- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 19 Feb 1925, p. 80-96
- Reed, T.A., Speaker
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- A few points out of the many that in one way or another have an important bearing upon the story of the foundation and development of the community of Toronto. Getting a glimpse of the humble beginnings, the slow but steady progress, the persistence and industry of its citizens in the face of many discouragements from the few pictures remaining of the early days. Other means whereby we can follow the early history of the town. The significant and origins of street names, with examples. The works of many writers on history and on travel with references to Toronto, with examples. Early days of Toronto, and its near demise. Results of the Constitutional Act of 1791, and the appointment of Col. John Graves Simcoe as Lieutenant-Governor of the new Province of Upper Canada, for Toronto. Mrs. Simcoe's drawing of Toronto Harbour in 1793. The town of York. Some details of early buildings, and town planning. The absence of Yonge Street on these early plans, and an explanation for it. Details of the history of the growth of Toronto, naming many well-known and historical sites and locations. Industrial and educational developments. William Barlett's illustrations of Toronto, still much sought after by collectors. A map from 1842, showing the extent of the city. A detailed description of Toronto in the 1860's, in contrast to the period before that, from 1835. Some landmark buildings and events during that time period. The University District. The speaker concludes by showing a series of pictures contrasting the vicinities of the King and Yonge Street corners at different periods during the last century.
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- 19 Feb 1925
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- The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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AN ILLUSTRATED ADDRESS BY MR. T. A. REED.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
February 19, 1925.
PRESIDENT BURNS introduced the speaker and referred to the interesting slides which would illustrate the address.
MR. T. A. REED.
Mr. President and Gentlemen,--In dealing with such a subject as Old Toronto, one can only touch very briefly upon a few points out of the many that in one way or another have an important bearing upon the story of the foundation and development of this community. In the few pictures remaining of the early days, it is possible to get a glimpse of the humble beginnings, the slow but steady progress, the persistence and industry of its citizens in the face of many discouragements. But apart from the actual pictures there are other means whereby we can follow the early history of the town. The names of the streets in the older portion, from the Don to Dufferin Street, in the area south of Bloor Street, indicate many of the original landowners, or early residents, or the purposes for which certain parts of the town were set apart. It is a most interesting and profitable study and makes one regret the gradual disappearance of names, many of which may in a sense sound old-fashioned, but which nevertheless are of real historic value. And another way would be to search the works of many writers on history and on travel, and look for references to Toronto and its vicinity from
Mr. Reed is a graduate of Trinity College and still maintains close academic affiliations.
the earliest times down. It is surprising how frequently the name or the place is mentioned. Let me give an illustration or two.
The word Toronto, or one very like it, is first found in a dictionary of the Huron language compiled by Gabriel Sagard, a Franciscan friar, and published in Paris in 1636. It is there used in the sense of number or quantity and would seem to have been in common use among the Indians long before the advent of the white man. At that time it was also applied as a proper name to a district in the neighbourhood of Lake Simcoe, which was called Toronto, meaning "a place where many people meet." The Lake itself was called Lake Toronto, and the rivers adjacent to and approaching it (the Holland and the Humber, to the west and south, the Severn to the north, and the Trent Valley Chain to the southeast), all were designated by the same name "Toronto," because they were near, or led to the "place where many people meet."
In 1686, the French Governor, Denonville, in writing to his Home Government, advocates the building of a fort at the "Pass by Toronto," to offset the encroachments of the English upon their fur trade. Nothing was done, however, until the year 1749, when we learn that Galissionere, the Administrator of the Colony, erected a fort at the trading post at Toronto (a post that had probably been founded many years previously). This fort was named Fort Rouille after the French Colonial Minister at that time. While the trade must have been considerable, the existence of the fort was brief, for ten years later, in 1759, on account of the danger of a British attack, the troops were withdrawn to Fort Niagara, and the post and fort demolished just two months before the surrender of Quebec.
That would almost seem to be the end of Toronto, but in the very next year (1760) Major Robert Rogers in command of two hundred Rangers, sent by General Amherst from Montreal to take possession of Detroit, reports that "Toronto is a suitable place for a factory, and from there it would be easy to settle the north shore of Lake Erie."
In 1767, Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian affairs, writing to the British Government, advocated the establishment of a trading post at Toronto, and stated that he had "heard traders of long experience affirm that for the exclusive trade of the place for one season they would willingly pay £1,000, so certain were they of a quick market."
