Here comes the neighbourhood

After 3 years of house dreaming, 4 months of window shopping and 8 months of active house hunting, it is time to STOP!

Because….we found our home!

The view of downtown Toronto from the shoreline of Colonel Samuel Smith park.
The view of downtown Toronto from the shoreline of Colonel Samuel Smith park.
The house – which I will share more about in a couple million more posts – seems like it was almost designed with us in mind. It is a sprawling property, a block from the lake, a 10 minute walk from the beach, a short morning jog (with Khailee, of course) from gorgeous shoreline and greenspace, on a sleepy street in Toronto’s west end community of Long Branch.

The waterfront at Long Branch Park.

Eons ago, a fella named Colonel Samuel Smith of the Queen’s Rangers regiment (now known as Queen’s York Rangers), was gifted a large parcel of land  for his service to the cause (he was a loyalist).  In the 1880’s, James Eastwood purchased the land from Col Smith’s son and sold off a portion of it to a development group who envisioned it to become a summer resort with a sub-division of cottage properties. The hope was to offer a getaway for the many folks who didn’t own cottage properties north of present day Toronto. It eventually evolved into exactly that but under the ownership of the Wilkie Brothers in 1886 and was called Long Branch Park. Some accounts claiming that it was named after Long Branch, New Jersey which was apparently a very happening vacation spot.  Since at this time there were no major roads, highways or rail lines in place, cottage dwellers and other vacationers staying at the Long Branch Hotel would travel by steamboat from downtown Toronto to Long Branch Park.  Not long after this time a post office popped up to serve the summer resort community and slowly but surely, that large parcel of land was further sub-divided and was renamed a village in 1930.  Today, Long Branch covers the area of south Etobicoke from Lake Ontario north to the Canadian National railway with a western boundary of Marie Curtis Park and an eastern boundary of Twenty Third Street.

The area of Long Branch outlined with a dotted line.
There is plenty more to discover in our new community and a lovely Sunday bike ride was just the thing to get better acquainted with the tree-lined streets, businesses and people.  As for the house itself, it’s a project. But we are excited to be busy beavers and grow into the home of our dreams.
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