"We can never go back. Life doesn't flow in that direction. We will never again see fields of grain at the corner of Leslie and Finch or hear the blacksmith's hammer ringing out across Hogg's Hollow, but we can take comfort in the stories and the photos of the past, close our eyes and imagine a quieter time."
Scott Kennedy is a professional musician with an unabashed passion for history. In his book, "Willowdale Yesterday's Fams, Today's Legacy" he takes the reader through a photographic and original journey through the Willowdale neighbourhood set in Toronto's North York.
Willowdale now is defined by the area south of Steeles Avenue; north of Highway 401, west of Leslie Street, and east of Bathurst Street. When you read the book, you'll realize that the initial Willow Dale in 1855 represented the area around David Gibson's farm at Yonge Street and Park Home Avenue. He had placed a petition around that time to have a post office to serve the area.
Can you recognize the area shown in the photograph? Let me give you some context. If you have been to Yonge and Steeles, you will no doubt remember the urbanization in that area with Centre Point Mall dominant on the South West Corner. This is a shot from that corner. It was a farm owned by David Gibson.
Every chapter of the book takes an in-depth look at stories from the various families who owned the farms in the Willowdale neighbourhood. From the Kingsdale Jersey farm which was located on Bayview until 1972 to Green Meadows, the estate of "Bud" McDougald, which was the last operating farm in North York.
Ontario and Toronto history buffs will love this book by Scott Kennedy in their collection.
Willowdale Yesterday's Fames, Today's Legacy by Scott Kennedy is published by Dundurn Press