Old West Toronto
Rice, A B letter to the Dec 3, 1931; The Globe and Mail pg. 4
About Old West Toronto
To the Editor of The Globe: May I thank you in anticipation of space to relate some facts concerning the finances of the former city of West Toronto, in view of statements contained recently in the press which are misleading and do an injustice to members of the old West Toronto Council, many of whom are still living. The statements, in effect, are that West Toronto, while awaiting annexation, let its finances go from bad to worse, and finally had to be taken in anyway.
As a matter of fact, during the seventeen years immediately preceding the amalgamation of West Toronto with Toronto the former municipality never issued a bond nor otherwise increased its debt to the extent of one dollar.
During that seventeen-year period it grew from a struggling town to a prosperous young industrial city, and increased its population from 3,000 to 10,000. Meanwhile many improvement were effected and paid for out of the annual taxes. It is incorrect to say that West Toronto was “awaiting annexation,” for the smaller city did not ask to be absorbed. The overtures emanated from the City Hall.
Mayor Baird, learning that Toronto representative desired to confer with West Toronto as to the possibility of the to cities merging, invited them to a luncheon in a West Toronto hotel, where, to quote their exact words, the Toronto men, with ex-Mayor Urquhart as the chief speaker, proceed to “lay their cards on the table.” Hearty congratulations were expressed upon West Toronto’s amazing recovery after its serious financial crisis of a dozen years before.
The Toronto men declared there was abundant evidence that that young city could have a good future as an independent municipality, but pleaded for union in order to build up a Greater Toronto, and frankly stated that Toronto had about reached the limit of its borrowing powers with its then acreage, and that the absorption of West Toronto was desirable, in view of its location and sound financial condition.
The writer, who was a guest at the luncheon, had been constrained to set forth these facts in fairness to those who so wisely administered the affairs of West Toronto, and also because this fragment of local history may be of interest now while the question of again extending he city boundaries is under consideration.
A. B. Rice.
A. B. (Allan Berlin) Rice
He is interned at Section 10, Lot 537