  The request was granted and Mimico became an independent Village on January 1, 1911.  It was now completely independent and able to elect its own political representatives and manage its own affairs.  The community continued to grow and in May 1917 the province of Ontario made Mimico a Town.  It would remain an independent municipality until 1967 when it was forced to amalgamate with Borough of Etobicoke.  In 1997 it became part of the City of Toronto. 

The boundaries of the Town were as follows:   a line running north from Lake Ontario up Dwight Avenue, over the railway tracks and along St. George Street up to Evans Avenue on the west; easterly along Evans Avenue to Church Street (present day Royal York Road) then along Algoma Street to Grand Avenue then north one block and along Manitoba Street on the north; Mimico Creek at the north east corner then westerly along the railway track to a line extending south to the end of Victoria Avenue (which was originally a short distance east of Louisa Street), across the Lake Shore Road to Lake Ontario on the east; and, Lake Ontario on the south.

There are two published histories of the Town of Mimico already known.  The first was The Story of Mimico:  Home of the Wild Pigeon, written by Edwin Eland and published in 1935.   The second was The Mimico Story, written by Harvey Currell and published by the Mimico Library Board in 1967.  I hope to provide interesting supplementary material to these two original publications. 

Do you have any photos or documents on the history of Mimico? Are you interested in keeping up to date on heritage issues in Mimico by being added to the heritage email list?  If so please contact me at mimicohistory at hotmail.com. 

All information and photographs on this site are copyrighted and may not be used without my permission unless otherwise noted.   © Copyright Michael Harrison 2011.  All rights reserved. (originally posted January 12, 2011) 

William H. Shaw House - 34 Lake Crescent

34 Lake Crescent

Built for William H. Shaw in 1934 this house is so large it had to be sited on the lot sideways.  

William Henry Shaw was born on February 3, 1893 in Oro Township, Simcoe County to Albert Henry Shaw, a farmer and his wife Maggie Febe Crook.

In the 1901 and 1911 census William was living on the farm with his family in Oro Township.

He attended Orillia Collegiate Institute and then enrolled at the University of Toronto, University College in 1914.  It must have been a difficult year for him as two of his sisters died of diphtheria within days of each other.  Lila died on November 25 at the age of seven years and two months, and Violet died on December 1 at the age of two years and eight months.  

Back at University Shaw seems to have taken a year off in 1918 and didn't graduate with a Bachelor of Arts until 1919.  (Did he take a year off school because of the 1918 pandemic?)  Upon graduation he seems to have immediately found a job with Canadian Industries Limited (CIL) (a subsidiary of du Pont), working as a chemist at their research facility in Beloeil, Quebec. 

On October 15, 1919 William Shaw returned to Ontario to marry Virginia Taylor at the Methodist Church in Parry Sound. 




Parry Sound North Star
October 16, 1919

By 1921 the Shaws had moved to Mimico living at 45 Church Street (present-day Royal York Road) and William was working at the CIL plant nearby in New Toronto.



  Canadian Industries Limited, New Toronto 1963

William and Virginia Shaw bought the house from John A Scott and John W Gibson (who built the house in 1919) on June 30, 1920 for $5,500.  John A Scott, Builder of the Town of Mimico, took back a mortgage of $1,075 which was discharged by Shaw on November 26, 1924.  The Shaws retained ownership of the house even after they moved to their new house on Lake Crescent.  It was not till February  3, 1945 that they sold it to Robert Frizell and his wife Ella Mae.  The Shaws took back a mortgage of $3,500 which Robert Frizell paid off on November 5, 1948.

Living on the edge of the Crescent Point subdivision they no doubt were familiar with the area with its curved streets and grassy boulevards and noticed a certain vacant lot on Lake Crescent next to the impressive Fred P Toms House.  

William and Virginia Shaw bought the vacant lot (Lot 103, Plan M76) where they would build this magnificent house, from Annie and Mary Ollman on September 15, 1928 for $2,000.   The Ollman sisters took back a mortgage of $1,500 which Shaw would pay off on July 12, 1939.  

The Shaws engaged Horwood & White, Architects to design their new Mimico home.  John Charles Batstone Horwood was one of the premier architects in Toronto at this time and his designs grace many of Toronto's most prominent neighbourhoods.   Horwood lived in Toronto but had a summer estate on the Mimico waterfront. 

