Heritage Toronto Mondays

Discussion in 'City Photos & Videos' started by interchange42, May 10, 2010.

  1. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    Urban Toronto adds a new weekly feature today: Heritage Toronto Mondays. We have partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
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    The Christie Street hospital was established as the Toronto Military Orthopaedic Hospital. Located just north of Dupont, the Christie Street Hospital was well known in Toronto, providing care to veterans of the Boer War, the Fenian Raids and the First and Second World Wars. Following the end of World War Two the hospital became too crowded, leading to the development of Sunnybrook Hospital in 1948.

    For a time beginning in the 1920s, patients of the Toronto Military Orthopaedic Hospital who were deemed incurable were taken over to the Toronto Islands. Accompanied by a police officer and nurse, this patient is being transported by wooden cart to the Lakeside Hospital. Located just a stone's throw from the water's edge on Lakeshore Avenue, the Hospital was on the grounds of the Lakeside Home for Little Children. Facing west over the expanse of Lake Ontario, Lakeside Home was established in the 1880's as the summer convalescent home for the Hospital for Sick Children. Rebuilt several times, Lakeside Home operated as convalescent hospital for children up to 1927.

    Before the children left the Island for a new convalescent hospital north of the city and also after they left, patients from the Christie Street Hospital benefited from the Islands nurturing breezes, away from their hospital life for two weeks during the summer months.

    Sources
    Plaque re Christie Street Veteran's Hospital
    More than an Island, Sally Gibson, passim p. 174***
    Lost Toronto, William Dendy, p. 29
    City of Toronto Directories, Toronto Reference Library 1925-1930
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  2. Anna

    Anna Active Member

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  3. seemsartless

    seemsartless Active Member

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    Um, is there ANYTHING that thecharioteer or other's haven't already discussed in fascinating detail here? I agree though, Anna, that there was a good conversation in that thread, with lots more details, worth a look!
     
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  4. Edward Skira

    Edward Skira Coming Soon SRC Staff Member

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    The two of you caught us with our pants down. The proper feature is now up.
     
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  5. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    St. Lawrence Hall looking northwest in 1860

    The downtown scene captured in this early Toronto photograph was taken in 1860 by famous Canadian photographer William Notman. To get this panoramic view, Notman stood on the roof of St. Lawrence Hall. Not seen here, St. Lawrence Hall was built in 1850 in the ornate Renaissance style and still stands today on the southwest corner of King and Jarvis. Designed by William Thomas, St. Lawrence Hall is recognized as being among the great public buildings ever designed in 19th century Canada, and served for a period as the social and cultural venue for Toronto.

    The camera is looking northwest towards a city that was outgrowing its pioneer roots and developing into a thriving industrial and commercial centre. In the foreground are commercial buildings that hearken back to a time when King Street was the most significant commercial street in Toronto.

    In the far left corner is St. James' Cathedral, the oldest church in Toronto that was established in 1797 and built its first wooden church at the northeast corner of King and Church in 1807. The church building in this photo was erected in 1853 and designed by well known architect Frederick Cumberland. At that time, St. James' Cathedral was much smaller than it is today lacking its distinctive tower and clock. To the right of St. James' we see a smaller brick structure that was anchored at the southeast corner of Church and Adelaide. Known as St. James' Parochial School it was designed by Cumberland and Ridout in 1851 but was demolished in 1909 to make way for the St James' Parish House. Next to the school is an open plot of land where the Diocesan Centre at St. James' Cathedral was built in the late 1950's.

    Across the street is the Mechanics Institute, one of many that were established around the world to provide technical and adult education. The first institute in the province was established in Toronto in 1830 that lacked adequate headquarters until it moved into this building on the northeast corner of Church and Adelaide in 1861 (under construction at the time of this photograph). This notable neoclassical building was designed by Cumberland & Storm with arched windows and pilasters and a main entrance facing Church Street. Later when the Free Library Act passed in 1883 this structure became the Toronto Public Library. It was demolished in 1949 and the site is now marked by an historical plaque.

