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 Roy Ivor - the Birdman of Erindale
Jan. 3, 1880 -  Dec. 10, 1979 - age 99.
Bernice Inman-Emery
- the Bird Lady of Mississauga
Sept. 3 (?), 1918 - Jan 27, 2009 - age 90.

History with Photographs

A pioneer’s funeral

Bernice Inman-Emery - the Bird Lady of Mississauga
Sept. 3 (?), 1918 - Jan 27, 2009 - age 90.

She was one of the pioneers in Canadian of the environmental & animals rights movement who carried on the work of Roy Ivor, internationally known for his work with understanding and healing birds. His work was published in National Geographic - Seeing Birds as Real Personalities. Because he lived with birds he came to see them not as some biological machine drive by instinct but as living creatures that not only could learn, they showed a range of emotions, like a sense of humor. He and Bernice were best know for showing that tender loving care does heal and that even if an animal could not return to the wild, it could share their home.

After the fire in 1970, that destroyed his home and most of the birds in his care, Mr. Ivor at age 90, was giving up. If it were not for the efforts of Bernice and others in the community that would have happened. Since that time Bernice played a more centre stage role of running the sanctuary and carrying on the work after Roy Ivor’s death in 1979. The Bird Sanctuary has run about 75 years and if the community wills it - it could go past 100.

Efforts are being made to try and get the City of Mississauga to work with the Toronto Wildlife centre to keep the Roy Ivor’s dream of a Bird - Wildlife Sanctuary alive, to show the current and future generations that we do care and did make right environmental choices.

Part of the effort to make sure this proud chapter in Canadian/Mississaugan history does not become just dust on the wind, is to find and retype all the news articles (and there are many), to not only file on-line, in our libraries but to try and use them support the case for awards, for Bernice and her life time of achievements to be property recognized.

Please come out to meet others in the community who share your concerns for nature and wildlife and to show your respects.

Feb. 8, Sunday - 1 to 3 pm - call 905 828-8000 to confirm.
At Neweduk - Erin Mills Chapel - 1981 Dundas St. W, Mississauga

News Articles
The Environmental Significance or Environmental Protection
the Roy Ivor Woods currently has
.  Evidence of how important Roy Ivor's gift to Mississauga - future generations really is.  Because he bought some 40 acres in 1928 and that
helped keep the area wild.

Picture Gallery

Roy Ivor - the Birdman of Erindale - his dream and life's work
Bird Sanctuary of Mississauga
is dying.

Future of bird sanctuary in question
  - Nov. 11, 2008

Map of area

We should rename the Sawmill Valley Creek & Trail area
after the man who's efforts over the years save this forested area from developers.
The actually Bird Sanctuary area should be named after Bernice Inman for her many years of efforts.
(This is my Christmas eve posting - he gave us a present - can we return the favour?)

Roy Ivor in his later days.
Photo - Newsletter of the Mississauga Heritage Foundation - Spring 2001 Vol. 14/Issue 2

Bernice Inman-Emery took over running the Roy Ivor (the Birdman of Erindale), Bird Sanctuary of Mississauga.
She operated the rescue centre for sick and injured birds for more than 25 years after his death.
Photo - Mississauga News's.

At the Dec. 10, 2008, City Council meeting the South Peel Naturists and I addressed Council about buying the property we both agreed that indeed, the property should be purchased.  BUT, I was the only one to suggest that Roy Ivor - AKA the Birdman of Erindale - dream and life's work should be kept alive - the Bird Sanctuary.  That the City should yes buy the land, keep it in its nature state  but also contact wildlife rescue groups or Guelph University or even Mrs. Barns.  The South Peel Naturists were clear, they knew better then to ask City Councillors & Mayor to care about the lives of wild animals - that best to only suggest expanding the City park that is beside the Roy Ivor woods.     

    At least someone spoke the words that needed to be spoken to remind those making decisions of how we got where we are and to keep the dream alive, not turn it onto just another politicians photo-op of a plaque being unveiled where the dream died and so many of our wood-land bothers & sisters lost their chance to live.
No where in this article do I read the City's willingness to restart the Bird Sanctuary and keep it active.



Dec. 2008

Send an E-mail to Mississauga City Council telling them to not only buy the land but to make every effort to see if they can find those who will give Mississauga what it is lacking.  Proof we care by running a sanctuary for those we have injured.
Remind them that the land it is right beside a City park, environmentally significant and should not even be offered up for development of any kind. 
The Bird Sanctuary is in Ward 8 or Councillor Katie Mahoney's Ward.
To keep the dream alive, of a bird sanctuary.

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Dec. 2008

A more complete history and photographs

This history of Roy Ivor has been pieced together from the following sources;

- Newsletter of the Mississauga Heritage Foundation - Spring 2001 Vol. 14/Issue 2.  One of a series of Profiles from the Past.
  This particular profile was researched by Simona Laiu, Historian for Heritage Mississauga.

