Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kilcooley - Colonel Harry McGee Estate - DEMOLISHED

The son of Thomas McGee and Rachel Webster, Harry McGee was born on September 20, 1861 in Renamore, County Tipperary, Ireland.  He came to Canada in 1882, staying with his brother Jim in Blyth, Ontario.  He got a job at the Golden Griffin in Toronto shortly thereafter but quit to work for Timothy Eaton in August 1883 at a starting salary of $6 per week.  He quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder from general staff to the head of a department, and then general supervisor of several departments.  He was made a director of the Eaton Company in 1906 and a year later was made Vice-President.  He was put in charge of Eaton's expansion plans and supervised the construction of the Eaton's store in Winnipeg, and then other stores across the country.  In 1928 to celebrate his 45th anniversary with Eaton's he was presented with many gifts including a Rolls Royce.  In 1892 he married Nellie McBride and they had one daughter, Isobel.  Colonel McGee took a great interest in agriculture and had a large farm in Etobicoke which he called Harnibel.  He died at his home in Forest Hill in 1939 leaving an estate of $1.2 million.  His Mimico Beach estate later became Kilcooley Gardens and operated for a number of years as a restaurant and reception hall before it was demolished for apartment blocks in 1957.  The property at 2345 Lake Shore Boulevard West is currently home to the Kilcooley Gardens Co-op.

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