Beyond a certain amount of casual trading, nothing seems to have been done, and Toronto might be said to have passed into oblivion until, as a result of the Constitutional Act of 1791 and the appointment of Col. John Graves Simcoe as Lieutenant-Governor of the new Province of Upper Canada, the question of a permanent site for the capital became urgent. Governor Simcoe arrived at Kingston in July, 1792, and towards the end of that month proceeded to Newark (Niagara), the temporary Capital. Not being satisfied with the location (he says "under the guns of an enemy's fort is not the place for the Capital of a British Province") he set out in May, 1793, with his officers and surveyors, and after traversing the south shore of Lake Ontario to the head of the lake, and for some miles along the north shore, he found only one spot where a protected harbour made possible a fortified post, viz., a spot marked in the old maps "Toronto, an Indian village, now deserted." Mrs. Simcoe has left us a drawing of Toronto Harbour in that year, which bears out the description by Bouchette when he surveyed the harbour for the Governor,-"I distinctly remember the untamed aspect which the country exhibited when first I entered the beautiful basin-dense and trackless forests lines the margin of the lake." On the 27th August, 1793, the town was named York, after the Duke of York, in consideration of, and compliment to, the Duke's victories in Flanders. The Governor's first concern after the laying out of the two great military highways-Yonge Street to the military post at Penetang, and Dundas Street begun in October, 1793, to link up the Kingston Road with the British outposts of Detroit, was the erection of fortifications to protect the approaches to the town. For a sketch of the fort at the foot of Bathurst Street, and one of the officers' quarters inside the fort, we are also indebted to Mrs. Simcoe.
A town plot was also laid out by Aitken, the surveyor, in 1793, and pending the removal of the seat of Government from Niagara, the Governor and his family, when in York, occupied the famous "canvas house" of Captain Cook. In the summer months, they lived at Castle Frank, their summer home on the Don, built in 179.1, and named after the Governor's son, Francis, then a child of three years. (This locality is still discernible through the arches of the Bloor Street Viaduct.)
Following the building of the fort, came the Parliament Buildings-two frame structures built at the eastern end of the harbour at the foot of Berkeley Street. These were not completed until 1797, and by that time Simcoe had returned to England, leaving the Hon. Peter Russell as Administrator of the Province pending the appointment of a successor.
In that year an extension of the town was planned, probably the result of Governor Simcoe's far-sightedness. And here we have a striking example of "townplanning" on definite lines. The original town plot was a square, bounded on the west by George Street, on the east by Ontario Street, and on the north by Duchess Street. The streets were named by the Governor after members of the family of King George III., namely, King, Duke, Duchess, Princess, Frederick, and George, the eastern boundary bearing the name of Ontario Street on account of it being part of an old trail to the landing place on Lake Ontario. In this new extension of the town westward to Peter Street we notice a very definite system in the provision for a church, a school, a gaol and a hospital-the streets being surveyed in rectangular blocks with acre plots laid out thereon.
The absence of Yonge Street on these early plans is often commented upon, and this is explained by the fact that the original road commenced about Bloor Street or the First Concession Line and ran north. The line, while surveyed to the south, presented serious difficulties in road making, and there were easier ways to get to the town and the market across the vacant plains to the east. It was not until 1800 that we read of advertisements in the Upper Canada Gazette of tenders being called for "cutting a road through to Yonge Street," and the said road was not completed until 1802.
It was about this time (1795) that the French traveller, the Due de Rouchefoucault-Liancourt, visited this country, and was hospitably entertained by the Simcoes. His references to York, the Capital, are anything but complimentary, e.g., "There have not been more than twelve houses hitherto built in York; they stand on the bay near the River Don; in a circumference of 150 miles the Indians are the only neighbours; the inhabitants do not bear the fairest character." Gourlay, the reformer, quoting this in 1821, adds "nor have they yet mended it."
In 1803 was built the first place of worship, St. James, a frame structure, on the site of the present Cathedral; divine service up to that time had been conducted in the Government buildings. This rude building was enlarged in 1818 and replaced by a stone one about 1832, succeeded by another stone edifice after the fire of 1839, and by the present one after the fire of 1849.
