Home ] Up ] James McCowan, Coalmaster ] Robert James Stobo ] William Ewart Young ] Jeremiah Annis ] Learning Unit: Character and Faith ]



Studies: Publications

Educational Resources

Historic Sites in Scarborough Heights

Links for Toronto Links

Scarboro Heights Record

Search This Site

Table of Contents



Who's Who of Scarboro Heights

Do you know of a local hero or any other worthy person who should receive a little recognition? Please send the full story to me at the email address on our contact page and I'll do my best to link to it from this page when time permits.

For now, follow the above links to a few of the stories that have appeared in The Scarboro Heights Record and the publications of the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society.

Also From Our Publications

The following biographical and socio-economic references represent just a small sample from some of the McCowan Society Publications. Social, economic and local context as well as additional details may be obtained by purchasing the referenced publication.


FF Fairs and Frolics: Scottish Communities and Work and Play
STA St. Andrew's 150 Years Ago
WG When the Ground Fails: An Economic Watershed
NF Neigh the Front: Exploring Scarboro Heights


In McCowan Society Publications, You'll Learn That...

  • The Annis family were quite probably the very first white settlers in Scarborough (NF)
  • Georgeanna Ashbridge, Isabella McLeod, Isabella Bowes, Jane Underwood all died during their child-bearing years (NF)
  • Hannah Ashbridge co-founded the Lakeview Women's Institute (NF)
  • The Bairds were among the farm families who were initially reluctant to move the clock to daylight savings time (NF)
  • William Crone had several farms on the lakefront (NF)
  • John Duncan worked on the straightening of Kingston Road (NF)
  • Catherine Bowes was one of the early members of the Temperance Society formed in 1834 (FF)
  • Captain James Gibson and family came to Canada from Scotland on the same ship as the Muirs, Tackets, Weirs and McCowans (NF)
  • Sandy Glendinning had a dash of "literary genius" and became a renowned poet (FF)
  • Allan Green presented an essay at St. Andrew's Young Peoples' Society, "How to Break Bad Habits and Cultivate Good Ones" (FF)
  • Joshua Hamblin was killed almost instantly at a logging bee (FF)
  • Robert Hamilton was the pioneer total abstinence advocate in the Township (FF)
  • Captain Jack Heron served with the Canadian Railway Troops in France during the First World War (NF)
  • Colonel Allan MacLean commanded the first militia to arrive in Toronto to help disperse the rebels in 1837 (NF)
  • The young Martin brothers distributed beer and cakes at mid-century ploughing matches (FF)
  • Alexander McCowan was essentially the founder of the milk marketing movement in Ontario (NF)
  • David A. McCowan invented the "Phototeria" (FF)
  • James McCowan and his son, David, both died of cholera the same night (WG)
  • Ruth McCowan deserved some of the credit for her father's success at the Canadian National Exhibition (FF)
  • Robert McNare took first prize at what was probably the first ploughing match in Scarborough (FF)
  • Archibald Muir often hired recent immigrants to work his farm (NF)
  • John Muir, father of the author of the Maple Leaf Forever, was one of Scarborough's early accomplished athletes (FF)
  • Jack Neilson's field was the site of an emergency landing by a plane in 1918 (NF)
  • James Neilson boasted of making the foundation of his wealth as a young bush-whacker (WG)
  • William Porteous laboured in Scarborough before becoming a railway construction foreman near Goderich (WG)
  • David Purdie was a champion quoiter who refused to play for money (FF)
  • Robert Purdie was "Precentor" at St. Andrew's in the 1870's. (STA)
  • Agnes Rae was left with 4 young children when her husband was killed by a falling tree three weeks after their arrival in Scarborough (NF)
  • Robert Rae could not write his own name at the age of 16 (WG)
  • Janet Rae was barely 15 when she married William Purdie, age 31, in 1839. (STA)
  • Will Scott, Scarborough's first Police Chief, apprehended a well-dressed lunatic who was terrorizing the neighbourhood (NF)
  • Max Sisley entertained overhead at Scarborough Fair with bi-plane aerobatics (NF)
  • Robert Stobo was a prominent timber merchant. (WG)
  • Pte. R.E. Stobo was killed in action in 1916 (NF)
  • Ethel Thomson's husband lost a foot and an arm during the First War (NF)
  • John Torrance' several farms were sometimes used to give immigrant Scots a helpful start (WG)
  • Fred Vivian was a cattle dealer (NF)
  • Stephen Washington had a contract to supply the army in Toronto (York) with food (NF)
  • James Weir was nick-named "Buccleugh" because of his extensive land-holdings (WG)
  • Thomas Wilson bought several farms in Scarborough (NF)
  • Clark Young, a descendant of Scarborough Scots, was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame (FF)
  • Margaret McCowan Young and her husband, John, entertained over 500 at their barn dance (FF)

And much more...

Some Stories and Information Relating to
Character and Faith of the People
As Published in

Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights
Some Stories and Information Relating to
Character and Faith of the People
As Published in

Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights
Robert McCowan, 1813-1886 His last will
Immigration from Eastern Europe ca 1930, Jewish Cemetery
Presbyterians ca 1840
James McCowan, 1773-1834 A pious man
James Whiteford McCowan 1814-1897
Hannah Ashbridge 1854-1935
Ashley and Harold McCowan Commitment to Church
Robert Purdie McCowan Retiring Elder after 44 Years
Thrift and Canniness "Well-taught the value of a shilling"
Jenny McCowan, 1896-1979 Canny housewife
Ruth McCowan Heron, 1883-1972 Extracts from her letters, 1916-18
Alexander McCowan, 1853-1939 MPP
Mike O'Brien Homelessness, 1932-39
Pride and Shame During the Depression



Some Biographies and other Stories and Information
on this Web Site Relating
to Character and Faith of the People
(Other than the above Links and their Child Links)
(From Back Issues of Scarboro Heights Record generally)
Alexander Muir, 1830-1906 Author of The Maple Leaf Forever
Bill and Nancy McCowan 48 page publication
Balancing Work and Play Sense of Community
Bruce McCowan Autobiography (as of age 10!)
David A. McCowan, 1898-1983 Inventor of the "Phototeria"
James M.T. Weir, 1881-1975 "Pick up your money and get off my land"
Doris McCarthy Renowned Canadian Artist
Jennie Purdie McCowan Church Worker