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Scarboro Heights Record

The Lowland Clearances

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A Service of
The Scarboro Heights Record

Dedicated To 
Local History and Local Heroes
in Scarboro Heights

Please send useful links, stories of life in the community
and any other correspondence
to the address on the Contacts Page

Please let us know if any of the external links on this web site don't work. As you can imagine, we can't be responsible for the content you may find at the other end of any external link!

Reciprocal Links
Sharing a Vision for
Community Studies and Learning

I am pleased to see that a number of other organizations are now linking their web sites to The Scarboro Heights Record and The James McCowan Memorial Social History Society. These reciprocal links are greatly appreciated. I trust that these links are largely a vote of confidence in our efforts and ability to build a valuable community studies educational resource.  If your group is interested in community and family studies, social and economic progress or the role of education in preparing young people to make informed decisions, then, by all means, "let's link"!

Toronto Public Library Virtual Reference Library (VRL)
VRL combines library resources, research guides and internet searching tools that are selected and maintained by TPL librarians o provide a powerful and high quality "virtual" research and reference service. TPL hosts "Ontario History Quest" for students at http:/

Canada's National History Society
#478-167 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B0T6

Devoted to brushing the dust off Canadian history to reveal our true passion and drama. Discover Canada's histr-ordinary past at

Ontario Black History Society
The Ontario Heritage Centre, 10 Adelaide St. East, Suite 202, Toronto, Ont., M5C 1J3, 867-9420.
The Ontario Black History Society is dedicated to the recognition, preservation and promotion of the contribution of Black peoples and their collective histories. Audio-visual presentations, oral history interviews, Ontario Black History News and travelling exhibitions are used to promote the objects.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
115 St. Andrew's Rd., Scarborough, Ont., M1P 4N2, 416-438-4100

Sunday Services at 9 and 11 am
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was founded in 1818 as the Presbyterian Congregation of Scarborough in connection with the Church of Scotland. It is among the oldest Presbyterian congregations in Ontario and has recognized its strong Scottish roots through the years. St. Andrew's has been the focal point for the celebration of Scottish achievements in Scarborough during the city's Bi-Centennial in 1996 and is pleased to count many Scarborough folk of Scottish ancestry in its membership.

The Scarboro Heights Record
Dedicated to Promoting Community Events, Multicultural Activities, The Arts, Non-Profit Groups, Local History and Local Heroes.

James McCowan Memorial Social History Society
A Not-For-Profit, Non-Charitable Organization Dedicated To Placing the Scottish Experience Within the Wider Context of the Community.

Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society
Promoting the study of family history, particularly in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, covering Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, and Stirlingshire.

Lanarkshire Miscellany
Genealogical info, tips and contacts in connection with Lanarkshire, Scotland, and its history.

BBC Radio Scotland
BBC News article about the acclaimed series, "The Lowland Clearances". The McCowan Society contributed significant historic materials and interviews for the series.
BBC News, May 16 2003

... The Lowland Clearance programmes were important to BBC Scotland, and the material that our team recorded in Canada was an integral part of the production. I am very pleased that the study of our shared heritage is so vibrant in Toronto.

Maggie Cunningham, Head of Radio, Scotland

Capricorn 9
A Non-profit theatre company, based in Toronto, specializing in writing and producing small scale musicals and plays.

Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra
Driven by the love of music, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra continues to bring high quality classical music to its audiences.

P.O. Box 51074, 18 Eglinton Square, Scarborough, ON, M1L2K2
Box Office 416-879-5566

Lost River Walks
Aspects of Toronto's natural history. A joint project of the North Toronto Green Community and the Toronto Field Naturalists.

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Cemetery Project
Machzika B'nai Israel Cemetery on the McCowan farm

Ayrshire History
Supplementary materials for our Lesson Plans.

Cliffside Village Community




The James McCowan
Memorial Social History Society

And the
Scarboro Heights Record
Are Proud to Be
"Front and Centre" at another Major Exhibition

Toronto -- A Place of Meeting
10,000 Years of Toronto History
May 17 - August 2, 2003

Toronto Reference Library, TD Canada Trust Gallery
789 Yonge Street, Toronto (1 block north of Bloor),
416-395-5577 or 416-393-7131
Mon-Thur. 10-8;  Fri-Sat. 10-5

The McCowan Collection

The Robert Ashbridge McCowan and William Harold McCowan Collections of aboriginal artifacts include the earliest known evidence of human occupation in Toronto, approximately 8,000 BC. The sub-title of the exhibition, 10,000 years of Toronto History, was so chosen because of two of these relics found by Ashley and Harold McCowan. For many years, a partial skull was also in the attic of the Harold McCowan home -- and the associated family story relates to the "wigwam that must have been down by the bush".

