Mississauga Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Faiza-Ifrah
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Faiza-Ifrah
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Faiza-Ifrah

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Mississauga

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    I organised a fare here

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    The Village Hall can be rented out
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    Yes this was at MEADOWVALE COMMUNITY HALL, built c. 1871 (6970 Second Line W.)

    Built on land donated by the Simpson family in 1871, the present Community Hall served as Meadowvale Village’s second school house. The first had been built in 1851 at the corner of Barberry Lane and Second Line. After the construction of this building, the first school was
    converted into a private residence, and was lost during a fire in 1974. Unlike larger communities in the region, Meadowvale did not have a grammar school, so students wishing to receive higher education had to travel to either Streetsville or Brampton. In 1959, a larger, more modern
    public school was built to service the community. Since 1968, this building has been used as a community hall. Extensive repairs were undertaken in 1980-81 to reinforce the roof and foundations and to provide an adequate water system. Additional restoration work was done in 1993.

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    The oldest dwelling

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    The dwelling does look very old and original

    This would be BEATTY-SKALIN HOUSE built c. 1825 (1125 Willow Lane).

    This structure is possibly the oldest remaining house in Meadowvale Village, although somewhat altered from its original appearance. John Beatty may have built it, and it later belonged to James Crawford before Crawford sold his mill and holdings to Francis Silverthorn in the 1840s. Willow Lane was once known as Water Street, which was appropriately named since Water Street homes were severely flooded by the Credit River on many occasions during spring thaws. The flats behind the homes along Willow Lane were once the site of many of the village's biggest industries. By the 1850s, the Johnson brothers were operating their Mammoth Iron Works and Foundry here, and an extensive cooperage was needed to support the operations of the grist mill. There was also row housing for the coopers which was known as "Quality Row". There was a carriage maker, a blacksmith and a Mr. Stillman who operated a successful cheese factory on the Willow Lane flats around the turn of the century.

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    They called it a Tea Room

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    A Tea Room that is now a residential building

    They called APPLE TREE INN establish c. 1858 (7053 Pond St.) a Tea Room because serving alcohol was illegal.

    Luther Cheyne, who served as the village’s first postmaster in 1854, built this residence in 1858.
    Throughout most of its existence, the structure has served as a private home. In 1920, however, Miss Yates and Miss Beardmore acquired the house and opened a tea room, which remained in business until 1944. The proprietors had the distinction of offering the only place in the village
    where a visitor could find a room and refreshment after the prohibition movement had forced the closure of the other public houses in Meadowvale. During the summers of 1920 and 1921, the tea room catered to the students of the Ontario College of Art who traveled to the area to sketch and paint the local scenery. The Apple Tree Inn is now a private family dwelling.

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    Visit a historical village

    by Faiza-Ifrah Updated Oct 9, 2011

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    Streetscape of early 20th century
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    On September 17, 2011, the little village of Meadowvale celebrated its 175th anniversary. My family and I hiked down that day and participated in the celebrations.

    The picturesque village is located at the junction of Old Derry Road and the Second Line and about 1 km from my home. It was first settled in 1820, near to the Credit River which provided the power for the mills and foundry that were developed in the area. By the 1850s Meadowvale had two hotels, a wagon shop and a school. Later the area became popular as a haven for artists. Many of the homes were built in the mid-19th century and are still standing. In 1980 Meadowvale Village became the first heritage conservation district in Ontario.

    Strolling through Meadowvale Village offers a remarkable chance to glimpse streetscapes frozen in time and a landscape of the past. Much of the village remains little altered from the mid 19th
    century.

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    Meadowvale Mill Ruins.

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    A memorial for the ruins
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    The lazy course of the Credit River belies its importance to the establishment of Meadowvale village. The founding of mills in 1845 at Old Mill Lane along the course of the river provided the single greatest incentive to the growth of the surrounding community. The early mills operated by Simpson and Crawford paved the way for new growth. Francis Silverthorn, son of one the Township’s first pioneers, arrived in Meadowvale, purchased a portion of John Crawford’s mill allowance, and entered into competition with John Simpson. He built a dam and millrace and erected a large sawmill. Silverthorn expanded his complex in 1845, constructing a large grist mill. In 1853 tragically the mill and its 10,000 bushels of wheat burned. With new financial backing from the Bank of Upper Canada, Silverthorn quickly rebuilt. Unluckily the wheat market collapsed in 1860 following the Crimean War, and the firm of Gooderham and Worts took over operation of the mill. After the departure of Gooderham and Worts in 1880, the grist mill fell into disuse by the 1950s and was demolished in 1954.

