Toronto's Historical Plaques
2004 - Now in our 10th Year - 2014
Rosetta McClain Gardens
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted April, 2009
At the parking lot exit from Rosetta McClain Gardens on Glen Everest Road is this Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto plaque which says:
Plaque coordinates: 43.698061 -79.255457
The 16 ha Rumph farm, overlooking Scarborough Bluffs, was purchased in 1904-1905 by Thomas McDonald West, owner and operator of J. & J. Taylor Limited, Toronto Safe Works. He and his wife Emma then divided it among their four children, Joseph McDonald, William Needham, Howard Thomas, and Rosetta. Many of the historic landscape improvements enjoyed today were initially undertaken by Rosetta's husband, Robert Watson McClain, and her brother Joseph McDonald.
Rosetta McClain died in December 1940 and in 1959 her husband offered their property to the city of Toronto as parkland in her memory. In 1977, this land was conveyed to the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and combined with portions of the J.M. and H.T. West properties. A further parcel from the W.N. West holdings was added in 1985, creating a 9 ha park. The Metropolitan Toronto Parks and Property Department operates these lands as part of its parks system, and has included special features such as braille signs, scent gardens, and textured paths to create a fully accessible park to be enjoyed by all visitors.
> Posted December 3, 2013
My mother Shirley Little was born here and her father was John Little. He was the gardener and they lived on the property. I have never seen this park and reside at the opposite end of the GTA. John Little passed when she was only 2 and the family had to leave. This was the height of the Depression. At the time my grandmother Jeanette had two little children and was basically sent packing. This was a very different time when people learned to rely on family.
> Posted September 4, 2013
I was reading an article in the newspaper recently which listed several of Toronto's many parks and gardens. The Rosetta McClain Gardens was the only one I'd never heard of in all my years growing up here in Toronto. I visited today for the first time and took many wonderful photographs as I walked the entire grounds. I was very impressed at it's beautiful floral and tree landscape. I will most certainly return from season to season to see it in all it's glory. (Paul)
> Posted February 1, 2013
Very lovely park. My cousin took her wedding photo's there.
> Posted September 30, 2012
I have lived in Toronto all of my 64 years and did not know about the lovely park. I heard about it from two different friends in the same week and found the gardens very peaceful when I visited today.
> Posted August 7, 2012
Answer to June 2, 2012 post: My daughter was married in the park at the old ruins in August, 2006 and we didn't have an interference from visitors. Everyone was very respectful and kept their distance. It was a lovely place for a wedding! Congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming wedding.
> Posted June 2, 2012
I am getting married in this park in september 2013, just wondering if because it is a city park, if random people will be walking through my ceremony and our pictures?
> Posted April 6, 2012
Quite some time ago I went to the park, before the major renovations. I noticed some large boulders at the back of the site. On the boulders were engraved many names. Was that part of a family pet cemetery? What was done to that area?
> Posted August 8, 2010
What is the brick structure that still remains on the northern area of the property? Was it one of the West's houses and if so when does it date back to?
> Posted May 28, 2010
Our visitors from California and Texas were very impressed with the gardens and view of Lake Ontario that are afforded by the Rosetta McClain gardens.
> Posted May 24, 2010
Wonderful, serene park with the beautiful view. One of my favourite Scarborough spots.
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Alan L Brown