11:30 p.m., Jan. 14)
Queenswood Heights marks 50th anniversary
By Fred Sherwin
there was Springridge, Avalon, Chapel Hill and Fallingbrook.
Before there was Chatelaine Village, Convent Glen North,
or even Orleans Wood, there was Queenswood Heights.
community`s history actually goes as far back as 1957
when the Duford family sold 385 acres of farmland to a
group of developers from Ottawa and Montreal for the kingly
sum of $52,500.
and Garden Home Develop.m.ent Ltd. planned to turn the farmland
into a $17 million "satellite town" with more
than 1,000 homes, schools, churches and a large shopping
name "Queenswood" was the brainchild of Morris
Kertzer, who was a young lawyer for the Parks and Garden
Home Develop.m.ent Ltd. During one of his many trips along
the Queensway to Cumberland Township he thought about
his own family-run business named "Trentwood".
He simply put the two names together and came up with
"Queenswood" for the new sub-division.
community was to be built in three phases. Construction
of the first phase on the escarp.m.ent overlooking the present
day Orleans Town Centre, began in the fall of 1961. That
year the official population of Queenswood was eight.
The following spring a group of 12 residents joined together
to form the Queenswood Homeowners Association.
to local historian and author Lori Nash, the streets in
Queenswood Heights were to be originally named after various
cities in France. In fact, Duford Street was originally
named Valenciennes Street.
names were changed to their present day monikers in 1963
on the suggestion of Marling Estates salesperson Boris
Blanchard who thought naming the streets after local settlers
would make it easier to sell the homes.
a result a bylaw was passed on March 22, 1963 to rename
Jamison, Duford, Major, Sault, Chartrand, Charlebois,
Tompkins, Lacroix, Fraser Park and Kennedy Lane which
was originally supposed to be called Mirabeau Street..
most people assume Kennedy Lane was named after John F.
Kennedy following his assassination in Nov. 22, it was
actually named after the Kennedy family which first settled
in Cumberland Township in the late 1800s.
the first several years the only road into the new sub-division
was Duford, which at that time was extremely steep. Former
residents recall taking turns trying to make it up the
hill during the winter.
October 1965, a massive landslide blocked Duford and St.
Joseph Blvd. for several days. Hundreds of truckloads
of dirt had to be moved before the road could be reopened.
The following year, Duford was redesigned to reduce the
1966, the population of Queenswood Heights had grown to
496. The Queenswood Homeowners Association began publishing
the Gleaner Newsletter in 1965, but it would be four more
years before they would have their own public school.
Queenswood Public School officially opened in 1969, the
population of Queenswood Heights had grown to more than
900 people. By 1971, it had doubled to nearly 2,000.
that time the community was still a suburban oasis in
the middle of farm country. Long time resident Al Tweddle
recalls his daughter running into the house and excitedly
telling him there was a monster in the backyard. It turned
out to be a stray cow.
was no OC Traspo service at the time. Residents left without
the use of a car had to rely on something called dial-a-bus.
The first storm sewers weren't built until the early 1980s
and the ditches would often flood, enabling at least one
enterprising resident to make use of his canoe.
1971 and 1976, the population nearly doubled to 3,800
people. With the addition of Queenswood Village in the
mid- to late 70s, the community grew by an additional
to the leadership of residents like Al Tweddle, the Queenswood
Community Centre was built in 1974 and a number of parks
were developed and linked together by an extensive pathway
Heights expanded further south to Des Espinettes during
the early 80s and from 1981 to 1986 the population grew
to nealt 12,000 residents. The population finally peaked
at 13,499 residents in 1996 and has slowly declined ever
Queenswood Heights is a mix of empty-nesters and young
families looking to establish down their roots in a mature
new homeowners are the sons and daughters of some of the
original residents who have decided to move back to the
neighbourhood to start their own families.
there are no plans for an official commemoration of the
community's 50th anniversary, some residents have been
talking about organizing a possible event in the spring
or coinciding it with a community fun day.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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