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Cumberland House

May 25, 2020 (0) comment

Cumberland House is a Victorian house nestled in the park behind the Humber College campus and the “Gatehouse”.  It was built in 1880 and since 1984 has been the Jean Tweed Centre, a residential treatment centre for women with alcohol and substance addictions.  

For many years, Dr. T.D. Cumberland, the Superintendent of the asylum lived in the house with his wife and 2 children, hence the name “Cumberland House”.  I’m told his son, Dr. T.J. Cumberland, was a dentist in Mimico and his daughter is Nora Cumberland Pownell, who is quite active in the community.  After Dr. Cumberland retired, Dr. Moorhouse became the Superintendent, but his young son did not want to live on the hospital grounds, so he moved to Applewood Acres.  The Cumberland House was then renovated and became an out-patient clinic run by Dr. Bow.  

The house by the gate was occupied by Dr. Carson, The Assistant Superintendent, for many years.  One of Dr. Carson’s secretaries was Mildred Sanford McDevitt.  She worked for him for 15 years.  The Sanford’s were a well-known family in the New Toronto area. Mary Sanford married into the Hennessey family, another well-known local family. 

There was also another house closer to the lake, which was actually the original powerhouse.  When the new powerhouse was built, the original was turned into a residence that was occupied by Dr. Easton.  That house has since been torn down.

I’m not sure of the origins of the first picture below, date is unknown.  A similar picture (likely the same) is pictured in the book, Villages of Etobicoke.  Ron Brown also has a picture in his book, Toronto’s Lost Villages. However, neither book describes the origins of the house.  The picture on the right was taken in 2003; the building as it is the Jean Tweed Centre.

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