Toronto and its Surroundings

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate Thu 21 Sep 1893


WITH the advent of the warm weather visitors have again started to take up their temporary abode at Toronto, as well as at other places on Lake Macquarie purpose of regaining strength and enjoying beautiful scenery of the lake. Although the season is yet young, several of the pretty little cottages which belong to the Toronto Estate are tenanted, and a fair, sprinkling of visitors keep coming and going from the hotel, a fact which in itself augurs well for the season. Toronto, which was formerly known as Coal Point, also Skye Point: and Ponte, is situated on the western shore of the lake, almost immediately opposite Belmont, and it abounds in most picturesque scenery.

During the past few years Toronto has made rapid progress, and has become the most popular resort in the northern district for pleasure-seekers. The township now boasts a resident population of 130, which is comprised of small farmers, timber-getters, and fishermen, all of whom appear to be in comparatively comfortable circumstances. There is a post-office and money-order office in the township, but so far there are no means of communicating by telegraph. The residents are, however, agitating for the establishment of a telegraph office at Toronto, and with this object a petition to the Postmaster General is being signed. At present, telegrams for Toronto have to be sent to Fassifern, some miles away, and from thence are forwarded by tram-a course which entails great delay and inconvenience. The necessity for telegraphic communication with Toronto is obvious, seeing the crowds of persons who visit the place on holidays. Should any serious accident happen great delay must ensue in getting assistance.

The Toronto Estate is certainly a fine property, consisting of 1400 acres, which runs out almost three miles into the lake, forming a pretty promontory. A large portion of the land is very rich and fertile. The township is reached by water and tram. Mr. W. W. Johnston’s and the other pretty little lake steamers call daily at the jetty en route from Cockle Creek to Belmont, Swansea, and other places on the lake. One of the chief things to which Toronto owes its popularity is that it is so easy of access. The proprietors of the estate some time back obtained permission from Parliament to lay a tram-line between the wharf and the Fassifern station.

The line was quickly laid and trams started, which now meet all trains from Sydney and Newcastle at Fassifern. The tram is the property of the owners of the Toronto Estate, by whom it is run. The guard of the tram, who is a most polite and obliging person, is very popular, and is known to the whole country side as ” Charlie the Guard.” . He, however, is the proprietor of the very uncommon cognomen of Charles Nothank. The tram deposits passengers at the station close to the well-known Toronto Hotel, which is situated on an elevation, commanding one of the finest views of a reach of water, extending to the flourishing township of Belmont on the eastern shore. The hotel is a handsome brick building.

The grounds surrounding the building consist of some 20 acres, which are laid out for pleasure purposes, with swings, merry-go-rounds, etc., for the juveniles; cricket ground, bowling green, and a fine pavilion, as well as other allotments for the indulgence of various kinds of games. Close to the hotel grounds the Public school is situated, which has an average attendance of 56 scholars daily, who are under the care of Mr. Deer. Toronto can also boast of a cricket club, which is under the captaincy of Mr. Skelton and secretary ship of Mr. Hook. Considering the population the club is a remarkably good one, and the members have acquitted themselves very creditably in several matches. Visitors to Toronto need not be short of outdoor amusements at any time, as there is an abundance of opportunities for indulging in one’s favourite sport. Boating is to be had at all times, and there are several capital fishing grounds where good baskets may be procured. Some fair sport can be had with the gun at no great distance from the hotel. From Toronto, all the other places of interest on the lake are easy of access, owing to the fact that all the lake steamers call at the wharf, besides which a steamer runs daily thence to Swansea, calling at various places enroute. In the bush just on the borders of the township, and on the margin of the lake, an abundance of almost all descriptions of Australian wild flowers and maiden-hair ferns are to be found. The tracks through the bush up the surrounding hills afford exceedingly pleasant walks, one of which, in particular, is delightfully picturesque, as it winds in and out through the thickly-wooded forest to the summit of Mount Wearing. This mount derives its name from a resident named Wearing, who cleared the track up the mountain side. Mr. and Mrs. Wearing, who are a very old couple, are still living, and making a fine property of their 30-acre holding, on which they are growing all kinds of fruit and vegetables. From the summit of Mount Wearing, which is about two miles from the hotel, a full view of the lake is procured, as well as a large portion of the ocean beyond. A visit to this spot would well repay any lover of fine scenery. There are numerous other pretty places in the neighborhood, which have to be seen to be appreciated. The whole of the Toronto Estate is under the super vision of Mr. Hendry, who is ever and anon kept busy in looking after the comfort of visitors and making the place the popular resort it now is.

Close to the hotel there is a fine bathing house, and the baths are fenced in to protect bathers from sharks.

Taking the place all round no one could wish for a more healthy and enjoyable rural spot to locate in for a few weeks’ holiday than Toronto

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