George Munro

Portrait of George Munro

George Munro House

George Munro House
From: Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto

Photo of park

Munro Park, 1898

GEORGE MUNRO, who purchased part of Lots 1 and 2 in Toronto's Balmy Beach neighbourhood in 1847, was a merchant and politician, born in Scotland in 1801. in 1824 he developed a successful wholesale enterprise, advertising himself as “Importer of British and India Goods.” and took part in the political life in York. In 1841 he was chosen mayor, after the nomination of George Gurnett had been successfully challenged on the grounds that he sublet a house for use as a brothel.

Munro bought the 25-hectare site and called it the "Painted Post Farm". It started as a picnic park with 50 benches and 100 seats, a large dance hall, a bandstand, carousel and swings. It would have been a very pretty park. Two 90 metre boardwalks led from the entrance of the park to the dance hall, flanked by 20 arches of lights along the way. Each year, improvements were added: a mineral well, a large Ferris wheel, a water carousel and “Lundy’s Ostrich Farm”. By 1900, you could watch a movie there, or see live performers on stage including vaudeville acts from the USA and Britain with animals, acrobats, comedians, magicians, and musical performers.

Munro ran for office three times as the “Conservative and Constitutional Candidate” for the Legislative Assembly. After his third defeat in 1948, Munro’s political career ended he lived quietly, enjoying his life-long hobby of gardening. and sitting amid his flowers listening to his gardener play the pipes.

In 1901, the TRC had a lease dispute with the Munro family, and rumours flew that the park might close, but these differences were settled and the park flourished until the TRC's lease expired in 1907. Some local residents had hopes that Munro Park would be maintained as a "public breathing place," however, these hopes were dashed when the park buildings were promptly removed, and the Munro family began to subdivide the property for development. Today, only the name of Munro Park Avenue remains to commemorate the heyday of the park.

Photo of park

Munro Park Ferris Wheel, 1906

Patent

Munro Park Streetcar, 1898

Auction Notice

Sale Notice for Lots in Balmy Beach



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