As can be seen from the architectural plans preserved in the Horwood Collection at the Archives of Ontario, the architects designed a spacious and exquisite six bedroom house.  

From the outside it is a flawless beautiful box.  The house was built with red brick accented by quoins on all four corners, with a cornice and dentils wrapping around the entire building.  The roof is pierced by dormers to provide light to the bedrooms on the upper floor.  The south facing facade of the main floor features a large bay window (with dentils above to reflect the dentils the wrap around the building on the second floor) to provide amble light to the living room.  It is balanced by a covered verandah and balcony on the north side of the house.     

As noted above, due to the narrowness of the lot the house is sited sideways.  The main entrance is on the east side.  The main facade is asymmetrical with one bay of windows on the south side of the entrance and two on the north.  A dual stairway with a wrought iron banister topped with bronze finials leads to the front door framed by pilasters and topped by a pediment.  The six paneled door is topped by a rectangular leaded window covered by a decorative wrought iron screen.  The well executed and artful exterior was only a hint of the beauty inside.

When the Shaws walked into their new house in late 1935 (they first appear living here in the 1936 Toronto City Directory for which the information was gathered in late 1935) they would have stepped through the front door into a black travertine marble-floored vestibule and then into the stair hall. 

Once inside they would have cast their eyes on the paneled staircase which projects from the basement to the upper floor and provides organization to the house.  On the first floor they would have seen a large living room, with a fireplace, on the south side balanced by a dining room, kitchen and pantry on the north side.  Built in closets were provided adjacent to the main entrance for coats as well as the rear entrance. They would have admired the Sienna marble fireplace surround with bronze edging under a wooden mantle in the living room.  

Proceeding down the stairs to the basement the Shaws would have seen the large games room, laundry, fruit cellar, toilet and boiler room with adjacent coal room (indicating that this house was originally heated with coal).  They would have noticed that the architect even tucked the gas and water meters in a niche on the front facade wall.

Climbing the stairs to the second floor the family would have seen the den opposite the stairs.  Stepping inside they would have seen  the fireplace with built-in book shelves and cupboards on either side.  They would have noticed that the fireplace surround was identical to the one in the living room with Sienna marble surround and bronze edging.  On the south of the staircase Mr and Mrs Shaw would have walked into their spacious master bedroom with adjacent dressing room complete with built-in wardrobes next to their ensuite bathroom.  On the north side of the staircase, on the balance of the floor, they would have seen two more bedrooms, also with built-in closets, for the children.  They would have noticed that one of them had access to a balcony over the porch on the north side.  Adjacent to the two bedrooms they would have noticed the additional bathroom for the children.

Climbing the stairs up to the third floor they would have seen three additional bedrooms, all with built-in closets, as well as a storage room, and adjacent full bathroom on the same floor. 

In 1934, the same year the house was under construction, William Shaw filed a US patent for a paper container, which both he and his co-designer John J. Moriarity assigned to du Pont Corporation.  He filed a second patent in 1936 for a tobacco pouch, looking strikingly similar to the paper container, and also assigned it to du Pont Corporation.

The Shaws would live in the house for the rest of their lives.  William Shaw died in 1979 and his wife Virginia Taylor died in 1991.  They are buried together at Saint Mark's Anglican Cemetery in Oro, Ontario with other members of the Shaw family.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Frederick P. Toms House - 32 Lake Crescent

 

32 Lake Crescent

This impressive house was built by Frederick Percival Toms in 1928 within the Crescent Point subdivision launched in Mimico in 1910. 

Born in Barrie Ontario on April 15, 1885 he was the son of Frederick Toms, a contractor and Minnie E. Reddie.  His brother Charles Godfrey Toms was born on September 30, 1886 in London, Ontario.  The two brothers would never marry and would be inseparable throughout their lives. 

In February 1945 their father, based in Ottawa, died in Victoria, British Columbia from pneumonia while there on business.  He was only 45 years of age.  His remains were transported back to Ottawa and buried in Beechwood Cemetery.  Sometime later their widowed mother moved the family to Toronto and they can be found there in the 1901 census living at 60 Spencer Avenue in Parkdale.  Fred was working as a clerk for Massey-Harris Co on King Street West.

Both brothers excelled in athletics when they were young.  


Charles Godfrey Toms
University of Toronto Torontonensis, 1908

Charles - "Chad" was his nickname at university - was on the hockey and rugby teams.  He would play for the Argonauts and was captain of the hockey team in 1908 when he graduated with a degree in civil engineering (Bachelors degree in Science).