James McCowan’s letter of August 20 1834 was written from Springbank, Scarborough, 8 days before his death of cholera. This letter is an Upper Canada medical history treasure, not just for it’s references to the cholera deaths in the neighbourhood but, in particular, for McCowan’s first-person description of the early symptoms of cholera. Springbank was on Lot 20 Concession B less than 1/2 mile east of the location of the aboriginal artifact finds. Notes regarding this medical history treasure.

You can also take the Virtual Tour at
Click on the spearpoint   and then on the "View Timeline" link to start your tour of the McCowan Collection. The "Paleo-Indian", "Archaic Spear Points", "Ground Stone Axes" and "Ontario Iroquoian Pottery" are from the McCowan Collection. The James McCowan letter of 1834 is only in the virtual tour. The estimate of 500 deaths by cholera in York that year is probably low -- many were very quickly buried in common graves.

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #6 

I Have Worked With...

These links are to lists of organizations that have participated in various projects with the Scarboro Heights Record and the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society. Please bear with me as I update the contact information for these groups:

Other Useful Links

On this page I will assemble an assortment of useful links -- for the former City of Scarborough, Community Studies in general, day trips and much more. See also Coming Events for many more links.



Volunteer Centre of Toronto -- Scarborough
3090 Kingston Rd., Suite 205A
Scarborough, M1M 1P2
Tel 416-264-2308;  Fax 416-264-2300
Free management services to not-for-profit sector, 416-961-6888

The Scarborough Hospital

Scarborough Support Services for the Elderly
1450 Midland Ave. Suite 301
Scarborough, Ont.

You can nominate someone for an Ontario Volunteer Service Award by contacting:
The Ministry of Citizenship
Ontario Honours and Awards
2nd Floor, 400 University Ave.
Toronto, ON, M7A2R9

Toronto's Threatened Heritage

The Guild Inn

Arts, Heritage and Culture

Scarborough Arts Council

Chinese Cultural Centre
5183 Sheppard Ave. E, 416-292-9293

Art Guild of Scarborough

Ontario Heritage Foundation
10 Adelaide Street East
Toronto M5C 1J3
Tel 416-325-5000;  Fax 416-325-5071

Doris McCarthy
Renowned Canadian artist

StoryTelling Workshops and Storytellers School of Toronto

Canadian Conference of the Arts

Community Arts Ontario
441-401 Richmond St. W., Toronto, ON, M5V 3A8
Leadership and Volunteering in arts and culture

Cedar Ridge Gallery
225 Confederation Drive
Scarborough, ON

Doors Open Toronto
Over 100 Toronto properties of architectural and / or historic significance are all open to visitors for one weekend in late May each year. Pre-registration is not required.
Doors Open Toronto Program Development Office
Culture Division, City of Toronto
Metro Hall Room 207
55 John St., Toronto, Ont., M5V3C6
Doors Open at Doris McCarthy's Fools Paradise

Theatre Ontario
30 St. Patrick St., 2nd Floor
ON, M5T3A3

Capricorn 9
A Non-profit theatre company, based in Toronto, specializing in writing and producing small scale musicals and plays.
Toronto Book and Magazine Festival

City of Toronto Archives
255 Spadina Road, Toronto, ON, M5R2V3

Archives of Ontario

Spadina House
285 Spadina Road, a few blocks south of St. Clair Avenue West, next door to Casa Loma (416) 392-6910
Operated by the City of Toronto, this elegant 1866 estate on 2.4 hectares features original art, furnishings and magnificent Victorian and Edwardian gardens. Open from May 1 to Labour Day, Tuesday to Sunday noon to 5 p.m., and from September 4 to December 31, Tuesday to Friday noon to 4 p.m., weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m. Spadina Historic House also offers a Summer Camp program. Call (416) 392-6827, Ext. 229 or press *300.

