Colleen O’Marra found the Small Arms Doors Open very crowded (great turnout!)

Recent message from Colleen O’Marra (I’ve corrected my spelling of her name in previous blogs):

Thanks for the corrections on my name. I enlarged that wonderful 1949
aerial photo of Long Branch by the way. It really gives you a better
perspective of the Colonel’s farm especially and I can pinpoint our
home above LakeProm and spot the Long Branch Hotel through the trees.(
my mother called the hotel, The Pogoda in the 1920s)Small Arms Open
House was so crowded, I didn’t get a chance to show you the
poster-sized aerial shot. On your walk next year, this photo would be
very handy.( Colleen M. O’Marra)

Update: With regard to my note (see below) about the Fair Grounds Organic Cafe & Roastery building, I’m pleased to share the following comment from Colleen O’Marra:

The Coffee Shop, previously Long Branch Meats, also housed Christ The
King parishioners(Masses) temporarily while Father Aud was completing
the construction of Christ The King Church.(1930s)The Coffee House
building can clearly be seen in that 1949 aerial shot.( C. O’Marra)

[End of update] 

Aerial view looking east along Lake Shore Blvd West from near Long Branch Loop, Ontario Archives Acc 16215, ES1-814, Northway Gestalt Collection


It’s wonderful to know of the great details that knowledgeable site visitors are able to pinpoint at the November 1949 photo – which you can see in an enlarged version if you click, and then click again, on the image (see above).

I always learn new things from the comments. Some time – I hope – I’ll get around to looking at other aerial photos of the area that are available online.

We’re looking forward to a great Long Branch Jane’s Walk on May 3 and 4, 2014, starting at 10:30 am at the East Parking Lot at Marie Curtis Park on each of those days.

Colleen, your mention of the 1949 photo reminds me that for the 2014 walk, I’ll ensure we have a huge enlargement available of it, on foam core.

I’ve mentioned, in a blog post about the Small Arms Doors Open, that I’ve recently learned interesting additional details about the Colonel Samuel Smith homestead site near Forty First Street Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West.

In previous years I had a batch of foam core enlargements made of Long Branch scenes, to share at presentations and Jane’s Walks. However, the extreme weather event in July 2013 did a little work on them and they are now gone. For the 2013 Doors Open event, I had some new ones made. I get them made at Mr. Signs on Evans Avenue.

Henderson motorcycle was popular with police forces in the 1920 and 1930s

The two foam core photos that were on display at the Long Branch Jane's Walk table at the Sept. 28, 2013 Small Arms Doors Open. I set the easels in place early in the morning, before the tables had arrived. Jaan Pill photo

One panel – on the large easel in photo on the left – features an image from about 1927 featuring the Henderson motorcycle at the site of the radial bridge over Etobicoke Creek and No. 2 Highway. The photo is 18 by 24 inches – smaller (and less costly) than ones I’ve had made in the past, but large enough for the required purposes. It’s also easier to carry through a crowd.

The other panel – on the floor in photo on the left – featuring a May 2013 Jane’s Walk photo, is even smaller, namely 12 by 18 inches. I put that on a smaller table-top easel. Again – it’s just the right size.

I’ve learned from experience with displays (as a display organizer, and the observer of large numbers of display tables over the years) that it’s good to keep text information – on foam core displays and handouts – brief and to the point.


I much appreciate corrections for this website.

Historic building now serves as Fair Grounds Organic Cafe & Roastery

I’m really pleased that the building at the corner of Fortieth Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West, visible in the 1949 photo, has now found a great adaptive reuse as a Fair Grounds Organic Cafe & Roastery location. At one point, as I understand, the building was a bank. There used to be many, many banks in the area – again, as I’ve heard. We much appreciate the support of Fair Grounds in the organizing of our annual Long Branch Jane’s Walk.

Fair Grounds Organic Cafe and Roastery at corner of Fortieth Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West. Jaan Pill photo


5 replies
  1. jim bray
    jim bray says:

    The building at the se corner of 40’th &Lakeshore was at one time a bank but for many years was a meat market owned by Harry Smith. The Smith’s lived on the corner of Lake Promenade and 39th St. I believe Don’s family may still own the house a nice brick bungalow His son Don was also a butcher working for many years for Dominion Stores I think. Don died last year. Harry was a very outgoing guy and became a car salesman for awhile at Elmwood Motors I in about 1954.

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      It’s wonderful to know these details, Jim.

      If you know of anyone from the Harry Smith family who’d be interested in sharing further details about the building, I would be interested in contact information. It would be great to be able to document such details, and to learn more about the life and times of Harry Smith and Don Smith, and their families.

      There’s so much we can learn by talking to each other.

  2. david webster
    david webster says:

    Harry Smith did own the “Harry Smith” butcher store, previously a “Dominion Bank” (I think). Harry lived with his wife and son Donald at the southwest corner of 38th. street, not 39th. Sorry to hear of Donald’s death. He was much like his father, big and loud, a good guy. The meat locker in the left rear corner of the store was converted from the bank vault. The opening of the new Loblaw and the Dominion led to the Harry finally closing/selling the business.


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