That same year his older brother Fred, a member of the Argonaut Club, represented Canada at the 1908 Olympics in London, England and won a bronze medal in rowing.

In the 1911 census the family was still living together at 56 Spencer Avenue in Parkdale but Fred was listed as the head of the family and not his mother suggesting that he was the main support for the family.  Fred had moved on from being a clerk at Massey-Harris and was now selling cars and Charles was working as a civil engineer.  Both indicated that they earned $1,800 in 1910.  Given that their father had died I wonder if Fred worked in order to put his brother through university?

It was probably around this time, though the timing is uncertain, that Charles started his own civil engineering firm - Toms Contracting Company Ltd.  Later his brother Fred would join him in the business.  

The earliest reference I was able to find for the company was in late 1912 in a publication of the University of Toronto Engineering Society.  The publication references that Charles was the general manager and the business address given is the family home on Spencer Avenue.

Their mother died of a stroke on November 4, 1913 and was also buried at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa and it appears that the family dispersed at that time.

By 1915 the brothers were based at 15 Rusholme Road.  Charles operated Toms Contracting Co. Ltd. from the home.  The home also served as the headquarters of Fred's business the Automobile and Supply Co.    

In August 1918 Charles was drafted into the Canadian military and was placed in the Canadian Engineers division with the rank of Sapper.  Given this late date he never went to Europe and was discharged from the military on November 28, 1918.  However, his military file does contain some interesting information.  It indicates that he broke his nose in 1907 and that surgery was required.  I wonder if this happened during one of his sporting events?  Either hockey or rugby?

In the 1921 census the two brothers were living together at 47 Duggan Avenue in Forest Hill.  The census indicates that they were the owners of the house so their construction company must have been doing well.

Toms Contracting Co. Ltd. was well known in the industrial building community of Toronto and district in the early 20th century.  While certainly not a comprehensive list I found references to the following projects the company worked on:
  • 1916 - Awarded the contract for additions to the Chevrolet Motor Co. plant in Oshawa, Ontario
  • 1916 - Awarded the contract to build the factory for the Dominion Abrasive Wheel Co. Ltd. in New Toronto at a cost of approximately $65,000
  • 1917 - Awarded the contract to build a power house for the Provincial Government Department of Public Works at Jordan Harbour, Ontario
  • 1919 - Awarded the contract to build the Mimico Creek bridge for the Toronto-Hamilton Highway (Highway #2) for the Toronto Hamilton Highway Commission 
  • 1922 - Awarded the contract for the J. R. Baxter Co. Ltd. factory in Brockville, Ontario at a cost of $50,000
  • 1927 - Awarded the contract to construct a new paperboard mill for Dominion Envelope and Cartons Ltd. in the port lands on the Toronto waterfront on the west side of Cherry Street for a building "in the neighborhood of 700 feet in length".
  • 1930 - Awarded the contract to build the new home for the Dominion Automobile Company at Bay and St Joseph's Streets, Toronto
On April 19, 1928 Fred P Toms bought Lot 104, Plan M-328 on the north side of Lake Crescent from Florence Agnes Spencer of Stratford for $1,650.  He must have started construction on the house shortly thereafter because almost a year later Toms mortgaged the property to Minnie Chadwick of Mimico for $9,000. 

Given the quality of the design of the house there must have been a talented architect behind it but their name is currently unknown.  

The brothers first appear at this address (then 10 Lake Crescent) in the 1931 Toronto City Directory suggesting that they were living in their new house by late 1930.  They would live there for the next 17 years.

Charles died at home in March 1947 and his obituary appeared in the Globe and Mail.  It did however contain a mistake.  It was his brother Fred who was at the 1908 Olympic Games.


Obituary of Charles G Toms
Globe and Mail - March 18, 1947

On April 15, 1947, about a month after his brother's death Fred sold the house to Edwin Arthur Jarrett, Chartered Accountant of Mimico for $16,500.  

Eventually, Fred P Toms moved to Newmarket, Ontario and died there on June 25, 1965.  He was buried at Park Lawn Cemetery with his brother.

Monday, March 15, 2021

John Mackenzie & Son Dairy Building - 78 Mimico Avenue


78 Mimico Avenue

Though now boarded up and seemingly abandoned 78 Mimico Avenue was built circa 1920 and began life as an active and busy dairy founded by John Mackenzie and his son Percy, serving Mimico and the surrounding community as John Mackenzie and Son, Dairy.  

