Agincourt’s Brookside: From Farm to Subdivision

A curious item in the Toronto Public Library’s Digital Archive is an image of farm or ranch located in Agincourt. The picturesque scene is “Brookside”, the estate of the Pattersons, located on the northeast lot of the intersection of Kennedy Road and Sheppard Avenue. The evolution of this property is an interesting story.

Paterson, “Brookside”, Sheppard Ave. E., n.e. lot Kennedy Road, 1905. Credit: Toronto Public Library.

The Patterson family of Scarborough had three lots on the east side of Kennedy Road (lot 28) between Sheppard Avenue (Concession III) and Finch Avenue (Concession IV) in Agincourt, together totalling 200 acres. The middle Patterson lot was “Elmridge“, whose farmhouse still exists today.

Illustrated Atlas of York County, 1878. Credit: Historical Maps of Toronto.

The Globe, January 7, 1914. Credit: Globe and Mail Archives.

The 67-acre Brookside was the southern most of these lots running a third of the way to Finch Avenue and edging on the Canadian National Railway. It was opposite the future Tam O’Shanter Golf Club. The West Highland Creek ran through the property, likely giving the estate its name.

Map of the Townships, York, Scarboro, and Etobicoke, 1916. Credit: University of Toronto Map & Data Library.

The Globe, September 24, 1926. Credit: Globe and Mail Archives.

Brookside existed in a rural setting for much of its life, until the second half of the 20th century. By 1950, streets and houses popped up to the east, north, and south of the farm buildings, likely as parts of the Patterson lot was partitioned.

Aerial photo, 1950. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

Aerial photo, 1953. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

By the mid-1950s, the streets took their shape and names. Running north to south was Patterson Avenue to honour the family whose farm it was built upon. Running east to west was Station Rd (leading to the CN Station, now a GO Transit Station), Marilyn Avenue, and a tiny Reidmount Avenue. The woodlot behind the farmhouse also seemed to have been cleared.

Map of Metropolitan Toronto, 1955. Credit: University of Toronto Map & Data Library.

Aerial photo, 1956. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

By the end of the decade, changes were afoot. Patterson Avenue was renamed to an extended Reidmount Avenue and Station Road became Dowry Avenue. (As an aside, on the other side of railroad tracks, First Avenue because Agincourt Drive in 1957. The changes likely resulted from the reworking of the road network following the creation of Metropolitan Toronto.)

The image below is a Planning Map from the 1959 Official Plan of Toronto. The Brookside Farm is labelled as “R.E.” potentially meaning “Residential Estate” or “Rural Estate” or even “Residential Expansion”, which in any case references a larger lot. “R” is “residential” and “C” is “commercial”. The corresponding aerial image provides a visual of the lot division.

Scarborough: streets and names, 1959. Credit: York University Map Library.

Aerial photo, 1959. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

By 1969, the Patterson farm buildings have completely disappeared. Moreover, the West Highland Creek was channelized and widened along with a new bridge running over Kennedy Road.

Aerial photo, 1969. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

West Highland Creek looking southeast towards Cardwell Avenue.

By the middle of the 1980s, the area around Kennedy and Sheppard was increasingly built up. A new street named Cardwell Avenue now connected Kennedy and Dowry Street. On either side of Cardwell was a new subdivision of houses.

Aerial photo, 1985. Credit: City of Toronto Archives.

Cardwell Avenue east of Kennedy Road

Today, this group of homes are part of the modern geography of Agincourt. If one looks closer though, the shape of the overall subdivision corresponds to the Pattersons’ farm Brookside that was once there.

Google Maps, 2021

10 responses to “Agincourt’s Brookside: From Farm to Subdivision

  1. Interesting about the historical miss-spelling of the Family name. It was Paterson, not Patterson. Don’t know if it’s accurate, but I have heard that Paterson (one “t”) is Irish, and Patterson (two “tts” is Scottish. I played hockey with Barry “Fairco” Paterson in the Agincourt Lions Hockey League. Barry’s dad, Morris Paterson of Paterson’s Garden Supplies always sponsored a hockey team. They are the Paterson family in your story. Paterson Garden Supplies was located on the north side Sheppard Avenue on the east side of West Highland Creek. The original building is still there at the rear of the lot. Think it’s an auto garage now.

    • Interesting! The Toronto Public Library’s image of Brookside references Patterson in the liner notes but the title is Paterson.

  2. The other thing I just thought of was the Agincourt Bowl bowling alley. Good old 5-pin. I think the owner used to shudder when he saw us public school kids descend on the place on P.D. Days.
    My mom and my sister Jennifer used to bowl with the Rural Routers at Agincourt Bowl.
    My dad was a good bowler. In the 60s, if you failed to knock down the left corner pin, the rest of your pins in that frame didn’t count. If you faced a corner pin split, you would aim for the left corner pin to make your 13 points. My dad through hard. One time the left pin flew up and across the lane and took out the right pin. He successfully made the corner split!
    I believe the dark rectangular bldg parallel to the CNR tracks (centre – right 1969 photo) is Agincourt Bowl. There was a Purina grain elevator and Morgan Lumber where the GO Station is now. Morgan Lumber always sponsored in the hockey league.
    Thank you for these great posts Bob. Keep them coming!

  3. Agincourt is on my “to do” list. I have been there a few times recently but I haven’t walked around much. Both of my parents moved there with their families in the early 1950s and my paternal grandparents remained there until they died. My great grandfather lived on Agincourt Drive with the train tracks at the bottom of the yard. The area has changed so much from when I used to spend time there!

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed researching my past with the historical records of the “Village of Agincourt”. My memories are from 1957 to 1989, growing up in Agincourt, in the suburb area of Kennedy Road between Finch and what is now Huntingwood Drive area. Back then there were 5 streets on the East side of Kennedy Road, surrounding the Lynnwood Heights Public School built in 1957, which is still there. Our principal, Mr. (Bill) Richie, lived on Bellefontaine Street. Thus, he never missed a day of school, … even “snow days”! I’ve been back a number of times to visit the area. Yes, I bowled at Agincourt Bowl. Does anyone remember, Reids Dairy/milk shakes on Kennedy Road, across from April Lanes?? Also the egg man that delivered fresh eggs to the suburbs, I believe he was a farmer on Finch Ave. We also had bread, and milk/dairy products delivered door to door; and would visit vegetable stands at the end of farm home driveways, on Kennedy Road between Finch and Steeles Ave. I truly enjoyed my years of living in the “country”, when I was surrounded by farmland. I went to school with the Patterson, Reid, Kennedy, etc. descendants.
    I attended Lynnwood Heights Public Schools, 50th Anniversary, and Agincourt Collegiate 100th. I am Enjoying my research.
    I do have a question though, why were all the public schools, called,
    Lynnwood Heights, Highland Heights, Inglewood Heights, etc. ?

    • I went to Lynnwood Heights in the Nineties. It’s interesting to go back to look into that history. Good question about the “Heights” usage though!

  5. My name was Pat (Patsy) Everingham and I grew up on Birchmount Road (halfway between Shepphard and Finch). I attended L’Amoreaux Public School from grad 1 – 8. Anyone else live in this area from about 1955-1964?

  6. Juliet in Paris

    That’s super interesting, Bob. Thanks for that.

  7. Pingback: Agincourt | as I walk Toronto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s