In 1985, Beverley Noel Salmon was chosen by constituents to serve as a city councillor for Toronto's North York, making her the city's first Black woman to be elected to the position. Salmon served for over a decade before retiring and was an active community member up until her passing in July 2023.

Now, the trailblazing Torontonian’s Bridle Path home is up for sale and it comes with many happy memories.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

From Nurse to a Community Trailblazer

In tributes to Salmon, the words “gracious,” “inspiring” and “compassionate” were constantly used along with testimony about how she pushed for change and amplified marginalized voices.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on X, formerly Twitter, that she “was known across the country for her lifetime of civil rights activism and public service. She broke barriers, empowered others, and worked tirelessly to build a better future.”

Born on Christmas in 1930, Salmon (maiden name Bell) was the daughter of a Jamaican father and a Canadian mother of Scottish and Irish descent. She married Dr. Douglas Salmon, another community leader and Canada’s first Black chief of surgery, in 1956 and had four children.

Beverley and Douglas Salmon.(Courtesy of The Salmon Family Photos)

Salmon was originally a nurse, trained at Wellesley Hospital and later certified at the University of Toronto. She started her career in Detroit, Michigan and became involved with the civil rights movement. When she returned to Toronto, she continued being an activist working to improve race relations.

Upon being elected in 1985, one of her first motions was to retire the term “Alderman” and adopt “Councillor,” which is used today. She brought inclusive policies and practices to municipal government as well as focused on issues like affordable housing, policing, the environment and public transit, serving as vice chair of the TTC’s board of directors.

As the founding chair of the Toronto Board of Education’s Black Liaison Committee, she was the leading force for anti-racism training for teachers and pushed for an inclusionary curriculum. She was the first Black woman to serve on the Ontario Human Rights Commission and co-founded the Urban Alliance on Race Relations.

“Her main focus was the community, trying to bring change to groups that had prejudice against them and that were negatively impacted [by] racism,” her grandson Tyler Salmon said.

Her work led to numerous honours including the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal and more.

“What was amazing about my grandmother was that not only did she find her calling, not only was she super successful in her field, but she was able to bring those who were struggling to find their calling, their passion and their place in life, and provide them a path to essentially be their best self within their communities, families and individually,” Tyler stated.

A Bungalow of Memories

The Salmon home was built in 1968 at 38 Suncrest Drive, a short car ride from Drake’s mansion.The one-storey single-family bungalow has welcomed famous Torontonians and hosted numerous family functions. After more than 50 years, the home has captured many cherished memories recounted by Tyler who reminisced about visits to his grandmother’s house during our photographic tour of the four-bedroom home, listed for $3,880,000.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

The first room we viewed was described as a musical haven. “We have a lot of individuals who are musically talented in our family [….] People would go in this room to just listen as our family played the piano and other instruments — drums, saxophone, trumpet — and make songs of it," he said.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

The den is cozy with wood panelling, carpet and a fireplace that resembles a cottage. It’s a versatile area that was used for business and leisure. The family said a lot of work was done here and it featured many of Salmon’s accomplishments, like her Order of Canada. “This room had all the family history, all the pictures […] all the family memorabilia […] it was a beautiful, beautiful room,” Tyler recalls.

The room was also a spot to relax. “I know my grandmother would go in here, light the fireplace and read a book,” Tyler mentioned before revealing what the spot meant to him. “I love this room personally because during Christmases all of us would go hide in here and escape all the adults and play video games.”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

If you were invited to Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving meals at the Salmon’s, you would have been immersed in the sounds of jazz while in the dining room. “Every time we’d eat, we’d play jazz music in the background [....] My uncle was our DJ. He’d always create an ambiance.”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

Going into the kitchen, Tyler recalled memories of his grandmother cooking. “She made amazing rice and peas and ham. That was a staple every holiday,” he noted while describing her dishes as unbelievable and the holiday ham succulent.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

Attached to the kitchen is a family room, which greets you with a stone wall and wood panelling, giving it an inviting and intimate feel. This warm room was the perfect spot for the family Christmas tree, usually placed by the fireplace. “We’d give gifts and open up our Christmas presents here.”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

The room has direct access to the pool, which was frequently used by all members of the family. “We’re all swimmers [....] My grandmother swam quite a lot. She loved swimming,” Tyler mentioned, noting she was swimming shortly before she passed. “We’d always come for pool parties and barbecues with our cousins, aunts and uncles […] we had a lot of great times.”

Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada/Pouria Shamaei, Crossdim

The bungalow was filled with life and happy memories as painted by Tyler. Now it’s ready to meet its new owners, who will no doubt create new memories that span decades and are passed on to future generations to remember fondly.

Listed Luxe