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 Paterson 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 totaling 200 acres. The middle Paterson 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 Paterson 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 became 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 Paterson 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 Patersons’ farm Brookside that was once there.

Google Maps, 2021

47 thoughts on “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.

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

    2. Not sure of historical accuracy of the spelling, but it is Paterson and have traced the family to 1505 in Scotland. Thomas was my great grandfather x 5

      1. Ah, thank you, Kevin! I will change any references to the family to Paterson with one “T”.

      2. Hello Kevin! I am a Paterson descendant and attended the 1968 reunion at Tam O’Shanter Golf Club. I am looking for any of the old reunion programs. I helped arrange a small reunion in 2009 and have been meaning to crate one ever since! I would like to match the content and format of the old booklets. I could have sworn my father had several but cannot find any, and have also tried other relatives. Thank you for any info you have.

  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!

    1. I grew up on Agincourt Drive from 1957 until 1978. I recall our back bedroom faced the railroad tracks. Such a lovely street.

  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. ?

    1. 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!

    2. I too grew up in this area in the late 1950’s. I attended Lynnwood Heights the first year it opened. Bill Ritchie was principal and my teacher was Mr. Harris. My parents home was on Norcap just across Kennedy road from Lynnwood. I had first attend the original Lamoureaux school but transferred when Lynnwood opened. Years later I played drums with an improvised band that Bill Ritchie, a huge jazz fan, put together.

      I remember “hanging out” at the Sportsman restaurant on Glen Watford and playing late night hockey at the Community Centre. It was a great place to grow up in, in the 50’s and 60’s. Swimming and bowling (5 pin, of course) at the Tam O’Shanter. I recall they had a giant golf ball and tee that stood on the corner of Shepard and Kennedy. Good times!

      1. When you say you attended L’Amoreaux do you remember what years. Are there any individuals that you remember from your time there. I lived on Birchmount between Shephard and Finch and attended L’Amoreaux from grade 1-8.

      2. Pat

        I transferred to L’Amoreaux from Brown School in Toronto and spent one year at L’Amoreaux. I transferred to Lynnwood the first year it opened whenever that was. I am good with memories but not dates.

        At L’Amoreaux I was friend with Jim Wakefield who was working with Bell, last I heard. This was many years ago,in the seventies.I knew, but was not friends with the Nitchie brothers and Gary Jarrett who I think had a try out with the Leafs. Also friends with Gary Pringle,who I ran into many years ago. He was living in the Beach at the time.

        Let’s see there was Bill OBrien who in later years I briefly played in a band with. That’s about all that come to mind now. Maybe I will think of more later.

        Did you go to Lynnwood also? That’s another treasure trove of memories. Nice chatting.

      3. No I never went to Lynwood. Just L’Amoreaux, then on to Sir John A and then Woburn. I am in touch with Ross and Lorne Wakefield (Jim’s brothers). I knew the Nitchie’s (Donna) but not a friend. I don’t recognize the name Gary Jarrett (I have a listing of most of the L’Amoreaux group). There were 4 Pringles, Gary being one. Don’t recognize Bill O’Brien. Up until the pandemic we have been having yearly L’Amoreaux reunions hosted at my home. We have about 16-20 people we are i contact with now and are always looking for more. Can you mention your last name (unless you prefer to keep it hidden from here). Let me know if you remember any other people and maybe I can put you in touch with someone down the road.
        Pat

      4. My wife (not a L’Amoreaux alumni) and I would love any information that you could provide. My full name is Dennis Rushforth and post Covid the idea of a L’Amoreaux get together would be fun.
        Please add me to your alumni list.

      5. I certainly will add you to my list. Please contact me at email p.woodcock at sympatico.ca. Do you have a Facebook account. If you do search for L’Amoreaux and our website should pop up and ask to join and I’ll watch for your name. There are a lot of people on here and lots of photos. We are always looking for pix of L’Amoreaux and students so if you have any if you don’t mind I’d appreciate receiving them to put on site.
        Pat

      6. Anybody remember the “Coffee Pot” restaurant at Glen Watford plaza, or Margret’s Fish and Chips

      7. Absolutely Geoff! A really nice young couple ran Margaret’s Fish & Chips. Still the best I have ever tasted! They always sponsored a team in the Agincourt Lions Hockey League.

        I don’t remember the name of the restaurant a few stores down from Margaret’s Fish & Chips.
        Some of us Juvenile House League players used to go there after our 7am games on Saturdays for toasted Danishes. Yummy! Mind you, some guys were still hung over from Friday night. They went straight home from the rink!

        I delivered prescriptions for Austin’s Pharmacy in my 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. Same plaza. Joan Talbot was a part-time cashier at the pharmacy. One of the most beautiful gals at Agincourt Collegiate.

        Other good Agincourt Lions Hockey sponsors: Don Brown Shoes, Village Fruit Market, Fisher for Sports, Helen Blakey Flowers, Agincourt Pharmacy, Morgan Lumber, Agincourt Jeep, and many more. All independant small business owners. Lifeblood of Agincourt 😀.

      8. You date me by about 10 years but our experiences are mirrored. I played in the Agincourt Lions house league at Glenwatford Arena for a few years before switching to Kiwanis Football. The diner next to Margrets had the best pea meal bacon on a bun and fries and gravy. The other spot we would hit on our lunch hour was the Italian bakery in the adjacent plaza. They had good pizza. The Coffee pot was only open for about a year after when we arrived (69-70) and I was pretty young but I remember they had table side jukeboxes.

      9. Way cool Geoff. The Glen Watford rinks were outdoors for the first few years I played. Interesting when it was windy and snow would pile up in the corners. The puck would disappear into the snow. We would hack away like human snowblowers to get at the puck. Great memories 😀.

    3. Hi Joy and Bob. Re: Public School Names Ending in Heights:

      I believe the names were given by the developers of the subdivisions in which the public schools were located.

      I think developers just added the suffix “Heights” to names like Highland, Lynnwood and Inglewood to add cachet to the names of their residential projects.

      Certainly my home neighborhood of Inglewood Heights lacked sufficient elevation to require a big sign like Hollywood! Incidentally, the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in Los
      Angeles was originally erected to advertise a residential development.

      Think there was a farm named “Inglewood” in Agincourt at some point. Scott Roliffe was the 1st principal at Inglewood Height PS. Cows roamed the grounds prior to the school being built 😀.

      1. I think my mother Florence Beatty was a teacher at L’Amoreaux in the ’50s I recall her speaking of Scott Roliffe and Bill Richie . She was married to Rev. Gleyn Beatty of Knox United Church in Agincourt .

    4. I lived on Grove Hill Drive and attended Lynwood Heights PS. I remember the principal Mr. Richie. This was a great neighborhood to grow up in. I remember the farmhouse at Kennedy and Finch having a big fire one day. The sidewalks were cinder paths along Kennedy Road to the plaza.

  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?

      1. Wow. I likely spoke to your mom in my years at L’Amoreaux. I went from gr 1-8 (graduated).

      2. Susan, there is a group of us previous students that up until Covid hit, held a reunion one a year at my home to meet, chat, exchange info, pix, etc etc. I was wondering if you and your mother would like to be included in our next meeting probably next Sept (as that seems a good time for most). Was also wondering if your mother is up to chatting with myself and another student sometime after the New Year. Would love to catch up on some stories she may have or old pictures etc. Thanks for any response you can give me. Feel free to email me anytime or contact on Facebook.

      3. My mother would have loved to have met with you all. My mom died in 1999. She was only 66. I remember when it was a PA day my sister and I would go to my mom’s school for the day. We would play school, sit in the teachers desk and had a great day. Sad day when all those little school houses along Finch were torn down. My mom worked at Lameroux , Hillside, AP wheeler and Ch Nerner. All the best!

      4. So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing so young. I lived on Birchmount between Finch and Shepard. Sad day when the school was removed. Would you happen to have anything of interest to our group about the school (eg pix, letters, …… which we might duplicate for our L’Amoreaux site on Facebook). Even a pix of your mom would be nice to have.

      5. I am in Florida right now but when I get home I will look for some photos. I know that I did have some of her school photos so will look for those. We lived at Kennedy and Finch on Grove Hill Drive. I used to ride my bike down by your school all the time.

      6. Here is a question for all you Lamoureux gals: What, if any, is the correct way to pronounce the last syllable of Lamoureux: eux like “slew”, or eux like “snow”.

      7. Thanks Pat:

        I always pronounced it “ru”, like “slew” too. With the advent of Lamoreux High, many people started saying the last syllable as the long “o” sound. I think “ru” is the correct pronunciation of the syllable “reux”. I think the long “o” sound in French is spelled “eau”, as in water, as in Trudeau.

      8. Happy New Year Susan. Turns out I ended up in Florida to go on a cruise out of Miami for 8 days. Had a lot of fun but glad to be home also.
        Thought I would just touch base with you so we don’t lose contact about your mom and any possible information. One of students I’m in contact with wondered if your mom might have known his mom who worked in Library. Her last name was Ross. Anyhow hope to keep in touch when you have time to search out any info and pix.
        Pat

  6. Hello! I’m looking to put together a piece to mark 50 years since the Tam O’Shanter fire next month. I am looking for any memories, stories, photos about the Tam, the fire, Agincourt, the time period, etc. If you’ve already shared memories on this article or other articles, feel free to share with me again! Thank you!

    Bob – bob@scenesto.com

  7. If I am not mistaken, this farm house was used by several restaurants in the late 70s early 80s. One specialized in deep dish Chicago style pizza. I believe there was a British Leland (MGs, Triumphs, etc) dealership next to it (corner of Sheppard and Kennedy). I also worked for a fencing company that operated next to the bowling ally near the CN line.

    1. Hi Dave Bond
      This is Janice (Askin) Draper. Gerry and I lived beside you on Dempster
      My mother, Verna Askin was Hostess for many years at Tam running the banquet hall

      1. Hi Jan:
        So nice to hear from you! I trust you, Gerry and the girls are well. OMG, we are senior citizens now! I remember your brother Rick too.
        Interesting about your mom working at the Tam. I curl at Tam Heather now. A most enjoyable way to pass the winter.
        Fond memories of our neighbours on Dempster Street 😀.

  8. Dave Bond and Janice Draper…a couple of familiar names from Inglewood, along with Rick and those Draper boys. 😉

    If I recall Olive Green also worked at the Tam. She got us in to see the Leafs when they had training camp there.

    Great memories of living where my grandfather called the edge of civilization in the 60s

    1. Hi Steve: I remember your family well. Had a nice chat with your brother Rick at the 25th year Leacock Reunion in 1995.
      I lived on Flowers Crescent in Ajax from 1993 – 2004. Your comrade-in-arms Steve Majoran was a good neighbour 😀.

      Good times growing up in Agincourt in the 60s!

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