James Alexander McCowan
Home ] Up ]



Studies: Publications

Educational Resources

Historic Sites in Scarborough Heights

Links for Toronto Links


Scarboro Heights Record

Search This Site

Table of Contents



Jim was the last to be born in the old McCowan farmhouse at Stop 20 Kingston Road. The construction of H.A. Halbert Public School a stone's throw from the house was still almost 20 years away. One of Jim's business ventures, Bantun Sales, was the last tenant of the grand old farmhouse, demolished in 1975 to make room for a townhouse complex.


James Alexander "Jim" McCowan
By Bill McCowan

Being eight years older than Jim, I can remember getting up one morning and seeing this person dressed in white - her name, I believe, was Maud Knight, a nurse, and Dr. Demary from Lyall Avenue in Toronto, our family doctor. I guess at that point I was told that I had a baby brother. Doctor Demary made several house calls but always had time to have a game of Billiards before he left. He taught us to play Boston -- we had a small billiard table in the kitchen.

With the Kingston Road being so close and busy, somebody had to watch Jim once he started to walk. That was my job some of the time.

When Jim started to Public School at S. S. #9 in Scarborough Village, I was already out, but my cousin, Frank, had one year left. So Jim did have someone to walk to school with for a year. After that he was probably more on his own, although Victor and Florence Brittnel, who lived in Stan Chester's house, went to school for a while. (While the Britnells lived in his house, Stan, my Dad's first cousin, lived in a tent out by his barn. This was during the Depression.) Victor and Florence went to #9 for a while but left because Mrs. Brittnell didn't think the school was good enough for them. Joyce Thomson taught at #9 and was Jim's teacher. He quite often called her Joyce instead of Miss Thomson.

After the War, Jack Neilson's farm on the west side of McCowan Road was sold to the Department of Veterans' Affairs for the Veterans' Land Act, and Gordon Vale subdivision was started. Jim at this time was looking after the chickens - so he had an egg route through the subdivision. I think he bought a Durant car to deliver eggs with but I don't think it lasted too long.

When Mom and Dad went lawn bowling, Jim had to go too when there was no one around at home to watch him. He met Doug Randell, who went for the same reason. They eventually started bowling and finally, in the late 40's or early 50's they won the Ontario Junior Doubles Championship. In the winter time he did a lot of ice skating at Little Switzerland on Markham Road.

Jim worked for a few years in the Assessment Department of Scarborough but decided that he didn't like working for someone else, and he started Bantun Sales, selling bubble gum for one cent a piece.

From The Scarboro Heights Record V4 #4