At the corner of King and George Streets was the rectory, where the Rector of York, the Rev. O'Kill Stuart, lived, and for some years conducted the first school of the town, in the adjoining building. Here were educated many whose names in after years were identified with the military and legislative history of the provincenames such as Ridout, Boulton, Stanton, Chewett, McDonell, Small, Jarvis, Cawthra, Givins, Playter, and many others. Nor was co-education then unknown, for the early records show that girls were also enrolled.
In the first fifteen years the growth was slow, for in 1810 a view from the Blockhouse at the Don shows very few houses. Even in 1815, the vicinity of King and Yonge Streets was mainly vacant land, a view of Bostwick's house and blacksmith shop on the acre of land at the south-east corner of King and Yonge Streets showing little else. In this connection it is interesting to note that nearly twenty years later, in the year the town became the incorporated city of Toronto, Walton's Directory refers to the building of the Ridout Store on the opposite corner (the present Royal Bank site) as a foolish venture, too far beyond the probable growth of the city, or at least of the business portion. And about the same time Franklin Jackes, of Eglinton, going home from town one day, said, "Mother, they are going mad in town they are trying to sell the corner of King and Yonge Streets for $4.00 a foot."
In 1816 was built the Blue School of York, the forerunner of two famous educational institutions, Upper Canada College and the Jarvis Street Collegiate Institute. Here for a number of years Dr. Strachan, the rector of St. James', and subsequently Archdeacon of York, and the first Bishop of Toronto (1839-1867) instructed the youth of the day. Again we are struck by the many eminent men who received here their early education, such as Dr. Henry Scadding, the historian of Toronto's early days; the Ridouts, John and Charles; Saltern Givins, the Hewards, Allans (of Moss Park); the Baldwins, Robert, William and St. George; the Boultons, and many others.
In 1818 the first hospital was built, not on the hospital site as provided in the early plans, but at the corner of King and John Streets. Many eminent physicians and surgeons, retired army officers, and others contributed to the efficiency of the institution, and then as now, the Toronto Hospital was in the forefront of medical science.
By 1820 Sir Peregrine Maitland was Governor of Upper Canada, and it is interesting to find that he thought sufficiently of Toronto to leave us a sketch of the Harbour, viewed from the foot of Peter Street. In 1820 the population was 1,200--and but three brick houses graced the town.
In 1823 the town had grown considerably. The houses show distinctive taste and are of a more solid construction, notably those of Dr. Widmer, one of the founders of the hospital, and that of George Munro, Mayor in 1841. The Parliament Buildings, destroyed by Americans in 1813, had been replaced by a- more substantial brick structure.
Jordan's Hotel, on the south side of King Street, near Berkeley, even at that time was described as old and delapidated, but interesting because at least one session of the Legislature was held there, pending the reconstruction of the Parliament Buildings. Here Mr. Justice Boulton, coming from Prescott to visit Dr. Macauley, who lived on Trinity Square, two blocks north of Queen Street, is said to have remained overnight, because arriving in York late one December afternoon, he thought it unwise to risk the dangers of the intervening marshes and woods; and, "indeed," says Dr. Scadding, "it took him half of the next day to complete his journey."
The first Presbyterian Church was built in 1822it was not called Knox, or Knox's, Church until 1844--on land given by Mr. Jesse Ketchum, who owned a square bounded by Yonge, Adelaide, Bay and Queen Streets, and who contributed $500 towards the building. A practical Church Unionist, he gave sites for ten churches in York; for while an Anglican and a pew holder in St. James' Church he was not averse to teaching in the Methodist Sunday School on Sunday afternoons, and accompanying his wife to the Presbyterian Church in the evenings. Further than this, he took the parson, the Rev. James Harris, into his home and subsequently provided him with a house and a house-keeper, giving him his daughter to wife. His efforts in the cause of Temperance are evidenced in the street which he cut through his property. Temperance Street, and whereon he built Temperance Hall. About the same time (1822) the Roman Catholics built their first church, St. Paul's, Power Street.
Bay Street in 1827 had a very primitive appearance. Doel's house and brewery, on the north-west corner of Adelaide Street, were the only buildings of importance. This house stood until last autumn, when it was removed to make room for the new Northern Ontario Building.
In 1834 the city was incorporated under the name of Toronto, its original designation, a change of name that was accomplished mainly through the efforts of the Hon. Henry John Boulton.