Built on Part Lots 7 & 8, Plan 852, the dairy first appears in the Toronto City Directory in 1921 suggesting that it began operation in 1920 despite the 1919 date in the Story of Mimico (which also has a mistake in it indicating the founders were Wm Mackenzie and Sons).

 

source:  The Story of Mimico by Edwin Eland, 1935

In October 1930 Mackenzie sold the land to Samuel Oldham, Leonard Oldham and A.R. Munro.  They sold it in June 1932 for $1 to the Hillside Dairy.  This suggests that the Oldhams were the owners of Hillside Dairy, or this was in effect a merger.  

The president of the Hillside Dairy was Robert Thomas Stillman who lived nearby at 38 Hillside Avenue.   He died in December 1943 and in December 1944 the dairy was sold to the Silverwood Dairy for $1, also suggesting a merger.

Globe and Mail December 18, 1943

The Silverwood Dairy then operated at the site until December 1956 when it ceased operation and the property was sold to the Hogle family of Hogle Funeral Home across the street who appear to still own it today. 

In 1958 the building appears in the Toronto City Directory with four units inside it.

 Along with its neighbouring buildings to the west it presents a pleasing streetscape as all the buildings are built to the lot line and of uniform height. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Robert and George Kennedy House - 24 Louisa Street

24 Louisa Street 

This interesting house was built by Robert and George Kennedy circa 1908 on part Lot 36, Plan M246, now 24 Louisa Street (originally Louise Street).   

The lands that made up Plan M246 were originally part of Plan 1198 which was registered on December 13, 1897.  Before that it was part of Plan 164, the original subdivision plan registered in Mimico in 1856.   

In Plan 1198 the lands were owned by Robert Jenkins of the City of Toronto.  He died on September 29, 1899 and it was Thomas Jenkins his brother, and executor of his estate, who registered Plan M246 on June 4, 1906 which was the re-division of Lot 4 of Plan 1198 into 63 smaller lots.

On February 13, 1908 brothers Robert and George Kennedy bought Lot 36 from Thomas Jenkins for $200.

The house first appears in the Toronto City Directory in 1910 listed as 36 Louise Street, suggesting that it was occupied the previous year.  George Kennedy's occupation is listed as tile maker so he most likely worked at the Ontario Sewer Pipe Company at the top of Burlington Street.  The house is built much closer to the street than the other houses.  It has been suggested that this might have been because it was a store but there is no indication that it was used for a retail purpose in the Toronto City Directories.  

According to the 1913 Goad's Fire Insurance Plan (below) it was built as a wooden clapboard house (coloured yellow indicating wood).  A brick veneer must have been applied to it by 1924 as it appears in the 1924 Goad's Fire Insurance Plan coloured orange indicating brick.

The brothers were living in the house when the enumerator for the 1911 census dropped by.  Their entry in the 1911 census tells us that they were both born in Ireland and had emigrated to Canada in 1906.  Robert was the eldest being 36 years of age, born in January 1877, while George was 28 years old and born in January 1883.  Their occupations were listed as labourer and while Robert listed his income in 1910 as $489, George said he made $480.

On April 19, 1911 Robert Kennedy bought Lot 31 on Alexander Street, the next street to the west, for which he paid Thomas Jenkins $250.  And the following year on November 26, 1912 his brother George Kennedy bought Lot 30 next to it from Thomas Jenkins for $300.


Louisa Street - 1913 Goad's Fire Insurance Plan. Plate 9 
#24 is numbered 150 on the west side of Louisa Street 

In 1913 the Toronto City Directory shows the two brothers living in the house (numbered 36 Louise at that time).  By 1914 the brothers had moved out of the house and George Kennedy is listed living on the east side Alexander Street (where he remained till 1920).  However they retained ownership of the house on Louise Street and rented it out.

On July 15, 1919 George Kennedy, now a married man, sold his share of the house on Louise Street to his brother Robert for $1.

Robert Kennedy retained ownership of the house for the rest of his life (along with Lot 31 on Alexander Street as well).  He died in Lakeview (Mississauga) on May 7, 1949  and his executor David Kennedy of the Town of Mimico, became the owner of the property on February 23, 1950.   

