The Swansea Historical Society Archives

William Small Archives at Swansea Town Hall – with former Toronto Mayor David Crombie

For a number of years, our room in the Ravine Level of the Swansea Town Hall has been known as the William Small Memorial Archives room in memory of the late Swansea Public School teacher who served as the Society’s historian for many years.  In fact, the room contains much more than an Archive. Your Society has also accumulated an extensive collection of historical artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, publications and more.

Hours: Most Wednesday afternoons between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Visits can also be arranged by appointment at other times. (Call 647-859-3901 to confirm)

Swansea Town Hall William Smith Archives

We’d love to see your old Swansea photos and memorabilia!

We are always looking for donations of old photographs and memorabilia of the Swansea area including Bloor West Village, High Park and the Humber River. Please contact us or visit us to inquire. Our archives are open to the public from 3:30 p. m. to 7:30 p. m. most Wednesdays from January to November, drop in or contact us for an appointment.

The Highland Dairy was located on the west side of Runnymede Road just south of DeForest Road. We are fortunate to have one of their embossed milk bottles in our Archives with the inscription "Highland Dairy - Swansea".
The Highland Dairy was located on the west side of Runnymede Road just south of DeForest Road. It was originally the Malcolm and Hamerton Dairy, and then it became Highland Dairy, operated by William Cox. Deliveries started at midnight with horse- drawn wagons. It was sold to another company and moved to 92 Annette St. east of Keele, where Cardinal Funeral Home is now. The section jutting out at the rear as seen in the picture still exists. We are fortunate to have one of their embossed milk bottles in our Archives with the inscription “Highland Dairy – Swansea”.
Highlands Dairy Bottle from Swansea. This is one of their embossed milk bottles – inscription “Highland Dairy – Swansea”. Swansea Historical Society archives.
How the Highlands Dairy bottle was discovered: June, 1987 [Newspaper – unknown]
“Two Harshaw Avenue residents, above, (that’s Howard on the left and Brian on the right) found an old milk bottle while tearing up Brian’s front porch. The bottle, as it’s written on it, is from the old Highland Dairy in Swansea, and has been donated to the Swansea Historical Society’s growing collection of old memorabilia which will now be located at 95 Lavinia. They’re always looking for more.”

Finding the History of Your House

A number of requests have been made from local residents who would like to know more about the history of their house. While we are happy to try to help, we unfortunately don’t have much information about individual homes in our archives. What we do have is limited to just a handful of historical houses in Swansea. That said, we can recommend an excellent resource to find the history of your home: The City of Toronto Archives. Our recommendation, before contacting us, would be to visit The City of Toronto Archives either online or in person. There you will find information that may include when your house was built, who owned your home before you, or what was on the land a century or more ago.

The City of Toronto Archives can help you find this information with sources such as:

  • Fire insurance plans
  • Assessment rolls
  • City directories
  • Building permits
  • Aerial photographs
  • Council proceedings
  • Maps and atlases
  • Historic photographs

You can go online or you can visit in person to the City of Toronto Archives:
255 Spadina Rd., Toronto, ON M5R 2V3 Public Information: Telephone: 416-397-0778