Toronto's Historical Plaques
Learn a little of Toronto's history as told through its plaques
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted July, 2007
Plaque coordinates: 43.785239 -79.417237
Centred at Yonge Street and Drewry Avenue, Newtonbrook forms North York's most northern Yonge Street community. By 1870 Newtonbrook was considered a thriving village with more than 200 settlers establishing homes at these crossroads.
As early as 1801, Newtonbrook claimed one of the first log schools in North York. The early 1800s also saw two mill sites along Yonge Street, the Playter Mill at Drewry and the Cummer Mills at present-day Cummer Avenue. The Cummer Mill site was operated by John Cummer and owned by his father Jacob of Willowdale. For years, many religious camp meetings were held at the mill site, some of which reportedly went on for days.
Descendants of York Mill's Humberstone family also made their home in Newtonbrook. Having apprenticed with his father, Thomas Humberstone opened a pottery in 1835 on the west side of Yonge Street, south of Steeles were earthenware pitches, vases and bricks were manufactured.
Some of the most popular inns and taverns were found in Newtonbrook including Finch's Hotel built in 1847 on the north east corner of what is now Finch Avenue.
In 1857 the Newton Brook Wesleyan Methodist Church Congregation was formed and named after a local preacher, the name by which the community became known. Although a church wasn't erected until 1857, it's not the house of worship itself which is most remembered, but its parsonage, as it was the birthplace of Lester B. Pearson, elected Canada's Prime Minister in 1963.
Today, little remains of early Newtonbrook. A general store and post office at the north west corner of Drewey and Yonge was originally known as the C.C. Charleton's store. The frame structure was replaced in 1907 and continues to function as a commercial business.
Posted September 22, 2010
Sir,it would be very interesting, if it could be possible to display some very old pictures, if any in existence ,where Right Honourable Lester Bowles Pearson was born in Newtonbrook, in 1897. Thank you- Merci Lucien Alexandre Marion
In Memoriam 1897-1972
Posted October 20, 2008
I was surprise to see these,I grew up on Drewry Ave and attended Drewry Public School, RJ Lang Jr High and Newtonbrook SS School, and I was married at the United Church on Cummer just behind the Newtonbrook plaza back in 1978. Its a shame that all traces of it are gone, History should remain!!! Karen Begley/Kozak
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