Community Solidarity
Home ] Up ]



Studies: Publications

Educational Resources

Historic Sites in Scarborough Heights

Links for Toronto Links

Scarboro Heights Record

Search This Site

Table of Contents



Peter Gassyt, March 2001

My wife, Joan, and I lived on Oakridge Drive west of McCowan Road for 40 years. Our four children all attended H.A. Halbert Public School -- even one of our grandsons went there for a couple of years. Shortly after the war, half-acre lots were made available to Veterans of WW11 through VLA (Veterans Land Act) so that they could build homes for their young families (struggling I might add). Many in the community today will not be aware of the Veterans’ struggle with the Federal Government over the proposed building of railway marshalling yards immediately behind their properties on Oakridge.

This was an enormous battle waged by these veterans who aspired to settle in the "promised land". Two members of my family were veterans involved to the hilt in this battle which was finally won and it in itself is an interesting story of the efforts of a group to retain the sanctity of their new-found neighbourhood!

While we (Joan & Peter and children) lived in one of the original VLA constructed homes, we were threatened when it was proposed that the Gardiner Expressway roar behind our backyard. I was President of the Cliffcrest Property Owners Association which had been originally founded to fight the CNR Marshalling Yard. We joined forces with "Forward 9", a strong Beaches-Kingston Road area Community Group also diligently battling this Expressway extension that was to snake through east end Toronto into Scarborough What a battle, but we won! And now to see a piece of the Gardiner coming down has a ring of poetic justice. Great credit for the success of stopping this monstrosity has to go the Forward 9 people with whom we worked so closely.

From The Scarboro Heights Record V9 #2