The Elgie family home, 262 Bessborough Dr., one of the settler “farmsteads,” is now for sale.
Believed to have been built in the 1840s (not 1880s as I had said in the May Leaside Life article), the house sits towards the back of a wide lot with a circular driveway.
It was the residence of Robert Elgie, son of Thomas Elgie, who was the original settler in the area east and south of what is today Bayview and Eglinton.
It has been significantly altered and substantially enlarged over the years. In 1991 the north part of the property was severed and a house was built on the new lot.
Mary Linholm (nee Syme), the concert pianist and composer, lived there from the 1950s until her death in 2009. She composed music for The Friendly Giant, Sesame Street and the classic film, A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
A recording of her music was graciously accepted by the Queen for young Prince Andrew – an unusual honour. Her husband Sven Lindholm was a builder and writer; he moved out in 2012 due to ill health.
What will happen to the property now? It is rumoured that the house may be demolished and a number of town houses built on the lot. There would be a number of planning obstacles to this proceeding, and in addition the house is included in the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties.
This means that in the case of a application for a demolition permit the city has 60 days to consider designation of the property. Councillor Parker has already requested that Heritage staff bring forward a heritage evaluation with a view to designation.
Two other properties, the John Edmund Lea House (33 Heather Rd.) and the Leaside Municipal Building (235 McRae Dr.) which were written about in August, and October respectively, are still for sale.
The status of the third property, 180 Laird Dr., the former CIBC building, is unknown.
45 Sharron Dr. (November 2012) appears to be safe, at least for now. This house, which is representative of the early industrial phase of Leaside’s residential development, was sold recently.
Best wishes for 2013.