Parkside, The Story Behind The Name

The oldest known photograph of Dundas, Ontario (on King at Sydenham, looking east) taken by R.S. Brooke in 1856, courtesy of Dundas Museum and Archives

Founder Lindsay Stead embraced her hometown roots when deciding on a new name for our brand. 

Hello! Lindsay here. I wanted to share a bit of background about my hometown, the new name for my puzzle business, Parkside, and how it's all tied together.

Downtown Dundas, present day with the Carnegie Gallery on the left. Photo by Brandon Bartoszek 

I grew up in Dundas, a small town in Southern Ontario, Canada at the western tip of Lake Ontario. Surrounded by conservation lands, Dundas is known for it’s numerous hiking trails, many of which include picturesque waterfalls and incredible views. Growing up, my family spent many weekends outdoors hiking these trails and picnicking at Webster’s Falls. 

Another key part of Dundas’ identity is its large arts community. Dundas is home to the Dundas Valley School of Art (where I took my first art class at the age of 5, and where I later worked as a teenager) as well as the Carnegie Gallery that showcases the work of artists and craftspeople from the area. Coming from such an artistic community is what helped shape my love for art and design which eventually led to me pursuing furniture and textile design in college.

Lindsay and her sister on a family hike to the Dundas peak with the future home of our puzzle HQ in the background

Having recently moved back to Dundas after years in Toronto, I knew that I wanted to not only live here, but to also operate my business here. I was very lucky to find a great commercial space in the Dundas industrial park which is now our puzzle HQ! 

Having firmly set down roots here again, I knew that I wanted the new name for my business to not only reflect the renewed excitement that I have for it, but to also tie into this town that I love so much. I went over countless childhood and teenage memories until I landed on my old high school, Parkside, and realized it was the perfect fit. Not only does it pay tribute to such a fun time in my life, it also has an inherent playful quality that captures my approach to this business so well.

Parkside Secondary School in Dundas, Ontario

Opened in 1960, Parkside Secondary school was designed by architect Lloyd Kyles and stood as an incredible example of mid century architecture until it was eventually demolished in 2017. When I was attending the school, I didn't realize what a unique building it was, it wasn't until years later when I looked through some old photos that I really appreciated its design.

Not being one to take many photos myself, I dug through my old yearbooks to find some photos of teenage Lindsay

Lindsay's Parkside Secondary yearbook photos

The best thing about Parkside was that it was located on the side of The Dundas Driving Park, a large park located between the downtown area and the Niagara Escarpment. The park itself has a great history dating back to the mid 1800s when it was a village green that belonged to a prominent lawyer. In 1865 a track was built around the park that was primarily intended for residents to exercise their horses, but was also used as one of Canada's oldest racetracks. This track is now a small paved road that loops around the park, giving it its name.

This park holds a lot of great memories for me, from the kiddie pool to the oddly dangerous metal rides (any other Dundas kids remember that metal horse?!), the annual fireworks show to the massive Easter egg hunt that we attended every year. I still visit this park quite frequently and I've loved reading more about its history and digging up some old photos to share here.

Entrance to the Dundas Driving Park, unknown photographer

Agricultural fair at the Dundas Driving Park in 1892 photograph by W.W. Forsythe, courtesy of Dundas Museum and Archives

Going to school beside the park meant for me (and probably all the students that passed through the school doors in the five plus decades that Parkside was open) that breaks from classes were spent hanging out with friends in the park. It's these memories of good fun and great friends that stand out the most for me and it's these memories that capture the spirit of my business, making Parkside the perfect name for this next chapter.

Parkside Secondary School overlooking the Dundas Driving Park, unknown photographer