Wicksteed Avenue

The Streets of Leaside

Henry WicksteedMany streets in Leaside were named for those involved with the building of the railways.

When Frederick Todd laid out the model town of Leaside, he named streets for those working with the Canadian Northern Railway. One of these was Henry King Wicksteed, who worked for more than a decade as chief locality engineer for the Canadian Northern Railway Ontario, the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway companies.

Henry Wicksteed was born (in 1855) and raised in Quebec before working as a locality engineer for many railway companies around the world – in South America and across Canada from 1904 to 1914. Henry’s career began with preparing a route for the James Bay Railway, from Parry Sound to Sudbury in Northern Ontario. In Eastern Canada, he helped with the establishment of railways in Montreal and Quebec City. He was also the first to use airplanes for photographic surveys for lands.

Henry Wicksteed was headquartered in Toronto until he died on July 23, 1927 at the age of 72, leaving a wife, Elfrida, and five daughters. After a funeral service in Holy Trinity Church, Henry Wicksteed was buried in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.

Jeanne Hopkins spent most of her life in the historic Henry Farm community of North York. She realized her passion for local history in the Canadiana department of the North York Public Library, where she worked for 27 years. She is the author of many articles and five books of local history.