(Trail Times file image)

Shakespearean influence in Sunningdale

Place Names: Sunningdale and Waneta Junction

A series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Earlier in this series, we began looking at Trail neighbourhoods including the Gulch, West Trail (aka Columbia Heights), East Trail, Shavers Bench, Glenmerry, Miral Heights, and Tadanac.

We’ve also previously covered bedroom communities outside city limits like Casino, Oasis, and Rivervale.

That leaves a few more, including Sunningdale, originally known as Central Park. J.D. Anderson surveyed it into large farming tracts in May 1908, but it doesn’t seem to have developed very quickly.

Robert Somerville of Trail and Charles Mann of Toronto eventually acquired most or all of it.

According to the Trail Daily Times of Oct. 8, 1938, they sold the property to Columbia Parks Ltd. (The company’s name is interesting given that Central Park was directly across the river from Columbia Park, now known as Rivervale. We’ve previously studied Columbia Park in this series as well.)

The company had big plans to turn Central Park into a residential neighbourhood. The name Sunningdale was chosen sometime in the next year or so — the earliest reference yet discovered is in the Vancouver Province of Dec. 18, 1939: “The remainder of the building was carried out in Tadanac, Annable, Warfield, Sunningdale subdivision and Shavers Bench.”

A model home was completed in 1940 and lots went on sale in 1941. Seven years later, residents voted to join the City of Trail. Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation then developed Sunningdale’s upper bench as a veterans’ housing project.

Some of Sunningdale’s streets were named for its developers: Hazlewood Drive is after E.W. Hazlewood, a pioneer druggist; Monte Road and Glen Drive are after Montezuma L. Brothers and Glen G. Cumming, both directors of the Columbia Parks Ltd.; and Russ Road is for lawyer R.J.G. (Russel) Richards.

Other streets were for Shakespearean characters: Viola, Diana, Silvia, Celia, Juliet, Olivia, Portia, Isabella, Nerissa, Hermia, Regan, and Mariana (although the signs spell it Marianna).

Additionally there’s Hillside Drive and Sandpit Road. The road that connects Sunningdale to Gyro Park was originally Sunningdale Road but is now Charles Lakes Drive, after Trail’s former mayor.

The most recent neighbourhood added to Trail city limits is Waneta Junction, which joined in 2000. The area is at the intersection of Highways 3B and 22. The name was in use in by March 3, 1969 when it first appeared in a Vancouver Province ad for R&W Motors Ltd. Its streets include Knight, Green Gables, Theatre (after the old Auto-Vue Drive-In), Marcolin (for former mayor Marc Marcolin), Goodwin Way (after labour martyr Ginger Goodwin), Walsh Road, and Old Waneta Road.

Google Maps also shows Waneta Village as the neighbourhood behind the Waneta Plaza shopping mall, which opened in 1978. It’s home to Paquette, Crema, Birchwood and DeVito drives (the latter after former mayor Buddy Devito), plus Wright Way and part of Bear Creek Road.

Meanwhile, a few other Trail neighbourhoods have vanished from the vernacular.

Cominco president Selwyn Blaylock recalled that when he arrived in Trail in 1899, “a few cottages were on Hanna bench — one occupied by Frank Hanna, who had helped locate the townsite.”

The Hanna cottage was on upper Tamarac Avenue. The name Hanna Bench was used at least through 1928 but fell by the wayside thereafter.

There was also the Verigin Subdivision, named for the late Douhobor leader Peter (Lordly) Verigin (1859-1924).

According to Jonathan Kalmakoff’s Doukhobor Gazetteer, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood bought 7.7 acres of land along Riverside and Groutage avenues in 1910, on which they established a communal house and market gardens. in 1925, the land was subdivided into 29 lots which were sold over the next few years, whereupon it became known as the Verigin Subdivision — or Verigin, as it was sometimes misspelled.

Following the demise of the CCUB in 1937-38, the name began to fade from use. The last known example is from The Vancouver Sun of April 7, 1951: “BC government will be asked to extend the river wall here … as a safeguard against flooding of the Veregin subdivision this spring.”

One other lost neighbourhood name in Trail is the Bowery, an area of downtown between Bay Avenue and the Columbia River that regularly flooded. In 1895, Trail Creek was crossed by what was known as the Bowery bridge, but it took another 15 years for the creek to be culverted and the gully filled in with smelter slag. After that, the name Bowery slipped from use, eventually replaced with Dewdney Avenue.

 

Sunningdale was developed in the 1940s by Columbia Parks Ltd. and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Sunningdale was named in the late 1930s and became part of the City of Trail in 1948. (Greg Nesteroff photo)

J.D. Anderson surveyed Central Park in May 1908. In 1938 or ’39, it was renamed Sunningdale. Courtesy Regional District of Central Kootenay

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