Stage Centre Productions

Editors Association of Canada, Toronto Branch

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild

The Toronto Story
One brochure from Toronto Culture included a photograph of the McCowan Log House museum. Here a sample...
Every city has a story to tell. Eleven Museums bring Toronto's history to life... Set along the walking trails of beautiful Thomson Memorial Park, the Scarborough Historical Museum traces the story of this community's rural roots and two centuries of immigration. Witness the transition from early settler life in the McCowan Log House to the exciting innovations of the early 20th century in the Cornell House.
1007 Brimley Rd. just north of Lawrence Ave. E.
TTC -- Brimley 21 bus north from Kennedy subway station or south from Scarborough Town Centre. Get off one block north of Lawrence Ave. and walk into the park.

The Greatest Canadian  
Meet our nominee. offers newcomers to Toronto a gateway to information about their new community as well as services and resources.

Recreation, Community Centres and Clubs

Scarboro Golf and Country Club
321 Scarborough Golf Club Road
Scarborough, ON, M1J3H2

Cliffcrest Community Centre
1 McCowan Road
Scarborough, Ont.
Cliffcrest Family Resource Centre: Toy and Resource Lending Library, Parent Relief, Clothing Exchange, Field to Table

Warden Woods Community Centre
The Bell Estate Seniors' Services
Intergenerational programs, gentle exercise, music and dance, reminiscence, gardening, baking and cooking
679 Warden Ave., Scarborough, Ont., M1L3Z5

Rotary Club of Scarborough

Kiwanis Club of Scarborough 

Bluffers Park
7 Brimley Road South
Toronto, Ontario
M1M 3W3

Scarborough Camera Club
Meetings are at David and Mary Thomson Collegiate
2740 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough

Scarborough United Women's Soccer Club
(Soccer at Scarborough Fair in the 1920s)

West Rouge Community

Our McCowan Road 60's Road Hockey Reunion page was 3rd of 82 that were listed at

The Guild Renaissance Group
1859 Kingston Road
Scarborough, Ont.

Discovery Walks
Self-Guided Walks in Toronto
Check your local library for brochures
Scarboro Heights Historic Sites Walking Tour

Alexander Muir Park
Horticultural displays and formal gardens. Honouring the memory of Alex Muir, author of The Maple Leaf Forever.
East side of Yonge St. south of Lawrence

Momiji Centre
Leisure and Educational Opportunities for the whole family
3555 Kingston Road
Scarborough, ON
Fax 416-261-9384

Highland Creek Heritage Festival

Toronto Community Foundation
Mission: To connect philanthropy to community needs and opportunities.
Vision: To ensure the vitality of Toronto and to make it the best place to live, work, learn and grow through the power of giving.
The Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) is a charitable organization that has been serving the Toronto community for 22 years. Like 730 other community foundations across North America, the TCF invests charitable gifts from a range of donors into a pooled income-earning fund and helps provide leadership on key community issues. Grants from fund earnings support a broad range of registered charities and community initiatives.

Toronto Trails Festival

Out-of-Town Jaunts
Day and Weekend Trips in Ontario

Pickering Museum Village
This fine Museum complex includes a home that was originally located in Scarborough

For Arts and Entertainment near Ottawa

Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
Museum, Conference Centre, Education Centre, Pioneer Cabin, Stream Study Area, Playstructure, Trails
The museum showcases the life and works of Robert Tait McKenzie -- renowned surgeon, pioneer physiotherapist, sculptor and watercolour artist.
RR 1 Almonte, Ont., K0A1A0

Lanark County Maple Byway Driving Tours
"Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario"

Agriculture Museum
Experimental Farm Drive

Trans Canada Trail
c/o Ontario Trails Council
Suite 203, 232A Guelph St.
Georgetown, ON, L7G4B1

Corn / Sunflower Maze
Ontario Maze
Road 128 (7477), Newton, ON, N0K1R0
(between Waterloo and Listowel)

Ontario Farm and Country Accommodations
Take a vacation in rural Ontario
Box B.R. 10, RR2 Alma, Ont., N0B1A0

Capitol Theatre, Port Hope

The Old Church Dinner Theatre
Port Elgin

The Bruce Peninsula
Bruce Peninsula Tourism
Box 269 Wiarton, Ont, N0H2T0
Bruce Trail, diving and shipwrecks, birding, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, caves.

Tom Thomson Country -- Owen Sound
Billy Bishop Heritage Museum, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Mill Dam and Fish Ladder, Inglis Falls, Driving Tours
Owen Sound Tourism

Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery
Regional art centre and national cultural attraction dedicated to the innovative spirit of landscape artist and Canadian icon, Tom Thomson, who was born near Claremont in 1877.
840 First Avenue West
Owen Sound, Ontario, N4K 4K4

Grey County Waterfall Tour
The highest point in Ontario is in Grey County. The natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment becomes all the more breathtaking at the seven Falls of Grey County -- Indian Falls, Jones Falls, Inglis Falls, Walter's Falls, Eugenia Falls, Hoggs Falls and McGowan Falls.

