Sunningdale, circa 1948. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Sunningdale, circa 1948. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: Affordable housing first built in Sunningdale

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

Sunningdale has long been a desirable neighbourhood for families to buy a house and raise their children.

As Remembrance Day nears, this week’s Trail Blazers feature looks at this bench of the city where the first housing deemed “affordable” was built for veterans returning to civilian life after the Second World War.

Known as Central Park in the early days, the east side of the river was first surveyed in 1908 and subdivided into building lots.

In 1938 the property was purchased from Robert Somerville of Trail and Charles Mann of Toronto by a company called Columbia Parks Limited.

After a land sale bylaw was passed by Trail city council a few years later, lots were offered for sale in 1941.

Some development occurred in lower Sunningdale before it incorporated with the City of Trail on June 2, 1948.

The upper bench of Sunningdale was developed by the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation for a post-war veterans’ housing project in late 1948, providing affordable housing for veterans.

The first tenants moved into their new homes on Monday, June 20, 1949.

By 1951, there were 10 two-bedroom homes and 74 three-bedroom homes.

In 1949, the Sunningdale school opened to about 91 students, relieving the overcrowding at Laura J. Morrish School in East Trail.

Sunningdale grade school closed in 1996 when the district amalgamated a dwindling student body, and now the former school houses a privately-owned children’s daycare.

The small bay at the entrance to Sunningdale is known as Bingay Bay, named after T.W. Bingay, the comptroller for C.M. & S. Company (formerly Cominco, now Teck).

This spot is very popular with the public and provides a year round home for ducks and Canada geese.

Sunningdale streets are named after the wives of Shakespearean characters and for directors of the original developers.

Read more: Trail Blazers

Read more: Trail Blazers: Sisterhood since 1924

Read more: Trail Blazers: Railway integral to industry and culture

– with files from Jesslyn Jarvis, Trail Museum and Archives

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