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The Scarboro Heights Record
ISSN 1198-9114

Dedicated To 
Local History and Local Heroes
in Scarboro Heights

www.scarboroughrecord.com

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

 

If you wish to reprint or quote from articles in this Newsletter, 
please just call or email us for permission.

Here are just a few of the many positive comments that we've received
regarding this web site,
www.scarboroughrecord.com.

Finding Aids for some community-related
articles that have appeared
in past issues are in my
Subject Index and in the Table of Contents and on this page.

 

bluffcrop.JPG (20848 bytes)

 


Newsflash!

The James McCowan Memorial Social History Society
In Cooperation With
The Scarboro Heights Record
Presents an Essay Competition


Your Community
In a World History Context

The James McCowan Memorial Social History Society is offering a prize for the best essay on the following subject:

Discuss the impact of the agricultural revolution in Lowland Scotland on the development of rural Scottish communities in pre-Confederation Canada.

Lesson Plans

Learning Objectives -- Building A Country

  • To identify some signs and effects of over-population
  • To identify some of the forces that can initiate socio-economic change
  • To recognize that value systems evolve over time
  • To acknowledge that value systems contribute to community-building

Newsflash!

Now Available from The McCowan Society... "The Lowland Clearances": The Book, by Peter Aitchison and Andrew Cassell -- more of the data that was gathered for the acclaimed three-part BBC Radio Scotland Series. Including interviews with descendants of Scarborough's Scottish families (Tuckwell Press) $29.00. Order a copy... This publication is a followup to the BBC-Radio Scotland series. The McCowan Society was pleased to help with this exciting investigation into a little-known but dramatic socio-economic disruption in Scotland.

For information to supplement our Scots In Toronto article in Post City Magazine, please click on Scottish Cultural Groups and Robbie Burns Suppers.


Scarboro Heights
Historic Sites Walking Tour
Part 3

What: The Pioneers' Kingston Road Historic Walk. Following the old route blazed by the Annis brothers over 200 years ago and finishing up at Washington United Church, 3739 Kingston Rd. for a Corn Roast / BBQ (modest extra cost). The historic walk is the fourth led by Bruce and Bea McCowan. We'll pass close by the earliest known site of human occupation in Toronto -- 10,000 years ago! Experience the trials of the pioneer families -- Annis, Cornell, Crone, Gates, Muir, McCowan, Stobo, Washington and others.

When: Sept. 20 2003, 2:00 pm (Rain date is the following day, 2 pm)

Where: For starting location and other details, call 416-447-4895 or send an email to bmccowan@netrover.com.

Why: Fundraiser for Scarborough's oldest public art -- to help restore damaged gravestones at Washington United Church. 2003 is the 200th Anniversary of Washington United Church. This walk is a joint project of the Scarboro Heights Record and the Bi-Centennial Committee.

More Information here.

 


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 http://indexes.tpl.toronto.on.ca/vexhibit/Toronto/TPM/home.html. 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 


Scarborough's
Scottish Heritage Afternoon

May 31 2003, 1:30 PM
The Bluffs Gallery
Scarborough Arts Council

1859 Kingston Road, Scarborough

  • 10,000 Years of Toronto History -- (see details below)
  • The Lowland Clearances -- The Scarborough Connection: We will also listen to this BBC-Radio Scotland program. This series has a strong focus on the impact of the agricultural revolution on Scots who emigrated to Scarborough in the early 19th century.

Cost:  Free.
Refreshments: Provided by Bea McCowan,  Broker, Homelife Best Seller Realty Ltd.

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

Need More Info?
--
Call 416-447-4895


BBC-Radio Scotland is Coming To Scarboro Heights!

This web site -- www.scarboroughrecord.com -- has attracted the attention of BBC-Radio Scotland. So much so that BBC are coming right here to record a radio program, "The Lowland Clearances: The McCowan Story"! Central to this story is James McCowan and his clearing by the Scarborough Bluffs.

More info here...

 


10000 Years of Toronto History
The McCowan Collection

Where: North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St., Toronto, Meeting Room 1
When: Tuesday February 18th, 2003, 7- 9 pm
Cost:    Free. (No registration required.)
Refreshments: Provided by Bea McCowan, Associate Broker, Homelife / Gold Trade Realty Ltd.

McCowan Society local history publications will be available for sale

Bruce McCowan of the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society will speak about the archival and artifact collections of the McCowan family of Scarborough. From the oldest known evidence of human occupation in Toronto -- 10,000 year-old aboriginal spear points -- to oral histories gathered very recently for the latest McCowan Society publication, Bruce will survey a broad range of leases, wills, personal letters, bankruptcy papers, coins, furniture and architectural and agricultural relics, all weaving the story of an ordinary Scottish Canadian farm family into the wider context of their community.

Directions and more info...

 


Toronto -- A Place of Meeting
10,000 Years of Toronto History

The Scarboro Heights Record and the McCowan Society were "front and centre" at this important exhibition:

Toronto Reference Library, Canada Trust Gallery
789 Yonge Street, Toronto, 416-395-5577
or call me at 416-447-4895
June 28 - September 22, 2002
On Display will be:

  • The Robert Ashbridge McCowan and William Harold McCowan Collections of Indian artifacts. These collections 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, is so named due entirely to these relics found by Ashley and Harold McCowan.

  • James McCowan’s letter of August 20 1834, written from Springbank, Scarborough (lot 20 Conc B), 8 days before his death of cholera. This letter is very significant to medical history in Upper Canada for it’s references to cholera deaths in the neighbourhood and, in particular, for McCowan’s first-person description of the early symptoms of cholera.

The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #5

We are flattered that the McCowan Settlement site on Meadowcliffe Drive is one of only 14 "Lost Historic Sites in Toronto" that were selected to be on www.city.toronto.on.ca/torontoplan/lost.htm.

 


The Scarboro Heights Record is pleased to be part of the Toronto Public Library "Historicity" virtual reference library gateway -- a research resource for Toronto area history.


The Scarboro Heights Record
Your Neighbourhood Newsletter
Introduction

Did you know that:

  • The earliest presently-known site of human occupation in Metro Toronto was in your neighbourhood? -- 10,000 years ago?
  • One of the earliest industries in Scarborough was William Cornell's "potash works" (near Bellamy Road and Kingston Road) where the ashes of the huge white pines were processed into soap?
  • A nineteenth century survey tower stood near Scarborough Heights Boulevard? This was the highest point on the Scarborough Bluffs. Our area was thus called "Scarboro Heights".
  • Cathedral Bluffs Drive commemorates the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, built in 1917?
  • The "Market Value" assessment debate has been around since at least 1978?
  • A bicycle path linking Scarborough's waterfront parks is in the planning stages (under the guidance of the Waterfront Committee)?

By the way, the image on this page is "The Dutch Churches", a famous formation on the Scarborough Bluffs, a great natural wonder of the world.   This watercolour is a treasured wedding gift from the late Mary McCowan Woodburn.

The Scarborough Heights community gets its name from the fact that the McCowan Road / Kingston Road area is the highest point on the Scarborough Bluffs.

Your Place for Scarborough History

 

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