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
Ball's Falls Heritage Conservation Area, Jordan, ON.

Paisley -- A Historic Village
Steam and Antique Show, Salmon Run, Fall Fair

Haliburton Highlands

Country Heritage Park
8560 Tremaine Road, Milton

Steam Era
Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association
Tractor pulls, demonstrations and much more.
Aug. 30-Sept. 1 2003

Birding in the Land O'Lakes, Ontario
Land O'Lakes Tourist Association

The Original Hockey Hall of Fame (est 1943)
Kingston, Ontario

Lennox and Addington County Museum
97 Thomas St., Napanee

Bay of Quinte Country
Bay of Quinte Tourist Council

Stirling Agricultural Fair

Prince Edward County

Amazing Prince Edward County Adventure
Tour over 60 houses, farms, studios and gardens

Rideau Canal Museum
In this historic mill, acquaint yourself with this Canadian Heritage River System and the vital economic role of the Rideau canal, built between 1826 and 1832.
34 Beckwith Street S., Smiths Falls, Ont., K7A2A8

Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons
Highway 12 East, Midland, Ontario, L4R 4K8
Descendants of Scarborough's first farmers 1000 years ago migrated north to lighter soils where they were found by French Jesuits in the 17th century.

Cobalt Northern Ontario Mining Museum
24 Silver Street, Cobalt, ON P0J1C0
Town of Cobalt
History and social life of the Cobalt Mining Camp beginning in 1903. There is also self-guided car tour of many abandoned silver mining sites as well as a guided tour of an old adit.

Ride the Moraine Train
For a unique return trip through the Oak Ridges Moraine, board this heritage train either in Uxbridge or in Stouffville.
York-Durham Heritage Railway
P.O Box 462 Stouffville, ON, L4A7Z7

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
Late March / early April
Bruce's Mill Conservation Area
Stouffville Road east of 404

Recreation Trails of York Region
Regional Municipality Of York Health Connection

Cochrane-Timiskaming Travel Association

Belle Vallee Wools
Woolen mill equipment from turn of the century Ontario makes this the only farm-based woolen mill in eastern Canada -- all natural!

Town of New Liskeard -- Tri-Town District Chamber of Commerce

Town of Port Hope

Attractions Ontario

Haileybury Heritage Museum
55 Main Street, Box 911 Haileybury, ON, P0J1K0
Hailebury celebrates 100 years in 2004. Meet one of the "promoters" of Temiskaming Shores a century ago.

Heritage Silver Trail
Town of Cobalt
Self-guided drive along the back roads of Cobalt and through some of the more historical mining sites provides typical examples of mining at the turn of the century.

Stephen Leacock Theatre of Performing Arts
Keswick, ON

Cochrane-Temiskaming Museums and Galleries Association
Including Elk Lake Museum, Cochrane Railway and Pioneer Museum, Iroquois Falls Pioneer Museum, Timmins Museum, Englehart and Area Historical Museum, Haileybury Heritage Museum, Bunker Military Museum, Temiskaming Art Gallery, Little Claybelt Homesteaders' Museum, Heritage Logging Attraction-House of Memories Museum, Cobalt Historical Society and Cobalt Northern Mining Museum, Temagami Railway Station Restoration Trust.

Banting House National Historic Site
The Birthplace Of Insulin
442 Adelaide St. N., London, ON, N6B3H8

The Sharon Temple
National Historic Monument to Peace
18974 Leslie St., Sharon

Lundy's Lane Historical Museum

Old Time Threshing Bee
The Puslinch Historical Society (Guelph area)

Community Studies -- Out-of-Region Destinations

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society Archives and Museum
Fort Townshend
P.O. Box 7247
St. John’s, NF
A1E 3Y4
Tel 709-729-8023
Fax 709-729-8248
My piece on Law and Order


Churches and Their Missions

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
115 St. Andrew's Rd., Scarborough, Ont., M1P 4N2, 416-438-4100
(Some St. Andrew's stories)

Presbyterian World Service and Development
(See also my St. Andrew's Cropshare page)

Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Melville Presbyterian Church
70 Old Kingston Rd.
Scarborough, M1E 3J5
(416) 283-3703
(My Melville page)



Arts Grant Funding Bodies

Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert St., P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa, ON, K1P 5V8
1-800-263-5588 x5060

Ontario Arts Council
151 Bloor St. W., 6th Floor
Toronto, Ont., M5S1T6
Fax: 416- 961-7796

Toronto Arts Council
141 Bathurst St.
Toronto, Ont., M5V2R2
Fax 416-392-6920

Ontario Trillium Foundation


International Year of ...

2004 is International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition
In various forms, slavery really still does exist today -- in spite of what you may think. It is vital that governments develop and implement laws against slavery and ensure that those who continue to use slaves are prosecuted.  

Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago  

The Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora and the Department of History of York University in Toronto are organizing the conference "Revolution, Independence, And Emancipation: The Struggle Against Slavery In The Circum-Caribbean" in Limón, Costa Rica from 27 to 29 August 2004. The United Nations has designated 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and for Its Abolition. To recognise the event, the conference will focus on the key role of the revolution in St. Domingue in the 1790s, the independence of Haiti in 1804, and the ongoing influence and legacy of this struggle. Other themes to be discussed include: the impact of British abolition of the slave trade after 1807 on Caribbean societies; the wars of Independence in Spanish America and the resulting emancipation of the enslaved populations after 1820; emancipation in British and French colonies in 1834-38 and 1848; the struggle against the continuation of slavery in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the southern United States; emancipation and the U.S. Civil War; and revolution and emancipation in Cuba.

The Department of History or
The Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora
2140 Vari Hall, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada
Tel: (1-416) 736-5123
Fax: (1-416)736-5836 or 650-8173

Here's our piece on slavery.

Toronto's annual Caribana celebration --

Educational and Literacy

Frontier College
A Canada-wide volunteer-based literacy organization.
35 Jackes Avenue
Toronto, ON, M4T 1E2

John Martin College
3090 Kingston Road, #205
Scarborough, ON

AlphaPlus Centre
2040 Yonge St.
Third Floor, Toronto
ON, M4S1Z9
On-Line Literacy Project:

Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science

Be Heard Toronto Speaking Circles
Learn how to speak comfortably in public.

Congratulations to Fairmount Public School on their recent and enormously successful Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion! I sent a small contribution to the Fairmount Playground Campaign. For information on this important local project, please visit

Resources for Our Student Project
Feeding the Family in a
Local Economy

Agricultural Fairs in Ontario

Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Historicity: Toronto Then and Now
A library web service, including pictures, city directories, maps
Virtual Reference Library:

Always Growing Community Garden
Just west of McCowan on Eglinton -- members can grow some of their own food in this community garden.

Ontario Plowmen's Association
International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Show
188 Nicklin Rd, Guelph, ON, N1H7L5

Agriculture in The Classroom
Ontario Agri-Food Education
8560 Tremaine Rd, Box 460 Milton, ON, L9T4Z1

Canadian Dairy Information Centre
1341 Baseline Rd, Tower 7, 7th floor
Ottawa, ON, K1A0C5

British Agricultural History The agricultural revolution in Britain.

Ontario Cattlemen's Association
130 Malcolm Rd. Guelph, ON, N1KB1


The Environment

Environmental Issues and the Arts: Living Rivers Festival

The Rouge Park
To become the largest park within an urban area in North America. To volunteer...
50 Bloomington Rd. W.
Aurora, ON, L4G3G8
The Fiftieth Anniversary of Hurricane Hazel is Oct. 15 2004.
Shortly afterward, Toronto's Conservation areas were set aside, only partly to control runnoff during major storms. A new book is in the works about the history of the Rouge watershed.

Rouge Valley Naturalists
Using community involvement and education to improve the health of our environment and enhance our natural green spaces.
PO Box 88005, Cliffcrest Plaza, 2975 Kingston Rd. Scarborough, Ont., M1M3W1
Rouge Valley Conservation Centre, 1749 Meadowvale Rd., Scarborough, M1B5W8

Community Resource Centre of Scarborough
2800 Eglinton Ave. E., Scarborough M1J2C9 
Social and Environmental Issues

Tommy Thompson Park
Migratory birdwatching, walking, nature. Off the foot of Leslie Street.
Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

If you want to join the fight to save our fresh water supply, please contact:
The Council of Canadians  
151 Slater St., Suite 502, Ottawa, ON, K1P5H3
613-233-2773 or 1-800-387-7177
My notes on water...

Lost River Walks
Aspects of Toronto's natural history

Political Representatives