In the good old days in Bennington Heights
In the good old days in Bennington Heights, in the late 1920s, the big house at 30 Bennington Heights Dr. was too far out in the country for Eaton’s and Simpsons to deliver there.
It wasn’t until the mid 1930s that there were enough people to get delivery by horse, says Peter Weatherhead, who was born in that house.
He’s since moved, but he’s not far away now, in a home just a few houses west of Bayview on Hillhurst. He still runs the law firm started in 1862 by his family.
The family home has now been renovated but retains much of the striking interior with 18-foot ceilings and great beams, he says as he talks about those old days.
His father chose the location because of a friend, who took him to see what he called “the finest building site in the Toronto district”.
The family lived in a tent when the house was started in 1924. It was made of stucco because there was not enough water to mix mortar for bricks. The city didn’t connect the area to running water until 1931.
Enough was done that first year so they could stay through the winter, but with few neighbours.
There were a few houses built in the 1890s on Heath St. for stone cutters, and on Lumley Ave.
Kids were on their own to find things to do, like hiking to the Wire and Cable complex in the industrial park of Leaside, or to the Brickworks, which he remembers as a prisoner of war camp filled with Germans during World War II.
He took a bus to primary school. For North Toronto Collegiate he used his bike with an East York license.