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Notable Main merchants abound in Newmarket's Ward 4 street names

In this week's Remember This, Newmarket History Hound Richard MacLeod continues his series highlighting the people behind the names of Newmarket's streets

Let’s continue our look at the provenance of Ward 3 street names. There are a few streets omitted as I need to do further research, but I’ll tackle them before the end of this series. If you would like to participate by offering some insight into the specific origins of any streets I haven’t mentioned, I would be most grateful.

Huron Heights Drive carries the name of the main feature for which the street was created, Huron Heights Secondary School near Davis Drive. 

Sometimes a street will acquire the name of a business, such as Journey's End Circle, where the hotel chain of that name developed the surrounding land. 

Weddel Court takes its name from Earle Weddel, the owner of a local hardware and building supplies store on Davis, just east of Main Street, beside the tracks, on the north side known as Eves Lumber.

Specific themes are often selected for the street names in a particular subdivision, perhaps animals, flowers, trees or landmarks. We will see this in Ward 4 where they adopted a British theme, but in Ward 3, they have chose a collection of trees or flowering bushes, including Magnolia Avenue, Clematis Road, Boronia Crescent, Hibiscus Court, Waratah Avenue, Banksia Court, and Jacarandah Drive. Interestingly, many of these bushes are of Australian origin.

Let us now move on to Ward 4, leaving the remaining streets from Ward 3 for a future article.  

Ashworth Drive takes its name from Willian Ashworth, who served as our reeve in 1876. He was better known as the owner and operator of a hat factory at the foot of Main, near Water Street which employed up to 50 people.  

Amelia Street is named after Amelia (Luton) Rogers, the wife of Levi Rogers, who had a farm extending between Yonge Street and Main (about 200 acres) just north of Davis.  

Asa Street was named after yet another Rogers, this time Asa Rogers, a direct descendent of Timothy Rogers who came to our area in 1801 and brought with him the Quakers from the U.S. He was married three times and had 18 children. Now there is a feat worth honoring, for sure.

Crone Court is located on part of lot 94 on the First Concession, east of Yonge Street. This land was initially granted to Henry Crone in 1804 by the Crown but was later sold to Timothy Millard in 1812. The Crone family would eventually settle in the Sharon area but some of their descendants would continue to live in Newmarket.  

Elman Street is named for Elman Campbell, a merchant on Main for over 43 years. He was the founder of both the Newmarket Historical Society in 1974 and Elman W. Campbell Museum in 1982.  

Grant Blight Crescent was named for our town treasurer and then town clerk from 1962 to 1986. He was a delightful man who so loved his town.  

Fred Evans Court carries the name of the town superintendent of public works from 1954 to 1985.

George Street was named after George Constable, a farm implement dealer on Davis Drive for years.  

Haines Street carries the name of Israel Haines, a pioneer farmer lon lot 4, Third Concession of East Gwillimbury on the west side of Leslie. His home remains on the site to this day, while his farm became a residential community with two other streets, Leslie Valley Drive and Meadow Lane.  

Jack Rettie Court is named fo a professional engineer who was appointed the first administrative officer of York Region back in 1971.  He had served as the York County engineer beginning back in 1954.   

Salisbury Lane carries the name of Clare Salisbury, a local insurance agent who served as a Newmarket councillor from 1958-60, 1963, and 1981, then as reeve in 1964, and again from 1967 to 1970.  

Spillette Court was named for Joel Spillette, a prominent Main Street merchant beginning in 1934. In 1941 he established a Canadian Tire franchise on south Main. His son, John, took over and it eventually moved to Yonge Street in 1967. He was also a town councillor from 1939 to 1945, our reeve from 1946 to 1952 and then warden of York County in 1952.  

Kenneth Stiver (Stiver Drive) was a barrister and senior partner in Mathews, Lyons, Stiver and Vale still located on the east side of Main. He served as the solicitor for the townships of East and North Gwillimbury and for the Town of Newmarket from 1947 to 1962.  

Vandenbergh Boulevard was named for Henry Vandenbergh, who served on town council from 1971 to 1982 and as our regional councillor from 1983 to 1985. He and his family were my neighbors when I was a mere youth.  

