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Secondary Schools: G to M

Long Branch Continuation School (LBC-CS)

War memorial at James S. Bell (Long Branch Continuation) School, Toronto. ©Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Location: 90 Thirty-First Street, Toronto (Etobicoke) Ontario, M8W 3E9 (3495 Lakeshore Boulevard West at Thirty-First Street)

Opened: 1914

Alternate or former names: School Section No. 12 Etobicoke (Note: S.S. No. 12 originally included the areas later designated S.S. No. 16, and part of S.S. No. 13); Lakeshore Public School; Lakeshore Public and Continuation School; Long Branch Public and Continuation School; Long Branch Public School; James S. Bell School

Pre-1998 municipality: City of Etobicoke

Type of school: Continuation

History:
1871: James Eastwood purchased 500 acres of the Colonel Samuel Smith estate. The Colonel Samuel Smith Tract in Etobicoke stretched from Lake Ontario to Bloor Street, between what is now Kipling Avenue and Etobicoke Creek. The land was largely undeveloped and used for lumbering.
1883: James Eastwood sold the eastern part of the property to be developed as a summer resort, called in early years “Sea Breeze Park.” During the 1880s, as many as 50,000 vacationers visited. As transportation improved, cottages were converted to permanent residences. Soon, schools were needed.
1886 Oct 11: Plan M9 (with the new name of Long Branch Park) registered at the Land Titles Office. The name Long Branch possibly came from the well-known New Jersey resort of Long Branch. Today’s Long Branch is usually considered as stretching from 23rd Street, west to 43rd Street and Etobicoke Creek. The earlier Long Branch extended from just east of 33rd Street to west of 35th Street.
1889: First meeting to establish a school (School Section #12) for Long Branch and area. Horner school eventually built.
1914: Horner school (built 1889) over crowded. A new school built on Lakeshore Road at Thirty-First Street. While the school was being built, classes were held in Long Branch Baptist Church.
1915: A two-storey school built on the site which is now 3495 Lakeshore Boulevard West. It became known as Long Branch Public School, but was apparently also referred to as Lakeshore Public School. Two classrooms on the main floor. The second floor, not yet partitioned, was used as an auditorium for many community activities. Two playrooms in the basement — one for boys; one for girls. Children took their lunches and had hot chocolate prepared in the boiler room by Mrs. Ludlow, a parent. The large front lawn was flooded in winter to make a skating rink. In time, the second floor became two classrooms. Principal: Mr. McGrath; Teacher: Miss Murchison; Caretaker: Mr. Chavener.
1920: Six rooms added to the rear of the building.
1922: Board granted the request of a deputation of adults for evening classes up to the fifth form.
1923: Four rooms added to the front of the building.
1924: Long Branch Public School had grown to 14 rooms.
1926: Evident that Long Branch needed high school facilities. A front section was added for this — six classrooms; a board and staff room; a nurse’s office; a principal’s office.
1927: Continuation grades added. (Although Mimico High School was not too far away, residents wanted their own high school.) Upper School and Commercial subjects could be taught in both day and evening classes. School became Long Branch Public and Continuation School. James S. Bell hired to develop school into a strong educational institution.
1930: Long Branch incorporated as a village. “During the Depression Years, a number of youngsters went part way through public school and then just had to get out to help support their families. Grade six was not an uncommon leaving age. By the time kids like myself got to grade 13, there might be 15, 16 boys. And if they were organizing a football team and you were warm and breathing, you made the football team.” — Jack Davy, former student. (Quoted in: A Celebration of Excellence-Sauro.
1931: Long Branch secedes from Township of Etobicoke.
1946 Sept: Principal of Public School: Harvey H. Gibbs; Principal of Continuation School: O. Barkley.
1948: Kindergarten introduced.
1949: Remedial Reading, Art, Home Economics, and Industrial Arts added.
1950: Senior Boys Academic Vocational class began.
1950: Roll of Honour annual award for general proficiency sponsored by the Dr. Forbes Godfrey chapter I.O.D.E. established. (Framed list of names 1950-1961 hangs in front hall.)
1951: Long Branch becomes a part of the Lakeshore District Board. Continuation School moved to the new Collegiate in New Toronto. The Public School, which had been holding classes in basement rooms, the gymnasium, and three churches, moved into the vacated spaces. Rod Jack became principal; a secretary hired.
1951: Renamed for James S. Bell, who served the school from 1926 to 1946. (A photograph of Mr. Bell hangs near the war memorials.)
1954: Six kindergarten and five grade one classes moved into a new and final wing of the school.
1959: Elmer Yeandle became vice principal.
1962 Dec 31: Harvey Gibbs received 25-year service certificate.
1962: Violin lessons introduced.
1963: Physical Education introduced.
1967: Village of Long Branch joined the Etobicoke Board of Education.

Published history:
The Branch: [yearbook]. Toronto: Long Branch Continuation School, 1936. 1 volume, ill., ports.
Berry, Susan. A History of Education in the Lakeshore Area: Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch. Toronto: Wylie Press, [1966?] Unpaged.
Sauro, Silvio. A Celebration of Excellence: to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Etobicoke and Lakeshore District Boards of Education 1967-1992: and the Dissolution of the Etobicoke Board of Education May, 1947-December, 1997. Etobicoke, Ont.: The Board of Education for the City of Etobicoke. rev. 2nd ed. 1997. 135 p. ill. Appendices. Appendix E: Chronology of Educational Developments in the School Sections. Appendix F: Important Dates in the Governance of Etobicoke Public Education.

Web site: http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/jamessbell/AboutUs/SchoolHistory.aspx

Memorials transcribed:
LBC-PS-a: (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / Long Branch Continuation School / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Six columns. Surnames followed by given names. Columns iii and iv are headed: Supreme Sacrifice (12 names in each column). Names from A – Stoll. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.

LBC-CS-b: (WWII): Illuminated list designed by A.J. Casson. “For King and Country / Members of / [blank] / who have volunteered for active service / with / Canada’s fighting forces.” Four columns. Surnames followed by given names. Columns iii and iv are headed: Supreme Sacrifice (1 name in each column). Names from Storms – Yearsley; three names (not in order) added below Yearsley. List does not specify which war, but date of school opening, presence of women’s names, and the use of an A.J. Casson document, indicate World War II.