    Sources:

    http://www.stjamescathedral.on.ca/Welcome/AboutStJamesCathedral/tabid/56/Default.aspx
    http://www.st-james-cathedral.com/Portals/0/

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    Last edited: May 17, 2010
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  6. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    CAWTHRA MULOCK HOUSE

    The home of Cawthra Mulock was one of the great mansions that once lined Jarvis Street. Today, only a few remain, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these grand homes defined the elegance that was Jarvis. Along with streets such as Sherbourne, Church and St. George, Jarvis had homes for Toronto’s elite including the Masseys, the Gooderhams, the Mowats, and the Mulocks. Many were designed by prominent architects in the most fashionable styles of the day.

    Cawthra Mulock was born into an elite Toronto family, the son of Sir William Mulock, Post Master General and Chief Justice of Ontario. Born in 1882, Cawthra held numerous powerful positions in Toronto as businessman, financier, and philanthropist and was famous for building the Royal Alexandra Theatre, completed in 1907. At the age of 21, Cawthra received a large inheritance after the passing of his great-aunt Mrs. William Cawthra Murray. The inheritance of about $8 million, massive even at today’s standards, earned Cawthra the nickname “boy millionaire” and included a home that had been built for his great aunt on the southwest corner of Jarvis and Isabella.

    Erected at a time when mansions were often known by picturesque names, “Northworld” was designed in the early 1880’s by leading Toronto architect William Storm. It rose three storeys designed in brick and cut stone, featuring a porte-cochere and a winding drive way. Here, the young millionaire had a luxurious place to entertain Toronto’s high society. Inside, the home featured two drawing rooms, a ballroom, and a marble conservatory. Behind the building were stables and a garage where Cawthra is said to have kept his treasured Pierce Arrow motor car.

    The life of luxury at Cawthra House came to an end when the former millionaire passed away in a New York hospital in 1918, due to complications from pneumonia. As can be seen in this photo, the home was up for sale by 1919 and was sold in 1922 to Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, an organization for destitute children. It was among the first of several Jarvis Street mansions to fall into institutional hands, a move that would forever change the character of the street. Cawthra’s house was later bought by the Salvation Army and demolished in the 1950’s. Today the street character of Jarvis Street has changed dramatically from when it was lined with mansions for Toronto’s “Upper Ten.”


    Sources

    http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=41737
    Jarvis Street: A Story of Triumph and Tragedy by Austin Seton Thomspon, P. 170-175
    The Face of Early Toronto by Lucy Booth Martyn. P. 57


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  7. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    SHEA'S VICTORIA THEATRE

    Shea's Victoria Theatre, also known at times as Shea's Vaudeville Theatre, was built during the golden age of vaudeville in Toronto. Vaudeville was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States and Canada from the late 19th century to the 1930s. Theatres of all sizes and designs were built to accommodate this form of variety entertainment that showcased several acts per show such as jugglers, comedians, magicians, acrobats, actors, trained animals, and singers.

    Shea's Victoria was built on the southeast corner of Richmond and Victoria streets not far from other popular theatres including Loew's Yonge Street and the Pantages. It was one of three theatres built in Toronto by brothers Jerry and Michael Shea. (The other two theatres were Shea's Yonge Street and Shea's Hippodrome). This illustrious duo born in Ontario eventually made their mark in Buffalo, New York and were wildly successful vaudeville theatre owners and builders.

    Shea's Victoria was designed by Rochester New York architectural firm, L.H Lempert and Son featuring a fairly simple exterior but opulent interior. In fact, when the theatre opened in 1910, Shea's Victoria was touted “Toronto's handsomest playhouse” with about 2000 seats, making it, for a time, one of the largest vaudeville theatres in North America. The grand opera house style auditorium was decorated in gold with ornate box seats, oak wainscotting, and a mural above the proscenium arch that read “The Triumph of Youth.“

    Many great acts passed through Shea's Victoria including the O'Connor Sisters. These talented six sisters from Etobicoke sang and danced their way into vaudeville stardom, playing in theatres across Canada and the United States. But there were hundreds of everyday acts that played here, ones that offer a glimpse into this now distant theatre genre. For instance, the February 8th, 1914 issue of the Toronto Star reviewed acts at Shea's including Fred Duprez, monologist and singing comedian; Miss Ruth Gurley's aerial eccentricities, and a drama “Wives of the Rich” presented by author-actor Claude Gillingwater with Miss Edith Lyle.

