Sunday, 1 February 2009

My Town Monday - Long Branch (Toronto)

[1– Family card game taken 1893 at summer cottage in Long Branch]

The area Marie Curtis Park (from last week’s post) is located in an area commonly known as Long Branch. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Long Branch was a popular summer resort for Torontonians. The area was served by steamers that sailed from the foot of Bay Street.

Adjacent to the Marie Curtis park is a closed site which was formerly the Long Branch munitions factory during the 1940s. Huge quantities of weapons were manufactured there during the Second World War, such as the Bren, Sten and Lee Enfield. As of 2005 there are plans to incorporate the former munitions factory site into the Marie Curtis Park.


[2 – Mark Bren LMG machine gun]










[3 – Sten factory worker]






[4 – Lee Enfield Rifle]



The Lee Enfield Rifle is the longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service.

For further historical information including newspaper clippings about the Long Branch Munitions Factory during WWII go here.


Sources: Wikipedia, Etobicoke Historical
Photo Credits: Wikipedia

Travis Erwin from Amarillo, Texas is the founder of My Town Monday. For other locations to visit please go to Travis' site here.

29 comments:

Sepiru Chris said...

Lovely, eclectic history post Barbara.

One of my favourite munitions vistas was scuba diving in Red Sea.

I did a series of wreck dives once on the supply ship the HMS Thistlegorm.

She was hit by one bomb, but as that one bomb dropped through the ship's funnel, and gunpowder was stored next to the exhaust pipe to keep it dry, it made one heck of hole in the ships side.

And as descended I resolved that the entire seabed was strewn with Canadian-made Lee-Enfield rifles.

It was an amazing site.

Now, they are mostly gone as relic-hunters have collected many as mementos of that astonishing scene, or to sell.

Tschüss,
Chris

PS Maybe I will a post on this. I think I will.

Barbara Martin said...

That's me, Chris, 'eclectic'. I happened to discover this information while researching the Marie Curtis Park area. News to me.

Reb said...

Neat post Barbara, that first photo is very neat.

Philip said...

Barbara
Very nice post and very informative I love these old B/W pics makes me think of my Mom that also used to work in a Munitions Factory during WW2

lyzzydee said...

I love that first photo, I wish I had some like that, fantastic history!

debra said...

Fabulous photos, Barbara. I love your historical posts.

laughingwolf said...

thx barbara, during my army cadet days in southern ontario i had to be familiar with all three of those weapons, plus others

and all this time i thought they were british made....

Josh said...

gun and cards...life is good :)

Pam said...

The Sten factory photo is interesting Barbara! You're either a gun person or not. My brother is - loves them,has won State and National shooting finals,was asked to represent Australia overseas, makes his own bullets for muzzle loading, and has an antique gun collection. Me, I can't stand the things! Each to his own I guess. If it means a quicker death to put something out of its misery,so be it, a blessing that way. I hate, abhor the thought of killing. I'm getting away from the point of the post which is historical, and that I appreciate...love the first photo!

Sepiru Chris said...

Mental note: Do not post comments under the influence of antibiotics and a glass of wine unless you want to be mortified at grammatical mistakes. And nonsensical words!

My mortification is so complete that I have completely forgotten what I came back to mention to you. It is an utter mystery.

Right. Back to bed.

Barbara Martin said...

Reb, I like that photo too as it reflects the clothing worn at the time and how people enjoyed themselves while relaxing from day to day rigours.

Philip, I had heard my uncle's stories about the Lee Enfield rifle when he was in Europe during WWII.

Lyzzydee, thank you. England has a wealth of history.

Clare2e said...

The pictures are just fantastic, Barbara.

I like to think that lovely Enfield worker could get decent odds over WWII's Molly the Riveter, whose arms were limited to her flexed biceps.

Travis Erwin said...

Once upon a time I had an Enfield rifle.

Charles Gramlich said...

How weird that you wrote about Long Branch when I just did a play off that with Lana branch for my post of last night.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I adore that card playing photo.

Hilary said...

Long Branch. I stop there regularly on the GO line on my way to visit Frank. I knew nothing about the area - until now. Thanks for that.

Lana Gramlich said...

Ironic, too, that the main, historical building in our little town was the Long Branch hotel...

L.A. Mitchell said...

I wouldn't want to run into her in a dark alley *g*

Any word on the DVD?

Barbara Martin said...

Debra, thank you and I will try to keep digging up more history on the Toronto neighbourhoods.

Tony, I thought they were made in England, too.

Josh, well said.

Barbara Martin said...

Pam, I'm not particularly a gun person, though I do like knowing the history behind them. This sometimes leads to other interesting knowledge. Killing and wars are never pleasant topics when associated with weapons.

Chris, how long did you sit in the corner this time?

Clare, I'm glad you like the historic photos. They are worth a thousand words each, at least.

Barbara Martin said...

Travis, well you are a hunter, though I expect the Enfield was not for those purposes.

Charles, we must both be intuitive.

Patti, it is a cute photo.

Barbara Martin said...

Hilary, welcome. Every place, large or small has a piece of history waiting to be told.

Lana, and the saloon from Gunsmoke.

L.A., I'm sure she was only posing.

No, it hasn't and it's not like the postman not to misdeliver the mail.

T and S said...

Amazing collection of B&W images to illustrate the details. Nice one Barbara

Barrie said...

Informative and interesting. As usual!

bindu said...

Very interesting. I am fascinated by history like this.

RuneE said...

I know that guns of this sort has been necessary in some situations - but as I get older, I get closer and closer to being pacifist.

Maybe it is just me,

Linda McLaughlin said...

Interesting juxtaposition of themes. A toney resort area is an unusual choice for a munitions factory, but those were desperate times.

Barbara Martin said...

Thomas, black and white photos often illustrate details better than colour. In this instance they provide a historical aspect.

Barrie, I'm beginning to feel like a news correspondent.

Bindu, I am finding with researching the history of Toronto other tidbits of information pop up.

Barbara Martin said...

RuneE, it's not just you. I would prefer there not be fighting and international wars; but the bottom line comes down to I would make a strong effort to protect myself and my family if attacked by another or others.

Linda, it began as a resort in 1849 and WWI didn't begin until the early 1900s. For the times factories were built near rivers, and in this location the Etobicoke Creek runs right past into Lake Ontario.