Before the May 4, 2014 Jane’s Walk in Long Branch began, I went to Long Branch Furniture on Lake Shore Road West to visit Bill Rawson.
I met him in the morning, before the walk, to see if he’d be at his store later in the morning, so that we could visit him, but it turned out he was heading for the horse races at Woodbine at 10:30 am, which is when our walk was beginning.
Long Branch Hotel
Much of what I know about the layout of the Long Branch Resort, and the story of how the Long Branch Hotel burned down in 1958, I’ve learned from Bill Rawson.
I originally met Bill when Carol Milroy, a Long Branch resident, introduced me to him at Long Branch Furniture on Lake Shore Blvd. West across from the Long Branch Library. The introduction occurred on May 6, 2012 just after the Long Branch Jane’s Walk that was held that day.
Over the years, I had often seen Bill Rawson sitting outside the store, with furniture arranged along the sidewalk, shooting the breeze with his friends. I had thought, “I have to go visit this guy; he might have some interesting stories to share.” But until Carol Milroy introduced us, I hadn’t spoken with him.
Long Branch GO Station
So, around 9:30 am on May 4, 2014, Bill Rawson told me a bit about the community that used to exist around where the Long Branch GO Station is now located. Here’s a 2-minute video in which he describes the neighbourhood 60 and 70 years ago: