Boundaries: From Lake Ontario up Bellamy creek and Bellamy Road up to the CN rail line on the east, along the rail line to Midland on the north, back along St Clair to Brimley, and along Brimley.
Kingston Road was the major throughway from Toronto to Kingston and beyond beginning in the early 1800s. It was also the route where people from the city traveled for picnics and recreational activity in the parks by the Bluffs. As a result many an inn or resting station sprang up along this route. One of the earliest was Halfway House, a hostelry that opened in the 1830s on the northwest corner of Kingston and Midland Avenue to cater to those traveling by stage coach at that time. It also served farmers bringing their produce to St Lawrence Market. It was about half way from there to the farming village of Dunbarton in Pickering, hence the name. It had a large Ball Room for dancing and entertainment also used by local farm families on winter nights. Later in the early 1900s it became popular with bicyclists out on day trips to Scarborough Bluffs Park. Then as motorized vehicles took over travel needs and motels sprung up along the route, Halfway House lost its importance. In the mid 1960s it was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village. Another landmark at this intersection known as the Scarborough Bluffs Refreshment Room was built in 1903 and still stands there today on the southeast corner.
Eugene O’Keefe came to Canada with his family from Ireland while he was still a young boy. The family settled in Toronto in 1834, and in 1856 at the age of 19, he became a junior accounting clerk at the Toronto Savings Bank established two years before by Bishop Charbonnel and members of the St Vincent de Paul Society. In 1864, he along with two partners purchased Victoria Brewery. Through his ingenuity he grew the company several fold, becoming very wealthy in the process. He was also very generous, donating large sums to the Catholic Church, St Michael’s Hospital and numerous religious and civic charities. He is credited with funding Toronto’s first low-income housing development. In 1907 he funded the building of St Monica Catholic Church in honour of his recently deceased wife’s favourite saint – the mother of St Augustine. And when the Archbishop of Toronto wanted to build a seminary to train English speaking Catholic priests, he agreed to pay the entire construction cost of St Augustine seminary, which amounted to $450,000 – a considerable sum for those times. The seminary opened in 1913 at its present site south of Kingston Road and west of Brimley, shortly after his death.
Cathedral Bluffs Parks overlooks the highest point of the Bluffs, 90 metres above the shoreline. On May 5, 2012 local resident Laurel Thompson organized an event at this park called “Talk about Climate Change”. It was part of 350.org’s Connect the Dots campaign which included events in local communities all over the world – making connections between a worsening trend of extreme weather events and fossil fuel consumption. After Laurel gave an opening presentation, a small but thoroughly engaged crowd heard from three experts, one from the Toronto Field Naturalists, one from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and one from Scarborough Transit Action. It was a small step, but an important one in creating awareness.
Beaches Living Half Way to Toronto’s Markets
Ron Brown From Queenston to Kingston: The Hidden Heritage of Lake Ontario’s Shoreline Dundern Press 2010
Historicist: Toronto’s Catholic Beer Baron
Dictionary of Canadian Biography