There are two plaques about this community.
Both can be seen on this page.
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2007
Plaque coordinates: 43.761932 -79.411304
A prominent landmark building, the Joseph Shepard House/Dempsey Brothers Store once occupied this corner of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue.
Built in 1860, by Joseph Shepard II, the building was constructed as a general store and originally included the Shepard family's residence. In 1886, a post office was added. The post office, and subsequently the immediate surrounding community, was called "Lansing". The store served as a depot for the coach from Yorkville to Richmond Hill. It then became the milk depot for local farmers and was the main source for all manufactured goods in the vicinity. In 1888, Benjamin F. Brown took over the operation of the store. He purchased it in 1904 and sold it to George and William Dempsey in 1923. From that time, the building operated as the well-known Dempsey Brothers Hardware Store and was owned by a member of the Dempsey family until the late 1980s.
The building and property were sold to developers in 1989. In 1996, the building was relocated to its present park site just north of here at 250 Beecroft Avenue. The City of North York rehabilitated and restored the Georgian Survival building, returning its original storefront appearance and superimposed late Victorian verandah. In the early Fall of 1997, the Dempsey Store was officially reopened by the City of North York as a municipal archival storage and research facility.
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2007
Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted November, 2010
Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted April, 2009
Plaque coordinates: 43.763884 -79.411787
The community of Lansing developed around the crossroads of Yonge Street and present-day Sheppard Avenue, Joseph Shepard was one of the earliest settlers to Lansing, building a log cabin in 1798 on the north west corner of these crossroads.
An enterprising family, The Shepards built saw mills, taverns and in 1860 the well-known general store at Yonge and Sheppard which came to be the hub of the Lansing community. In 1866, a post office opened in the store and was called Lansing, thereby giving the community its name. Beginning in 1921, the Dempsey Brothers ran a thriving hardware business for more than 75 years. In 1996, the Shepard/Dempsey store was moved from its original location to a nearby park setting.
Joseph Shepard also built a clapboard house in 1835 on today's Burndale Avenue which became a regular meeting place for the reform radicals of William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the failed Rebellion of 1837. During the uprising, Joseph's wife, Catherine tried to shelter Colonel Van Egmond, one of Mackenzie's soldiers from government troops. As a reprisal to her, Loyalists set fire to the house. She managed to put out the fire, but her rebel friend was apprehended and jailed.
The Golden Lion Hotel built in 1825 by Thomas Shepard, son of Joseph, once stood directly across from the original site of the Shepard Store. It was a much-frequented place, serving for a time as a Sunday School and a place for Mackenzie's reform members to congregate. At the turn of the 20th century, it also housed North York's township offices. One of the two oak-carved "golden" lions is preserved today in the lobby of the Novotel Hotel in the City Centre.
Posted March 7, 2012
Thomas Sheppard, who ran the Golden Lion Inn, Was born in West Knoyle Wiltshire England. He was Christened 13 Nov 1789 son of Edward Sheppard and Mary Elliot. His brother, Paul Sheppard of Scarborough,was the woodcarver that carved the golden Lion. Another brother, Edward Sheppard lived in Thornhill and later Richmond Hills.
Posted April 1, 2010
This plaque is wrong about the information about the Golden Lion Inn. In fact, the Golden Lion Inn was built by a Thomas Sheppard from Wiltshire, England and not by Thomas Shepard son of Joesph Shepard. The Sheppard family and Shepard family are two different families and this time it is not known if they were related. Thomas Sheppard died in 1848, John Meek was the proprietor in 1851 followed by Thomas Sheppard's son Charles Sheppard in 1857.
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