While looking at some of ARCAT's old photos of the Seminary building, I was reminded that our records show not only the history of the Archdiocese, but also the history of Toronto and the other communities of which we are a part.
Take for example the following aerial shots of St. Augustine's. They illustrate how the area along Kingston Road looked before post-war development of the Cliffside neighbourhood of Scarborough occurred:
|The same corner today as shown on Google Streetview.
|This wintry scene looks out from St. Augustine's towards Chine Drive. Kelsonia Avenue and Glenridge Road (which was known as Ardmour at the time) can also be seen.
In 2013, nobody would consider the St. Augustine's area rural, but as shown on the following 1916 map, St. Augustine's was surrounded by farmland when it was first built:
These photos remind us that our bustling, busy city with its streets full of cars and shops and people was once fields and trees. It's easy to imagine that when the site for the seminary was chosen, the pastoral setting would have been idyllic for reflection, contemplation and study in preparation for the priesthood. The view from the windows has changed dramatically, but the will to serve the Catholics of Toronto and abroad has remained the same.
To compare the above photos with today's Cliffside, you can use Google Satellite:
For a look back on 100 years of St. Augustine's check out the special feature in the Catholic Register.
The Toronto Public Library has more historic photos of Cliffside, the neighbourhood that surrounds the Seminary.