Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

East York

Topham Park

History of Topham Park

Topham Park was an apple orchard until 1944, when the crown purchased this property for War Veterans housing. The Topham Park neighbourhood was developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation between 1944 and 1946. The streets were given military names like 'Warvet' and 'Valor'. Some streets were named after military men. For example, 'Merritt' is named after Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Merritt, Canada's second Victoria Cross winner. In the early days, Topham Park was known as "Sunshine Valley". This name was attributed to the local bus driver named 'Mac' who used to holler "All out for Sunshine Valley" when making his stop in this neighbourhood. Original residents recall that "Sunshine Valley" was an appropriate name as there were many children in the neighbourhood and it was a very happy place to live. Also, the sun shinned down brightly on the homes as there were few shade trees around at that time.

The present day neighbourhood is named after the local park which in turn was named after Frederick Topham, who was also a Victoria Cross recipient and once lived in this neighbourhood.

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