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Scottish Diaspora Tapestry



The McCowan Collection

Remember the old barn right behind the Industrial Arts / Home Ec wing at Halbert School? (Well, it was really just part of the barn -- the horse stable and one of the driving sheds.) It was full of "old stuff" and some of that stuff will be the subject of an upcoming talk, "10,000 Years of Toronto History"...

Where: The Bluffs Gallery, 1859 Kingston Road (Scarborough Arts Council)
When: May 31 2003, 1:30 pm
Cost: Free
Refreshments: Provided by Bea McCowan, Associate Broker, Executive Editor, "Scarboro Heights Record"

McCowan Society local history publications including Neigh the Front will be available for sale. 35% of sales will be donated to the Scarborough Arts Council.

Need More Info? -- Call 416-447-4895
Email address at top of this page
More info here...

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #5

Congratulations to Fairmount Public School on their recent and enormously successful Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion! The McCowan Society and Scarboro Heights Record had a local history display at the reunion. I sent a small contribution to the Fairmount Playground Campaign. For information on this important local project, please visit www.renewourpark.com.

Fairmount Public School Reunion

Saturday October 19 2002
31 Sloley Road, Scarborough

1 to 4 pm
Special Presentation at 2:30

Barbecue at the Olde Stone Cottage
3750 Kingston Road
5:00 to 7:00 pm
Pub Night
7:00 pm until closing

Call 416-396-6240

Please RSVP regarding the barbecue



Learn all about the Kingston / McCowan Roads community of Scarborough Heights in the pre-Fairmount epoch!

What: Scarboro Heights Historic Sites Walking Tour

When: May 24, 2003, 2:00 PM (Rain date: the following day)

Where: For starting location, call 416-447-4895 or send me an email at bea@beamccowan.com

Tour Guides: Bruce and Bea McCowan of the "Scarboro Heights Record".

Our Previous Tours: Reviews

Cost: For individuals or couples who purchase "Neigh The Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights" there is no cost. Please order your copy of this 142 page book early because the size of the tour group is limited. (Proceeds go to the Janet McCowan Fincham Memorial Scarborough Community Studies Program.)

How to Order "Neigh the Front" and Register for the Tour: Send $17.00 cheque to the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society, c/o 19 Monarchwood Crescent, Don Mills, Ont., M3A 1H3, 416-447-4895 (Includes postage). An order form is on http://www.mccowan.org/publicat.htm and reviews are at http://www.mccowan.org/reviews.htm.

Want to keep the tour guides busy? -- Pick some questions from "Historic Sites" and "Notable Events"!

Bring your camera and your copy of Neigh the Front! More tour details are here.

The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #5

Neigh The Front - Exploring Scarboro Heights is a veritable gold mine for teachers, historians, or anyone who is interested in local history... As with the invaluable website which complements this booklet, Neigh The Front is filled with exercises and questions which can readily be used in any classroom. For all of these reasons, Neigh The Front deserves a prominent spot on every teacher's desk.

J.P. Hoekstra, Head of History, R.H. King Academy

The Scarboro Heights Record "Information Processing Program" beginning at http://www.mccowan.org/subject.htm provides a wealth of tools and techniques for students of all ages. It includes classroom-friendly on-line supplements to the recent publication, Neigh the Front - Exploring Scarboro Heights. The layout is extremely well-organized, making topics easy to find. In addition, the site provides new and practical angles on such crucial topics as outputting "better" information, information processing techniques, evidence and context, along with some rules for good writing. The information in this section is beneficial to anyone interested in honing their writing skills. I would highly recommend this site to all.

Ann E. Wakelin, Bach. Bus. Mgmt., VP Sales & Marketing, Remarc/Mat-O-Vend

Place an order for Neigh the Front

Half a century ago ... a stone's throw west of the Sisters of St. Joseph's property (which had once been part of the McCowan farm) and near the edge of the Bluffs, it was decided that another school should be built to serve the growing Scarboro Heights community.

2002 is the fiftieth anniversary of Fairmount Public School and the rumour mill is practically out of control! Could past and present students and staff be plotting a tryst ... a journey down memory lane ... an "I wonder what happened to so-and-so" reunion sort of thing? Stay tuned and we'll give you the details.

In the meantime, you can consider this page your unofficial "Tell it like it was at Fairmount" place. And of course, stories about the community in general are important too. Here's the first few instalments...

From The Scarboro Heights Record V9 #4

See also the Links at the top of this Page

Old Survey Tower Highest point on Lake Ontario
Back Forty Reveals a Relic


Fenwood Heights
By Paul Dotey, July 2001

Seeing my old neighbourhood's history on such a well-researched and thoughtfully annotated website is a real thrill. I have been reading the entries from former and current residents of the area and I wish I had such stories to contribute.

I am 25 years old and grew up on Fenwood Heights in the 1980's, long after all the streets had been paved, schools built, and homes inhabited by their third or fourth families... but I remember being fascinated with my mother's stories of the neighbourhood in the early days - she had grown up in the same house I had. When my grandmother moved to a seniors building in Guildwood, my parents purchased my mother's childhood home, and a new generation of memories began with my sister and I.

Each house on the street had a history - there was the first house on the street, Number One Fenwood. It was built before the street had even been properly cleared from Kingston Road. The owner, according to my grandparents, had to trek down the 'street' in the dead of winter with chains on his tires to get to the bottom of what would become Fenwood Heights. Set much farther back from the street than any other house, it was a modern, wide house with huge picture windows that took advantage of it's corner lot, overlooking the ravine and Lake Ontario. My grandpa also told me that the owner had ensured that the ravine behind Fenwood leading down to Cudia park would never be developed, by simply purchasing a narrow stip of land across the centre of the ravine. Not much to build a house on, but enough to make sure no one else did either!

The house had been abandoned in the late 60's or 70's, becoming a dangerous eyesore and firetrap: indeed, it was burned in the mid-80's when teenagers held one of many midnight parties in the dingy living room and basement, and had let an impromptu fire burn unchecked. As I type, I realize that writing into a history website complaining about No-Good Teenagers makes me crusty and old at the age of 25, but I digress.

Before the fire though, my sister and I begged our parents to take us to explore "One Fenwood" on summer nights after dinner (the equivalent of a walk in the meadow to suburban kids, I guess). We would walk up the long driveway with its tall poplars, and push open the wooden gates to the overgrown yard. Imagine a haunted house at the end of your own street! The rooms were full of furniture, mouldy and outdated; the stucco swimming pool, painted lavender, was full of rotten leaves. We never stayed long - rusty nails and loose floorboards made my mother nervous, or we just became creeped-out by the silence and long shadows.

In the past decade, the house has been purchased and renovated. I almost wish for the days when it was in disrepair -- it may have dragged down property values, but it added a note of interest to our everyday street.

Paul Dotey

PS - I was fascinated by the accounts of other residents - I didn't know that Dorset used to be called Fairmount Avenue! I cannot wait for the maps and I will purchase a copy of your book soon! Does the book give any more information on the early Indian settlers on Fenwood? This is too fascinating, and I'd love to delve deeper!

From The Scarboro Heights Record V9 #3

Anyone know the original name of Fenwood Heights Blvd?  The answer is in Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights.

Visitors since July 15, 2001
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