Living in Eastlake
The Eastlake name was born out of convenience for real estate purposes. In fact Eastlake is a conglomeration of small enclaves that are sometimes referred to individually as Chartwell Maple Grove, Morrision and Ford, which also happen to be the main north south streets that run through this neighbourhood. Eastlake as its name implies is situated in the south eastern most part of Oakville along the shore of Lake Ontario. Eastlake is one of the most scenic and prettiest neighbourhoods in the GTA. The streetscapes are lined with magnificent homes and stately trees. Lakeshore Road East is a graceful wider street adorned with old stone pillars and iron gates that mark the passage of time.
History of Eastlake
The Town of Oakville was the gateway to Canada for many African Americans, as early as the 1830s. In 1834 the Town of Oakville became an official Port of Entry into Canada. Ships from Oakville sailed throughout the Great Lakes and beyond, and many slaves were assisted by ship captains to stow away in grain vessels. Stories are told of a tunnel which ran from the Sixteen mile creek to the Herb Merry House on Trafalgar Road, and there is also some evidence to suggest there may have been a tunnel leading under Navy Street from near the Custom House. For many of these slaves the City of Toronto would be their ultimate destination. Eastlake would have then provided a conduit to freedom for thousands of former slaves.
In the early 1900s Oakville became known as a resort town for wealthy Torontonians looking to build country estates. Jeweller James Ryrie was the first of Toronto’s elite to build a grand estate called Edgemere, on Oakville’s prime waterfront. Edgemere, was known for its elaborate Japanese gardens. Herbert Cox’s estate called Ennisclare, included stables and polo grounds. Department store magnet Timothy Eaton was another early resident. His estate was called Ballymena. With all this opulence Lakeshore Road East became known as “Millionaires’ Row.” These estate homes with their expansive and valuable waterfront property would eventually give way to new home developments. Today, all that remains of these landmark estates are the stone pillars, cast iron gates, and stone walls that accent Lakeshore Road east.