This is an excerpt from Elizabeth Muirs fantastic recently published book: Riverdale : East Of The Don

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Galt Avenue — Named for John Galt, secretary of The Canada Co., or his son, Sir

Alexander Tilloch Galt, “Father of Confederation,” MP from 1867–72, minister of finance in

1867, and high commissioner to the United Kingdom.320

Garnock Avenue — Possibly named by Scottish settlers for the Garnock River in

Scotland or the small village of Garnock.

Gerrard Street — Named for the Gerrard family, especially the Irish businessman

Samuel Gerrard who was a friend of the receiver general, Captain John McGill. One of the

famous residents on Gerrard Street, although for a very short time, was Grand Duchess Olga

Alexandrovna. Sister of Tsar Nicholas II, Olga lived her last days in Riverdale, sharing aa small

apartment at 716 Gerrard Street East with friends, a Russian couple named Colonel Konstantin

and Sinaida Martemianoff. Not long before, Olga had been a guest on board the Royal Yacht

Britannia when Queen Elizabeth visited Canada in 1959. Olga had married twice; her second

husband, Colonel Nikolai Kulikovsky, was a cavalry officer. They and their two sons, Guri and

Tikhon, fled from St. Petersburg to the Crimea in 1917, after Olga’s brother and his family were

assassinated during the Russian Revolution. They continued on  to Denmark in 1920. In 1948

they immigrated to a farm in Ontario. Nikolai died in 1958. An accomplished artist, Olga’s

paintings are in collections and museums around the world. She is quoted as saying, “If I ever

start crying, I will never stop.” Gerrard Street East from the Don River to Broadview was

formerly called Josephine Street; from Broadview to Blong Street it was called Rambler’s

Gertrude Place — Named for H. R. Frankland’s daughter Gertrude. The Frankland

family settled at Pape and Danforth in 1858. Frankland was a prominent livestock exporter.322

Glebeholme Boulevard — Named because it is on church lands. Glebe refers to the

church and lands were set aside for Protestant churches, or “clergy reserves.”

Gough Avenue — Named for the Gough family from Ireland. Thomas Gilbert Gough

was a cattle dealer; he married Susan Ann Armstrong and they had three children. Richard

Patrick Gough was a prominent business man. The Goughs had a dairy on Gough Street in the

early 1900s. Gough Street was originally called Moscow. Much earlier, in 1808, Thomas B.

Gough, possibly a relative, was elected a member of the legislative assembly.323

Graham Place — Named for Alderman Robert H. Graham for Ward 5 in 1891, 1892,

and 1895–99.324

Greig Avenue — Possibly for a resident of Scottish origin. A labourer, Willliam Greig

lived in Riverdale; however an Anne Poulter notes that “Gregg Avenue” was named after her

mother-in-law’s father who built city hall. E. J. Lennox was the architect for this building; John

Elliott is listed as “builder,” with numerous crafts and trades people involved.325

Grandview Place — Is a descriptive term.

Grant Street — Named for Hon. Alexander Grant, administrator of Upper Canada from

1805–06, until a lieutenant governor could come from Great Britain after Peter Hunter’s death;

or for Minnie Forsyth-Grant. See Minnie Caroline Robinson Forsyth-Grant in “Women in


Greenwood Avenue — See Kate Greenwood in “Women of Riverdale.” It has also been

suggested that there was a gardener of that name in the area.326

Hamilton Street — Named for William Hamilton Jr., city councillor in1865; alderman

from 1870–5. The street was formerly known in part as Harris Street.327

Hampton Avenue — Possibly for the old town of Hampton on the Thames in England.

Harcourt Avenue — Likely for settlers from Harcourt, England, a town in Cornwall.

Harriet Street — For Harriet Wharfe who married Mr. Morley, a brickmaker in the

1850s, or Harriet Hastings, daughter of Thomas Hastings.328

Hastings Avenue — Named for Thomas Hastings, alderman 1883–86; a blacksmith and


Hazelwood Avenue —A descriptive term. Evidently there were hazelnut trees in the

Heward Avenue — Named for Francis Heward who came to York in 1812, a member of

the “Family Compact;” the family had a farm in the 1830s.330

Hiltz Avenue — Named for William Wesley “Bill” Hiltz who, in his later years, lived at

682 Broadview — one of the many houses he had previously built; he was chairman of the

Toronto Board of Education, city alderman and controller, and mayor of Toronto in 1924–25. He

was active at Danforth Methodist Church where for twenty-five years he and his son Bill were

superintendents of the largest Methodist Sunday school in Canada. Before he became mayor,

Hiltz Sr. changed his last name from Hilts to Hiltz. He married Annie E. Laidlaw on Christmas

Day in 1899. They had at least seven children including Delbert, Elizabeth, John W., Blanche,

Bill, Margaret, and twins Jean and June.

Born on a farm near Erin, Ontario, Hiltz became a high school teacher and principal,

farming 140 acres at the same time; then a building contractor and real estate developer. When

he was still teaching, he would take some of his students out to construction sites to have them

help dig foundations by shovel —this was before digging was done by machine. He built more

than 500 houses in the east end of Toronto, developed a store and apartments on the Danforth,

and eventually owned so many buildings that he paid more city taxes than any other Torontonian

— except Timothy Eaton. He introduced time clocks for city workers, and promoted the building

of the new Union Station when he was mayor.331

In his later years, Hiltz was given doctor’s orders to rest, eat sparingly and do very little

because of a heart condition, so he grew flowers, studied English and history, and published two

small books of poems “to make the best of it.” His humorous poem, “The Doctor’s Orders,” ends

with this verse:


he tells me, with vigour in his tone,

I must curtail my eating and leave some things alone;

And when I question closely what ‘tis he’ll not condone,

He mentions things I’m fond of, which causes me to groan;

Now, since the genial Doctor weighs sixteen even stone,

Why should he wish his patient reduced to skin and bone?332


Hogarth Avenue — Named for Thomas Hogarth, a local school principal at Boulton

Avenue School. Hogarth’s property remained in the family for over eighty-five years; later

it was allowed to run down but it is now gradually being restored. The original wood

flooring and large fireplaces still exist. George Hogarth, a grocer from England, also lived

on Hogarth and owned a lot of property in the area. He married Harriet McClure; they had

two daughters and one son. The street was formerly known as Wilson Street.333 [IMAGE 9-

One of Canada’s most famous painters, Owen Staples and his artist friend C.W. Jefferys

designed Staples’ “Arts and Crafts” house at 69 Hogarth. Charles William Jefferys’ father used

brick rejects to build the house; it cost $2,800 to build. The place was host to many well-known

artists, among them, A.J. Casson who was invited to join the “Group of Seven.” There was an

“Open House” every Sunday.334

Staples painted the people, places, and events of Canada. Of his painting entitled

Construction of the Wilton Avenue Bridge, 1910(now Dundas Street),it was written, “No one has

ever painted a more glorious canvas than this fabulous impressionist masterpiece from an artist at

the peak of his form, turning an ugly mechanical spectacle of industrial mayhem into a feast for

eyes in every part of the canvas.”335

Staples came to Canada when he was three. He was always drawing — birds, flowers,

and animals. His father died when he was ten and his mother had to care for eight children

between the ages of one and eleven. She ran a private kindergarten and gave music lessons,

teaching her children to sing as well. Later, Owen sang in the Mendelssohn Choir for fifty-five

years. His mother died when Owen was fifteen; he and his brother Johnny found a number of

odd jobs but for a whole week at least they lived on the street. Eventually he was given a job as a

messenger boy at the Rochester Art Club in New York state where they were living at the time.

Staples used various media such as oil, watercolour, pastel, mezzotint, and pen and ink.

His cartoons and illustrations for the Toronto Evening Telegram were signed Rostap —  a

contraction of Jack Robinson, editor, and Staples, or not at all. He worked there for fifty years,

but was never allowed to sign his name on his work; no one was to be a star at the paper.

Danforth Baptist Church at 60 Bowden Street, not far from Staples’ home, contains a

large painting by him commemorating the men from that church who died in the First World

War. Staples was the choirmaster there.336

In the mid-1940s Staples suffered a stroke that left him without the use of his right arm.

Undeterred, he trained himself to use his left hand. [IMAGE 9-18] He was married to Lillian

Hewitt, daughter of alderman William Hewitt, a hardware merchant.

Howland Road — Named for Sir William Pierce Howland, or William Holmes

Howland, one of his sons. W.P. Howland was the only “Father of Confederation” to have been

born in the United States. He was an MLA, an MP, and the second lieutenant governor of

Ontario. W. H. Howland was president of the Board of Trade, and mayor from 1886–87. He

fought vice, prostitution, drunkenness, and slum conditions, earning Toronto the title of “Toronto

the Good.” He tried to stop the “desecration” of the Sabbath with a new police squad. But he was

also noted for his hard work. By the age of twenty-five, he was a director, president, or vice-

president of more than a dozen companies in insurance, finance, electrical services, and paint

manufacturing. He bought fifty acres to start an Industrial School for boys, and he gave away

most of his money to help the poor. In 1887, when he was up for re-election as mayor, his

opponents bought off all the taxi cabs so they couldn’t carry his supporters to vote, but the 2,000

unmarried women — with property assessed at over $400 and of voting age — who had just

been given the vote trudged through the snow on foot to polling stations, and Howland won by a

landslide. Howland married Laura Chipman in 1873; they had three daughters. Gordon Sinclair

lived on Howland Road from 1904–13.337

Howie Avenue — Possibly for settlers from Scotland. Howie is a Scottish surname.


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Leslieville Riverdale Riverside Real Estate History: Street names Galt Avenue to Howie Avenue

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