Posted June 2014
On May 10, CCRA Past President Ben Stanton passed away peacefully at
Centenary Hospital in his 93rd year with his family at his side. Ben was
born in Dutchess, Alberta, the eldest son of 13 children to Mervin and
Blanche Stanton. Ben was a cowboy as a young man on the Dorthy Cattle Co.
Ranch, Bar U Ranch & The Circle Ranch. He joined the Canadian Air Force -
heading east where he met his beautiful bride Margarette. They settled in
the Centennial community in 1948, where they still resided in the family
home he had built. Ben enjoyed working with friends he made during his
involvement in the CCRA. He was influential in creating several landmarks,
the gates at Adams Park in the Centennial year and building homes on Ben
CCRA extends sincere condolences to the Stanton family. With warm
memories, to follow is an article written by Ben Stanton in 2009 during
CCRA’s 60th anniversary year.
60+ Years of Memories
by Ben Stanton, CCRA Past President
In April 1948, my wife Margarette and I came out with a real estate
salesman to look over an acre of land on the east side of Centennial Road,
four lots north of Lawson Road “very late in the evening”.
It was too dark to survey the property, so we came out the next day on the
bus to Highland Creek and walked along Lawson Road, a sandy trail, to
Centennial Road (both were paved later to service the new John’s Manville
plant at Prot Union and Lawrence Avenue. At that time the Scarborough’s
border was the west side of Port union Road and later extended to the
The CCRA was being formed so we purchased our first memberships from Tom
McMorrow at his little store just west of the present strip plaza at the
corner of Lawson and Centennial Roads.
We built our home and occupied it in October 1949 through the “Veteran’s
Land Act Plan” and have raised a daughter and two sons who live near and
We attended the first community picnic held by the CCA later the CCRA at
the original little school house located at the north side of Adams Park
where the Ontario Department of Highways excavated fill materials to form
the 2A and 401 connections. This is how the present ball diamond and
soccer field were formed.
1960 – 1963
As President the first time, I had many meetings with Bill Brown and Jack
Kay of Scarborough Township, Park Department to encourage the development
of Adams Park. This was a more difficult task because it is a district
park not community park. However, a concession building for hydro and
water service was built and flood lighting on the toboggan hill, baseball
diamond and soccer field, previously mentioned, boards for an ice rink on
the Lawson Road side, flooding the rink etc. were completed by the CCRA.
As President for the second time, I had knowledge and personal dealings
with “Hands Fireworks” located in Cooksville, Ontario. What better way to
celebrate Centennial year than by having a May 24th weekend
with a fire work’s display.
Hands put on a “super display” at Adams Park and everyone had a great
time. This event was held for many years and, unfortunately, was
As President during our Centennial Year, one of my goals was to have stone
gates built at the Lawson Road entrance to Adams Park. We raised funds in
various ways, i.e., bottle drives (amazing how many beer bottles were
cleared out of sheds). All were turned in for cash at the beer store. We
held Broom Sales and sold hundreds of regular corn brooms and stiff
bristled push brooms.
McCowan Readymix supplied the concrete for the foundations, free of
charge, many building trades made cash donations along with many
The Masonry contractor did the work at a reasonable cost. The hand
digging for the foundations was done by a few of the CCRA members.
Consumer Gas supplied the gas lamps and the connections to the lamps. At
the dedication, Mayor Albert Campbell said, “Let there be light” and the
gas company employees turned them on. Unfortunately, vandals ruined them
not long after and they were removed. Generally the youth in this area
were very helpful in all the events performed by the CCRA and we believe
these vandals were from outside of our community.
It has been a pleasure to put this bit of history together and before I
close, I would like to thank you for the great Past President’s Dinner and
Dance that my wife and I attended – we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Celebrating local heroes:
Moving to Centennial almost 45 years ago, Tony Sibley remembers “a muddy
experience”, coming to this neighbourhood at a time when Lawrence Avenue
did not yet cross Highland Creek. He recalls wife June losing her shoes in
the mud during those early days, “but she wouldn’t have it any other way”.
Tony retired in 1992 after a satisfying career as a military engineer.
Reading at Port Union Library one day, Tony says he “looked up and
realized that there was a health club and other things happening” in the
community centre. Tony attended an Annual General Meeting of the Port
Union Seniors, and upon hearing that they needed a President, stepped up
to volunteer for a two-year term. Tony and June remained active in the
group for many years, enjoying community involvement and causes supported
by the always energetic Port Union Seniors.
In 2002, Tony joined the CCRA executive as Treasurer, a position he held
until this year, as well as serving an interim term as Membership Chair.
His steadfast commitment since joining CCRA has seen it through many vital
initiatives, events and issues in this community. Tony is particularly
proud of CCRA’s part in demanding cleanup at the Port Union site of the
asbestos-ridden Johns Manville plant, and the successful demand for
warning clauses that were added to new home agreements there.
After years of volunteering, Tony feels that Centennial’s growing pains
and changes are for the best. He is ready to move on to another good
neighbourhood, and says “times change and you have to change with it”.
After almost 45 years, Tony Sibley leaves our Centennial community a
better place. His steady hand at CCRA and Port Union Seniors were, and
still are, valued in our neighbourhood.
For readers of CCRA News, Tony’s keen editorial eye and mind will
be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but smooth, mud-free roads ahead.
“Several years ago
I was the Membership Chair for the CCRA. There were a lot of canvassers
required to the do the job and it was a lot of work. At the end of the
four years, I decided to try to find someone to take on the job as I was
running out of friends to help. As luck would have it for me, I was
chatting with Tony and when I told him that I was giving up the position,
he told me that he would do it.
