Long Branch Fest
Community Storytelling Panel
June 13, 2015
Music will be provided by Hayley Ryerson and Anthony Savidge between talks.
Currently finishing her Bachelor of Music at Humber College, Hayley Ryerson is a fiddler and violinist who lives in Etobicoke. Her home studio, One Tune At A Time, is now accepting students for summer and fall lessons. Hayley is a composer of many original pieces and arrangements, which are often showcased with her band, Kitchen Orkestra.
Anthony Savidge is a creative musician who plays for the joy of making sound. He is involved in jazz, classical, pop, and world music projects, and has earned recognition as a musical, supportive percussionist. He is also a member of the Shaw Street Collective, an up-and-coming experimental classical ensemble.
Sequence of Discussion
1. The History of Lakeshore Grounds by Tara Mazurk
Humber College’s Lakeshore campus, Colonel Samuel Smith Park, and other community organizations sits on what is now commonly referred to as the Lakeshore Grounds. These grounds have a rich Aboriginal history and natural ecology. They were also once the site of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, which opened in the late 1800s.
Tara Mazurk is the Curator for the upcoming Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, set to open at Humber College in 2016. She is currently gathering community stories, completing research, and collaborating with Etobicoke’s organizations to respect the history of the Lakeshore Grounds.
2. The History of Colonel Samuel Smith by Tom Millar
After military service with the Queen’s Rangers in the American Revolutionary War, Colonel Samuel Smith was granted a large tract of land in 1793, which included all of Long Branch. Originally a log cabin to which extensions and siding were added, the colonel’s house near Forty First Street and Lake Shore Blvd. West was in continuous used for about 152 years from 1797 until around 1949, before it was bulldozed in 1955.
A long-time resident of Etobicoke, Tom Millar was raised in the Ottawa Valley and enjoyed playing around the Rideau River. He is one of a group of people working to save the iconic Bala Falls, by seeking to stop a small hydro plant project within the Bala Heritage Conservation District.
3. Long Branch as a Cottage Country Paradise by Jaan Pill
From the 1920s into the early 1950s, before the arrival of Hurricane Hazel in 1954, the mouth of Etobicoke Creek was known as a Cottage Country Paradise. Lake Promenade, which now ends at Forty Second Street, in those years extended all the way to Applewood Creek along the Lake Ontario shoreline, where the Mississauga-Toronto border is now located.
Jaan Pill is a documentary maker and writer whose Preserved Stories website at preservedstories.com deals with local history in south Etobicoke and Lakeview. A retired teacher, he has been active for thirty years in volunteer work focusing on community self-organizing and media relations at the local, national, and international levels.
4. The Lots of Long Branch by Adam Feldman
In the 10,000 years that followed the end of the last Ice Age, the land belonged to First Nations peoples; in 1793, the ownership passed to Colonel Samuel Smith, who was granted a tract of land that covered all of Long Branch and some ways beyond. After Colonel Smith passed away in 1826, the subdivision of the land began and has been continuing ever since.
Adam Feldman is a local resident who has a deep interest in the environment, social housing, and income polarization. To address these issues both in South Etobicoke and beyond, Adam will be commencing legal studies at Osgoode Hall this fall. He also writes on his website: adamfeldman.ca
5. Recreation and Landmarks of Long Branch by Berry Kemp
The name ‘Long Branch’ has been given to many historical landmarks including the Long Branch Rifle Range and the Long Branch Aerodrome – Canada’s First Aerodrome – in what is now Lakeview in Mississauga. Recreational facilities have in the past included the Long Branch Race Track, local dance pavilions, and outdoor music events by the Lake Ontario shoreline.
A retired civil servant who has spent most of his life residing in the Villages of south Etobicoke, Barry Kemp enjoys the local amenities of lake and beaches, creeks, and forests. Study of local history is a source of satisfaction for him. He notes: “We have much to look forward to.”