Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada

Closed Canadian Parks




Munro Park
(1896 - 1906)

    George Monro, a Toronto businessman/politician, bought a 25-hectare site in 1847 he called The "Painted Post Farm". Part of this would eventually become Munro Park. (Note that the family name of "Monro" was misspelled as "Munro", which stuck.) George died in 1878 and in 1896, his heirs leased a 6 to 10-hectare site east of Victoria Park, a short distance away. This lease, which was to run for 10 years, went to The Toronto Railway Company, which wished to run an amusement park. When they acquired the lease for it in 1896, they chose James and Thomas Gardiner to manage this and later, Victoria Park. Having such parks meant that the rail company could promote business transporting people to their parks during normally off hours. Thus, these became "trolley" parks.

    It was initially a 6-hectare picnic park with 50 benches and 100 seats, but for the first season, a large 1300 square-meter dance hall, a bandstand, and some rides were installed including a carousel and swings. An improvement for the 1897 season was a mineral well. By 1898, a dispute regarding placing a rail route across East Toronto was settled and streetcar tracks were run to a loop at the park, thus further promoting transport business during normally off hours. New for that year was a 2 X 10-tub ferris wheel. 1899 saw a water carousel, Lundy's Ostrich Farm, and two 90-meter boardwalks leading from the entrance to the dance hall. Each walkway had 20 arches of 10 lights every 4 or 5 meters.

    Motion pictures were added in 1900 and by the start of the new century, they had added more sidewalks and a larger performance stage with seating for 5000. Like Scarboro Beach Park, performers included acrobats, animal acts, comedians, magicians, and musical performers. Acts from Britain and the United States were booked including minstrel & vaudeville shows, and opera.

    The Toronto Railway Company had a dispute with the Monro family in 1901 which was settled. However, in 1906, when the lease expired, it was not renewed and the buildings were removed. This may have been in part because Scarboro Beach Park was about to open in 1907 just a few blocks away, and the Munro Park owners perhaps did not wish to compete. Nevertheless, the rail company still wanted to remain in the amusement park business and purchased the rival park five years later. Munro Park was subdivided for development and nothing of the park remains today, although one may still drive down Munro Park Avenue to the former site. The shore line is now part of Beaches Park (1932).

Return to the
Closed Canadian Parks Index

CEC Main Page