David Kennedy lived in the house until his death on October 16, 1955 when the property was transferred to his wife and executor, Lorna Irene Graham Kennedy.  She held the property until she sold it to Joseph and Marjorie Paszt on January 24, 1958 for $5,500. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Archibald Herod House - 180 Queens Avenue

 

180 Queens Avenue
courtesy of Google Streetview

This house was built by Robert Murray Herod on Lot 163, Plan M77 for his son Archibald Herod in 1912.  

Though he was already living on Queens Avenue by 1899, in June 1902 Robert Murray Herod acquired a number of lots on the west side of the street from R. H. Guthrie.  The purchase included lots 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167 and 168. 

Archibald was living in his father's house at 182 Queens Avenue in the 1901 and 1911 census.  However, on March 13, 1912 he got married to Annie Melinda Jarvis at Parkdale Presbyterian Church on Dunn Avenue in Parkdale.  Where would the newlyweds live?

On December 24, 1912 Robert Murray Herod sold Lot 163, and the new house he had just built on it, to his son Archibald Herod for $400 as well as assumption of the mortgage to William Jackson of $1,500.   This discounted price for a house must have been a Christmas gift to his newly married son.

Archibald and his father would form the Herod Construction Company a few years later which built many homes and other buildings in Mimico and the surrounding district.

Archibald didn't live here very long however, selling the house on June 4, 1919 to Thomas Hogg and his wife Carrie Louisa Hogg for $3,800.  He then moved to 149 Queens Avenue down the street.   By 1929 he was living at 53 Primrose Avenue.  

While still a relatively young man of 39 he died of a heart attack after rushing up three flights of stairs to wish a friend farewell in April 1932.  He was buried in Parklawn Cemetery.

Globe and Mail - April 29, 1932

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Anthony Joseph Building - 80 Mimico Avenue

80 Mimico Avenue - Anthony Joseph Building
courtesy Google streetview

This quintessential shop and residence at 80 Mimico Avenue was built in 1929 by Anthony Joseph.

Anthony Joseph was born in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon in about 1870 when it was part of the Ottoman Empire.  He emigrated to Canada via New York in the 1910s and settled in Welland, Ontario.  His name was originally Antoni Joseph Michael but sometime after he married his second wife Lucy Mansour (also from Mount Lebanon and her second marriage as well) in Welland Ontario in 1920 he began to use Anthony Joseph.  

By 1920 they had moved to Toronto and then in 1926 to Mimico where they opened a confectionary shop at 118 Mimico Avenue.  This move to Mimico seems to be as a result of the fact that his wife's sister was already living in Mimico at 100 Mimico Avenue where her husband Stephen Francis also had a store.  It seems there was a desire for the two families to live close to each other.  The family were members of the Syrian Melikite Mission Church in Toronto but usually attended St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church on nearby Church Street (present day Royal York Road) as it was closer and more convenient.  

Joseph bought part of lot 7, Plan 852 in 1928 from John Mackenzie & Sons Dairy next door for $1,600.  He then mortgaged the property to Pearl Assurance Company for $3,000 in early 1929.   This most likely was to obtain the capital to build the store where he operated as a grocer and he and his family lived on the second floor.  He would pay off the mortgage in 1936 so business must have been good despite the Depression.  

Anthony Joseph died on July 25, 1947 and ownership of the property was transferred to his wife Lucy Mansour.  In 1980 she sold the property to the Exclusive Canada and Novelty Distributors Ltd.  


St. Andrew's Hall - 178 & 178A Royal York Road

178 + 178A Royal York Road - St. Andrew's Hall
courtesy Google Streetview - 2016

This usual building, half underground at 178 + 178A Royal York Road, is St Andrew's Hall and was built in 1924 (despite the 1923 datestone on the front of the building).  

In 1924 Martin Collett, Mimico Druggist and Laura his wife sold part of Lots 30 and 31, Plan M76 to Alexander Shaw and Edward Blair as Trustees for the Sons of England Benefit Society for $1,125.  

The Society was founded in Canada in 1876 and provided insurance to members in need due to family illness and other unfortunate circumstances.  

The Society built St Andrew's Hall that same year with an original address of 182 Church Street.  The Hall was an event space for the community and hosted various functions such as political meetings, community dinners, dances and other events.  

