The Colonel Samuel Smith house was demolished in 1955 not 1952

Occasionally a statement can be found on the Internet erroneously indicating that the house of Colonel Samuel Smith at Forty First Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West in South Etobicoke was torn down in 1952.

In fact, as Denise Harris of the Etobicoke Historical Society has recently pointed out, the Toronto Star of Feb. 19, 1955, page 4, has an article entitled “Rip down 1797 cabin for Supermarket Lot”.

The available evidence indicates the house was torn down in 1955.

The above-noted Toronto Star article states the house is “being torn down so that a parking lot can be enlarged” and later “it is to enlarge the parking lot that the house is being torn down” – all present tense, as Denise Harris notes.

If you are a member of the Toronto Public Library, you can access the Feb. 19, 2015 article online.



6 replies
  1. Donna Magee
    Donna Magee says:

    Are there any photos of the house in any of the news articles, either local or national ones or in the city of Toronto Archives?

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    The Toronto Public Library has a photo, as I recall, of the house. Similar photos can be viewed at the archives at Montgomery’s Inn.

    I don’t know of any newspaper articles that include photos of the house. They may or may not exist.

    People with more knowledge of archival resources would be in a better position to provide more details about what’s available.

  3. jim bray
    jim bray says:

    Since I moved onto Villa Rd. in Nov. ’54 and was a Long Branch boy (1933) I remember the old Col. Smith house and barns. My vague recollection of the exact locations of the buildings is that the new school was built closer to where the house was and the parking lot for the new Dominion store was on the part where the barns where. JB

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      It’s most interesting to read your comment, Jim.

      I recently learned that one of the buildings north of the Smith house, visible in the November 1949 photo that we’ve posted at the Preserved Stories website, was used as a summer kitchen in the late 1940s.

      My own knowledge of the buildings to the north of the Smith house is limited to the archaeological evidence discussed in a presentation I made some years ago:–-oct-4-2011-speaking-notes/

      As I note in the presentation, an area of particular interest from an archaeological perspective is the embankment – the small hill close to where the townhouses are now located. The preliminary archaeological dig in 1984 indicated that two outbuildings, right on top of each other, are located on the hillside. I assume the Dominion parking lot would have been in the general area of where the townhouses are now located.

      I would be much interested in any additional information that may be available concerning the history of the Col. Samuel Smith homestead.

  4. david webster
    david webster says:

    re; the 1949 aerial photo of the Homestead. If you look carefully, behind the house, partially obscured by trees, was a low outbuilding. The back of this outbuilding (the long side, obscured) marked the extreme rear of the paved area behind the Dominion Store. The laneway, running East from 41st. Street, curving to the right to the Chown home, is the approximate entrance point to a re-aligned laneway leading to the Western side of the Dominion parking lot. The curving laneway i am referring to is left of the last house before reaching the Lake Shore Rd.

    I believe the archeological dig you are referring to, took place on the site of an old (in 1947) service station. B/A gasoline. Fisk Tires sign. Clear Glass topped manual gas pumps. At the time recycling was non existent. Years of junk would have been discarded behind the station. When the first Dominion store was built 1951..? the station was demolished and likely any trash or scrap was buried on the site.

    Elsewhere I read that there was a raised berm at one end of the school. I believe this referred to the north end of the school on 41st.Street. I think this feature was left over from Sherman Anderson’s property which was raised in the area to the right of the curving laneway. About ten feet higher than 41st. Street.

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    It’s interesting to read about the gas station. Bernice Law has described the gas stations in the area, in an interview which I look forward to transcribing. The history of the gas stations in the area is of much interest.

    The archaeological dig, as I understand from the archaeological report, which I will in future post online, if and when time permits, took place in the area where the school grounds of the former Parkview School are now located.

    The artifacts that were dug up date from as far back as the early 1800s, as I recall from the report. The artifacts are listed in detail in the report.


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