Toronto Neighbourhood Guide

North York


History of Parkwoods

The Parkwoods name was given to this neighbourhood by city planners who were making obvious reference to Parkwoods Village Drive - one of the main thoroughfares in this neighbourhood. Parkwoods United Church and Parkwoods Village Shopping Centre also share this name.

Parkwoods Village Drive also has an historical significance. In approximately 1833, a teenager named John Coulson, emigrated to Canada from England and built a log house on what is now the north-west corner of Parkwoods Village Drive and Victoria Park. Incredibly, the Coulson log cabin remained standing until 1956, when this neighbourhood began to be developed.

One of Coulson's long-time neighbours to the south was Charles D. Maginn, a Welshman who arrived in this area around 1832. Maginn was a general merchant in the community and is described by Patricia Hart, in Pioneering in North York as having "had a reputation for being very adept at spearing salmon in the Deer Lick, a small stream running near his farm."

The Maginn's often lent out their grove to the Wesleyan Methodist Church for field meetings. In 1841 this church established a cemetery at the south-west corner of Lawrence Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue. Many of Parkwoods first settlers are buried in this cemetery which has been declared a heritage property by the city.


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