In 1925 the Hall would became the home of the minority of members of the Mimico Presbyterian Church who were opposed to the merger with the new United Church of Canada.  As detailed in the October 10, 1925 edition of the Globe and Mail, the vote in the Mimico Presbyterian Church was 170 for the merger and 131 against.  Since the majority voted for the merger with the United Church, the Mimico Presbyterian Church on the south east corner of Mimico Avenue and Church Street was renamed St. Paul's United Church.  At that point those still opposed to the merger left and began to worship at St. Andrew's Hall as the Mimico Presbyterian Church.  

In 1926 the Mimico Presbyterian Church requested that St. Andrew's Hall be given tax exempt status which caused quite the bruhaha at Mimico Town Council.  

As detailed in the August 24, 1926 edition of the Toronto Star "Seldom if ever have personalities been indulged into to such an extent as at last night's meeting of the Mimico council over the question as to whether St. Andrew's hall, now the Presbyterian church, should, as recommended by the finance committee, be exempt from taxation from the beginning of 1926... the fireworks started when Councillor Hendry (a former Methodist) did not think they could exempt St. Andrew's hall for taxation as the building, he understood, was owned by a syndicate and the church were only tenants."  

This set off the Mayor and others and a lively debate recorded verbatim ensued: 

Mayor Savage (who is the clerk of the sessions of the Presbyterian church): "There is a lot of opposition to the Presbyterian church and I want to find out where it comes from.  I am not going to stand for it."   

Councillor Hendry:  "There were political meetings held there last year."   

Mayor Savage:  "It has only been used as a church this year.  We do not have a gymnasium or rent it out for public entertainments.  The finance committee took legal advice before making their recommendation."  

Councillor Waiks (Methodist):  "It has been used as a dancing school."  

Mayor Savage:  "Don't make insinuations here or ask such impertinent questions.  I am not accustomed to having my word doubted.  The Presbyterian church was here long before the United church and will be here long after the United church has gone."  

Deputy Reeve Murphy took strong exception to the councillor's remarks, adding:  "It looks as if petty spite is being used."  

Councillor Hendry:  "If there is an act you are going by, I don't understand it." 

Deputy Reeve Murphy:  "If you cannot use common sense there is no talking to you.  You are practically calling a man a liar."  

Mayor Savage:  "The church act has nothing to do with municipal affairs.  This is only a stab at the Presbyterian church in the town."  

Deputy Reeve Murphy:  "If this is Christian attitude I am darn glad I am not in that class."  

Councillor Hendry:  "There is no good going into personalities."  

Deputy Reeve Murphy:  "You are only calling a man a liar in other words and are not man enough to do so to his face."  

Councillor Waiks:  "The atmosphere is not clearing.  It is not a personal matter."  

Mayor Savage:  "This is a personal grievance against the church."  

Councillor Hendy:  "It is a pity you are getting up in the air."  

Mayor Savage:  "You had no right to doubt the word of the finance committee."  

Councillor Hendy:  "You are getting a little excited."  

Mayor Savage:  "You doubt my word and I am not going to stand it".  

Deputy Reeve Murphy:  "I was perfectly satisfied to make the recommendation and the reeve entertained the same view."  

Councillor Waiks:  "We have a perfect right to ask questions."  

Deputy Reeve Murphy:  "This is only a question of spite - and I take strong exception to the attitude of Councillor Hendry and Waiks.  If they are Christians I am glad I am not of their ilk."  

Despite this lively debate the motion did carry and the building was granted tax exempt status.

The Mimico Presbyterian Church would remain at St. Andrew's Hall until St. Paul's United Church decided to merge with Wesley United Church and join them at their recently built new church on the north west corner of Mimico Avenue and Station Road.  That merger took place in May 1927 after which there appears to have been a gap in time while the the building was vacant until the Mimico Presbyterian Church moved back from St. Andrew's Hall.

Alexander Shaw, Trustee of St. Andrew's Hall died on September 1, 1941, and since Blair had predeceased him ownership of the property was transferred to Alexander Shaw's widow Mary Jane Shaw.  She held the property until March 25, 1946 when she transferred the property to Albert Sturton and George Rush Jr as the new trustees for the Sons of England Benefit Society.   In 1951 George Rush Jr died and the property was transferred solely to Albert Sturton, Trustee.  He then transferred it to the Trafalgar Social Club for $2.   It was purchased by Glencoe Harvey Hogle of Hogle's Funeral Home in Mimico in March 1955 for an undisclosed amount and the building began to be used for retail purposes as a women's clothing store.  

