photos
October 17th, 2017
Keeping the Gardens Safe

Keeping The Gardens Safe

Stop 10 was known to Kingston Radial travellers as West's for the West family whose members owned a property there. Today it is the site of lovely Rosetta McClain Gardens, a gift to Scarborough by Rosetta's husband Robert Watson (Wat) McClain. Wat and Rosetta's brother Joseph are responsible for much of the beautiful design and landscaping of the park. Today, its pathways and stunning lookout views are a magnet for nature lovers and photographers

Toronto Safe Works

In the late 1900s Rosetta McClain's father, Thomas West, purchased J & J Taylor Ltd., also known as Toronto Safe Works, from its founder John Taylor. J & J Taylor safes were justifiably famous throughout North America. They continue to be found today – one was salvaged from Maple Leaf Gardens during its renovation. The company's headquarters were in a building at 145 Front Street East that still stands at the southwest corner of Front and Frederick streets.

As the business prospered, Thomas West (there was no McDonald middle name, despite the sign at the Gardens) purchased a farm at Glen Everest and Kingston in 1904. The farm was later divided among Thomas's four children, including daughter Rosetta. Rosetta married Robert Watson (Wat) McClain and the couple later added the share of her brother Howard to their property.

Bill West, Rosetta's nephew, has written this about the creation of Rosetta McClain Gardens: "Rosetta and Wat had only one child, son John, who never married. Thus there were no grandchildren. Rosetta died on November 4th, 1940, at the age of 70. (The historical plaque incorrectly states that she died in December, 1940). Their only son, John, contracted leukemia and died on January 21st, 1955. Thus Wat found himself, almost 88 years of age, with no heirs.

Featured Beaches
History & Landmarks
In Published Issues:


Spring & Summer 2017


Fall & Winter 2016/2017


Spring & Summer 2016


Fall & Winter 2016


Spring & Summer 2015


Fall & Winter 2014/2015


SPRING & SUMMER 2015


FALL & WINTER 2013/14


SPRING & SUMMER 2013


FALL & WINTER 2012


SPRING & SUMMER 2012


FALL & WINTER 2011


SPRING & SUMMER 2011


FALL & WINTER 2010/11


SPRING / SUMMER 2010


FALL / WINTER 2009-10


SPRING / SUMMER 2009


FALL / WINTER 2008-09


SPRING / SUMMER 2008


FALL / WINTER 2007-08


SPRING / SUMMER 2007


FALL / WINTER 2006-07


SPRING / SUMMER 2006


FALL / WINTER 2005-06


SPRING / SUMMER 2005


SUMMER / WINTER 2004-05