As the site of
Toll Gate No. 3
Yonge Street highway,
by mid-century had become a major stopping place for travellers on the road
Richmond Hill and
Toronto. The tollhouse and gate stood on the southwest corner, and there too
post office, opened in 1870. On that same corner, for some years, the
Langstaff family enjoyed riding around an oval half-mile
If the Munshaws linked Langstaff Corners with eighteenth-century Richmond Hill, then the Langstaff family itself linked this crossroads community with twentieth-century Richmond Hill.James Miles Langstaff (1825-1889), the fourth son of John and Lucy, was one of the earliest Ontario-born and predominantly Ontario-trained doctors. James studied medicine in Toronto in the mid-1840s, did post-graduate work in England, practised briefly in Unionville, then opened for business in Richmond Hill in 1849. Dr. James Langstaff, and his wife, Mary Ann Miller Langstaff, founded a mini-dynasty of Richmond Hill medical practitioners. Their son, Dr. Rolph Langstaff, and his wife, Dr. Lillian Langstaff, carried the practice into the twentieth century, and eventually handed it on to their son, Dr. James Rolph Langstaff.
Meanwhile, at Langstaff Corners itself, the original Langstaff property remained in family hands until 1893, when it was purchased by the Boyle family. Just prior to the First World War, this land on the northeast corner of what are today Yonge Street and Highway 7 was purchased by the City of Toronto and became part of the city's Industrial Farm, more commonly known as the Langstaff Jail Farm or simply the Jail Farm. Today, with the widening of both Yonge Street and Highway 7, most traces of this corner's colourful past have been wiped off the map. The old toll-gate and the Langstaff and Munshaw properties exist only in memory.
Copyright © Richmond Hill Public Library Board, 1991