Eleanor Jane Beecroft

16 septembre 193211 octobre 2021

Eleanor Jane Beecroft, age 89, of Toronto, Ontario passed away on Monday, October 11, 2021. Jane was born September 16, 1932.

A memorial service for Jane will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Our Lady of Lourdes, 520 Sherbourne St., Toronto, ON M4X1K8.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.rosar-morrison.com for the Beecroft family.


  • Memorial Service

    samedi, 23 octobre , 2021


Eleanor Jane Beecroft


David and Sheila Latham

22 octobre , 2021

Two memories of Jane exemplify her dedication to heritage preservation. When we learned in 1999 that the deadline for a proposal to protect Belmont Street and Hillsboro as a Heritage Conservation District would be on April 30, Jane, Sheila, and I went to work on a 110-page submission, with Jane providing all the guidance and much of the writing. The night before April 30 we stayed up all night, and rushed to Kinkos at 9 a.m. to make eight bound copies, and delivered them to the heritage board and city councillors before noon. When Sheila realized it was her birthday, adding that we’d not experienced an “all-nighter” since our university days, Jane confessed that she had forced herself to live through more than a few all-nighters. Jane knew how to meet impossible deadlines.

Before she organized the restoration of the Tollkeeper’s cottage, she was worried that a heavy snowfall would collapse the roof. When we arrived at the cottage with a stepladder and two snow shovels, we found the ladder too short to climb onto the roof. Having been an athlete in my youth, I dangled helplessly before managing to pull myself up onto the roof, but I worried how I’d get back down. Each time I dumped snow from the roof I’d warn Jane, until I heard her shoveling behind me. When I gasped, “How on earth did you get up here?” Jane laughed: “The same way you did.” Jane’s faith in striving to achieve the impossible continues to inspire all who have known her.
David and Sheila Latham

Lisette Mallet

22 octobre , 2021

I remember her fondness for potato candy, cigars and all the fine things that would have shortened anyone’s life.
Yet, at 89, Jane is leaving us too soon and she will be sorely missed.

Back in the days, Jane saw history in a way that few thought of before; where Indigenous peoples, French, English and many others have value and importance in our country’s narrative. She understood and saw the extent of the ancient indigenous trade routes and persisted in sharing her knowledge because it was the right thing to do.

Jane was also an ally for the francophone community and helped validate our place in the history of Toronto.

Jane commanded attention, accomplished a lot, and left no one indifferent.

Thank you for all you’ve done, rest in peace.

Catherine Watts

21 octobre , 2021

Jane wisely and whimsically attributed great powers to children and animals.

Richard Hood

20 octobre , 2021

I have always admired Jane's commitment to social justice and historical preservation.
This commitment takes a strong, determined personality...one willing to stand firmly on redemptive beliefs. Jane had all of this.
Part of her legacy will be her witness to these beliefs, and her vision to contribute to leaving a better world because of her life.

Shirley Morriss

19 octobre , 2021

Rob Leverty's tribute to Jane certainly attests to her dedication to our heritage, not only cultural but as exemplified by our streets and neighbourhoods.. Through her founding of the Community History Project she initiated the publication of booklets such as "The Davenport Trail" and numerous pamphlets like "YORKVILLE Walking Tour" and "TORONTO: BORN AGAIN". She was absolutely persistent in pursuing any aspect of our heritage that she felt was neglected which led to her discovery of the tollkeeper's cottage, now a museum and place of study. Jane was a rare person to whom we owe much.

Connie Langille

18 octobre , 2021

I met Jane about a decade ago when our local neighbourhood association was fighting to save our homes, The Mansions, on Church St and Gloucester St. Her support and knowledge lit and ember for heritage that has not dimmed.
Jane was instrumental in CWNA's naming of Chechalk and Wabenose Lanes in our neighbourhood. Her love of history made naming the lanes in honour of the Mississauga the perfect choice.
I miss Jane. I would have loved to have visited her mountain.

Madeleine Mcdowell

18 octobre , 2021

I first met Jane at the Second Floor CHP Gallery/Office in Cumberland Terrace. I remember collecting books for the New Credit Library at her instigation and driving there. She was the Tyrrell exhibit at CHP- Canoe, Camera, photos and slides. She made the Rouseaux Project with the Soc. d' Hist. de Toronto fly in some circles. Her Maps Project kept us all jumping. The magic of the 1995 Davenport Walk remained undeterred - even by a full day of pouring rain- with a quiet Premier Ray at the kick off by the Humber at Lambton House, where Jane wanted tea and Oatmeal served for Breakfast. She got it for all! (As well as a small commemorative plaque for the Davenport and Carrying Place trails.) Everything about Jane was about educating; leading from the rear - with a big push- and the persistent vision of Legacy. We made memorable, purposeful annual trips to Kenté and Dr. Paul Germain's Portage Festival.
Jane made me write. And talk. And Listen deeply and honestly. Jane did this to everyone within range of her mental and verbal teacher's shotgun. It is what she did herself, with an intense loyalty to the ordinary people and to the extraordinary Mississaugas.
I will miss her admonitions to action but even more her deep laugh.

Christine Caroppo

18 octobre , 2021

Jane was a force of nature. She energized those who were drawn into her orbit. I had the great good fortune to work with her on several heritage projects when I was President of the Ontario Archaeological Society. She was a wonderful teacher and a very persuasive speaker. The heritage community is poorer for her passing. Rest in peace, Jane. It's time for others to take up the burden. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Gee Chung

17 octobre , 2021

My first meeting with Jane was a most memorable occasion, leading to many joint efforts in saving Yorkville's Victorian history & heritage plaque projects, and to a long and rewarding friendship.

Upon entering Jane's office at Yonge & Bloor, I found a room filled with wall to wall book shelves and filing cabinets, upon which piles of papers and files were crammed, some reaching the ceiling. Stack upon stacks of newspapers added to the clutter. and in the midst of this sat Jane.

Jane was a formidable champion of heritage preservation and became known as "The Dragon of City Hall" and to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation a "Truth Speaker." She was a patient mentor to many, and a kind and generous friend to many.

Jane's greatest achievement was the discovery of a Tollkeeper's Cottage, circa 1835, purchased for $1 that led to the extensive and painstaking restoration of the dilapidated Cottage, complete with period furnishings.

Jane has left an indelible mark on all she touched, and will be lovingly remembered, while sadly missed.

Gee Chung
Bloor-Yorkville Heritage Conservationist

Rob Leverty

15 octobre , 2021

On behalf of The Ontario Historical Society (OHS) and its grassroots membership across Ontario, I send our deepest condolences to Jane's family, her colleagues and friends. We have all lost a fearless and relentless heritage Champion. The OHS proudly salutes a Life Member and dedicated donor to the Society's Cemetery Defence Fund. Jane passionately supported the OHS when it appealed on numerous occasions to Provincial Tribunals the Government of Ontario's Orders that it was somehow in the "public interest" to dig up and move cemeteries and sacred burial grounds for real estate development. She pushed us all to stand up and fight and never be complacent. The OHS awarded her a History of Ontario's Peoples grant to develop and display the history of the Irish in Toronto. Founding President of the Community History Project, “Tollkeeper’s Cottage Museum” in Toronto, which OHS incorporated on June 12, 1987. See attached article and photo. I shall never forget in 1989 Jane driving me out in her ancient van packed to the brim with books that OHS was donating to the new library at the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Jane taught by endless examples and through her smiling generosity. We fondly remember you Jane and will not forget. In fact, how could you ever possibly forget Jane! Rob Leverty, Executive Director