- The noted BLOG-s.

- The noted News articles.

- The City of Mississauga Historic Images Gallery.

Roy Ivor, affectionately known as the Birdman of Mississauga, was a world famous naturalist, ornithologist, founder of the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary.  In the Sawmill Creek valley by the Erindale creek.  An Order of Canada member, C.M. - that recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity.

Roy Ivor was a gentle, kind man with a sense of humor who dedicated his whole life to studying and caring for sick birds.  An autodidact, Roy Ivor wrote about the emotions and personalities of birds and even their sense of humor!   People brought injured, sick or wild birds to Mr. Ivor from all over Canada and even from the United States.

To Roy Ivor's credit - he became an self-taught ornithologist, the author of numerous articles in various magazines including National Geographic, Nature Magazine, The Auk, television profiles, featured in innumerable articles and the Wilson Bulletin.  He wrote - I Live with Birds - in it he noted a interesting behaviour, bird picking up ants and rubbing their feathers with them.  A recipient of Order of Canada, C.M. and an honorary Doctorate in Sciences from the University of Windsor, D. SC.  This made Mr. Ivor more than just a local expert and noted healer - he was internationally known, even before there was a Mississauga.

1880, Jan. 3,  Hance Alexander (Roy) Ivor was born in Strathroy, Ontario. 

1882, his family moved to Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, where he allegedly started his life long interest in birds.  His interest in birds started at around the age of 10 when Roy Ivor became the foster parent of a blue jay that fell out of its nest.

1925, Roy Ivor moved with his mother to Erindale. 

1928, at the age of 49, Roy Ivor sold the family stone and marble business and dedicated all his time to the study and care of wild birds.  He built the cottage (shown below), on the 40 acres he bought in Erindale, which becomes known as the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary.

From - I Live with Birds - 1968 - the Gordon J. Hatten collection.

He studied and worked, cared and lived with the birds for over fifty years.  During this time, he took care of thousands of birds.  His famous studies benefited researchers all over the world and also school children who came to visit him at his sanctuary to learn how to care for and respect birds and wildlife.  There were enclosed cage or pens of every size, even giant ones shattered around the property, usually filled to capacity.  He was also know as legendary pipe-smoking "bird man of Erindale", who ran the rescue centre for sick and injured birds.

1948, He was amongst the first people who warned the world of the detrimental effects of DDT on wildlife.

1954, Apr., Seeing Birds as Real Personalities & Bluebirds on the Wing in Color.

National Geographic Magazine - Apr. 1954 - Seeing Birds as Real Personalities & Bluebirds on the Wing in Color.
2 articles in the same issue of an international magazine is truly an
great accomplishment for a self taught Canadian Naturalist -  by Hance Roy Ivor.
All National Geographic Magazine pictures are from the Gordon J. Hatten Collection.

1956, July, The Enigma of Bird Anting.

National Geographic Magazine - July 1956 - The Enigma of Bird Anting by Hance Roy Ivor
All National Geographic Magazine pictures are from the Gordon J. Hatten Collection.

1959, Mr. Ivor's Mother dies, Catherine Lochiel Cameron born 1854 - age 105.  She was laid to rest at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Erindale.

To those driving along Mississauga Rd., it is easy to miss, no sign to note the Bird Sanctuary, it was not a tourist spot. The nursing station to the natural denizens of the forests, is marked by simple stone pillar, now disintegrating, across from the main entrance to UTM or the Erindale campus for us old folks. It was not called Windinglane for nothing, it really did take the long way, down the hill to the Erindale creek then back up the hill and around some more. Generations of UTM students have trudged up the path through the woods and struggled to climb the long flight of stairs that goes by the property.  Windinglane became a destination for school trips, where students learned how to care for injured birds and to respect wildlife.  People from across Canada and the United States brought sick or injured birds to him so he could nurse them back to health.

Not called Windinglane for nothing.
Second & third, look back towards Mississauga Rd., and looking the other way.
Fourth, looking back to wards the curve seen in the picture above, as it runs beside a creek & park.
Fifth & sixth, Turning around, up the hill we go.
Last two, around corner and up hill - the end is in sight, where the trailer is and soon chimney, all that remains of his first home.

1968 - at 88 Roy Ivor publishes I Live with Birds, which has two printings and makes Mr. Ivor even more internationally know for his success in healing birds with love and caring as he treats them as his friends.  Likely, one of the best time of his life but sadly, for every one, short lived.

I Live with Birds - 1968 - Hand signed by Roy Ivor.
From the Gordon J. Hatten collection.