    Many years later, when the popularity of vaudeville diminished, Shea's Victoria was transformed into a movie theatre. It suffered the wrecking ball in the 1950's and is presently the site of a parking lot. Across Victoria Street where a hotel stands today was the location of the Tivoli Theatre. Originally built as Allen's Downtown Theatre, the Tivoli was a great theatre in its own right that gained notoriety for showing Warner Brothers “100 % All Talking Picture” called The Terror in December of 1928.

    Although Shea's and the Tivoli have vanished, what does remain from this 1924 photograph is the Confederation Life Building lining the north side of Richmond Street. This mammoth structure opened in the 1890's and was designed in the Romanesque Revival style sharing similar features with other buildings of its generation including Old City Hall and Queen's Park. Behind it, on the northwest corner of Richmond at Yonge is the Hudson's Bay Company that first opened as the Robert Simpson Company department store in 1896, and was the first “fireproofed store” in Canada. While it still stands today, what has vanished is the Temple Building, barely recognizeable in this photo except for its distinctive roof line. It was built in 1895 on the northwest corner of Richmond and Bay as the North American headquarters of the Independent Order of Foresters. It was one of Toronto’s early skyscrapers, rising to 11 storeys, credited with being a catalyst for the development of office buildings on Bay Street.

    Sources

    http://www.torontosun.com/life/colu...mnists/mike_filey/2009/03/29/8923656-sun.html
    http://www.thebulletin.ca/cbulletin...ulletin/content.jsp?ctid=1000011&cnid=1002448
    Palaces of the Night. P. 32-37, passim
    http://www.world-theatres.com/Toron...www.world-theatres.com/Toronto_Theatres.htm#S
    http://www.dictionaryofarchitectsin...ofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/1548
    http://torontoist.com/2009/05/vinta...009/05/vintage_toronto_ads_talkies_at_the.php
    Toronto Star – Page of the Past – February 8th, 1914 Page 4.

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
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  8. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    Queen of the Fleet “Trillium”
    by Mike Filey

    On a bright, sunny Saturday in June 1910, shortly after noon, the fourth of the "flower" boats owned by the Toronto Ferry Company (TFC) was ceremoniously christened by little Phyllis Osler, granddaughter of the Company president. “Trillium” as she was to be named (which incidentally, was a fourth choice after "Arbutus", "Golden, Rod" and "Hawthorne", each of which had already been registered) was modeled after "Blue Bell" a similar but older double-end side-paddle, steam ferry in the TFC fleet. Both were built by the Polson Iron Works Co. located at the water's edge at the foot of Sherbourne St. just south of today's Esplanade. “Trillium” was slightly larger than "Blue Bell", having a length 150 feet, a beam of 45 feet and weighed in at 673 tons. Her engines were of the inclined compound type, with 17 inch and 34 inch cylinders and a 48-inch stroke giving her a top speed of 10 miles per hour. The boiler, which was installed after the launching, was of the "Scotch" marine type and operated at a working pressure of 160 lbs. of steam. A steam turbine electric generating plant was also fitted and generated sufficient power to illuminate the vessel's 350 sixteen-candle power lights. A steam steering engine made her responsive to finger tip control from the wheelhouse.
    For more than 45 years “Trillium” carried millions to and from Toronto Island. During that time the vessel's main destination was Hanlan's Point where for many years the Maple Leaf baseball team of the International AAA League played against teams from Montreal, Rochester and Syracuse. To accommodate the thousands of enthusiastic ball fans who flocked to the park, “Trillium” was originally fitted with loading and unloading facilities on both the upper and lower decks. Soon, however, it became obvious that something would have to be done to restrain the crowds that would surge forward as the vessel approached the dock and in doing so caused the stern of the vessel to lift out of the water thereby making steering of the sidepaddle vessel impossible. To remedy this problem, "cattle-gates" that held the crowds back were installed. Eventually, the upper deck loading/unloading facilities were removed all together.
    With the decrease in traffic to the Islands after the WW2 and the ability of the other ferry boats ("William Inglis", "Sam McBride" · and "Thomas Rennie") to handle the dwindling crowds, both "Blue Bell" and “Trillium” were retired from service in 1957. Soon the ancient vessels found themselves moored in a lagoon near the Island filtration plant awaiting a degrading conversion into scows. "Blue Bell" actually suffered this indignity and for a short time carried garbage out into the lake for disposal. Fortunately, owing to operational problems with the ferry/scow "Blue Bell," a similar plan for “Trillium” was abandoned. Instead the craft was left to languish in the lagoon where she was buffeted by wind, rain and snow. Frequently, uninvited guests would board the old boat and open the doors through which ash from the burning of coal was disposed of into Toronto Bay. This would result in “Trillium” settling into the mud only to have staff of the Works Dept. close the doors and pump out the water.
    Several times over the ensuing years ideas were put forward to restore “Trillium”. In 1965, Canada's leading marine engineering consultants issued a report that recommended the vessel be scrapped since "the only thing worth preserving (was) the anchor". By the way, this firm was also in the business of designing new ferry-boats. The following year Mr. Guy Landles, who wasn't a designer of ferry boats, suggested that the old vessel could be restored using much of the original equipment.
    In spite of this suggestion and perhaps because the time just wasn't right nothing further happened and the vessel remained in the Island lagoon. Then in early 1973, at the instigation of the Toronto Historical Board, another feasibility study was requested by the Metro Toronto Parks Dept., a request that was subsequently approved by the full Metro Toronto Council. Mr. Gordon Champion was engaged and the first steps towards ultimate restoration began. Both Tommy Thompson, the Parks Commissioner, and Gordon Champion recognized the valuable assets of “Trillium” hidden behind her weather beaten exterior. These two men along with Alderman Art Eggleton, Alan Howard, curator of the Marine Museum and myself met on numerous occasions to discuss the future of the vessel. These meetings culminated in the release of Gordon Champion's feasibility study that confirmed that restoration was indeed possible. Gordon's presentation was subsequently approved by the Metro Parks Committee, the Metro Executive Committee and finally by the Metropolitan Toronto Council. The object was to restore “Trillium” as authentically as possible (with all due concern to today's safety and operational requirements) to her original 1910 condition.
    Work began almost immediately here in Toronto as well as in shipyards in both Whitby and Port Colborne. “Trillium” officially returned to service on June 18, 1976.