The view from the Windmill (Gooderham & Worts, near the mouth of the Don), indicates a decided development in the preceding ten years, the Windmill being a landmark in all subsequent surveys of the harbour. About the same time Mr. J. G. Howard comes into prominence, first as a drawing master at Upper Canada College, as an Architect, and afterwards as City Engineer and City Surveyor. Under his supervision the first sidewalks of the city were laid, two 12inch planks side by side, and a general system of sewers laid out. Two drawings of his represent Toronto in 1835, one the south-east corner of York and King Streets, showing the British Coffee Tavern, designed by himself, and one of King Street East, showing the second St. James' Church, the second Court House, the first Fire Hall, and the second gaol. Behind these walls Lount and Matthews were executed for their share in the Rebellion of 1837, and here for many years stood the stocks frequently used for the punishment of evil-doers.
In 1842 Mr. Howard built the first St. Paul's Church, Bloor Street, or the Yorkville Church, as it was called. While not showing any striking architectural features, the construction of the tower is interesting. It was made with four tall pine trees donated by Mr. Allan of Moss Park. These were placed horizontally on the ground, constructed like a box, tapering off at the end, then hauled into place with a block and tackle, and fastened on to the main edifice. "So," says Dr. Scadding, "those who had passed by in the morning were amazed upon returning in the evening to see arising among the trees this graceful tower and spire as if by magic."
In 1837 Mrs. Anna Jameson, the wife of the ViceChancellor of Upper Canada, visited Toronto. In her "Winter Sketches and Summer Rambles" she has given a very interesting side-light on the city of that day, her remarks while being very pertinent are not always complimentary, particularly when she describes it as "most strangely mean and melancholy--a little ill-built town with one very ugly church without tower or steeple, some government offices in the most staring vulgar style imaginable, a gray wintry prospect, and the dark gloom of a pine forest. I did not expect much, but for this I was not prepared." Perhaps her frame of mind coloured her judgment--she was very unhappy in her married life--but one thing I think is quite striking, that one hundred years ago anyone should say "King Street, the principal street, looks narrow, and will look narrower when the houses are higher--it is a pity, while they were about it, they did not make the streets of ample widthsome hundred feet, more or less, would have made little difference where the wild unowned forest extended, for all thy knew, to the North Pole." She left some original sketches, now in the possession of Prof. Watson Bain, of the Faculty of Applied Science, viz., the Road to Niagara (now the Lake Shore Road near Sunnyside), the Humber Bay and Light House at the Island, and a typical inn of those days. Is it any wonder that her impressions were not always favourable when she contrasted these with the happy conditions in the Old Land where she enjoyed the society of Mendelssohn, of the Goethe family, of the poets Coleridge, Wordsworth and other eminent personages?
In 1840, William Bartlett illustrated for N. P. Willis his "Canadian Scenery" and in it are two pictures of that period, the "Fish Market at Toronto," and "Maitland's (Church Street) Wharf." Bartlett prints are still much sought after by collectors.
In 1845 Mr. F. C. Capreol drew two pictures of Toronto, "The Capital of Canada West," which were published in the "Illustrated London News" in that year. They show the north and south sides of King Street east of Yonge.
A map of that period, 1842, is interesting as showing the extent of the city. The northern boundary was the line of the present Dundas Street. The Jarvis and Allan estates were still intact from Queen (Lot) Street to Bloor Street. A definite sub-division is surveyed between Parliament Street and the Don River, indicated by the following Street names, Park, Beech (Dundas St.), Oak, Cedar (Gerrard St.), Spruce, Elm (Carlton St.), Pine (Sackville St.), and Sumach. North of the Grange are seen the St. Leger Race Course, the cricket ground, and to the east of the latter a bowling green and racquet court (the old Caer-Howell Site). The site of the University was marked about where the present Parliament Buildings are: University Avenue is well defined and so is College Avenue, and the (then new) Meteorological Observatory. The winding Niagara Street shows the path of the old military Niagara Road, following the winding of the Garrison Creek, the beginning of the long march around the head of the lake to Niagara.
In contrast to this a map of 1857 shows a remarkable growth--the northern boundary is now Bloor Street and the former "liberties," which lay north of the old boundary, have been surveyed and laid out into streets. In that period of fifteen years the population increased from 18,000 to 40,000, accounted for partly by the large number of new-comers from the British Isles, and partly by the several railroad lines that were begun in the province. Many fine buildings were constructed on account of a number of very able architects who came to the city in that time.