1970, Oct. 21,  below, minutes from the Town of Mississauga Council meeting.  What ever money was gained from the book was short lived by 1970 things were so bad that supporters of Mr. Ivor were asking for finical help from the Town of Mississauga.  Mr. Ivor was such a proud man he would not take money for himself but would for feeding & looking after the birds.  However, we can see the elected representatives of the day (not including Hazel), were willing to support the Bird Sanctuary.

1970, Dec. 29, fire that broke out on his property, leaving him homeless and the birds with no shelter.  The great love and respect people from all areas of expertise had for Roy Ivor was demonstrated after the first when help poured in from across the country.  Students, architects, politicians, all helped rebuild the sanctuary and care for the Birdman of Mississauga.  The Globe and Mail wrote on the aftermath of the fire:  "He was a man who made sick birds well; the man who was often seen walking through the woods with a bald eagle, one wing crooked, hopping along at his side.  Here was a man who knew a lot about nature before ecology entered the popular vocabulary- a man with a reverence for living things”.

News articles;

All that remains of his first home is the stone fire place and chimney.  At this point Bernice's efforts were those that made recovery from the fire possible, for both Roy & the Bird Sanctuary.  Beside it was placed a trailer that was soon built on to, below. 

Mississauga Library - 1978

1971, Jan. 13,  soon after the fire the Town of Mississauga contacts Mr. Ivor as to if he needs help and he says no - odd.  Not sure of the reason, too proud, still thinking he should just give up or maybe he was getting so much help from the community.  Still the Town was concerned and asked for a report from staff - no reports from the 1970 survived sadly.

1973, Dec. 17, Hance Alexander (Roy) Ivor, naturalist and author is appointed to the Order of Canada as a member (C.M.), for a lifetime devoted to the study of bird life and the care of birds.

, Jan. 3, on his 95th birthday, Mr. Roy Ivor wished for the Windinglane Sanctuary to go on after his death.

1975, Jan. 14, is the date of Roy Ivor's Investiture (the ceremony of presenting the Order of Canada medal), as a Member of the Order of Canada.  News articles;

, A two story log style cabin was built as their main home.

Dec. 2008

1979, Dec. 10th, he died shortly before turning 100 and after running the famous Windinglane Bird Sanctuary for 51 years.  He was buried in the historic cemetery beside St. Peter’s Anglican Church, beside his Mother.  On top of the hill, at the corner of Mississauga Rd. & Dundas Str., in the far north corner of the cemetery, with of course, a bird house beside it.  There was a "lengthy legal dispute" between Ivor's heirs and Inman about ownership of the property.  It was settled - years later in Court at great cost and Bernice lost.  News articles;

The first tomb stone 1982 {Mississauga Library}, last two 2008.  See how it has changed?
What was the front in 82, is now the back.

From Mississauga News

There after Bernice Inman (later Emery), who had been Mr. Ivor's his assistant (actually far more then just that - even bought part of the sanctuary so Roy could be funded), of many years, took over operating the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary for about 25 years.  She took over the North American-wide reputation for fostering and nursing birds in need of care, a legacy established by Roy Ivor.  Very big shoes to fill and she did.  Unlike Roy she open the doors of the sanctuary to more native animals - without just feathers, made a greater effort raising money and being more open to the public.


At the front door the greeting noting the reality of giving kindness to those who have
no jobs or SIN numbers.
The door bell is just that, on the end of a string.
In the front window the visitor book.
Dec. 2008

Can Mississaugans step to the plate to carry-on the 75 year tradition or are we too distracted by what new video games are coming out?

2005, in about this time period Alzheimer's is taking a total on Bernice to the point the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary is slowly shutting down.

2008, Sept. 7, Bernice celebrated her 90th birthday.  A group of friends are getting together this Sunday at noon at Leisure World (formerly Chelsey Park at Hurontario at The Queensway) where Emery, who has Alzheimer's, has lived for several months.  As no one has came forward to take over operations, so like the mind with Alzheimer's it slowly fell apart but just enough remains to tell of the glory that was. 

Her only son now lives in faraway Dubai, who appears uninterested in keeping the dream alive.

Christine Burton, who is a close friend of Inman-Emery's and has been handling her affairs, says, "My brother has been maintaining it for years,".  Burton's brother Bob Little who served as property handyman and Inman's assistant for more than 15 years, is still looking after the property, continuing to care for the remaining three parrots at the property.

He is also putting together a scrapbook of all of the press clippings of the sanctuary.  Despite memory loss caused by Alzheimer's, Inman's eyes light up when she sees photos of the raccoons that she cared for.

What is to become of the land after
Bernice is gone or truly unable to function is the big question.  "I hope the conservation authority might be interested," says Burton. One would certainly hope so.  And if not Credit Valley Conservation, then surely the City (which bought the piece of land the Ivor heirs owned according to Burton) or UTM.

