Located along the Toronto waterfront at the extreme south-west end of the city is the Long Branch neighbourhood. Presently this well established neighbourhood is in a period of growth, with new home developments being built along Lakeshore Boulevard. This neighbourhood has many selling features including a waterfront trail, Go Transit station, a local arena, public library, picturesque waterfront parks, and a lively shopping district.
The Long Branch neighbourhood is located with Lake Ontario to the south, 23rd Street to the east, Marie Curtis Park to the west, and Lake Shore Boulevard to the north.
Colonel Samuel Smith a loyalist officer with the Queens Rangers first settled in the Long Branch neighbourhood in 1797. His five hundred acre tract of land spanned the entire present day neighbourhood. Smith was the administrator of Upper Canada serving two terms in this position. During this time he constructed a modest regency style cottage at the south-east corner of Lakeshore Boulevard and 41st Street. Presently Parkview Public School is situated where his cottage once stood.
In 1826 Smith passed away. His estate remained in the possession of his children until 1871 when it was sold to James Eastwood. Eastwood was an industrious man whom timbered the oak and pine forests that covered Canada. Afterwards he rafted the oak and pine logs from the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek to the Toronto Harbour. Eastwood sold the lumber in the Toronto Harbour for a tidy profit.
Eastwood sold the eastern sixty-four acres of his property to developers in 1883. The land was used to create Long Branch Park. The park was modeled after it’s namesake located in New Jersey. Long Branch Park acted as a summer resort. Ferry boats were used to transport Toronto vacationers to Long Branch which boasted a boardwalk, amusement rides including a Coney Island Carousel, stunning summer cottages and a grand hotel.
In 1916 Long Branch became more accessible when Lake Shore Boulevard was paved. This transportation corridor turned Long Branch from a summer resort to a fully-fledged community with residents living here year round. This neighbourhood then saw a boom in development from the 1920’s to the 1950’s creating the area we see today.
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