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May 21, 2020 (0) comment

In January 1907, the sewer pipes were being installed on Fifth and Sixth streets. The January 21st, 1907 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reports:

“A talk with Mr. G.W. Holdenby, supervisor of the work of laying storm sewers on Fifth and Sixth street, gives the following facts: About 800 feet of 8-inch pipe is being laid on Fifth Street, and [when] this piece is finished, about 600 feet will be added to the existing 1,000 feet sewer on Sixth street. Mr. Holdenby hopes to have the south end of Fifth street open for vehicular traffic not later than Tuesday.”

The first water supply came from outside wells, and with the growing population, they tended to contribute to the epidemic of many illnesses. In 1913 there were many houses quarantined with measles, mumps, scarlet fever, and diphtheria.

In August 1914, the plans for a new filtration plant on Lakeshore, next to the Grand Trunk pumping station at the foot of Sixth Street, were approved and tenders were being accepted. Most of the Village of New Toronto would have water supply by autumn of that year. (Toronto Daily Star, 1914/08/01)

Here is a picture from the early 1930’s of the pumping station as published in the book, New Toronto in Story and Picture: A Souvenir of the July First Celebration 1937.

Although the pumping station was removed in 2000, today a portion of the gate and check valves from 1920 still exist on the site of Clifford Lumsdon Park, commemorated by a plaque which reads:

“On this site stood a key contributor to the 20-th century prosperity of the Lakeshore community.

In 1913, the New Toronto Village Council decided to build a filtration plant to improve the community’s health and promote growth. When the plant opened in 1915, it was only the second such facility in the Toronto area. Major employers like Goodyear Tire & Rubber, DuPont Fabrikoid, and Brown’s Copper & Brass Rolling Mills located nearby, and New Toronto’s population multiplied more than 10 times between 1911 and 1931.

The plant was expanded frequently to meet the rising demands of New Toronto, Mimico and Long Branch. When the R.L. Clark Filtration Plant opened in 1968, the remodelled New Toronto facility became the Lakeshore Pumping Station. It supplied raw water to Goodyear and the Humber Treatment Plant until 1992. The Lakeshore Pumping Stations was removed in 2000.

The gate and check valves (used to the Goodyear supply) and centrifugal pump forming part of this monument date from about 1920.

In 1915, the village of Mimico arranged to purchase its water supply from New Toronto. Later the two villages formed a joint sewerage commission.

The town stables were located on Fifth Street south of the Methodist church. The horses were kept to plow the sidewalks in snow storms. (They were also used to empty the “honey” pails in the back lanes before the sewers were installed).

In 1923, the Herbert Baxter Contracting Company, on the northwest corner of Lakeshore and Eighth Street, burned down. Herbert Baxter contributed to much of the housing construction in New Toronto. In its place, the Public Utilities Commission building was erected in 1924. The Commission was responsible for the water supply to Lakeshore municipalities and the Township of Etobicoke as well as the electric power distribution to New Toronto. In the 1950’s, a second story was added to the building and became home to the Provincial Assessment office for the Lakeshore area. Interestingly, Herbert Baxter’s son, Dick Baxter, worked for the Assessment office. After several changes of owners, today the building houses the Liaison College for Culinary Arts. Below is a picture of the Herbert Baxter Contracting Company before it burned down and then later as the Public Utilities Commission.

The July 6, 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reports that “Construction by-laws were passed for 22 foot pavements for 5th Street from Lakeshore Road to Birmingham Street”. The August 7, 1926 edition reports that the paving contract was awarded to the Standard Construction Company. The price of $36,183.93 covered the paving of 5th Street, from Lakeshore to Birmingham, 1st Street from Lakeshore Road to Lakeshore Boulevard, Lakeshore Boulevard from 2nd Street to the eastern town limits, and Lakeshore Drive from 3rd Street to 5th Street.

In 1928, the “Highway” was expanded from a single lane road with a single radial track to an 86 foot roadway with sidewalks and a dual streetcar line.

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