2008, Oct. 3, a
'For Sale' sign went up in front of the former Windinglane Bird Sanctuary at 3220 Mississauga Rd., Mississauga.

The listing that started the panic ran in the Mississauga News's weekly real estate ads - it states: "Builders lot. 92 acres - Ideal for custom home or to be sub-divided."  The asking price is $1.5 million. Appears this add ran only once to get peoples attention - full add in News articles.  Not sure just where that picture was taken.

Applewood Acres resident Laurie Arbeau, who became friends with Inman after she brought an injured robin to the sanctuary for treatment many years ago, has taken up the cause to ensure Windinglane doesn't become another concrete jungle, sold for development.  Burton said when the property was listed they were barraged with calls from people interested in purchasing the site.  She, like Arbeau, is hopeful the former sanctuary will remain open to the public.

Laurie Arbeau has been sending emails and letters to anyone and everyone she can think of in a bid to save the property, including Ward 8 Councillor Katie Mahoney, who represents the area.  Mahoney said the city is currently doing an appraisal of the site and will make a recommendation to council in the coming weeks.  "There will be a report and a justification for buying (the property)," she said.
Mahoney agrees the property is significant and should be kept in the hands of the City so that it can be used by the public.
"It's surrounded by forest, woodland and trails and it's an environmentally sensitive area."  The house itself, a log cabin style home, is not part of the appraisal, Mahoney added.  Staff will determine later if it is worth maintaining.

2008, Nov. 11,  News article - Future of bird sanctuary in question.

2008, Dec. 10th, City of Mississauga Council meeting, two Deputations were made on a very long agenda;

(m)    Windinglane Bird Sanctuary/Ivor Woodlot - 3230 Mississauga Road Laurie Arbeau, resident, wishes to address Council with
          respect to the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary/Ivor Woodlot at 3230 Mississauga Road.

One of the images, showing some 20 raccoons who often visited while she was on site, was particularly moving.  I'll say it was, got a small herd of masked raccoons coming at you, all looking for a hand-out, will get your full attention!

(n)     Windinglane Bird Sanctuary/Ivor Woodlot - 3230 Mississauga Road Kirsten Burling, wishes to address Council on behalf of the
          South Peel Naturalists’ Club with regard to 3230 Mississauga Road, the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary.

Her power point presentation was very good and noted two very important points - the Ivor Woods is noted as Environmentally Significant by two levels of government.  The Ministry of Nature Resources (MNR), and the Credit Valley Conservation (CVC).

In both cases, the plea was for the City to buy the land - not to keep Roy Ivor's dream alive and allow those who would, to run the
Windinglane Bird Sanctuary.

During Public Question Period I stood before City Council and recalled the one time I visited Mr. Ivor's Bird Sanctuary, before his first home burned.  My Mother took me, at night with a bird that had hit a window at our home.  In the living room was Mr. Ivor, some birds flew around and one whole side of the wall was one big cage - it made a great impression on a young lad, that such a place could exist.  I asked that Council direct City staff to ask around if they could find those willing & able to run the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary that Roy Ivor made world famous but Councillors said nothing.

In the in-camera session, it was decided to agreed to enter into negotiations to purchase the Windinglane Bird Sanctuary site.  On the 29th anniversary of the "Birdman of Mississauga's" death, his bird sanctuary has been given a reprieve.

2008, Dec. 11, News article - City wants to buy bird sanctuary.

2008, Dec. 16, Editorial - Council makes good call.    This editorial has part of one line in it that is of the same mind as my opinion and to find the truth you have to look close as they try to slip it by you - "
While no commitment has been made to maintain the site specifically as a bird sanctuary,".
The Buck  - a couple doe-s  -  all three if you can make them out.
Interesting how the Buck keeps his distance from the doe-s.
Dec. 2008

More shots - in the snow, as easier to see details in the dark.  How long has the trailer been there?

The huge pens built by huge beams.  Pen #.1, a double #.3 with a walk way down the center.
Both have full grown tress in them.
Lastly, a few more pens by the house, before the snow - there were many more.
Big & small
Dec. 2008

2009, Jan. 27, Bernice Inman-Emery passes away - now what?  Efforts to put in an application for awards to honour life time of service, in some cases comes to an end as they are not given to those who are deceased.  Will keep looking.  There should be a  memorial service coming up for Bernice - keep you posted.  Then there is the BIG question - will the DREAM of a Bird Sanctuary be kept alive.

News Articles
The Environmental Significance or Environmental Protection
the Roy Ivor Woods currently has
.  Evidence of how important Roy Ivor's gift to Mississauga - future generations really is.  Because he bought some 40 acres in 1928 and that
helped keep the area wild.
Picture Gallery


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