By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member
Green Bush Avenue gets its name from a tavern of the same name located on the northeast corner of Yonge & Steeles. In 1830 the tavern was opened by Joseph Abrahams. There was a large balsam tree in front of the building which gave the name. The stables of the Green Bush were destroyed by fire and eleven horses were killed. Only well water was available to douse the fire as the river was too far away. After the fire, Joseph Abrahams moved to the outskirts of York on Lot St in Toronto and opened another hotel by the same name.
John Morley, a Newtonbrook property owner, built a tavern on the northwest corner of Yonge & Steeles in Vaughan in 1846. It was later called the Steele’s Hotel, Poplar House, and the Green Bush Inn, with Thomas Steele as proprietor. In 1877, Thomas’s son John Steele took over the hotel. This is the origins of both Green Bush and Steeles.
Green Bush Inn (1891) – Toronto Public Library Digital Archives, photographer unknown