One of my greatest pleasures as editor of Leaside Life is learning something new every month about this wonderful community while reviewing the content for the issue.
But imagine my surprise – and delight – to see the home of friends of mine profiled in Ted DeWelles’ heritage column in the February Leaside Life…and discovering the history behind the house I’ve visited so many times over the years without knowing anything about its storied past.
49 McRae, a stately house at the corner of McRae and Bessborough, belonged to Dr. Joseph Pliny Fleming, Leaside’s Medical Officer of Health in the late 1930s and 1940s. I’d often wondered why there was a built-in medicine cabinet in the kitchen. Hmm – for those unforeseen kitchen disasters? Now I know.
Current owners Greig and Erica Henderson had the good sense to retain many of the features of the original home, including the tiles, basement doctor’s office and Dr. Fleming’s surgery (though without the surgical implements). As Greig told Ted DeWelles, “As soon as we saw it, we knew this was the house for us.”
Writing every month for the Leaside Heritage Preservation Society, Ted unearths fascinating did-you-know stories that highlight Leaside’s rich heritage. This is certainly one of them. What will he write about next?
As we were going into production, we learned that LHPS is now registered as a charitable organization that can accept and issue tax receipts for donations, recruit sponsors and appraise Leaside artifacts.