Historic photos from around Long Branch, Toronto

A small group of developers/financiers from Toronto bought a portion of land south of Lake Shore Boulevard West in Etobicoke that was originally granted to one of the earliest settlers in Etobicoke - Loyalist Col. Sam Smith - for his service in the Queen's Rifles in 1797. The developers planned to develop the area as a summer resort with a 10-acre park along the lake - only 45 minutes away from Toronto by steamers, such as Greyhound or the White Star that left from Yonge Street. It was first called Sea Breeze Park, then in 1886 the site was acquired by Thomas Wilkie and his brother and renamed Long Branch Park (after the seaside summer resort area of Long Branch, New Jersey). In 1887 a hotel with Japanese balconies and a pagoda tower was built, then a post office was built to serve the area.

The first Aerodrome in Canada and home to Canada's first aviator training school was opened on May 20th, 1915 (located on a 100-acre property on Lakeshore Road just west of Dixie Road in Mississauga).

The Long Branch Race Track was opened on September 6, 1924 and closed in 1955. It was located on the lands bounded by Evans, Kipling, Horner, and the railway tracks.

Just west of Marie Curtis Park is industrial land that has long been used for military manufacturing by the government - the Small Arms Limited Long Branch Arsenal, then Small Arms Ltd on the "Arsenel Lands." Guns such as No.4 MkI Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle, and the Sten submachine-gun (or machine-carbine) were manufactured there.

List of all areas in Toronto or take a look at the historic photos by date. A subset of the photos have also been arranged by subject.

1887 Historic photo from 1887 - Map of Long Branch Summer Resort with designs for villa residences and  summer cottages in Long BranchMap of Long Branch Summer Resort with designs for villa residences and summer cottages
130 years ago - 1887 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1914 Historic photo from 1914 - Recruits applying at Long Branch Camp for WWI in Long BranchRecruits applying at Long Branch Camp for WWI
103 years ago - 1914 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from 1915 - Women learn to shoot - Long Branch camp - now Marie Curtis Park in Long BranchWomen learn to shoot - Long Branch camp - now Marie Curtis Park
102 years ago - 1915 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1915 Historic photo from 1915 - Long Branch Theatorium - three generations of the Williams family in Long BranchLong Branch Theatorium - three generations of the Williams family
(Categorized under: West end theatres )
102 years ago - 1915 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1916 Historic photo from 1916 - Horner Avenue School Exterior facade with boys and girls entrances in Long BranchHorner Avenue School Exterior facade with boys and girls entrances
101 years ago - 1916 - Long Branch at 544 Horner Ave. north end of Foch Ave.
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1916 Historic photo from 1916 - Horner Avenue School (now Adam Beck Junior School) classroom with teachers office in the back in Long BranchHorner Avenue School (now Adam Beck Junior School) classroom with teachers office in the back
101 years ago - 1916 - Long Branch at 544 Horner Ave. at north end of Foch Ave.
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1916 Historic photo from 1916 - Doorway with washroom and coat hooks, Horner Avenue School in Long BranchDoorway with washroom and coat hooks, Horner Avenue School
101 years ago - 1916 - Long Branch at 544 Horner Ave. at north end of Foch Ave.
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1924 Historic photo from 1924 - Sign at Long Branch School for Aviators in Long BranchSign at Long Branch School for Aviators
93 years ago - 1924 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1931 Historic photo from Friday, July 17, 1931 - Open air pavilion and baseball diamond at Long Branch Park in Long BranchOpen air pavilion and baseball diamond at Long Branch Park
86 years ago - Friday, July 17, 1931 - Long Branch
Max temp: 27.2°C - Min temp: 20.6°C (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1950 Historic photo from 1950 - Long Branch Horse Race Track sinage - with next race, results, odds, jockey corrections, and $1 pays in Long BranchLong Branch Horse Race Track sinage - with next race, results, odds, jockey corrections, and $1 pays
67 years ago - 1950 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)
1953 Historic photo from 1953 - Long Branch Park Hotel, Long Branch Ave., e. side, near lake shore - destroyed by fire February 18, 1958 in Long BranchLong Branch Park Hotel, Long Branch Ave., e. side, near lake shore - destroyed by fire February 18, 1958
64 years ago - 1953 - Long Branch
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)