Scenes From Agincourt

Edwardian country houses, post-war bungalows, 1960s apartment buildings, East Asian businesses, modern homes, condominiums, and LRT lines. A stroll through “old” Agincourt is enough to showcase the layers of this neighbourhood’s history.

Agincourt Drive Sign

Agincourt began as 19th century farming village far from the reaches of Toronto. The Edwardian homes are beautiful and unexpected pieces of architectures. With their great verandas, colourful gardens, and sizable backyard lots, it is fun to stop and examine them.

Edwardian Architecture on Lockie 2

Extended Backyards of Original Edwardian Lots
Edwardian Home on Lockie Avenue
I like to imagine the lives their original residents in the late 19th and early 20th century on streets like Agincourt Drive, Lockie Avenue, Ross Avenue, and Donalda Avenue: how they walked the same streets and went to some of the old landmarks that still exist, like Agincourt Jr Public School, built in 1914.

AgincourtPublicSchool

Agincourt Jr Public School, undated. Source: City of Toronto Archives

Agincourt Public School

But while this area is lined with historic century old structures and streets,  it’s important to note that almost along side them are houses – many of them bungalows – built in the post-WWII suburban boom.

Bungalow and Newer Home
Steps away from the Agincourt Jr Public School – ‘Little A’, as it’s locally known – is its younger ‘big’ brother Agincourt Collegiate Institute. It has the distinction of being the oldest high school in Scarborough, beginning in 1915 on the second floor of Little A, before getting its own building (known then as Agincourt Continuation and later Agincourt High School) on Midland Avenue, which was in turn demolished in the 1950s to make way for the current expansive school.

Old Agincourt Continuation School built in 1929.

Agincourt Continuation School, undated. Source: Scarborough Archives.

Agincourt Collegiate Institute
Further down the way on Midland is Knox United Church, another of the old landmarks of Old Agincourt. Although the church has had a presence here since the mid-19th century, the current building dates from 1872 when it was known as Knox Presbyterian Church.

Knox United (Presbyterian) Church 1

Knox United (Presbyterian) Church 2
Up Glen Watford is the Agincourt Recreation Centre. It’s the second of its kind as a neighbourhood gathering spot, following the old Agincourt Community Centre. There’s a neat little gate from 1951 in front which serves as a great tribute to North Scarboro (note the spelling) and Agincourt.

Agincourt Recreation Centre

North Scarboro Memorial Agincourt Recreation Centre

Also on Glen Watford, one can find the Dynasty Centre – a largely East Asian commercial centre reflective of the cultural and culinary diversity of Agincourt and Scarborough as a whole eventually came to known for. It’s home to One2 Snacks, a reputable and delicious Malaysian eatery.

Dynasty Centre 1

Dynasty Centre One2 Snacks

Midland and Sheppard is the western border of the Sheppard East Village BIA, and many Asian enterprises hold membership in it. Many of the businesses display dual languages as a result.

Chinatown Strip

Chinatown

On the southwestern corner of Midland and Sheppard is an empty, abandoned, derelict flea market. One wonders what’s to come of it.

Abandoned Flee Market

The stretch of Sheppard between Midland Ave and Kennedy Road has seen a lot of activity lately. The recently completed railway underpass project has returned traffic to non-chaotic levels. The Sheppard East LRT should run through it – eventually.

Converted homes to businesses

Sheppard East Underpass

The railway was an important marker in the village’s growth, and today there is a GO Station to move people and in and out. One can also pass by several old homes that have been (horribly) converted to commercial enterprises as well a very depleted and urbanized Highland Creek.

Agincourt Go Station 1

Agincourt Go Station 2

Highland Creek Depleted

At the corner of Kennedy and Sheppard stands Agincourt Mall. My memory recalls when Walmart was a Woolco, No Frills was a Loblaws, and the complex with Shopper’s Drug Mart and BMO did not exist. There was also a gas station on the northwest corner where the path and greenery exists.

Kennedy and Sheppard and Condos

Agincourt Mall Addition

This area also houses the Agincourt Library (on the second floor is a small exhibit on the history of the village) and an adjacent condo construction project. A selling point in the billboard lining the site is that it is “steps from the proposed LRT.”

Agincourt Public Library Exterior

                                   History of Agincourt Exhibit 2      History of Agincourt Exhibit 4      LRT Ad

Condo Construction

On the west side of Kennedy north of Bonis is a bridge with a great view over the Highland Creek. The trail it leads to offers a nice escape. It’s hard to imagine that this creek at one time might have been vital to the original residents and their crops. Today their farms are covered by the houses and businesses (including the Tam O’Shanter Golf Course) of later generations.

Highland Creek 1

Highland Creek 2

Tam O'Shanter Golf Course 2

Tam O'Shanter Golf Course 1

Related Links

Toronto Neighbourhood Walks Project – Agincourt Part II: Agincourt South

3 responses to “Scenes From Agincourt

  1. Pingback: Aerial Scenes From My Neighbourhood (1947 to 2013) | Scenes From A City

  2. Pingback: Scenes From Birch Cliff and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant | Scenes From A City

  3. Pingback: Scenes From Sunnylea | Scenes From A City

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