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Visiting the Cornell Home historical plaque, Scarborough, Ontario: remembering a prominent, local family

Updated on May 4, 2012
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
'Cornell home', Kingston Road, Scarborough
'Cornell home', Kingston Road, Scarborough | Source
Scarborough Historical Society plaque, 'Cornell Home', Kingston Road, Scarborough
Scarborough Historical Society plaque, 'Cornell Home', Kingston Road, Scarborough | Source
Map location of Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario | Source

A property settled in 1799

The Cornell Home, marked by a plaque sponsored by the Scarborough Historical Society, is situated on Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario, between Markham Road and Eglinton Avenue East. While the solid, brick farmhouse, with its prominent front porch, is typical of many such structures dating from the late 19th century, the history of the property goes back to the end of the 18th century.

William Cornell was a member of a Rhode Island family who emigrated to Upper Canada. Settling on what were two lots of forested ground near the shore of Lake Ontario in 1799, William Cornell became somewhat of a prominent local entrepreneur. Becoming a local miller, one of his acts was also to plant an orchard on the lot. With others, he also built a road which subsequently became a major artery in this part of Ontario, now known as Kingston Road.

One of the Cornell family descendants who lived in the Cornell Home for many years was Helen Campbell, and her husband Albert Campbell, a prominent local civic leader, who served as Reeve, then Mayor, of Scarborough, subsequently chairing Metro Toronto Council (1). One of Helen Campbell's forebears, James G. Cornell, had previously served as Reeve of Scarborough during World War One. Another of Helen Campbell's family antecedents, Edward Cornell, had served on Scarborough's municipal council in the mid-19th century. Thus, the property (not itself open to the public) has associations with a family which left significant mark on the history of Scarborough.

Disambiguation: It might have been thought that the former residence of the Cornell family on Kingston Road would be known as Cornell House. This would in fact be a reasonable supposition, were it not for the fact that there already exists a property, supported by the Scarborough Historical Society, which is known as 'Cornell House', in the Thomson Memorial Park, Scarborough. Thus, for the sake of distinguishing the two properties, the house at Kingston Road is referred to by the Scarborough Historical Society's plaque as the 'Cornell Home'.

April 19, 2012


(1) Named in his memory, Albert Campbell Square is situated at Scarborough Civil Centre.

Also worth seeing

Kingston Road, Scarborough, is known for its various murals, which depict aspects of the life of the local area, throughout its history. These murals include the Half Way House mural at 2052 Kingston Road, and the Scarborough Rifle Company mural at 1577 Kingston Road.

Cornell House (distance: approx. 2.5 kilometres; see main text, above) is situated in Thomson Memoral Park at 1007 Brimley Road, Scarborough.


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 Cornell Home historical plaque: approx. 40 kilometres). Please note that parking is not permitted in the immediate vicinity of the historical plaque for the Cornell Home on Kingston Road, Scarborough. Visitors may prefer to use the TTC 34, 86 or 102 buses. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

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

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