Name of Historic Site
McCowan Farm: "Springbank", the original settlement of the McCowan family, 1833
Lot 20 Concession B and south end of 20/C, Scarborough (at the edge of the Scarborough Bluffs, bounded by Gates Gully on the east, Lake Ontario on the south, pre-historic Lake Iroquois shoreline on the north and the allowance for Bellamy Road and another gully on the west). (Including the extreme southwest 5 (approx) acres of lot 19.) The site of the 1833 cabin is known more precisely.
NOTE: This cabin site is NOT of the "McCowan Log House Museum" presently in Thomson Memorial Park. That museum building was originally located on Lot 13 Concession 4, Scarborough.
Perly's 1997 Map Coordinates: 37, C6 (Meadowcliff Dr.)
The area is presently executive residential. Doris McCarthy's property, "Fool's Paradise", at the east end of the site has been donated to the Ontario Heritage Foundation. The site of the 1833 cabin is on a vacant lot and relatively undisturbed. A section of the Toronto Waterfront Trail is nearby.
Historical Description and Significance
This site embraces several key heritage notions:
Also significant is the site's relative isolation from, yet proximity to, Scarborough's artery, Kingston Road. Rather isolated by two deep gullies (Gates and Muir's), the Scarborough Bluffs and the steep shoreline of Lake Iroquois, this fertile holding was among the few that had not been taken up by 1833. In 1833, a Scottish coal and lime entrepreneur, James McCowan, knew the value of closeness to markets -- the property's nearness to Toronto offset the handicap of the surrounding terrain. An early implementor of iron rails for coal transport in underground mines, James McCowan was confident that he could cut a trail through the ravine to link his tenanted farm to Kingston Road.
Rationale: In cooperation with other immediately local stakeholder groups, there is significant opportunity to provide interpretation on a wide variety of local heritage themes (aboriginal and early Scottish occupation, arts, nature, geological formations)
Reference Sources and Additional Materials
See attached list (34 of the most relevant items in our Scarboro Heights bibliography)
Aug. 3 2000 and Reprinted in The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #2