Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cork Estate - DEMOLISHED

The other founder of Loblaws also had an estate in Mimico Beach. 

John Milton Cork was born in Picton, Ontario in 1870 but the family soon moved to Toronto where his father William opened a grocery store on King Street.  He grew up in the business and became a friend of Theodore Pringle Loblaw when he worked for this father.  Working together they created the self serve grocery store that would make them both wealthy men.  Cork's genius was the creation of the distribution system that would ensure that the Loblaw stores worked at peak capacity and maximum profitability.

He established his Mimico Beach estate in the late 1910s.  His estate was between those of Colonel Harry McGee and Thomas Goldring.

He was married to Adelaide Apted and had three children (2 sons and one daughter).  Adelaide died in 1928 and he married Lillian Bates in New York City in February 1933.  While he was on his honeymoon in the Caribbean Loblaw died on March 31, 1933 and he had to rush back to Toronto.

After the death of Loblaw, Cork became the president of Loblaw's and chairman of the board.  He remained with the company until he sold his stock to the Weston family in 1947.

Cork sold the estate to the bandleader Luigi Romanelli in 1941. The estate was the last one to be built on in Mimico and remained until 1963.  I have heard that the owner at that time offered to sell it to the Town of Mimico for parkland but that the town turned him down.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beamish Estate - DEMOLISHED

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.

Monday, March 14, 2011


John Kay is described in The Mimico Story as Mimico's first commuter.  Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he emigrated to Canada, first to Montreal and later Toronto.  In the late 1870s he bought five acres of land on the waterfront, establishing what would later become one of the larger Mimico Beach estates.

The Kays were a prominent family in Mimico taking on many leadership positions in the community and the family would remain on the estate into the early 20th century.

The estate would be sold in 1947.   The West Point Motor Hotel and Restaurant was built on the site in 1952.  It catered to the many tourists that visited Toronto, and was comprised of several buildings.  The restaurant, which included a venue for live music, was located along Lake Shore Blvd West.  It included a "diner" just within the front door with a more formal restaurant space to the back and in the basement.  Further behind and closer to the lake were the three motel buildings with plenty of parking in between.

In the early 1980s the Grand Harbour condominium complex was built on the site.

Bethfield - Odgen Estate - DEMOLISHED

The Odgen Estate was established about 1900 by Albert Ogden and his second wife Esther Herdman.

Albert Ogden was born in 1847 in Peel County, and was the son of William and Rebecca Ward.  Albert grew up on the family farm but attended Toronto Collegiate Institute and then law school.  He was called to the bar in 1876 and worked at a number of Toronto firms before becoming a partner in McMichael, Hoskin and Odgen in the 1880s.  Following Mr. Hoskin's death Albert practiced alone for several years before entering into a partnership with Mr. Bowlby.  They had their offices at 23 Toronto Street.

Albert was the long-time solicitor for the Salvation Army where he looked after the legal affairs of the organization first in Toronto and later the entire country.  He was a leader in the Queen Street Methodist Church, later moving to the Eaton Memorial Church.

Mr. Ogden's first wife was Mary Leadley with whom he had six children.  She died in 1895 and he married his second wife Esther Herdman the following year and had two more children.  Albert died in 1921.  Esther remarried in 1923 to Ebenezer Brock Lauceley.

Their Mimico Beach estate remained until about 1961 when The Landmark apartment complex at 2493 Lake Shore Blvd West was built on the estate.