Willowdale

Overview

Stories of the evolution of Willowdale from its earliest acquisition of land to today’s urban environment.

In 1855, Willowdale’s post office opened in Jacob Cummer’s store on Yonge Street. Today, streets in Toronto’s community of Willowdale are peppered with the names of the early farm families of North York, such as the Shepards, Finches, and Kennedys.

Author Scott Kennedy’s intriguing stories embrace the evolution of Willowdale from the earliest acquisition of land to today’s urban environment. You will read about combat training for the ill-fated Rebellion of 1837 that took place in the community fields; about Mazo de la Roche’s estate, Windrush Hills, which stood at Bayview and Steeles, and is a Zorastrian temple today; about the Kingsdale Jersey Farm, which was located on Bayview until 1972; and about Green Meadows, the estate of "Bud" McDougald, which was the last operating farm in North York.

Reviews

A great read for any Torontonian interested in the history of his or her city. And perfect for the former Torontonian as well.

Mike Filey, Toronto Sun

In breezy chapters sketching the stories of main characters and their stakes in the community, well-illustrated in photographs, this is a clearly-written account of Willowdale's rural legacy that takes readers to its urban present.

OHS Bulletin

…those interested in Toronto history and the recent rural past of North York will find a wealth of information and entertaining stories in Willowdale.

Beach Metro News

About the Author

Scott Kennedy

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014

Scott Kennedy

Scott Kennedy witnessed the farms surrounding his North York childhood home being planted with a new cash crop of buildings. He joined the Toronto Musicians’ Association in 1969, but never lost his passion for history. He traces the evolution of a Toronto neighbourhood in his book Willowdale. Scott lives in a Heritage Conservation District he helped create in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood.