Friday, April 23, 2010

Ring Estate - 2609 Lake Shore Blvd. West - DEMOLISHED

Ring Estate - 2609 Lake Shore Blvd. West
© Michael Harrison 2010

The former residence at 2609 Lake Shore Blvd. W. was built in 1915 for Charles and Daisy Ring in the "Arts and Craft" style. Ring was the son of Robert Ring and Ella Aldridge and was born in Cornwall, New York in 1877, however later his family moved to New Jersey where his father worked as a House Painter.

In 1898 Charles enlisted in the 71st Regiment of the Volunteers of New York and fought in the Spanish-American War.  While serving in Cuba he contracted malaria.  The disease would continue to plague him throughout the rest of his life

courtesy of The Mimico Story

After the war he moved to New Jersey and married Daisy Rhodes in 1905.   They came to Toronto in 1909 when Charles accepted a position with an insurance company.  They originally lived in the Kingscourt Apartments in Parkdale on King Street West at Close Avenue before moving to Mimico in 1915 when their house was completed.  Charles soon opened his own business – Charles E. Ring and Company – with offices at 12 Richmond Street East in the now historic Confederation Life Building.  Later he became a mining financier, and was involved with a number of mines in northern Ontario such as the Potterdoal Mine, northeast of Matheson, and the Planet Gold Mines that Ring leased for a two year period beginning in 1941.  He seemed to be at the top of his game professionally and financially but in December 1941 his beloved wife Daisy died at their home.  She was laid to rest in Park Lawn Cemetery.  Charles remained a widower for the rest of his life.

From the very beginning of his life in Canada Charles was involved in many sports organizations as well as the Lion’s Club.  However his major efforts were on behalf of amateur boxing. He was a good friend of Lou Marsh, the pioneer sport’s writer for the Toronto Star.  Upon Marsh's death in 1936 Ring created the Marsh Trophy.  He commissioned Canadian sculptor Emanuel Hahn to design the trophy.  The end result was a three foot high pylon of black and gold marble on a marble base.   The trophy is awarded annually to the top Canadian athlete as selected by the Marsh Trophy committee.  In 1949 New Toronto’s own Cliff Lumsden received the Marsh Trophy and Charles Ring presented it him at a reception in the auditorium of Second Street School in New Toronto.   

Locally the Rings were active members of the Mimico Horticultural Society providing the Kunderd Cup which was awarded to the member of the Junior Horticultural Society who exhibited the best spike of gladioli grown from the bulbs which he personally distributed to the society the previous spring.  

Ring served on the Town of Mimico Council numerous times from the late 1910s to the 1950s. During WWII he was President of the West York Service League, an organization which sent food bundles to families bombed out of their homes in England. After the war, in commemoration of his efforts, the British Government presented him with a piece of stonework from the bomb-damaged Westminster Abbey.   In 1944 he was elected chairman of the Mimico Postwar Planning Committee, which was tasked with producing a rehabilitation plan for integration of Mimico soliders back into civilian life after the war, and planning for the post war period.  The recommendations were submitted to council for approval before being sent to the provincial government. 

However, having no children of his own, many of his charitable works were directed at children.   He was actively involved with the Newsboys Welfare Fund, raising money for the organization through annual amateur boxing events.  He also established the Charles E. Ring Foundation to provide for the welfare of mentally challenged children.

In the late 1960s he became legally blind and increasingly infirm but was determined to remain in his home with the help of a full time housekeeper and a part time secretary.  He succeeded and continued to live in his home until his death on December 9, 1971 at that age of 94 years.  He left various legacies to his existing relatives, his housekeeper and secretary, but left the bulk of his estate to the Charles E. Ring Foundation.

The house has been vacant for a few years and in 2010 I saw a large "For Sale" sign on the property. 

In March 2011 the city received an application to demolish the house in conjunction with plans for a new two storey residence.  

It was demolished in May 2011.

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