Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jermyn Estate

One of the largest estates on the Mimico waterfront, it was established in the mid 1890s by Mr. Thomas John Jermyn.  Mr. Jermyn was born in Ireland in 1846 and emigrated to Canada in 1864.  In 1870 he began as a cashier with Brock and Company, a Toronto drygoods wholesaler, and later rose to be Vice-President with headquarters at Bay and Wellington.  His city home was at 314 Sherbourne Street, across from Allan Gardens.  Jermyn died on April 12, 1904 days before the company's head office and warehouse burned to the ground in the Great Toronto Fire of April 19-20, 1904 which destroyed the city's business center.  The Jermyn family stayed on in Mimico Beach for some time and it was a favourite summertime haunt.  Percy Jermyn, Thomas' son, was often seen dashing about the waterfront in his sailing boat the "Nancy" practising for the annual regatta.

The Jermyn family later sold the property to Thomas H. Goldring.  Goldring was the son of Thomas Goldring and Flora McDonald, and was born in Toronto in 1877.  Goldring owned the estate for a short time beginning in 1919.  Thomas H. Goldring died in 1931 at which time the estate was acquired by the West family.

Louis J. West
courtesy of The Mimico Story

Louis J. West was born in London, England in 1872 and emigrated to Canada with his parents when he was a small child.  He was educated at Toronto and later founded the brokerage firm of Louis J. West and Company.  He moved to Mimico in 1905 where he took an active part in the incorporation of Mimico as a police village.  In 1919 he was elected Mayor of the town and held the post for two years.  He was one of the founders, and one time president of the Toronto Stock Exchange.  He retired from his brokerage firm in 1931 and died at his Mimico Beach home on October 3, 1936, leaving an estate valued at over $395,000.  The West family continued to live at the estate until it was sold to the Peckover family in 1945.  The Peckover family sold it to John Hamm and his wife Evelyn Pearl Bedford in 1947.  John was originally a journalist with the Mail and Empire but later appears to have turned his hand to the building of quality homes in some of Toronto's best neighbourhoods.  Hamm lived on the estate and also developed a small apartment along the Lake Shore Road frontage.  He sold the estate for apartment development in 1959.  Today the twin Shoreline Towers apartment blocks are built on the site of the estate.

4 comments:

  1. John Hamm was my step-father for many years and I'd like to correct his first wife's maiden name in your brilliant story on the Jermyn Estate. It's not Bedard but Bedford.
    Take care;

    (Ms) Tara E Gill

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    1. Hi Tara: Thank you for the comment and correction which I have made. Do you have any pictures of the estate when John Hamm owned it? I would also be interested to talk to you more about him and his journalistic an activities as a builder.

      Michael
      mimicohistory at hotmail.com

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  2. L J West had (just previously?) lived at the s/e corner of Albert Avenue & Stanley Street.

    The "small apartment" to which you refer at the property's frontage was mirrored by another one to it's farther west, they being of two stories each with brick garages behind, which were accessed from driveways located east & west of their respective locations. The drive to the garage of the below mentioned house was a continuation of the east driveway.
    The main house, east side mid property, with tile roof, stone exterior, copper eavestrough & leaders, leaded glass french windows, and solid mahagony interior woodwork, faced due east overlooking a spring fed pond, looking toward that of Milton Cork's house.

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  3. Hi JT - thanks for the comments. Could we talk further? You can reach me at mimicohistory at hotmail.com.

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