Vincent Street carries the name of Vincent Denne, who owned and operated a grist mill on the north side of Davis west of the railway tracks. His residence on Bayview Avenue, constructed in 1870, was renowned locally. It was purchased by the Davis family and then eventually demolished to make way for the County Administration Building.  

Charles Denne (Denne Boulevard) was the son of Vincent Denne and operated a packing plant on the south side of Davis Drive between Main and Superior Street. He also owned the famous Pickle Factory on Main,  just north of Davis. His enterprise was said to have been huge, shipping eggs to Britain and producing / shipping 75 tons of pickles in 1901 alone.  

Doris Crescent was named for Doris Blair, who was a longtime Main Street merchant (Doris’s Ladies Wear) in the 1970s through the 1990s and served on town council in the 1970s and the 1980s. 

Forsyth Road carries the name of the Forsyth Family. James Forsyth built and ran the Railway Hotel, later to become the King George hotel in 1845 on the southeast corner of Main and Timothy streets. After his early death, his wife continued to run the hotel until the 1880s as Forsyth House.

There are several streets that carry a British theme in the area just north of Davis and east of Yonge, including London Road, Liverpool Avenue, Hampton Court, Durham Court, Exeter Court, Dover Crescent, Derby Court, Dorchester Court, Dorchester Street, Lancaster Avenue, Darlington Crescent, and Bristol Road. This was not at all unusual as we will discover with town streets carrying the names of the Great Lakes, while others honour the British Monarchy. 

I wanted to report back on some of the streets we initially omitted from Wards 1 and 2 on our first run through for further research.  

From Ward 1, we have Fernbank Road named after the Walker family farm called Fernbank Farm once on Mulock Drive. The current road dissects the original property.

Sydor Court is named after Alison Sydor, who won an Olympic silver medal in  women’s biking at the Atlanta games in 1996.  

One of the interesting aspects of the street names in Ward 1 is the number of street names associated with horse-racing and those involved in the sport.  Stonehaven Avenue is said to have been named in tribute to the Frank Stronach racing operation at Beechwood Farms, where many of his successful race horses were sired. 

Many of the streets carry the names of famous race horses. Secretariate Road is named after the American thoroughbred race horse widely considered to be the greatest horse of the second half of the 20th century. A record-breaking money-winner, in 1973 he became the ninth winner of the U.S. Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes).  

Other streets include Cresta Rider Place, Highland Blade Road, Kingsmere Avenue, Pucks Place, Exceller Circle, Filiberto Place, Ivsbridge Boulevard, Devanjan Circle, Mantopic Road, Foxcroft Boulevard, Hekena Court and Quantra Crescent.  

Harry Spratt Avenue is named after a famous line of equestrian equipment and Culler Mews and Holgate Circle are famous thoroughbred horse training centres.  

Ross Bayley (Bayley Court) was a transportation management consultant. Bayley was better known perhaps as an actor / director with various town theatre groups, and he later was the owner / operator of Theatre on Main that offered local theatre productions.  He was also one of my baseball coaches.  

In Ward 2, I can now confirm the origins of three more street names. Bogarttown Curve is best remembered as the road that led from the east into the south end of Newmarket via Bogarttown. A dramatically curving road, it was often dimly lit and was extremely dangerous as I recall.  It was eventually eliminated, and Mulock Drive was extended eastward to 404 in a straight line.  

Crowder Boulevard carries the name of Datus Crowder, who arrived in Newmarket in 1912 and soon after joined the Town of Newmarket’s works department.   

Londry Court is named after Mary Londry, a longtime office employee at Pickering College.  

Many of these people were highlighted in earlier articles on Newmarket Today so you may wish to check them out in more detail at newmarkettoday.ca/remember-this. 

Sources: Newmarket Era and Newmarket Topic; Newmarket - The Origin of Street Names Volume 1 by George Luesby 1991 and Volume 2 by Robert Terrence Carter 2009; The History of Newmarket by Ethel Trewhella

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Newmarket resident Richard MacLeod, the History Hound, has been a local historian for more than 40 years. He writes a weekly feature about our town's history in partnership with Newmarket Today, conducts heritage lectures and walking tours of local interest, and leads local oral history interviews.