Herne Hill - John Ellis Sr.'s estate

North of Lake Ontario, just west of what is now High Park, stood John Ellis's house, Herne Hill, overlooking Grenadier pond and the lake. John Ellis Sr. bought the forested 66 hectares (160 acres) west of Grenadier Pond for $25 an acre, and built a house, "Herne Hill" on Grenadier Heights. It was his friend, John George Howard (who donated his land to create High Park) that had convinced John Ellis Sr. to buy the land. The area was known as Windermere in the 1880s, as it has rolling hills similar to its namesake in England, and then Swansea by the 1890's. Ellis Avenue was constructed over an existing First Nations trail as the entrance to the Herne Hill estate.

Despite the building of a railway along the south of his estate in the 1850s, Mr Ellis did not develop his lot. With the death of John Ellis' widow in 1884, the Ellis estate became the property of John Ellis Jr. who sold off the land to the north of Herne Hill. The house itself was demolished in 1925. 29 hectares (71 acres) of former Ellis lands on the east side of Grenadier Pond were bought by Toronto and merged with High Park in 1930.

 
 

List of all subjects. You can also see all the historic photos for a given neighbourhood. We also have a list of all the photos arranged by date.

And you can also go up a level to see the other photos we've put under the category of Estates_and_Houses photos.

1880 Historic photo from 1880 - Looking up the driveway to John Ellis's home - Herne Hill in SwanseaLooking up the driveway to John Ellis's home - Herne Hill
137 years ago - Swansea - 1880
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1890 Historic photo from 1890 - Looking north to Herne Hill and John Ellis residence in SwanseaLooking north to Herne Hill and John Ellis residence
127 years ago - Swansea - 1890
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1890 Historic photo from 1890 - Looking south to Lake Ontario from Herne Hill - John Ellis house in SwanseaLooking south to Lake Ontario from Herne Hill - John Ellis house
127 years ago - Swansea - 1890
Link to archive record - Map location (From Archives of Ontario)
1900 Historic photo from 1900 - John Ellis house looking e. from w. side Catfish Pond in SwanseaJohn Ellis house looking e. from w. side Catfish Pond
117 years ago - Swansea - 1900
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1910 Historic photo from 1910 - Portrait of John Ellis Jr, (1836-1923) on his Herne Hill estate, looking s.e. across Grenadier Pond in SwanseaPortrait of John Ellis Jr, (1836-1923) on his Herne Hill estate, looking s.e. across Grenadier Pond
107 years ago - Swansea - 1910
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1915 Historic photo from Sunday, October 10, 1915 - Cottage and orchard at Herne Hill - Mr Lefroy (in tree) the tenant of the cottage in SwanseaCottage and orchard at Herne Hill - Mr Lefroy (in tree) the tenant of the cottage
102 years ago - Swansea - Sunday, October 10, 1915
Max temp: 11.1°C - Min temp: 1.7°C (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1915 Historic photo from Monday, November 1, 1915 - John Ellis and his housekeeper Mrs Fannie Griffiths Clayton, with telescope by his house "Herne Hill" in SwanseaJohn Ellis and his housekeeper Mrs Fannie Griffiths Clayton, with telescope by his house "Herne Hill"
102 years ago - Swansea - Monday, November 1, 1915
Max temp: 16.1°C - Min temp: 11.1°C (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the Toronto Public Library)
1925 Historic photo from Wednesday, December 23, 1925 - Old Ellis residence - Herne Hill - Swansea in SwanseaOld Ellis residence - Herne Hill - Swansea
92 years ago - Swansea - Wednesday, December 23, 1925
Max temp: -1.7°C - Min temp: -11.1°C - 1.5cm of snowfall (weather details)
Link to archive record - Map location (From the City of Toronto Archives)