The story of the Long Branch Race Track is part of the history of Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey)

Several previous posts have included comments from Bill Rawson of Long Branch Furniture:

Click here to access previous posts featuring Bill Rawson >

Long Branch Furniture is located across from the Long Branch Library on Lake Shore Blvd. West in Long Branch. I’ve long had an interest in putting together a series of recordings of Bill’s recollection about the Long Branch Race Track, which (its name notwithstanding) was located to the north of the boundaries of the Village of Long Branch. This video is a step in putting together such a series of videos.



The story of the Race Track is part of the history of Long Branch (Toronto):

History of Long Branch

Bill Rawson’s hand-drawn map of Long Branch Race Track



Map of Long Branch, prepared by Bill Rawson Bill Rawson, June 11, 2017.

Map of Long Branch Race Track, prepared by Bill Rawson Bill Rawson, June 11, 2017. Click on the image to enlarge it.

I’ve been out, some months ago, to take photos of the trees along the railway tracks, that Bill Rawson describes in the above-noted video and map. I was very impressed with the sight. I look forward to finding the photos and posting some of them. In the meantime, Bill’s map is very helpful in enabling me to get a sense of how the Race Track was set up.

What Elvis liked to do in his spare time



In a previous post, I’ve posted a link to a video in which Bill Rawson shares some great stories about Elvis Presley:

What Elvis liked to do in his spare time

Here’s another post, about another Bill Rawson story that I much enjoy:

Bill Rawson shares a story about the time a horse stuck its nose right into his infant brother’s crib. In the 1930s or thereabouts.

The trees at the Race Track

The map that Bill Rawson has drawn (he’s also shared a hand-drawn map of the Long Branch Hotel area) is really helpful, in enabling a person to get a sense of the layout of the track.

There are trees in place, running north-south parallel to the railway tracks; I’ve been to visit that part of the remnants of the track; it’s quite an experience to walk in that area. The trees are among the things that remain. I was interested to hear Bill talk about the trees, which he has indicated in his map.

I think as well of the Cottage Country Paradise that was in place in the area of the western beach (extending to the west of the current outlet of Etobicoke Creek) at Marie Curtis Park. The cottages that used to be there are all gone since the time of Hurricane Hazel.

Yet in some interviews I did a few years ago, I learned from people who remembered those times, that some of the trees, that are there now, were present as well in the era from the 1920s to the 1950s – and remain in place even now.

Also of interest, regarding these themes:

We’re pleased to share with you these 1920s to 1940s ‘cottage country’ images from Etobicoke Creek

A Long Branch resident passed along to Barry Kemp this photo of the Eastwood Park Hotel

The latter post includes another hand-drawn map, from May 2013, by Bill Rawson.


2 replies
  1. Alan Axworthy
    Alan Axworthy says:

    Hello Jaan. I grew up in New Toronto in the 50-60’s and recall my father taking me when I was very young to watch a horse race at the track which we viewed from Kipling Ave. Seeing the horses race by is an image that is burned in my memory.

    I can provide a link to aerial photos that include the last few years of Long Branch race track’s operation, as well as the years following where it can be seen to be dismantled and the various commercial buildings that are there today being added to the property. These photos provide a very detailed picture of the track property. I have made notes of the year to year changes at the track during the period that the aerial photos were taken, which I can also provide assuming that would be of interest.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Hello Alan,

    The links and photos, as well as the notes that you mention, would be of much interest. Can you please let me know, what the best way would be, for me to acquire the links, and a copy of your notes. These would be great for posting at this website.

    That is wonderful to read – your memory, from a very young age, of seeing the horses race by, from a vantage point at Kipling Ave., when your father took you to the race track. Anything else that you can share, from your memory of that horse race, and those times, would be of much interest to me.

    I recently learned, when walking by the store on July 5, 2017, that Long Branch Furniture is now closed. Bill Rawson has opened up at another used furniture shop, on the north side of Lake Shore Blvd. West some ways to the east of the Long Branch library, at a location to the west of the Tim Horton’s coffee shop that is located in that area of Lake Shore Blvd. West.


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