Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bonnyview - Loblaw Estate

Theodore Pringle Loblaw, one of the founders of Loblaws, and known as the "Merchant Prince" established his Mimico Beach Estate in the 1920s when he purchased the Eaton estate.  He must have been a frequent guest at the nearby estate of his partner John Milton Cork and decided to acquire a summer home for himself.

Theodore Pringle "TP" Loblaw was born in Alliston in 1872, son of William James Loblaw and Isabella Stevenson.  His father died when he was an infant and his widowed mother moved in with her parents.  When he was 17 years old he came to Toronto and began working as a grocery clerk with W.C. Cork Ltd earning $3 a week.  With his first savings, Loblaw bought an interest in the store.  He formed a partnership with John Milton Cork and by 1910 they owned and operated  a chain of 19 small stores.  They soon sold the chain to the Dominion Stores Company.  It was then that he first came up with the idea of the cash and carry system that would make him famous and wealthy.  Prior to this groceries were bought with the help of clerks behind the counter.  In 1919 he began Loblaws Groceterias with the moto of "Cash, one price and satisfaction guaranteed". 

He soon followed with other innovations such as specialty products only available at Loblaw stores such as High Park Coffee, and its own Loblaw brands of tea.  

TP was generous with his wealth and was well known for his philanthropy.   

He married his wife Isabella Adam in 1895.  She died on May 27, 1930 of heart failure brought on by pneumonia at the farm in Alliston - she was buried in the family plot in Alliston Cemetery.  

Tragedy struck when TP died in Western Hospital from complications following a minor operation on March 31, 1933.  His funeral was held at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church on April 4, 1933 after which the body was transported to Alliston where he was buried beside his wife in the family plot in Alliston Cemetery.  He was survived by an adopted daughter Jean Agnes Loblaw and three foster sons Alexander, John and James Burr-Loblaw.  

In May 1933 the will was probated and valued at $2,196,301.  The Bonnyview estate in Mimico was bequeathed to his daughter Jean. 

Jean Loblaw sold the Mimico Estate to Mr. Franceschini in 1934.  Weston Limited purchased Loblaws in 1947.

The property was developed in the 1950s with apartments along the Lake Shore Road (currently Lake Shore Blvd. West) and sixplexes along a new street - Norris Crescent.

2 comments:

  1. How fascinating! we just moved to Norris Crescent and I was wondering about the history of the area. Douglas which serves as a garage lane for the sixplexes I live in has an old white/yellow stucco building with green rooftiles (whole thing in poor repair) but looks fascinating. I'd be interested to know what this building was at one point and what it is now.

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  2. I believe you are referring to one of the staffing quarters of the Ormsby/Franceschini estate. I believe it is currently rented out to tenants. You can read about that estate here:

    http://mimicoestates.blogspot.ca/2010/04/ormscliffemyrtle-villa-estate.html

    Michael

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