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  9. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    YONGE AND BLOOR- 1926

    This photo shows a snapshot of daily life on the northeast and southeast corners of Yonge and Bloor in 1926. Here, people can be seen shopping, walking, and waiting for the streetcar to take them along Bloor. Sadly the streetcar line has vanished and not one structure remains.

    Long before the Hudson's Bay Company set up shop on the northeast corner with a Brutalist style store in 1974, a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada was located there. On the southeast corner stood a branch of the Imperial Bank of Canada, a slim structure that, like many bank buildings of its generation, was designed with elegant architectural features that would complement the importance of the bank. It's interesting to note that the northwest corner, not seen in this photo, was dominated by the Canadian Bank of Commerce so, at one time, there were three banks on this corner. Also not seen in this photo is Stollerys, a long standing clothing store that has been a landmark since the early 1900's on the southwest corner.

    South of the Imperial Bank can be seen a number of old commercial buildings including Percy the Optician, Tamblyn Drugs and Robins Haberdashery, an old name for a store that sold clothing and accessories. In the centre you will see Laura Secord Confections Limited. Incidentally, this well known chocolate company was founded in Toronto in 1913 by Frank O'Connor.

    Today, this historic corner is the gateway to many communities including Yorkville, Rosedale, and many downtown neighbourhoods. The businesses in this photo disappeared many years ago as did those that came after them, and the southeast corner is now being redeveloped into One Bloor, a condominium complex that will soar to 65 storeys and is expected to open in 2014.

    Sources
    City Toronto Directories, 4th Floor, Toronto Reference Library
    www.1bloor.com
    laurasecord.ca
    Opportunity Road: Yonge Street 1860-1939, passim.
    www.stollerys.com

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
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  10. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Worth noting re the Tamblyn/Laura Secord block that when the site was being cleared for 1 Bloor E, glimpses of the old Second Empire roofline and dormer(s?) behind the metal-siding shopfront were to be had...
     
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  11. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    Images of Yonge and Bloor are always so fascinating. In part, because what we think Yonge and Bloor means as an intersection has evolved so much over the years. See: debate ca. 2006-8, as to whether Yonge and Bloor is in fact the MOST IMPORTANT INTERSECTION IN CANADA etc. Even though that particular debate has subsided, the fact remains that we have always cared a great deal about the corner. Here are a few other shots from the same era as above.

