Save Sam’s Homestead

Save Sam’s Homestead is the domain name for a website that I’m planning, dedicated to the history of Colonel Samuel Smith’s homestead.

On Oct. 26, 2010 I learned, from reading the minutes of a June 23, 2010 board meeting, of plans by the Toronto District School Board to to sell its Parkview School property at 85 Forty First Street.

The site includes an open area – the green space in the midle of the photo above – where the archeological remains of the homestead of Colonel Samuel Smith, who lived from 1760 to 1826, are located.

Sometimes the colonel’s year of birth is listed as 1756. In her 1984 archaeological report based on a preliminary survey of the Smith homestead site, however, historic archaeologist Dena Doroszenko offers evidence suggesting 1760 is the more likely year of birth.

Save Sam’s Homestead is the name for a community group that was formed in response to news of the sale of Parkview School. I like the idea of choosing a small geographical area, close to where I live, and finding out as much as I can about it. I also like the idea of sharing what I learn with other people.

The Parkview School story is what got me interested in local history. For a couple of years before I learned the school was for sale, I had been documenting the building of Aquaview Condominiums, at 3865 Lake Shore Blvd. West.

As the construction of the condo was beginning to take shape, I began to think of putting together a short documentary about the construction process — and about the history of the surrounding area. Andy Iadinardi, the construction superintendent at the site, gave me permission to take as many videos and photos of the site as I wanted to, and that’s what I did.

That material came in handy when Andy asked me to put together a digital portfolio for him, as the Aquaview project was coming to an end. I’ve now acquired the Apple hardware and software that I need to finish the short documentary, and I’m looking forward to working on that. I’m also looking forward to working on additional projects with Andy, who is now working at another construction project in Toronto.


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