As we continue to celebrate the Society’s 50th Anniversary, we are sharing articles from past issues of our membership magazine. As the City of Richmond Hill celebrates its 150th Anniversary, we will post some articles that share recollections of Richmond Hill of the past. Here we look back to the September/October 1996 issue of Heritage on the Hill and part 2 of an article by Harry Sayers. Read part 1 here.
Having previously covered (more or less) the east side of Yonge, we begin on the west side at Major Mac (then Vaughan or Maple Road, in the 1920’s) where the McGibbon house was on the southwest comer while on the north was the sign proclaiming “Richmond Hill – Toronto’s Highest and Healthiest Suburb -762 feet above sea level – the Rose Growing Centre of Canada.”
Further north came the Anglican Church of St. Mary, the Presbyterian Manse and Church with the original frame manse still on the front corner of the Presbyterian property on the south side of the lane leading to the Presbyterian cemetery. That manse is now at Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Soon, we come to the home and shop of renowned watchmaker Jerry Smith,(daughter Audrey Koning can tell you more), then the Public School, later the McConaghy Centre named after Mrs. L. M. McConaghy who was my first teacher on our arrival in the Hill in 1924 and Walter Scott was the Principal.
Next we come to the Palmer House later the Greenholme Apts, and recently torn down. Across Arnold St., the Palmer Brick Block, later called the Lorne Block, which housed, at various times a bank, shoe store, barber shop, etc. while the north end housed the fire house with the Council Chambers on the second floor.
Along this block were Glass’ Meat Market, Green’s Tailor Shop, the Rustic Inn, Bruno’s Fruit Market later the Fisher General Store, Bill Davies house and dry goods store with the Ontario Hydro office on the second floor.
Adjacent was the first (?) Dominion Store where I earned 15 cents for each order I delivered on my wagon! Then came Stein’s Store at Centre Street. Further north was the home of A. G. Savage with the Post Office in the South wing. Following were such stores as Isobel Hewitt’s Wool Shop, the Chinese Laundry and Wellman’s Men’s Wear at Richmond Street.
Across the street was Abraham Law’s house (later the Wright house) torn down to make way for a Sunoco service station. Close by was Carl Swanson’s garage with the gas pumps right at the curb. Then came the Anglican rectory, later Bettie’s Restaurant and it’s neighbour, the old High School (later the Municipal Hall).
Halfway up the next block was the Richmond Hill Dairy, Cowie’s (later Hunt’s) blacksmith’s shop and next door the property of Dr. Rolph and Lillian Langstaff, whose house was later moved by Dr. Jim to the rear of the property to face on Hall Street.
Further north, we come to Wright & Taylor’s Funeral Home (now Marshall’s), with the B. A. service station, operated at one time by A. White and Wilt Young, while across Benson Ave. was Cec Mabley’s White Rose station. Then came Little’s Ford agency and nearby Harold Reid’s service station. That brings us to just about the north limits of the village on that side of Yonge Street.
Here’s hoping that these reminders of the past, will recall to your minds memories of the “good old days” – they were, weren’t they ?????????