Sunday, July 7, 2019
The town of Malton had grown from humble beginnings to a community of over 900 before growth stalled and it began to decline. The town developed around the classic four corners of a crossroads, in this case Airport Road and Derry Road. It didn’t grow in all four directions however, only the 100 acres on the north west corner was laid out for a subdivision. This happened a year after the Grand Trunk Railway came to town in 1854 and as a result the streets are laid out parallel to the railway and not to the four corners. This leaves all the streets running at 45 degrees to Derry and Airport Roads. Much of the original four corners was destroyed in a gas line explosion in 1969 and the rest was lost to road realignment and widening. While not a true ghost town, the original community is now hidden in the original block of streets and surrounded by the airport and urban sprawl.
In 1857 the Trinity Methodist Church was built as a wood frame structure. Later it was given a veneer of bricks with some interesting details around the windows. This church was used until 1953 when the congregation moved to a new church building and this one was converted into a residence.
Compared to the beautiful brickwork in the picture above, the renovated building seen below is really awful.
The house at 16 Burlington Street is a typical 3 bay farmhouse built in 1866 by John and Mary Bateman. This house has a gothic arched window in the upstairs dormer. The style is known as a story and a half because of the low headroom in the upstairs rooms.
The house at 17 Scarboro Street is one of the oldest surviving ones in the community, having been built in 1870. Richard and Harriet Ibson only owned the house for a few years before selling it to John Guardhouse in 1877. It has had several additions to it over the years and is currently for sale. The windows have been boarded over to keep vandals from destroying it and someone has taken the time to paint the boards black and put white trim on them.
The house at 18 Scarboro Street belonged to David Tomlinson who served Toronto Gore as a councillor and a reeve in the 1860’s. David built this house in 1884 at the same time that his brother built the house at 16 Scarboro Street.
Joseph Tomlinson was a carpenter and the original owner of 16 Scarboro Street. The two houses were built at the same time and likely both by Joseph. The one at 16 Scarboro has much more interesting brickwork as illustrated in the quoins on the corners of the house. The house also sports considerable gingerbread, unlike the house beside it. The one thing the two houses have in common that suggests a common builder is the brickwork above the windows.
In 1901 Queen Victoria passed away and King Edward VII took the throne. Victorian architecture tended to involve odd shapes and many different sized windows. Edwardian architecture moved away from the extravagant and more into the utilitarian. Buildings tended to become more like blocks as is illustrated by this 1901 home. I find it interesting that the upper story window has only one shutter because the wall is next to the window.
The first school in Malton was built in 1828 and was a one room log structure. This was replaced in 1858 with a larger brick building. As the town grew the new school also needed to be replaced and the earlier log structure was finally torn down in 1923 and replaced with a two story school building.
This school was in use until 1952 when a new school was built and this one was converted into apartments.
In 1939 the neighbourhood was selected for the construction of an international airport for Toronto. Malton Airport attracted more than just the airplanes that flew from there and before long aviation related industries were starting up. During the Second World War a company called Victory Aircraft operated here but after the war they merged with A.V. Roe Canada. They developed the CF-100 Canuck and the the CF-105 Avro Arrow. A CF-100 is on display at Paul Coffey Park.
The town of Malton has been absorbed into the urban sprawl that surrounds the airport but if you look you can still find traces of the original community. Just west of Malton you can also visit another ghost town and read about it here: Mount Charles – Ghost Towns of the GTA. Just beyond that on the map at the start of this story is Palestine – Ghost Towns of the GTA for further exploration.
Google Maps Link: Malton
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I was born in Toronto in 1940 and spent the first couple of years on a farm that stood near where terminal one now stands. Sometime around 3 years later my parents moved into the wartime homes where they lived until the mid 60’s when they sold thier house and moved to a newer home in Westwood where they lived out their lives.
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