Leaside by Jane Pitfield
8vo. pp. x, 324. maps & b/w illustrations. bibliography. index. paperback wrs. Toronto: Dundurn .
ISBN-10: 1550028758 / ISBN-13: 9781550028751
Leaside is a most comprehensive look at the people, significant events and built heritage, all of which contributed to the creation of this distinctive community. Named after John Lea, a successful farmer, whose house, built in 1829, is believed to be the first brick house in York County, Leaside grew from a railway settlement into a prosperous urban town. With its roots embedded in the history of three railways, Leaside has a unique industrial heritage that played a key role in the war effort during both World Wars, including its being the site of munitions plants, a wooden plane factory, and a base for the Royal Flying Corps. Leaside was also home to the Durant Motors of Canada, and later the Nash cars, Canada Wire and Cable, and the popular Thorncliffe Race Track. Did you know that Canada’s first airmail delivery touched down in Leaside and that an Olympic calibre ski jump once operated in the Don Valley? Jane Pitfield’s Leaside represent a nostalgic journey into the heritage of a most remarkable neighbourhood, still proudly retaining its identity as part of Toronto.