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North York Street Stories
By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member

North York Street Stories, researched and written by North York Historical Society Board member Deborah Sacrob, will be a regular feature on the North York Historical Society website and also appear in the Society’s newsletter. Should you have stories about your street please send to info @nyhs.ca for Debbie.

Who was Earl Bales and why does he have a park named after him?
Why is The Bridle Path called The Bridle Path?
Why did they come up with the name Post Road?
Green Bush Avenue-what is the story there?

You will learn the answers about these streets and many more in North York Street Stories. I have found lots of fascinating information and anecdotes.

Recurring themes that I have found with street names:

  • Named after family members of land owner
  • Given the surname of the owner
  • Named after family homes in the U.K. or Europe
  • Named after prominent politicians of the day
  • Most street names have historical value

What I find quite amazing is that town/city developers use these names so many years later.

Finch and Sheppard

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Finch Avenue Finch Avenue is named after John Finch who bought land at Yonge and Finch in 1847 where he operated a tavern. Our research shows two names for the establishment, “John Finch’s Hotel” and “The Bird in Hand Inn.” The tavern was… Read more

The Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   The Cricket Club area was originally settled by a Scotsman named Andrew McGlashan who settled here with his family in the early 1800’s. The McGlashan’s operated a tannery on the south-west corner of Yonge Street and York Mills Road up until the 1860’s.… Read more

McGlashan Road/McGlashan Court

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Andrew McGlashan operated a tannery on the southwest corner of York Mills and Yonge. James McGlashan and Thomas McGlashan were both postmasters in Lansing Ontario 1881 to 1889. Bathgate-McGlashan House Toronto Public Library Digital Archive Read more


By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   There is a condominium development just south of Sunnybrook Hospital called Kilgour Estates. Joseph Kilgour owned Sunnybrook Farm. The first Provincial Plowing Match was held in 1913 at Sunnybrook Farm which happens to be the current site of Sunnybrook Hospital. In 1928 the… Read more

Harrison Rd./Harrison Gardens

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   The Harrison Family were United Empire Loyalists who settled on Yonge north of 401 in 1806. Wm Harrison 1784-1838, a casualty of 1837 Rebellion, was a supporter of William Lyon Mackenzie. Mr. Harrison bought the land where Harrison Rd. is today. Harrison Family… Read more

Green Bush Ave

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… Read more

Esther Shiner Blvd

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Esther was a prominent politician in North York, serving on the North York City Council from 1973 until 1987 (her passing) She was first elected as an alderman in 1972. The street bearing her name is located in the Leslie Shepard area. Esther… Read more

Conacher Drive

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Charles Wm (“Charlie”) Conacher 1909-1968 owned land south of Steeles, west of Bayview. Charlie played hockey for twelve professional seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Americans. He won the Stanley Cup with the Leafs in… Read more

Bathurst St

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Bathurst St gets its name from Henry Bathurst, 3rd Earl of Bathurst. (1762-1834), British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies during the War of 1812. He held that post until 1827. He organized migration from the British Isles to Canada after… Read more

Basil Hall Court

By Deborah Sacrob, NYHS Board member   Basil Hall was the Mayor of North York from 1970-1972. He was a founding member of Board of Governors of Seneca College and instrumental in development & building of North York General Hospital (NYGH). Jeffrey Goode, photographer 1972 Toronto Public Library Digital Archive Read more