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Archives of Ontario, Acc 12851, F 1075, H870, AO 6824.

This photograph in the Archives of Ontario’s Hammond Collection is identified as “Home of A.S. Forester [sic], August 1924.” Also in the collection are two of “A.S. Forester’s [sic] Garden, Aug. 1924”: H871 and H 872. The better of the two, H871 is the next image in this portfolio.

The photographer is M.O. Hammond, who was born in Clarkson, ON, in 1876. At 14 he became that village’s correspondent for the Oakville Star, and at 17 moved to Toronto to go to Central Business College. Later he worked for The Globe, eventually becoming its Queen’s Park reporter. Hammond was also a keen amateur photographer whose subjects included family members (often in garden settings), people in the arts and letters, and scenes from his travels. The Hammond Collection also contains several photos taken in Oakville in 1925 and 1926. Hammond died in 1934 at the age of 58.

Two people–A.S. Forster and a woman I believe is his wife–stand talking on the lawn in front of a house. The lightly framed house is clad with stucco over shiplap; the front-end gable is shingled and painted to match the trim. Because the Forsters occupy only a small part of the whole composition, and because Hammond has achieved considerable depth of field, many details of the house and its landscape setting show clearly.

The house, although drastically changed by vinyl siding and a front addition, is still standing at 242 Queen Mary Drive, on the west side, roughly opposite Riverside Drive and just a few blocks from Forster Park. Although the lot has obviously been subdivided for construction of the bundalows now on either side, the Forster house is still notable for the trees around it. (click here for more details)

When was Queen Mary Drive constructed?
How large was the A.S. Forster property in the 1920s and what road did it front on?
Where was the “Old Forster House”?
Where was “Forsters Bush”?
Which Mrs. Forster lived in “Lawnleigh” at Church and Dunn streets?
Have you seen similar garden benches?