Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Humber Bay and the First World War

The community of Humber Bay was located in the Township of Etobicoke but today is part of the City of Toronto.  It was bounded by the Humber River on the east, Berry Road on the north, Mimico Creek on the west and Lake Ontario on the south.

It was never an incorporated municipality such as nearby Mimico or Swansea but was a community nevertheless.  

Along the shore of Lake Ontario the thin strip of land between the Lake Shore Road and Lake Ontario was a popular place for pleasure day trips from the City of Toronto from the mid 19th century. In fact, the collection of hotels around the mouth of the Humber River made it a "noted centre for taverns and sporting and social life."

Establishments such as these began in the 1850s, and over the years more were built by the likes of Octavius Hicks, Charles Nurse and John Duck who "spared no expense in beautifying the extensive pleasure-grounds" of Wimbleton House. 

To the north brickworks were established.  Most notably those of the Butwell family.

North of the Lakeshore Road and further north of Queen Street (present day The Queensway) market gardens existed providing seasonal vegetables to the city.

Areas along Queen Street (The Queensway) would be subdivided for development between 1890 and 1910 leading to the construction of a number of houses and commercial properties.  The area had its own post office and a volunteer fire department which began in 1923.

According to the Humber Bay Public School Honor Roll 1914-1918 a total 71 men served in the First World War of which 18 made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.  

I would like to thank Harry and Blanch Hall (Gwilliam) for their book Memories Of A Place Called Humber Bay from which I was able to draw upon for the names of the men of Humber Bay who fought and died in the First World War.
All information and photographs on this site, other than those already attributed, are copyrighted and may not be used without my permission.

© Copyright Michael Harrison 2010.  All rights reserved.

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