circa. 1858 Scarborough Ontario

After doing some research on the John A. Patterson house on 37 Kecala Road in Scarborough and the related history of the area, I decided to see what else I could find out about this area in these days. Turns out that there is a series (58 pages) of municipal council minutes available on line for 1860 but I could find as much as I had hoped.

I did discover that that same year, John Morrish built a store south of here on Kingston Road which still exists.

“John Morrish arrived in 1855. W.J. Morrish built a store at Meadowvale and Kingston Road which today remains very much as originally built (a confidential report is to be submitted to the Corporate Services Committee Meeting on May 20/99 on the future of this building). Scarborough Township was incorporated in 1850 and had a total population of 3820 of which 250 resided in Highland Creek. By 1885 Highland Creek was the largest commercial center in all of Scarborough with 600 inhabitants and included several churches, a blacksmith, gristmill, sawmill and a number of other businesses. By 1896 Helliwell’s Chopping Mill and Cider Mill, a hotel, three stores, a blacksmith shop, three churches and a Mechanics Institute Library were flourishing.

The old Methodist cemetery in the Village dates back to the early 1800’s. St. Joseph’s Church built in 1854 and rebuilt in 1964 is the second oldest Catholic Church in Scarborough.”

Morrish Road is in Scarborough and The Salvation Army had a church on that street for many years. It was recently sold to the Royal Canadian Legion.

The village of Wexford, at Lawrence Avenue and Warden Avenue, had it’s first school built in 1847 according to city of Toronto records.

St. Judes Wexford Ontario

Here’s what I found in Wikipedia:

“The Church of St. Jude is an historic church in the Scarborough area of TorontoOntario, Canada. St. Jude’s was originally built in what was the small rural village of Wexford, Ontario in 1848. The original church building survives today, being used as the cemetery chapel, making it one of the oldest surviving churches in Scarborough. The land for the church was donated to Bishop John Strachan and the Anglican Diocese of Toronto by Patrick and Ann Parkin. They had used this corner of their farm as a family cemetery. The church was built atop a small hill, so that it dominated the surrounding landscape. The still operational cemetery surrounds the church, and has graves dating back to 1832. Local farmers built the church with lumber milled from nearby trees. The Gothic revival structure was designed by Reverend William Darling, the Anglican minister for Scarborough township. It is a replica in miniature of a church he remembered from his native Scotland. Keeping the proportions of the original while greatly shrinking the structure explains why the sacristy entrance is only five feet high. Darling’s son, Frank Darling, would later become a prominent Toronto architect himself.

The small church sat some 60 people, and for over a century it served the rural and sparsely populated farmers of the region. In 1950 there were 79 members of the church. The 1950s saw the rapid spread of residential subdivisions across the once rural Wexford as Scarborough became one of Toronto’s main bedroom communities. By the mid 1950s the area was home to some 1,000 families, and the church was greatly over crowded with many services required each Sunday. It was thus decided to build a new St. Jude’s. The new church was completed in 1958, and sat 600 – almost 10 times the number of the original church.”

So in 1848 this was the local Anglican church for what was a sparsely populated farming area.

Remember that in these days, this was a British colony in pre-confederation days! 1858 was the year that British Columbia came into being.

By the way, Scarborough was originally known as Glasgow, but was named Scarborough by Elizabeth Simcoe because the bluffs reminded her of the cliffs in Scarborough England.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Margaret Waters says:

    Great blog Fred I do enjoy your photos and history, always so interesting to catch up with your travels in those days when you were all under one roof

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