Garden of Canada

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

Garden of Canada
Tues., June 13, 1978

Before these weekly articles finish for the summer, we will try and jog your memory of summers in Burlington that some of you can remember. 

This was an agricultural community with the farms beginning north of Caroline St. The large home and beautiful gardens and orchards of O.T. Springer stood on the edge of town close to Loblaws' Plaza on Brant St. Mr. Spring was an excellent grower and a friendly, popular man. Across the road, was Hurd Nursery on about 70 acres. The Hurd home was where the United Gas building is and the huge barn was about Hurd and Eden Place. That barn was a great place for kids about 40 years ago! Often the Hurd girls watched as young John Blair herded his father's cattle to eat grass along the edge of Brant St. and then chased them home to Blairholm Dr. (about 1910).

There were strawberry socials at nearly every church. The Methodists went out to the Henderson farm near Appleby Line and the Anglicans were entertained at Captain Henderson's on Lakeshore Road. No doubt, the Presbyterians were at John Waldies' home on Gore St. The Sunday school picnics were great social events - often held as far away as Niagara or Queenston. Boats were reserved to transport the families from one of three piers at the foot of Brant and Elizabeth St. Then there were small class parties such as one at the Allen home (Southhall-Seiders Funeral Home) with lovely youngsters such as Elsie Blessinger, Beulah Williamson and Muriel Ghent.

Great changes occurred in agriculture around the turn of the century. Gain was no longer the main crop in the lighter sandy soil of the old Lake Iroquois bed. The Horticultural Society was formed to assist the farmers in learning new methods. (It was comprised of 50-75 people and all men). The Plains, Maple Avenue and Lakeshore farms became fruit and vegetable farms, shipping produce all over Ontario. All railway stations were busy - Aldershot, Freeman and Bronte. Fruit was piled high on covered platforms. Business such as Ted Smith's father and Lyn Scott's sprung up to meet the marketing needs. Burlington the beautiful became the Garden of Canada.

Reprint of 'Garden of Canada' available at the museum.

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 13 June 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel No Missing.