Bennington, a street name with a fine history

The Streets of Leaside

Bennington sign featured.

A few months ago, I was asked about the names of Bennington and learned that Bennington was the maiden name of the solicitor Thomas Mansell Weatherhead’s wife, Evelyn Maud Bennington. Evelyn was the daughter of Col. Alfred A. Bennington, a member of the 4th Hussars and colonel of that regiment, and also the owner of “Moorecroft,” an estate in West Prescott.

Both Evelyn and Thomas were active in East York throughout their lives. In 1925, they bought their first house, at 30 Rosemount Ave., and changed the street’s name to Bennington Ave. in honour of Evelyn’s family. They lived there all their lives until Thomas Mansell (known as T.M.) Weatherhead died there on December 24, 1975 at the age of 82. Both were active in community life. Their house had been built by architect Bruce Brown, and called “Gyll Edge” for its overlook of the ravine of the Don River Valley. Bruce Brown, associated with artists in the Group of Seven, had also designed many churches around Toronto.

For almost two decades, Evelyn Bennington Weatherhead served with the Whitney Home and School Association. She began in 1940 as a convener of their Christmas fete at Whitney Public School in Rosedale where her children were pupils. A year later, she became its president, serving the Whitney Home and School Association until April, 1958 when she was elected president of the Ontario Home and School Association.

Thomas Mansell Weatherhead graduated from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall and set up his own legal practice there. T.M. served as solicitor for the East York Board of Education for many years. Sons David Bennington and Peter Alfred Weatherhead also graduated from the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall and later joined their father’s law practice.