Visiting a Heritage Trail mural at 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario: remembering motoring in decades past

Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Mural, recalling Spooner's Garage, 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario
Mural, recalling Spooner's Garage, 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario | Source
Mural, recalling Spooner's Garage, 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario
Mural, recalling Spooner's Garage, 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario | Source

How we were

This mural at 2348 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, which is a 'twin' to another mural at 2340 Kingston Road, depicts Spooner's Garage, as does the other mural. However, the one at 2348 Kingston Road shows the former establishment at an earlier period of its existence. Compared with the other mural, this one represents an automobile with strikingly older styling, and gasoline pumps which look significantly different, also.

I am not sure whether the automobile represented is meant to be a Model T Ford, or one of its derivatives, but certainly its styling has at least been influenced by that famous model. (Remember also that the Ford Motor Company has been present in Canada as a manufacturer since the early years of the 20th century: now well over 100 years ago.) So this, or similar looking vehicles, would have been very much local products.

In the left background of the mural another car is shown, parked inside the garage workshop. This particular vehicle has stying which is a little more modern-looking than the main one, shown in the forecourt by the gasoline pumps. Although it is a head-on view of the car, the one in the workshop has mudguards which are more substantial and one can easily see how mudguards would typically soon become incorporated into the main body of the styling.

The lady driver of the car on the forecourt is seen at the wheel, rather than standing beside the vehicle (as is the case in the mural at 2340 Kingston Road). Thus, her style of clothing, which might have helped to date the scene depicted, is not as visible as might otherwise been the case. Both from the fact that the vehicle in the garage has more modern styling than the one on the forecourt, and also because the driver is seated at the wheel of the car rather than standing, it is therefore not as easy to date the scene with a measure of precision.

If the styling of the car in the workshop is seen to be definitive, then the mid-1920s to the early 1930s would seem to be an appropriate period.

But from what may be discerned of the clothing style of the lady driver depicted, this would seem to indicate about the period of World War One, or slightly afterwards.

One feature is somewhat unusual in the mural: the colour of the vehicle parked on the forecourt. Bright blue would have been a relatively rare colour to see on cars of the imagined period. In fact, the Ford Motor Company of the period is reputed to have had a marketing saying, to the effect that the customer could have a vehcile in any colour as long as it was black!

The fall day which I chose to take the photo of this mural was bright and clear and the colours of the mural seem to have been reproduced to fairly good effect.

The mural is part of the Heritage Trail series, examples of which are visible at various locations along the Kingston Road, Scarborough, which seem to portray changing scenes of local life in history. As with the mural at 2340 Kingston Road, the artist was Phillip Woolf who executed the work in 1992 (1).

What was known as Spooner's Garage was owned by local resident Art Spooner.

November 8, 2013

Note

(1) See also http://www.muralroutes.com/towns/heritagetrail/heritage.htm

Also worth seeing

In addition to the nearby mural at 2340 Kingston Road, other murals on Kingston Road include: 'Scarborough Rifle Co.' at No.1577, 'Half Way House' at 2502 and 'In the Way of Progress' at 2835, among others.

Thomson Memorial Park , Scarborough (distance: approx. 6 kilometres); at this Park there are interesting, 19th century buildings, now preserved as a museum.

Map location of Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario | Source

How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to the area of the mural at 2348 Kingston Road: approx. 40 kilometres). However, visitors may prefer to use the TTC public transit: services to the area include the #12 bus. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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