Unrelated update: I am currently working, pretty well every spare moment that I have, on a post about presentations made, at an Etobicoke York Community Council meeting on Nov. 14, 2018, regarding the adoption of a final staff report related to the Long Branch Character Guidelines.
The presentations (pro and con) were followed by unanimous adoption of the Character Guidelines. In turn, in early 2018 Toronto Council also unanimously adopted the same Guidelines.
The above-noted Nov. 14, 2017 event makes for great political theatre; I am in the process of writing a film review based upon the video.
Meanwhile, I’m taking a moment to share some recent messages from Bob Carswell and Graeme Decarie related to Saraguay.
On Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Bob Carswell wrote:
I have been trying to find a map of St. Laurent from 1910 which should identify the Polo Field on Bois Franc Road. Graeme do you have a contact at Concordia that might be able to come up with such a map? I am now thinking that the Polo grounds were somewhere west of the old polo road and east of Pitfield Blvd. but I cannot seem to identify exactly where. Old Bois Franc ended up at Pitfield Road if I remember correctly. Did you by chance walk past the tennis court in Saraguay village when you did the walk with your dad? That would mean you walked right out to Pitfield’s polo road. You might remember it along the way.
Michael Pitfield, who was about 24 when I met him at the Pitfield house while I was delivering the Gazette, was a good friend of Pierre Elliot Trudeau and was the head of the Civil Service in Ottawa when Trudeau was Prime Minister. He was extremely smart. There is an excellent Wikipedia page on his personal life and history as a civil servant. I remember their own barn that burnt down. As young kids a couple of us snuck into it and the old fancy house on the property that they lived in before building the new place. It was totally out of curiousity of how rich people lived. We must have been about eight at the time.
It was a Saraguay group of enthusiasts that established the Back River Polo Club in 1905 (which would have included the Pitfield bunch) and while the Montreal Polo Club which played on the South Shore had been around longer, the two of them co-existed for some time.
Eventually, the location on the South Shore was abandoned and the club moved to Cartierville to use the facilities of the Back River group. With a lot of the active members going to war as officers in WWI the polo was suspended. Upon the return of those who survived, it started up again but by the 1930s a lot of the group were getting old and cars had replaced horses so there were fewer people keeping stables of horses.
After WWII, the world had changed so much as had society that polo was no longer the sport of the champions….in fact, where a match could once attracted 50,000 people at times it no longer held the public interest.
Even the William Notman & son photographer was invited out to the grounds to take photos in 1908. I am trying to clean up the images but my computer and programs were giving me a problem so I will work on them later and send them on to you Jaan so you can include them on the site. I will try to do a bit of a write-up to go with it as well for those interested.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Graeme Decarie wrote:
I can only remember my father pointing in a general direction, and saying “that’s the old polo field”. I do know that at that point we were a long way from the airfield.
Earlier on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Bob Carswell wrote:
I have been looking at Google Maps today and looked up the intersection outside of 9095 Boul. Gouin Ouest in Saraguay. As close as I can come the street shown as Avenue Joseph-Saucier would be the old polo road Graeme took to the Skeet Club. When you follow it to the bend you will see an entrance to the Bois de Saraguay and if you gauge it correctly you will realize that beyond the twist in the entrance the walkway becomes very straight, and is most likely the original polo road I was talking about. I think the park architects simply took the easiest route to create walkways. Unfortunately, I do not think I will ever get back to the area to check it out. Too bad.