History & Street Names

Yonge St.

Once appearing in the Guiness Book of Records as the longest street in the world, Yonge St.is one of Toronto’s principal streets and home to Canada’s first subway. It follows an ancient trail north from Lake Ontario. Developed by John Graves Simcoe and named for his friend Sir George Yonge who was an English MP and British Secretary at War.

 

Avenue Rd.

Rumor has it that Avenue Rd. was named by Scottish Construction workers who arrived at the site and proclaimed “let’s ave a new road here”. It is more likely to be named for its tree lined character.

 

Armour Heights

Armour is a Scottish and English family name originating in the former county of Berwickshire (now part of the Scottish Borders). Earliest record of this family name in Scotland is 1297. Descendent Jean Armour was Robert Burns’ sweetheart! Armour Heights was named after John Armour who settled in the area in the 1830’s. The Armour family sold their farm to Col. F.B. Robins who planned the neighbourhood in 1911. The Canadian Forces College campus sits on the site of Col. Robins’ country estate, which he called Strathrobyn, with the Armour Heights Officers’ Mess now occupying the magnificent home that he built in 1914.

The original developer of the “Ridley Park” area south of Wilson, Frederick Burton Robins, named various streets in the development after his favourite places in the UK and close friends. Armour Heights, Ridley Park and the Yonge Blvd area was collectively known as the “Highlands of Toronto”.

 

Felbrigg Avenue

Gets its name from Felbrigg Hall in the UK, one of the most elegant country houses in East Anglia (Norwich, Norfolk). The rolling landscape park with a lake, 520 acres of woods and waymarked trails is a great place to explore the nature and wildlife on this bountiful estate.

 

Ridley Blvd

Was named after Lord Matthew Ridley, Third Viscount, England (1902-64). Was known for his love of sports cars; his Alfa Romeos were a familiar sight on roads and race tracks in the north-east. A capable engineer, he set up an engineering works on the estate where he designed and build a “baby-car” that notched up a world speed record at the Brooklands Race Track in 1931. Inherited Blagdon estate (8500 acres) in Northumberland, the family fortunes having been laid in the 18th century by Matthew White, a prosperous Newcastle coal merchant who acquired the estate from the Fenwick family in 1700, having married Jane Fenwick.

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