I have always felt
that day was my lucky CCRA day. Tony went on to be a great Membership
Chair and the Treasurer as well. I will miss you, Tony.”-
Vice President CCRA
Celebrating local heroes:
Rella Braithwaite and her family celebrated her 91st birthday this year,
and a lifetime of giving to her community.
Rella and her husband Bob, a World War 2 veteran, settled in Centennial in
1946. She remembers early years here when neighbours shared a telephone
and washing machine. Rella speaks warmly of friends like the McMorrow,
Watson and Dempsey families, who were also among the first in the
Centennial Road Public School was still being built, and Rella’s six
children were able to attend there from grades one to eight. Rella became
involved with the school’s Home and School Association, later receiving a
Lifetime Achievement Award after her involvement for over 25 years.
She recalls being present in 1949 at the Home and School Association when
it was decided that Centennial School should have a recreation centre.
This led to the founding of the Centennial Community Recreation
Association. William Dempsey was made founding President. Rella feels that
the CCRA can be proud to be in their 65th year and she was pleased to
receive her CCRA recognition medal in 1977.
The Braithwaite family attended Centennial United Church and for a time,
Bob Braithwaite sang in the choir. As her children grew, Rella became more
active in the community. She attended Scarborough Board of Education
meetings for five years, and wrote a column entitled “Scarborough Board
Happenings” for West Hill News.
Notably, Rella is one of the eldest descendants of the Queen’s Bush
Pioneers, one of the largest Black settlements where fugitives escaping
slavery made new homes in Canada. Realizing that Black youth needed to
understand their heritage, she began researching and writing about early
Black settlers. In the 1960s, Rella wrote a column for Contrast
newspaper, sharing Black history with Toronto. She has since co-authored
several books including Some Black Women and Some Black Men
that profile outstanding figures in Canadian Black history.
Always sharing her research with students and adults, in 1975 Premier
William Davis appointed Rella to serve on an Advisory Council of
Multiculturalism. Years later, she received a Bi-Centennial Civic Award
from Scarborough Mayor Frank Faubert. Among her many honours, Rella has
received awards from Who’s Who in Black Canada, Congress of Black Women,
Association of Black Women and Negro Colour Guard.
Centennial has been home for over 67 years to this remarkable woman, who
says that it “has been a really great community since we came in 1946”.
Rella continues to inspire students with an annual writing award at
Centennial Road Public School. Never without a project, she is currently
working on a book about her sister the Reverend Addie Aylestock, first
Black woman minister in Canada.
There is always another story to be told – we wait for
Rella to write her own. It may be the best yet
Posted Mar 2014
What’s Happening at the West Rouge Tennis Club
(by Mary Soye,
Secretary, West Rouge Tennis Club)
you ever driven by the West Rouge Community Centre between April and
October and wondered what was happening under the bright lights of the
tennis courts in the evenings? Well this is the West Rouge Tennis Club – a
dynamic, community-based club, and home to people who love playing tennis
in the great outdoors.
evenings you will see the ladies’
and men’s house league doubles matches.
Wednesday evenings we have mixed doubles on the courts. Many Tuesday
nights you will see some of our more experienced players hosting other
Scarborough teams in a league that is part of the Scarborough Tennis
Federation (STF). West Rouge has
three different levels of teams in this league – some
more competitive than others! And you might just see us playing in the
Mixed Luck of the Draw tournament, a fun annual event that sparks some
spirited tennis. But
the real competition takes place later in the season at the club
let the competition scare you off, though. The club also offers
run by our pro for adult
non-members (beginner members are also
encouraged to attend) on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:00 in May and
June. Here you can learn (or re-learn) the basics. You are sure to meet up
with other players at your level and you can arrange games with them.
junior program is a great way for children under the age of 18 to get
involved in tennis – a sport that incorporates both mental and physical
exercise. From May 2 to May 31, all juniors have five free lessons with
our club pro on Saturdays and there are five organized junior drop-in
session on Wednesday afternoons in May and June from 5:00 to 6:00. We’d
like to see more juniors on our courts learning to love the game and play
it throughout their lives, and who knows? Your child might be the next
Milos or Eugenie! Find out by signing them up. And consider signing up
with them. Tennis is a great way to spend healthy, active family time,
right here in the neighbourhood.
addition to court time, the club hosts a number of social events
throughout the season, including an opening day barbeque, a Family Day
event, a mid-winter wine and cheese evening, an Ironman/Ironwoman
challenge that involves golf, tennis and a barbeque, and to round off the
season, a house league dinner and awards night.
have to be a member to play on our courts (except Saturday and Sunday
afternoons between 4:00 and 6:00when they are open to the public and at
the Wednesday beginner clinics),
so sign up now! You can find the application form
online at www. westrougetennisclub.com
and at the WRCC reception desk. We would love to
have you and your family join us at the West Rouge Tennis Club!
Posted Sept 2013 2013
As reported in June, the Highland
Creek Heritage Day held on Saturday June 8th, was combined with
U of T’s 100th anniversary celebration at the Miller Lash
House. This house is located on U of T Scarborough campus property off
Old Kingston Road adjacent to Colonel Danforth Park. Each Thursday
evening during the summer a pub night was held at the Miller Lash House.
The last night was Thursday August 15th. This was a new
venture for U of T. The location of the house is unique and the setting
is spectacular. Food was reasonably priced and good. From reports I
understand U of T will be opening up the house next summer with perhaps
more nights available. Watch for an announcement next spring.