TORONTO IN THE SIXTIES
The most remarkable growth in the city is, I think, noticeable when we contrast the period between 1835 and 1860-between the time when Mrs. Jameson described it as an ill-kept ugly town, in some respects not having the characteristics of a village, and the time when the beautiful University College was completed and opened. In that period Toronto was fortunate in having many architects of note in its midst, and a great number of buildings of beauty and dignity were erected.
In 1853 the first railroad was opened--the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron, afterwards the Northern and North-Western, and the first train out of Toronto (May 16, 1853), on this line ran to Aurora, being afterwards extended to Barrie. Wood was the fuel used, and later on engines with double-heads were constructed.
The Queen's Hotel--the original building was erected in 1842--was well-known as one of the best in the city. It was in this building, or one adjacent, that the Toronto Academy-the beginning of Knox College-was organized.
Proceeding through the city on the look-out for places of interest, we would be attracted by a substantial brick building in the centre of the block opposite the Union Station, the house and grounds of Bishop Strachan, the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto. This was the third brick house in York, and the first to be built of bricks made locally. Coming to this country in 1799, a poor young man, John Strachan speedily rose to position and influence. He was appointed Rector of York in 1812, Headmaster of the Blue School in 1815, Superintendent of Education in 1823, and a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada from 1818 to 1840. His enemies said he left the Presbyterian Church because he saw greater chances for advancement in the State Church; even his brother James, visiting him in 1819, was afraid such magnificence as this house displayed had not been come by honestly. But whatever his faults, his virtues were many, and his ability great, and living until his ninetieth year--he died in 1867--he was a powerful factor in the educational and religious growth of the city.
Westward, between John and Simcoe Streets, were three blocks reserved from early days for Government or public purposes; Simcoe Place facing Front Street, where the Parliament Buildings stood from 1830 to 1892; in the block to the north, the Government House; and in Russell Square in the next block, Upper Canada College, 1830-1892. St. Andrew's Church on the corner of King and Simcoe Streets, and a tavern on the opposite corner provided, with the Government House and the College, material for a witty description, viz., Legislation, Education, Salvation and Damnation, of which by the way Salvation is the only remaining one.
Westward there were few buildings in those days, although Wellington Street West, Peter Street and Clarence Square were becoming fashionable residential districts. Walking eastward on King, we note the old Rossin House on the corner of York Street, little changed in spite of its more dignified modern name of the Prince George Hotel. Mud roads and street lights few and far between, were still the usual thing; frame and rough-cast buildings were common; occasionally a stately mansion such as the Cawthra House, built about 1852, at the corner of Bay Street, gave promise of better things. This building still stands, although it has been turned into a bank, and is a fine example of domestic architecture of the Italian Renaissance type.
Looking up Bay Street would be seen, until the late eighties, a street more characteristic of a country town than of a city. Two churches, the Zion Congregational and the United Presbyterian, respectively, were on the corners of Adelaide and Richmond Streets, both built on ground donated by one of Toronto's early benefactors, Jesse Ketchum, who is said to have given sites for ten churches in York and a temperance hall in this vicinity.
At the head of Bay Street, where the City Hall now stands, stood, until 1890, a motley row of houses and shops, including every style of architecture from 1820 down.
Back again on Bay Street, at the corner of Wellington, we would see the home of Chancellor Blake, (the father of the Hon. S. H. Blake and the Hon. Edward Blake) now, at this period (1860) turned into a bank-the vicinity of Bay and Wellington, long residential, rapidly becoming commercialized. The modest house next door was sufficient for the activities of the Grand Trunk Railway Offices, at a time when that railroad was little more than ten years old. On King Street, east of Yonge, the Globe Office stood where now Victoria Street is, and across the way the Golden Lion, the first Departmental Store, where now the King Edward reigns in its stead.
At the corner of Church Street still stands the fourth St. James' Church, rebuilt in 1850 after the disasterous fire of 1849, and a monument alike to the energy of Bishop Strachan and the ability of F. 'V. Cumberland, the architect. For over twenty years the Church was incomplete, for it was not until 1873 that the tower, spire and porches were added. Inside there existed for years galleries which disfigured the beautiful early English arches, and which were removed in the general alterations of 1887.
