Where the Streets Get Their Names: Guy Avenue

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

At the very western edge of Lakeview Park, there is a small street named Guy Avenue. This is near the top of Bonnie Brae Point, which many years ago was known as Guy’s Point.  The ‘Guy’ in question was Thomas Guy Junior.

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Thomas Guy Jr.

Thomas Guy Jr. was the older brother of James Odgers Guy, who lived in Guy House, now a part of the Oshawa Museum. He was born in St. Gorran, Cornwall, England on March 21, 1819.  Thomas Jr. married Harriet Cock in 1842 and they had two daughters, Harriet born in 1843 and Ellen in 1844.

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Harriet Cock Guy

In 1846, following the lead of his parents and younger brother, Thomas Jr. immigrated to Canada with his family, his mother-in-law Harriet Cock Sr., her male servant and his wife.  Thomas Jr. and his family settled on the Reach Road where their third child William Billing Guy was born in 1847.  The family suffered the loss of Harriet in 1848 when she succumbed to typhoid.  She was laid to rest at the cemetery known as the Pioneer Memorial Gardens.

After travelling with his brother through 1850, Thomas moved back to Oshawa in 1851, settling on Sydenham farm just west of Port Oshawa on Bonnie Brae Point.

An 1871 notice placed in the Ontario Reformer advertising for sale the Sydenham farm provides interesting details of the Guy farm.

It was described as “one of the best farms in the County of Ontario.” Sydenham farm compromised 200 acres (of which 140 were under plough), 200 fruit trees and a frame house with a verandah.

Here Thomas became a champion breeder and exhibitor of Ayrshire cattle, Shorthorn cattle, Leicester sheep and Berkshire pigs.  He was best known for his Ayrshires winning numerous prizes at the local, provincial and national levels.  In 1882, the Farmer’s Advocate prize of $100.00 for best five cows at the Provincial Exhibition was won by five Ayrshires owned by Thomas Jr.

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Eliza Henry Guy

In 1853, Thomas Jr. married a second time to Eliza Henry, the first child born to Lurenda and Thomas Henry. They had 5 children of their own, Eliza, Alford C., George, Frank T., and Emma. Tragically in December 1867, Eliza died of typhoid and is buried in the Port Oshawa Pioneer Cemetery.  In that same year Thomas Jr.’s first born daughter Harriet also died of typhoid in Bowmanville, also laid to rest in the Port Oshawa Pioneer Cemetery.

Harriet’s death was discussed in Thomas Henry’s memoirs:

During the morning service we got word that my daughter-in-law was dead. She had peacefully breathed her last, in hope of a glorious resurrection. On Monday we went down to Bowmanville, and brought back her lifeless remains, and deposited them in their last resting place in the burying-ground at Port Oshawa. How sad to see that blighted flower so early placed in the grave – only 23 years of age. Daughter, wife, mother, Christian – farewell!

Thomas Jr. remarried for the third time in 1869.  With this wife Hannah Every, he had three more children, Thomas, Kirby and Petronella.  Hannah died in 1879 and Thomas Jr. remarried for the last time to Flora Douglas and they have one son, James Douglas Guy.

Thomas Jr. never sold Sydenham fam. He died there in his 79th year on June 16, 1897.  He was laid to rest in the Union Cemetery.  After Thomas’ death Flora and her son moved to Idaho in 1909 where she died in 1912.

Thos Guy obit