Photos taken by a staff member.
2017 Note: This page started as a small reference to the plaza where Bathurst Manor / Forest Valley Day Camp purchased many daily supplies. It has developed into what appears to be the only comprehensive source of information about the plaza.
A frequent destination for camp purchases, Bathurst Manor Plaza (a.k.a. Wilmington Plaza) was built in 1957 during the development of the area. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was a bustling community plaza with a wide variety of stores and services.
This sign introduced the plaza to the neighbourhood:
During Construction. The 2-storey south section and the Dominion (later Sunnybrook) store were built first. 1957:
A gas station was added in 1961:
An addition was added in 1984:
A third addition was added later for “Edith’s Fashions.” This building was spared from demolition in 2017 – likely to be used as a sales office for the new development:
The plaza was original referred to as “Bathurst Manor Plaza”. Later, it became know as “Wilmington Plaza”
Partial List of Stores
Ann Biederman Frocks
Bagel Nook (The)
Barber Shop (Roger Williams)
Bathurst Manor Cleaners
Bathurst Manor Food Centre
Bathurst Manor Fruit Market
Clover Printing and Labels
Country Style Donuts (Kosher)
Dollar Guys (Ali)
Fagot’s Hardware (Later, Metro Hardware) Aby Moses & Family
Fisherman’s Table Restaurant
Gary’s Sports Cards
GoGo Luggage & Leather
King David Pizza (Uri Hazan)
Knights of the Campus Boys Wear
The Leather Mart
Lisary Bags & Luggage
Little Caesar’s (Before King David Pizza)
Man About Town (Alessandro DeRosa)
Ronit Originals – Unisex Italian Leather Fashions
Shoppers Drug Mart
Sunnybrook (formerly Dominion)
Variety Store / Smoke Shop / Krivy’s Cigar Store
Wilmington Convenience & Produce (Terry Kim)
Bathurst Manor Service Centre (Morris & Alex)
Originally Shell. Later Pioneer. Owned by Mr. Pasternack
At one time, a guy named Rocco took care of the plaza.
Partial List of Office Tenants:
110 – 120 Overbrook Place
MCI Medical Clinics
Dr. Irving Zelcer
Dr. Harriet Train
Dr. Alan Sandler
Dr. Gerry Cohen
Dr. May Cohen
Riaboy & Anic Engineering Ltd
New Fraternal Jewish Association
Terry Leuty Real Estate (Harold “Husky” Goldkind)
Overbrook Medical Centre
A video of the plaza. ca. 1990:
A collection of ads from local newspapers.
Prior to the closing of Shoppers Drug Mart:
Following the closure of Sunnybrook in the mid 1980s, business declined in the plaza. Many stores closed. Some new tenants moved in, but did not stay long. In the early 2000’s, major tenants like CIBC, LCBO, & Shoppers Drug Mart left the plaza. Without these core tenants to draw traffic, the remaining stores struggled to survive.
Photos from the 2000s:
The phone numbers for the 2 pay phones:
In July, 2016, the plaza closed. It was boarded up in November 2016.
Several news articles about the closing.
Demolition of the plaza began in February 2017. The building formerly used by Edith’s fashions (facing Wilmington) looks like it will be retained – likely to be used as a sales office for future development:
Proposals have been in the works since 2006.
Link to City of Toronto Development Page: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=b0f30621f3161410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
From 2012 Plan:
CIBC – Wilmington Plaza Robbery – July 24, 1964
During a bank robbery of a CIBC on Wilmington Avenue in Downsview on July 24, 1964, Mathew Kerry Smith, 24 shot and killed Jack Blanc aged 58. As a disguise Kerry wore a Beatle wig sold in Toronto dime stores that summer during Beatlemania. Jack Blanc, a fur cutter and a former Canadian and Israeli Army veteran was a customer in the bank and took the bank’s revolver from an employee and pursued Smith into the street, not knowing the revolver had only four rounds loaded in it. Smith who was armed with a handgun and a military FN assault rifle, shot Blanc dead in the exchange of gunfire. He was captured in January 1965, sentenced to death, but sentence was commuted as per practice then.
A manhunt ensued for the “Beatle Bandit”. He was captured with great fanfare.
For many years, child access to the deep end of the I-Pool and T-Pool was governed by a Black Tag and White Tag system. To obtain their White Tag, children had to demonstrate an ability to swim 5 widths of the I-Pool without stopping, and then, immediately after, be able to tread water continuously for 5 minutes. Success provided access to the deep end of the I-Pool, but the child was required to wear his or her White Tag at all times when swimming there. The tag was a piece of white boondoggle knotted around his or her wrist.
Success in the Black Tag test provided access to the T-Pool compound. In this case the candidate had to be able to swim 10 widths of the T-Pool deep end without stopping, and then, immediately after, to tread water for 10 minutes continuously. This had little to do with safety and deep-end proficiency, since the White Tag already demonstrated that. Rather, insofar as it applied to Swim Club members, the Black Tag test was a thinly disguised effort to keep the T-Pool compound as a more or less adult-only area, with a quieter atmosphere, since most children below a certain age could not successfully complete the test. For children in the single digit age range, wearing a Black Tag (a piece of black boondoggle knotted around the wrist) was a badge of considerable honour.