Five years later in 1960 Hogle leased the building to Bertram Lyn of Woodbridge for 10 years at an annual rent of $2,400.  In 1967 Hogle extended the lease by three and a half years to Bertram Lyn's widow Dora Caroline Lyn.  However in March 1969 Hogle sold the property to Walter and Marlene Peteraitis.  They transferred it to Oscar Peteraitis in September 1974.  He sold it to Catherine Nagy and Shelia Wright in April 1976.  In 1977 they transferred it to Safety Floor Installation Ltd.  The company defaulted on its mortgage and the property was assumed by Neda Gagro in October 1979.

The building has been vacant for a number of years and its future is uncertain.

Union Bank Building - Mimico Branch - 86 Mimico Avenue/3 Station Road


Union Bank of Canada Building - Mimico Branch
Google streetview

This impressive building at the north east corner of Mimico Avenue and Station Road was built in 1924 as the Mimico branch of the Union Bank of Canada.

The Union Bank of Canada first established itself in Mimico in 1910 on Cavell Avenue (then Southampton Street).  It stayed in this location until about 1916 when it relocated to the Lake Shore Road but in December 1923 the bank bought this lot on Mimico Avenue for $3,135 from Stephen Francis and Beddway Francis (Lebanese merchants who lived and had a store at 100 Mimico Avenue) and built its first purpose built branch on the site in 1924.  The following year the Union Bank merged with the Royal Bank of Canada.  

Royal Bank of Canada - Mimico Branch - 86 Mimico Avenue in 1933


Presently the architect is unknown but in 1919 Norman McNabb Moffatt was appointed as the staff architect for the Union Bank of Canada and so he is most likely the creator of this lovely building.

The bank was a location of some excitement in 1933 when it was robbed.  The headline in the Toronto Star on June 16, 1933 was "Two Armed Thugs Rob Mimico of $2,325."





The bank appears to have closed the branch in 1936 after which the building remained vacant until 1939 when it was sold to Charles Grossi for $2 and a mortgage of $3,750.  Grossi sold the north end of the lot to the Silverwood Dairy just down the street but retained the building.  However it appears as vacant in the Toronto City Directories until 1942 when John Lavelle who had a butter and egg business is listed as living there.  Grossi died about 1953 and his estate sold the building to Florence Weber for $2 subject to the existing mortgage.  

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bank of Montreal Building - 2448 Lake Shore Blvd West

Bank of Montreal Building - 2448 Lake Shore Blvd West.

(source:  Mimico 20/20 Revitalization Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment, page 47)

After more than 100 years in Mimico the Bank of Montreal closed its branch at 2448 Lake Shore Blvd West on March 22, 2019.   The Bank of Montreal claimed that it was the first chartered bank to open in the Town of Mimico but the Union Bank of Canada beat it by 6 years when it opened its branch at present day 34 Cavell Avenue (then Southampton Street) in 1910.  The Bank of Montreal didn't establish itself in Mimico until 1916 in a former butcher shop on the Lakeshore Road.  

In 1923 the bank acquired the landmark site at the corner of Mimico Avenue and the Lakeshore Road and commenced construction of a purpose built branch.  The building was designed by Ralph K. Shepard (1874-1933), a prominent architect, whose list of works includes the University Club of Toronto the Temple Building, and many other bank buildings. 

The building was reviewed as part of the “Mimico 20/20 Revitalization Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment” completed by URS for the City of Toronto's Heritage Preservation Services in 2012.  The report provided the following description for the building:

"Early 20th century commercial building of good design, significant siting, makes a solid contribution to the character of the street and reflects the most significant phase of commercial development in Mimico for the past century. Two storey brick structure with stone or concrete string courses and sills, pressed metal cornice, classical portico around main entrance may be later addition." (note that a 1924 photo of the bank indicates that the classical portico was part of the original 1924 design)

Though this bank is now closed the building is a significant building in the Town of Mimico anchoring the corner of Mimico Avenue and Lake Shore Blvd West.  The building was a landmark in Mimico upon its construction in 1924 and remains a landmark building to this day.

Having been identified in the Mimico 20/20 Revitalization Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment study as worthy of "further study and evaluation as a potential Built Heritage Resource" I submitted a request in November 2018 to designate the building under the Ontario Heritage Act to Heritage Preservation Services at the City of Toronto.  The request remains in the queue but hopefully this significant landmark building will continue to grace this corner, and delight the eyes, for many years to come.