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Globe and Mail:Leaside Exhibition
Dave LeBlanc | May 25, 2018

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When Toronto

Mister Company Man on the Company land

Stands every street and building in the town

Every park, every green, every home and dream

The Company owns every piece of ground

And everybody in the Company Town

Company Town by The Men They Couldnt Hang, 1989

If it had been named Wireville or Cableton, perhaps Toronto residents would understand how important these company town homes in Leaside  incorporated in 1913, Leaside would become part of the borough of East York in 1967  really are and how they jump-started development.

But, alas, when Canada Wire and Cable Co. (CWCC) purchased 6.5 hectares on the eastern edge of the development, another company had beaten them to the punch: the Canadian Northern Railway. It was the railway that had assembled 415 hectares of farmland and hired New Hampshire-born, Montreal-based Frederick Gage Todd to plan the unique, curving streets of Leaside.

Named for farmer John Lea, who settled here in 1819, and for his son, William, who had an octagonal home named Leaside built in the 1850s, Todd sharpened his draughting pencil, thought of his mentor Frederick Law Olmsted and employed new garden city principles to his design, just as hed done for Mont Royal in Montreal and Port Mann in British Columbia.

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