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Collection Spotlight: The Mimico Motorist Postcards

Within the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre’s collection is an estimated 30 postcards. These postcards can be divided into subgroups, with the Mimico Motorist series being the largest.

The 9 Mimico Motorist postcards feature motels, restaurants, or motorist stops in and around Mimico and the rest of Etobicoke. The majority of these places were along Lakeshore Road, now Lakeshore Boulevard West.

Etobicoke saw a rise in motorists due to the increased availability and use of motor vehicles. With this increase, motor hotels (or motels) quickly became a tourist staple. Etobicoke was already a tourist destination with the cottage industry along the waterfront, and many of these cottages were replaced by motels.

The Etobicoke waterfront was the perfect vacation destination, as it offered motels and tourist attractions and was situated along the ideal route of Lakeshore Road - close to Toronto (but outside of city limits) and on the way to Niagara Falls. Lakeshore Road was quickly lined with motels and soon became known as “The Motel Strip," including the Hillcrest Motel, the West Point Inn, the North American Inn, and many more. The area also had restaurants such as the Lynne Arms or the Dutch Sisters Inn’s Restaurant.

No motels from the Motel Strip still exist, and much of the land they stood on now is home to condo buildings. Despite the disappearance of these motels, the Mimico Motorist series of postcards in the LGIC’s collection are a permanent record of these once-loved destinations, and remind the community of Etobicoke’s prime motel era.

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