A block north of St. James', on Church and Adelaide, was the first St. Andrew's Church, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, dating from 1830. Church Street has altered very little since 1860, except possibly in the improvement of the roads and in street lighting.
On Toronto Street the seventh Post Office, designed by Cumberland and Storm in 1852, was expected to be sufficient for the needs of the city for half a century, but was found in less than twenty years to be inadequate. It still remains, however, as a Government Building, another example of architectural skill.
On Richmond Street, between Bay and Yonge, stood until the late eighties, the "Cathedral of Methodism," a church rather pretentious in appearance and capable of seating 1,200 people. Owing to the movement of the population westward, this was succeeded about 1888 by the New Richmond Church on McCaul Street, which was expected to meet the needs of their people for fifty years at least. It is a commentary on the times and customs to learn that this latter church has been a Jewish Synagogue for over fifteen years.
Proceeding up Yonge Street, we would note the Page's Block, formerly the Cameron Block, now the site of Eaton's store. This row was another "Foolish venture," built in 1857 by the Hon. John Hillyard Cameron, and vacant for ten years because the district was "too far uptown for business." The University site was secured in 1827 by the purchase of the northerly halves of three farms, or 150 acres lying south of Bloor Street. Contemplating the possibility of being hedged in by surroundfarms, there were purchased two strips of land to provide private entrances from the main thoroughfares of Yonge Street and Queen Street. At both entrances stood until comparatively recent times, gates and lodges, the one at Yonge Street having a sign board containing certain "Prohibitions," the word then having a more general meaning than it has today.
The Queen Street Avenue shows a beautiful vista of trees, planned to make a fine approach to the University Building which was to be built on the site of the present Parliament Buildings.
At the head of this avenue would be seen, for some years, a statute of Queen Victoria, for whom Queen's Park was named, and dedicated by the Prince of Wales on his visit here in 1860 also the Russian guns taken at Sebastapol, presented to the city after the Crimean War by her late Majesty.
The first King's College building was begun in 1842 on the site originally planned, but it had a very brief existence educationally, and before its demolition in 1890 or thereabouts, had served many uses in connection with the Insane Asylum. Even in 1856 John Langton, ViceChancellor of the University, laments the title "University Lunatic Asylum" as indirectly casting some reflection on the authorities of the University. McCaul's Pond occupied the site of the present Hart House Theatre, and for years was a favourite resort on Sunday afternoons for the inhabitants of. Yorkville and of the "Ward," when the fighting prowess of the numerous dogs that congregated there was an attraction for the youth of the vicinity.
In 1856, the University Building was begun and in the pictures, taken at the time, are shown the operations in progress under the direction of Messrs. Cumberland and Storm, together with a view of the completed building as it appeared in 1860, from Sir Daniel Wilson's collection. It is an unusual view, showing the old Convocation Hall at the north end of the east wing, which was not rebuilt after the fire of 1890.
The first Meteorological Observatory buildings were near the site of the Physics Building on Convocation Hall, built by the Imperial Government in 1842, and one of the first observatories to be built outside the British Isles.
A view from the University Tower in 1865 shows how few buildings there were in the locality in those days. Sir Frederick Stupart has told me that until November, 1878, it was possible to sight the Lighthouse on the Island from the old Observatory. In these pictures you will notice, on the north-east corner of St. George and College Streets, the Cumberland (now the Baldwin) house in construction; the Perkins house across the way where the Public Library now stands; a narrow plank marking the line of Beverley Street; the chimney of the St. George's Waterworks on the corner of Huron and Dundas Streets; the St. Leger Race Course in the distance; and farther away the "shack town" westward of Spadina Avenue.
In conclusion I will show you a series of pictures contrasting the vicinities of the King and Yonge Street corners at different periods during the last century, beginning with the first Methodist Meeting House built in 1818 on the present Bank of Commerce site; the old Dennis house, built in 1823 on the Royal Bank corner; and coming down at twenty-year intervals until we have the sky-scraper district and commercial centre as they appear now. As a final return to our starting point, here is the monument at the Exhibition Grounds, that marks the site of the old French Trading Post-the Fort which used to be marked on the old maps, "Toronto, an Indian village, now deserted."
A hearty vote of thanks was presented .to Mr. Reed for his informative address which was followed with keen interest by a large audience.