Deeply embedded in the city’s railway history, Leaside was named for John Lea and his family. British-born Americans, in 1820 the Leas purchased a plot of land close the Don River that was known as Lot 13. John Lea’s son William bought the land just south of his father’s farm, and named it Leaside. The railway companies arrived in the 1870s, purchasing a few acres of William Lea’s flat land to run the track through. A station was also constructed on the land in 1884, and it was named Leaside in honour of William Lea.
The subsequent settlement was planned by railway entrepreneurs William Mackenzie and Donald Mann in 1914, who planned for it to be “the new Rosedale.” Faced with financial strain, however, this vision didn’t pan out at first. Munitions factories and an airfield dominated the area through the world war eras, and in 1967, Leaside was annexed by East York before being absorbed into Toronto in 1998.
Source: The Culture Trip