Education – Fifth Street
One of the first schools was located on Fifth Street in New Toronto. In
1906, the school started in a frame building at 220 Sixth Street, known as "Hunt's
Hall" and owned by the Independent Order of Foresters. Susan Berry
writes in her book, A History of Education in the Lakeshore area, that "It
was reached from the highway [Lakeshore
Blvd, Kings Hwy No. 2] by a narrow two plank
bridge crossing at one place over a small stream that ran through the
area. Miss Mary E. Breen taught all grades in the one room."
(There is no evidence today of a stream anywhere in the area of Lakeshore, 6th,
Hunt's Hall seemed to be a focal point in New Toronto at the turn
of the century. I've found several newspaper articles noting that
committee rooms were available in the hall (The Toronto Daily Star, 1911/08/25
pg. 10) and that the first Anglican Church service was held in Hunt's Hall
(Toronto Daily Star, 1938/06/10 pg. 6) before St. Margaret's Anglican Church
In 1908, a petition was submitted to the Township Council and
School Section number 13 (New Toronto) was formed. A couple years later,
the school on Fifth Street
was built. In 1917, four rooms were added. Like Hunt's Hall, the new
school hall was often used for community meetings. The vote for by-law
no. 11, noted above, was taken in the school hall in July 1913.
However, the school came to an unfortunate
demise. It burned down in February 1947. Below are pictures of the
school before and after the fire. The 1/2 page story about the fire can
be found in the Toronto Daily Star, February 18th, 1947. Check out Pages of Past on the Toronto Star website. A nominal fee gets 5 hours of
search time with full text research of newspapers back to the
debate on whether to rebuild the school, it was finally decided that a larger
school was needed to service the community. Although the site between
and Second streets was originally planned for a composite (vocational) school,
once Fifth Street
burned down, the site was secured for a new elementary school and subsequently
gave birth to 2nd Street
Public School, which still stands today.
The site of
the old Fifth Street School
was turned over for government services. It served for several years as a
town hall, jail, courthouse and a community police station. Eventually,
in October 1976, 185 Fifth Street
became the L.A.M.P. Community Centre as it exists today, providing many health
and other services, such as daycare and youth programs, to the community.
The New Toronto
Secondary School was
finally built in 1950 on Eighteenth
Avenue) and is currently Lakeshore Collegiate
Institute. The following is a picture that an interested contributor
found in the basement of the New Toronto school.
After 1950, the Board of Education of New Toronto became part of the Etobicoke
Board of Education.