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    Robins Haberdashery seems to have moved shop, further north up the block to bigger digs. Ot maybe this is a second location.

    There is a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on the corner, visible in the shots from 1924 and 1926. Sometime between 1926 and 1929 the bank building is torn down and replaced with a small United Cigar Store, which i find rather odd.

    The large billboards and commercial advertising on the United Cigar Store seems to push the corner in a more gaudy and urban carnivalesque kind of direction, a state which persisted in a very degraded form right up until the corner was cleared in 2008.

    Also, comparing the 1926 and 1929 shots, you can see that Stollery's has completed their lovely new moderne building which is of course still there--now sadly suffering under the weight of a brown reflective glass shed that sits atop it.


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  12. Goldie

    Goldie Senior Member

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    [QUOTE

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]

    I love those old photos of Bloor & Yonge - thanks all!
    I've always considered that to be the centre of Toronto - and expect it to look magnificent when the new buildings are completed.
    Today, as you may know, the geographic centre of Metro is reported to be Eglinton & Don Mills (see attached).
    This photo of a once-suburban intersection was taken from the roof of the I.O.F. building when IBM and Imperial Oil faced one-another across Don Mills Rd.(c. 1980).
    The IBM building is now Celestica and the Imperial Oil building has been demolished for a Loblaws Supercentre.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. adma

    adma Superstar

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    And Wiancko Bros. moved next door to the north, too--and by the final photo, both were gone, but Laura Secord did its musical chairs into the same premises.

    Actually, if you look carefully, the bank was replaced by...nothing. Or rather, street widening--in fact, that's how the present Stollery's came about, too: it was built "behind" the original, which was then torn down for the widened Bloor...
     
    #13
  14. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to Derek Boles, of the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre and one of Heritage Toronto's board members, for putting together the photo and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]

    GREAT WESTERN STATION - 1882

    Some books have dated this image from 1866. Judging by the clothing, the bicycle, the street paved with cobblestones, and the fact that cameras and film at that time were simply not capable of capturing the couple in motion strolling down Yonge Street, that date is incorrect. It was probably photographed around the turn of the 20th century and shows the north end of the Great Western station, which before the passenger trains were transferred to Union Station in 1882, included separate waiting rooms for men and women, a telegraph office and a refreshment room.

    Sources
    City Toronto Directories, 4th Floor, Toronto Reference Library

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    #14
  15. interchange42

    interchange42 Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:
    [​IMG]
    City of Toronto Archives

    RUSSELL MOTOR CAR COMPANY

    Seen here in 1917 are employees taking a break from work in a building at King and Duncan that once manufactured cars for the Russell Motor Car Company. Located west of University Avenue, and east of John, the Russell Motor Car Company was once part of a large manufacturing area that has evolved into the entertainment district.

    The story begins in 1905 when Tommy Russell, General Manager of the Canadian Cycle and Motor Company, spearheaded a new division in the company of gasoline powered motor cars. These were among the first Canadian motored powered cars in Toronto, known for being “the thoroughly Canadian car”. The first was the Model A Car with progressive features including shaft drive and a sliding-gear transmission, followed by the larger Model B and Model C cars as well as a touring car. CCM also built delivery trucks, buses, ambulances and fire trucks and by 1911 had evolved into the Russell Motor Car Company. Despite great success locally and abroad, an economic depression in the early 1900’s and other factors slowed production and the company stopped manufacturing cars around 1916. Around this time, the company devoted a large part of its factory to munition work during the First World War.

    As seen in this photo, many of the workers were women who were called to called to duty during the First World War (and Second) to assist men in various sectors of the economy both at home and abroad. For the next few years, these young women helped in producing not only trucks and armoured vehicles for the Canadian government but also munitions. Eventually, the Russell Motor Car Company was taken over by Willys-Overland automobile and womens' roles in society continued to change as a result of their participation in this war.

    Sources
    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/military/025002-6070-e.html
    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/firstworldwar/index-e.html
    http://www.canadiandriver.com/2000/03/19/motoring-memories-russell-a-truly-native-canadian-car.htm
    http://canadianhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_russell_motor_car_a_canadian_automobile

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