Second Stop – Marina Ave. & Long Branch Ave.: May 5, 2018 Jane’s Walk

This post is a work in progress.

62 and 68 Long Branch Avenue and 28 Marina Avenue

The first thing that strikes the eye is the construction site at the corner of Marina Ave. and Long Branch Ave. at 62 and 68 Long Branch Avr.

A Jan. 22, 2018 Etobicoke Guardian article, entitled “Councillors approved stacked townhouses in Long Branch:
Toronto council will vote on matter later this month,” offers a quick overview of the story connected to the site.

Also of relevance is a Dec. 13, 2017 City of Toronto Staff Report entitled: 62 and 68 Long Branch Avenue and 28 Marina Avenue – Zoning By-law Amendment Application – Final Report.

69 Long Branch Ave. and 24 Marina Ave.

With regard to the church building located at 69 Long Branch Ave., at the corner of Long Branch Ave. and Marina Ave., a Feb. 29, 2016 City of Toronto Staff Report, entitled Intention to Designate under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act – 69 Long Branch Avenue and 24 Marina Avenue, provides an overview of the history related to both 69 Long Branch Ave. and 24 Marina Ave.

“The properties at 69 Long Branch Avenue and 24 Marina Avenue,” the Staff Report notes, “contain a church and rectory respectively. The properties were sold by the original Anglican congregation in 2008 to the Polish Full-Gospel Church who sold them in 2015 to a private numbered company.”

An April 12, 2016 Etobicoke article, entitled “City moves to protect heritage of former St. Agnes Anglican Church in Long Branch: Developer working with city heritage staff on an ‘adaptive reuse’ of church for residential development,” offers additional details regarding the church building.

First Nations and European settler history of Long Branch

The First Nations history of the area we now call Long Branch goes back about 10,000 years.

The settler history of Long Branch begins with Colonel Samuel Smith. After military service with the Queen’s Rangers in the American Revolutionary Wars, Colonel Smith was granted land that extended across all of what is now called Long Branch, and some ways beyond as well.

After he passed away, the process of subdividing of his land began in the decades that followed. One of the subdivisions formed the bases of the summer resort that came to be known as Long Branch Park, which dates from the late 1880s.

Founding of Long Branch Park

[Review the boundaries. Refer to gated community concept.]

An excellent overview of Long Branch Park, and other heritage features connected along the City of Toronto segment of the Lake Ontario waterfront, is available in a document, available on loan from the Toronto Public Library, entitled: Regional Heritage Features on the Metropolitan Toronto Waterfront: A Report to the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Department (1992), by Wayne C. Reeves. The call number 333.917 REE

Fact-checking

It should be noted, however, that any document, even staff reports from the Metropolitan Toronto government or the City of Toronto, that refers to local history, at times needs close fact-checking, with regard to dates and other details.

Often, such fact-checking doesn’t get done, for a variety of understandable reasons including, by way of example, tight budgets, time pressures, and limited staff resources.

By way of example, some online and print publications claim that the Long Branch Hotel, a centrepiece of Long Branch Park, burned down in 1954. Such information is in fact false news; the correct date – as archival evidence including newspaper accounts underlines – is 1958; the hotel burned down in 1958, not 1954.

How Long Branch Park has evolved

Excerpts from archival documents, about the interesting – and entertaining – history, of how Long Branch Park has evolved, will be included at stops along the way, as the May 5, 2018 Jane’s Walk proceeds.

 

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