Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beamish Estate

Just to the west of the Ogden Estate was the estate of John Richard Beamish. Beamish was born in Kent County, Ontario in 1868. He later moved to Toronto and started a barber shop. In 1892 he would marry Elizabeth Patterson. Two children followed: Joseph in 1893 and Lorine in 1904. Tragically, Lorine would die in 1908 from diphtheria.

Beamish established his barber shop business at 7 Richmond Street East and grew it into the "largest barbershop in Canada". He seems to have done quite well. From more humble abodes in the downtown core, he was living in Rosedale by 1911.  In 1921 he is listed in the Toronto city directory as living at Mimico Beach but seems to have also had a home in the Parkdale area of the city.


Later in life he turned to politics.  In 1916 he was first elected to Toronto City Council as an alderman for Ward 2 and would be reelected an additional 19 times before he was defeated in 1936.  On June 1, 1937 he died at his home at 130 Tyndall Avenue.  The entire City Council attended his funeral at Cooke's Presbyterian Church.

In 1926 John Beamish sold the estate to Dr. John R Serson and his wife Lillian for $25,000.  Dr. Serson, a well known surgeon at both Grace and St. Joseph Hospitals died in 1939.  His widow Lillian Serson remained in the house until 1945 when she sold it to William Pryde.  Pryde flipped the estate in 1946 to Henry Woolmer.    The Woolmers remained until 1951 when Henry died and his wife Ethel sold the estate to Cecilia Chisholm.  


The house remained until about 1961 when it was acquired by developers who also purchased the adjacent Ogden estate and demolished both houses to make way for the Landmark apartment complex.

1 comment:

  1. That is very interesting. I was born in 1960 at St Joseph's Hospital and spent my first year or so in an apartment block on Lakeshore Blvd West called, at the time, Del Greco (sp?). We were, apparently, one of the first families to move into Landmark. I distinctly remember apartment 308. I grew up there until I was 12 and loved playing by the lake every day. What a great time.

    ReplyDelete