Britain Street

Banner photo is of the Knox Presbyterian Mission on Stonecutter’s Lane and Richmond, circa 1890s.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library.   Nestled between Queen and Richmond is a short street with a big name: Britain St.  Running east from George to Sherbourne, it’s really just a block long but believe me, it’s no less interesting […]

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Confectioneries

Banner photo is of the Loblaws Candy Department, October 19th, 1926.  From the City of Toronto Archives. The story of Toronto’s sweet tooth stretches all the way back to the colonists who washed ashore in the first decades of the 19th century.  For those new immigrants who came for the lush, fertile land promised them […]

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Berkeley Street

Banner photo is of Berkeley St looking north from Esplanade in 1907.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. When first laid out in the late 18th century, Berkeley formed the eastern border of the city.  During this period, however, it was a good deal shorter than the street we know today, running just a short distance […]

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Lost and Found

Banner photo is of King St looking east to Jordan in 1867.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. I have to say, thinking on it now, that I’ve been very lucky in not having ever really lost anything.  I don’t mean this in a grand, life sense – as in losing loved ones, or losing perspective […]

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Gaslit Toronto

Banner photo is of King St looking west from Yonge in 1866.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library.  Last month, for Earth Hour, we took a stroll through early 19th century Toronto for a look at the most common lighting options available at the time.  And they pretty much boiled down to, well, whatever you could […]

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Toronto by Candlelight

Banner photo is George Morse’s Soap and Candle Factory, Don Station, in the 1870s.  Courtesy of Toronto Public Library. Tonight, millions of people around the world will pause at 8:30PM (in their respective time zones) to turn off their lights in observance of Earth Hour.  As you no doubt are aware, this annual event was […]

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Of Lives and Limbs

Banner image is a detail from A Treatise on Marks’ Patent Artificial Limbs with Rubber Hands and Feet, published in New York, 1894. In the late 1850s an enterprising Torontonian named Norris Black began a sideline business offering the city something it was sorely lacking: prosthetics. Though a great variety of prosthetics had been designed through the ages, […]

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