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Gated community in Rouge Park?

Lone Primate

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The area just southeast of Reesor Road and Steeles Avenue, and north of the track of Passmore Avenue, today looks like the attached image from Google Maps.

Park 2017.png


But in 1971, the three captures from the City's aerial photos seem to show a lot of homes in there. Are these homes in some private community? Or was this some resort with cottages in it? What was this place? Does anyone know?

Park 1971 1.png

Park 1971 2.png

Park 1971 3.png
 

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Goldie

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Excellent observation and questions, Lone Primate.
I look forward to the answers.
 

adma

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Most likely some scout camp/cottage community sort of thing--in fact, I may have even driven into there (the parking at the Steeles end) for a bathroom break and stroll 10-15 years ago and *perhaps* saw some evidence thereof (plaque?)
 

dazednconfuzed68

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I read that it was flooded out during Hurricane Hazel.

When we moved back to Toronto in the late 70s there was a trailer park there.
 
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Lone Primate

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Heavens, folks. And thanks, Northern Light :) -- I'm glad it's still a park we can all enjoy. But oh, what a loss... what a place it must have been.
 

Lone Primate

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Related to that... isn't this an interesting configuration for the conjunction of Steeles Avenue and Reesor Road? This is from 1956, at the north end of the park... Apparently there weren't a lot of folks just roarin' through there back in the day. :)

Screenshot from 2017-07-23 21-40-49.png
 

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adma

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Given how this was only a couple of years after Hurricane Hazel, I'm wondering whether that was, to whatever greater or lesser degree, a "temporary" configuration (Bailey bridge, perhaps?)

Or if not, I'm wondering when Steeles was "straightened" with the present highway/arterial-level crossing--maybe not too long after this; and just generally, it was in the post-Hazel period when the present paved/improved county/regional road network (flowerpot signage etc) began to gestate, and when examples like Airport Road broke the King's Highway monopoly on long-distance paved travel. Thus, Steeles through the Rouge Valley represented the new almost-as-good-as-a-highway paradigm, even if it still took another third of a century or so to be connected to Taunton Road in Durham Region...
 

Lone Primate

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Or if not, I'm wondering when Steeles was "straightened" with the present highway/arterial-level crossing--maybe not too long after this;
The 1959 aerial shot seems to show this little bridge in situ, but a straight-across Steeles bridge looking rather under-construction; possibly the one we still have because even in 2017, that bridge ain't much. I don't see any evidence of a previous Steeles bridge here; no abutments, no straight-away vanishing into the river suddenly... I think they did what the 19th century so often did -- angle the bridge to the shortest (cheapest) distance and count on low speeds and even lower traffic volumes to keep it from being an issue. Anyway, in 1957, there's no hint of the "new" bridge, so sometime between '57 and '59. Likelier 1959.

Screenshot from 2017-07-25 19-56-48.png



I don't think it was a replacement bridge. It looks pretty much the same in 1953, predating Hazel... Well, put another way, if it was a replacement bridge, they put it in the same place the previous one had been before the hurricane.

Screenshot from 2017-07-25 19-50-17.png
 

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adma

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Also makes sense relative to my birth-of-the-county-road-network theorem; the scale of the bridge and the widened Steeles to its west is like an emphatic jolt into highway/arterial-scale modernity. And unlike, say, the Don Mills/DVP-spurred Lawrence/East Don rebuild at the same time, it didn't serve insta-sprawl; it served what was (at least for the moment) rural territory.

One thing I remember from the 80s here: a directional sign to Hwy 48 (Markham Rd) which used a white crown symbol more typical of (if simpler than) the 400-series--I wondered if it was meant as a harbinger for others, maybe displacing the King's Highway shield...
 

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