My grandmother was Audrey Gaskin Steeves and it was her father John William Gaskin's farm which was purchased. Photos [included] of the Gaskin Farm which was purchased to build the Coverdale Home for Women, also a pamphlet [click here to view and download] that was circulated around the time the farm was purchased. [For more information on the Home - visit our sister site link - Interprovincial Home for Young Women.
A little history of my part of Gunningsville (Ranch Road next to Trinity United Church).
The land in this area was originally a farm, I do not know who owned it originally, but my grandfather Stewart A. Steeves purchased it from Tuttle Goodwin (he was a lawyer, I believe) probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s. When I was a child, a barn from the farm was still standing. Stewart ran a fox ranch on the property at the top of the hill near Rivercrest Ave. One of the current homes on Audrey Road was the fox tower. When fox ranching was no longer profitable, probably in the 1940s, he subdivided the land for what was Steeves Subdivision. I have the blueprints here somewhere. He gave lots of land to both of his children and sold the rest. Ranch Road is called this because it was a former fox ranch. Audrey Road and Gaskin Blvd. are named for my grandmother, Audrey Gaskin Steeves. My mother told me that when she was a child that Rivercrest Ave. was just a 'cow path' and they used to toboggan down it in the winter.
Probably around the same time that Stewart sold the land, he purchased a store located on the river bank by the Bridge. It was owned at the time by Harry Gaskin (cousin to my grandmother). It was a general store that later became a grocery store, operating under the 'Red and White' label. Stewart died in 1964. My father Sam Wood operated it for a short time after that as Wood's Market, but closed it in 1967. [Photos show store in 1940 and 1970]
Grandfather Stewart Steeves also owned and operated the 'Red Coach Grill' [Interior photo 1964] which was another building also on the river bank side of the road. The Red Coach building also had a barber shop (operated by Derek Cizek for many years), as well as 2 apartments on the 2nd floor and another unit for a small business. My grandmother operated the Red Coach for a few years after Stewart's death, then sold it to Vaughn Wilson, who operated it under another name for several years.
Another store building at the bottom of Rivercrest Avenue was originally built by Arthur W. Brown (I think), later owned by Harry Gaskin, followed by Ernie and Doris Reid, then was operated as the Rivercrest Variety Store by Felix Jensen for a number of years.
This photo of Hillsborough Road shows my grandparents’ house on the left, which is the first house on Rivercrest Ave. Jessie Stannard's house is the 2nd house.