Canada’s first 18 hole course

Today we learned that Beach Hill was the birthplace of serious, 18-hole golf in this country (1876), before becoming a subdivision called Kelvin Park. The course covered 94 acres and ran south of the railway tracks from Coxwell to east of Woodbine. Before that, it was a vineyard, believe it or not, established by an Italian immigrant whose name remains on Casci Avenue.

In 1912, Casa Loma builder Sir Henry Pellatt and a partner bought the land from the Toronto Golf Club, a year after construction began on Pellatt’s famous folly.

World War I stalled development until 1922. Then a building boom saw rapid construction of houses we see today. If many look alike, that’s because they are prefab “kit” homes … Arts & Crafts aesthetics meet mass production. Reminds me of the phrase “genuine plastic”.

kelvin-park-tour

Danica holds a photo of the old clubhouse.

old-clubhouse

It’s hard to see how the house pictured below could have been part of it, but elderly locals, now deceased, always called it the Golf House.

golf-house

Danica guessed which house might have been the one; its orientation and lot shape set it apart. The remaining house may have been one small part of the huge clubhouse, whose dining hall could seat 100.

Joanne Doucette, amateur historian and author of a book on Leslieville (earlier post) led the tour. She is now writing another book covering this area.

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