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    A heritage home with links to South Carolina

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    Front of the home
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    This is ORR-MEAD HOUSE built c. 1870 at 1101 Willow LaneThis property exhibits an interesting history, and past owners include several prominent families in the history of Meadowvale Village, including the Gooderham, Orr, Southern and Mead families. The large main house is the newest addition to the property, having been built in 1999 by the Mead family, incorporating parts of an 1890s inn that was originally in South Carolina. Also on the property
    are the buildings that served as Johnson’s wagon shop and blacksmith shop, built circa 1870. An earlier residence, built circa 1860, also remains.

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    Visit a house that was shifted on its axis

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 9, 2011

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    The new front view of the home
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    This is SILVERTHORN HOUSE built c. 1844 at 7050 Old Mill Lane. Tradition suggests that James Crawford built this early frame house in the early 1840s. It was sold to Francis Silverthorn in 1845. While in Meadowvale, Francis married his second wife, Mary Hamilton Cheyne, and several of their children were born in this house. The Silverthorns left Meadowvale after the Bank of Upper Canada foreclosed on the mortgage of the mill. The vernacular Silverthorn House came into the possession of mill owner Henry Brown in 1894, and Brown was responsible for many renovations to the property, including the move of the house from its original eastfacing orientation to its current south-facing position.

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    Hiking through the Flood Control Area

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 8, 2011

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    A view of the trail
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    About 1 Km to the south of my home there is a picturesque and easy to do hiking trail that passes by the community's flood control area and wild plants. So here you are - a perfect wild trail in the urban community.

    This trail is used mostly by hikers, joggers, cyclists and dog walkers. The water body itself provides a habitat for a number of waterfowl and turtles.

    One can enter the trail from the west entrance located on the Second Line, close to Sombrerro Drive.

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    Fall Multicultural Festival at old Derry Road

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 7, 2011

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    Ride on the ponies
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    One more festival that is celebrated about 1/2 a km from my home on the Old Derry Road is the Meadowvale Secondary School's Multicultural Festival at the onset of Fall season.

    Meadowvale Secondary School is a part of the Peel District School Board in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Meadowvale is a multicultural school with people of various backgrounds including Poles, Chinese, Germans, Filipino, Pakistanis, Indians, and Jamaicans. Meadowvale is a diverse school and it appreciates and celebrates its cultural diversity every year at this Multicultural Festival. Farm animals, pony rides, horse drawn buggies, eating goodies, play areas - it is all about families and their children.

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    The Credit River

    by Faiza-Ifrah Updated Oct 7, 2011

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    The Credit River
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    K2 and his humans reached the Credit River (picture # 1). K2 was confused by so much of water that looked different to him. (picture 2)

    Credit River meanders all the way from its origins in the Dufferin County to our North down to the Lake Ontario. Living to its character, it twists and turns through the Conservation Area, passes through Old Derry Road, into the fields where one can see deer by the dozens grazing and geese by the hundreds pooping.

    Credit River offers fishing and many anglers come to it for trying fly fishing. Dog owners bring their retrievers to it to let them swim and fetch something. There are trails by the edge of the river that one can hike on (picture # 3 and 4). These trails are easy to negotiate, but they can run shivers through one's spines when taking them at dawn or dusk for they are dark, quiet and lonely, except for few into physical activities.

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    Visit Gooderham Estate

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 6, 2011

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    The building is hidden behind the trees
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    Nestled among tall trees and plenty of foliage, Gooderham Estate (c. 1870) is located half a km south of my home at 929 Old Derry Rd. W.

    Charles Horace “Holly” Gooderham was only 18 years old when he was sent from Toronto to learn the milling business of his family at the Alpha Knitting Mills, north of Streetsville. He was then sent to Meadowvale to run the newly acquired mill here. In addition to the mill complex, the firm of Gooderham and Worts operated an extensive general store in the village that was said to rival that of Timothy Eaton in Toronto. Gooderham had this brick home built for his family in 1870. After the departure of Gooderham and Worts in the 1880s, the building served several capacities. Under the ownership of the Graham and Watt families, the house garnered a reputation as a fine summer resort operating under the name of “Rose Villa”. Converted into apartments prior to 1980, the house had fallen victim to vandals and into disuse until 1996, when the Monarch Development Corporation restored the property, which is today home to a school.

