We owe thanks to Councillor Grimes’ office for suggesting this walk and to Mike James for agreeing so readily to serve as as a leader on this walk.
We owe thanks to Ruth Grier for sharing information from her May 2010 Long Branch Jane’s Walk and to David Switzer for letting us know that there’s a distinction between a Jane’s Walk and a Heritage Walk.
We owe thanks as well to Barbara Durance who shared with us a photo from the 1920s that we’re using to publicize the walk. The photo was taken in about 1925 by Doris Durance, enhanced on Photoshop by Robert Lansdale, and converted to a JPEG file by Bob Landsdale.
The Jane’s Walk is a conversation. The conversation is now under way. We owe thanks to each person who’s shared comments and offers of resources and assistance. We look forward to working with you on the planning and staging of this walk.
You can find the following text at the Jane’s Walk website:
Guided by Jaan Pill and Mike James
- Sunday, May 6, 2012
- Start Time
- 10:30 am
- Est. Duration
- 1.5 hours
This tour explores the prehistory and history of Long Branch, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, starting with the arrival of Palaeo-Indian nomadic hunters in the area about 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. The shoreline has wandered north of the current location during the Glacial Lake Iroquois phase when Lake Ontario expanded, and south of it during the Admiralty Lake phase when the lake contracted.
The first European settler was Colonel Samuel Smith, who built in 1797 a log cabin at a location where the school grounds of Parkview School, at 85 Forty First Street, are now located. In later years Long Branch served as ‘cottage country’ for Toronto residents.
“We can think of Long Branch as a lost beach resort area, with turrets, verandas, and porches,” says local resident David Switzer. “Here you still have buildings that look like there’s sand in front of them, not lawns.”
This walk begins at Marie Curtis Park at the mouth of Etobicoke Creek, proceeds along Lake Promenade by the shore of Lake Ontario, and concludes in New Toronto on the spacious grounds of the Lakeshore Hospital Grounds. The hospital was known as Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital when it closed down in 1979. The intention of the facility was that the physical environment and outdoor space, which accommodated therapeutic activities, would positively impact the care and treatment of patients.
About the leaders: Jaan Pill is a documentary maker, writer, and member of the Long Branch Historical Society. Mike James is a retired school principal with fond memories of growing up in the area in the 1960s.
East Parking Lot at Marie Curtis Park
Lakeshore Hospital Grounds (Thirteenth Street to Twenty Third Street) in New Toronto.
Public Transit Directions
Take 501 Queen Street Car to Long Branch Loop, or take GO Train to Long Branch GO station.
Approx. 90 % on sidewalks & pavement, 10 % on grass.