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    Visualize the community of 1800s

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 6, 2011

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    1st Nation Elders speaking on importance of water
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    The Meadowvale Village was established by the Irish immigrants from New York in the 1800s.In order to visualize the lifestyle and entertainment of the day, one can see performances by the Madd Paddy Irish band, Goggin-Carroll Irish dancers and First Nations elders, people dressed up in period costumes.

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    Borrow a book from Village library

    by Faiza-Ifrah Updated Oct 6, 2011

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    Rayyan by the library
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    One point of attraction in the Meadowvale village is the home of a wonderful lady by the name of Rosemary. Her home is called Rosemary's Garden and she maintains an old library here. The rule is that you can borrow a book and return it within a stipulated time to get a new one. The library (pictures 1 and 3) is exactly the same as it used to be in the good old days.

    She also maintains a museum, as it used to be back then (pictures 2 and 4). And of course she maintains a traditional garden (picture 5).

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    A Home with a model of the Village

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 6, 2011

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    Mr. Terry Wilson giving a brief introduction
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    Two doors south of Rosemary lives his son Terry Wilson, who has built a model of Meadowvale Village as it existed in the 19th century.

    According to Terry, residents may tear down a building due to poor condition - IF they have permission from the Heritage Review Committee and as long as the building doesn’t have historic designation.

    Terry will be first in line to salvage the materials, all of which he uses in his Olde Meadowvale Miniature Village he has built in his backyard.

    More than 1,000 people trampled through Terry’s yard on September 17 to see his village-in-miniature. “I took people through 50 to 75 at a time and the line ups went on all day,” says Terry with great fulfillment.

    Terry, a retired history teacher who is a third-generation Villager, started building his miniature wonderland 14 years ago as a hobby. His mother Rosemary worked alongside Terry, and the mother-and-son team used photos of original village buildings as their inspiration.

    Terry designs and builds about two buildings a year, adding to his village scene, which now consists of two mills (one with a water source from a creek), a school house, general store, mercantile shop, emporium, blacksmith’s shop, a millworker’s cottage, a train station and out buildings.

    Each is decorated with period furniture, knick knacks and clothing or dry goods which Terry and Rosemary have found, sourced or donated.

    Rosemary, who lives just two doors from Terry, has a miniature museum and a library in her backyard. For several decades, Rosemary has been signing out library books to local school children and Ontario history books to adults.

    Terry’s mini world is not so mini. “My yard is 300 feet deep which allows me room to set up the village,” says Terry. “The buildings are mostly 9’x 6’feet; large enough to step inside.” Terry begins his backyard tour at the miniature train station, and although there’s no real train, or even tracks for that matter, he will take you on a journey back in time.

    “It’s about using your imagination to experience things as they were. We are all kids at heart who love to pretend. Young kids and adults grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and they love to relate to a simpler time. People who visit here tell me it’s a surreal experience.”

    Each fall, Terry again welcomes visitors as part of the Doors Open Mississauga event (on October 1 this year). The village is open for “special occasions” only, although group tours can be arranged by reservation.

    Each Christmas, Terry decorates the village with heritage decorations (no icicle lights here) and is contemplating inviting the entire village over for an evening of old-fashioned fun and carolling.

    “I have never taken a dime for the tours,” says Terry. “I do this because I love doing it and love this village. If people want to donate money I suggest they donate to a heritage building in their own community.”

    People dropping by and asking for a tour are constant in Terry’s life. He admits he sometimes obliges, but more often he sets up an appointment. “I estimate I get about 1,000 people a year visiting. This year will likely be double that. I’d say about 7,000 people have visited the village. I now have a sign on the lawn which reads: Please Don’t Enter. For Tours Call 905-564-8632."

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    Observe how life was in the last 2 centuries

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Oct 6, 2011

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    A car of yesteryears
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    It is a very pleasant hike within the village and in the vicinity. Set in a forested area, it is a quiet and tranquil little piece of land where you will be lucky to run into any of its neighbours (total population: about 200).

    Since the life is no where close to what it was in the 19th and the early 20th centuries, these pictures taken during the 175th anniversary celebration of the village can help one visualize it.

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Mississauga Off The Beaten Path

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