photo

Trafalgar

McCurdy’s Chapel

McCurdy's Chapel.jpg

Overview: 

Address: Concession IX, Lot 10 - 9th Line and Derry Road,

"McCurdy's Methodist Church" Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections. Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton. images.ourontario.ca/TrafalgarTownship/31715/data?n=1

Type: 

Church

Location: 

McCurdy's Chapel, Trafalgar, Halton (halttraf00_001)

Venue Views: 

McCurdy's Methodist Church

"McCurdy's Methodist Church" Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections. Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton. images.ourontario.ca/TrafalgarTownship/31715/data?n=1


Parsonage Church Trafalgar

Munn's Church.jpg

Overview: 

Address: Concession 1, Lot 15

The church was also called "Parsonage Church" from about 1845 to 1885 when the Munn's name was again used. The Methodist congregation joined with the United Church banner in the 1920s.

The house visible to the east along Dundas is likely 41 Dundas Street East. The patent for Lot 15 Concession 1 NDS was granted to John Robinson in 1804. He sold off several parcels over the next years but Daniel Munn acquired the entire Lot by 1820, In 1841, Daniel's estate sold the south half to Jordan Munn. John Hastings bought a parcel from Jordan in 1862, William Perkins was the next owner.

"Munn's Church." Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections. Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton. images.ourontario.ca/TrafalgarTownship/3208064/data?n=3

Type: 

Church

Location: 

Parsonage Church, Trafalgar, Halton (halttraf00_002)

Venue Views: 

Munn's Church aka Parsonage Church

Textual Description

"Munn's Church." Trafalgar Township Historical Society Digital Collections. Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton. images.ourontario.ca/TrafalgarTownship/3208064/data?n=3


Providence Chapel Trafalgar

Providence Church - cemetary

Providence Church - cemetary

Overview: 

Location: 9598 Wellington Road #42

Town of Erin, ON

Historical Township: Concession 9, Lot 1

Erin Township, Wellington County

Providence Chapel Cemetery

History:

There was a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on the east corner surrounded by the burial ground. The land for the burying ground was donated by Patrick McEnery. Based on tombstone inscriptions, the earliest burial was 1813. It is a well-maintained cemetery with some of the stones gathered into a cairn. There is a free- standing gate, but no fence. The gate was hand-made by blacksmith Dan Reid. The last burial, that of Catherine McKay, was in 1962. The plaque mounted on the gate was donated by Ballinafad Women’s Institute as part of their centennial project to level and restore the cemetery grounds. The cairn was erected and unveiled in 1970. A map detailing the plot owners in Providence Cemetery is in the Wellington County Museum & Archives’ collection. 

"Providence Chapel Cemetery" Wellington County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. 2014. www.ogs.on.ca/wellington/2014-cemetery-info/4314.pdf


Type: 

Church

Location: 

Unlocated site, Trafalgar, Halton (halttraf00_000)


Venue Views: 

Providence Chapel Cemetery, Erin Township

Textual Description

"Providence Chapel Cemetery" Wellington County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. 2014. www.ogs.on.ca/wellington/2014-cemetery-info/4314.pdf


Residence of Mr. Francis Reid

Overview: 

Address: Concession IV, Lot 15

"Full record for Reid, F." The Canadian County Digital Atlas Project. McGill University, 2001. digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/showrecord.php?PersonID=61067

Type: 

Private Residence

Location: 

Residence of Mr. Francis Reid (1868), Trafalgar, Halton (halttraf00_003)

Toronto

Academy of Music Toronto

Academy of Music - Toronto.jpg

Overview: 

AKA Princess Theatre

Toronto's second academy of Music opened on 6 November 1889 on King Street near York Street. After being remodelled in 1895, the Academy became known as the Princess Theatre." (pp.226)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Editor Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

From: 

1889

To: 

1915

Location: 

Academy of Music, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_016)

Venue Views: 

Princess Theatre - seen from King St.

Image Date

1910

Textual Description

"King St. W., south side, between York & Simcoe Sts., showing Princess Theatre. Toronto, Ont." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, B 5-30b. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-B5-30B&R=DC-B5-30B



Alhambra


Allen’s Bloor


Allen’s Danforth


Auditorium Theatre Toronto

Auditorium Theatre - Toronto.png

Overview: 

Address: 382 Queen Street West

Also Known As: The Pickford Theatre, The Avenue Theatre

"The Pickford Theatre at 382 Queen Street West was located on the northwest corner of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue. It opened in 1908 as the Auditorium Theatre, occupying the ground floor of the three-storey Moler Barber Building. Its entrance was on Queen Street, and it contained 356 seats with plush backs, but possessed no balcony. However, it contained a stage for live theatre and vaudeville. The floors above the theatre were rented for offices and as residential apartments. It’s corner location was ideal as the two streets it faced contained much foot traffic. As well, two of the busiest streetcar lines in the city passed by its doors (Queen and Spadina). 

The theatre was renovated in 1913, extending the auditorium slightly to the north. This allowed the seating capacity to be increased to 456 seats. The entrance was improved and its name was changed to the Avenue Theatre."

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old Pickford (Auditorium) Theatre at Queen and Spadina." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. 6 Jan. 2014. Accessed 4 Jul 2017. tayloronhistory.com/2014/01/06/torontos-old-movie-housesthe-pickford-auditorium-theatre-at-queen-and-spadina/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1908

Location: 

Multiple sites at uncertain location, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Auditorium Theatre

Image Date

1910

Textual Description

Item consists of a photograph of the theatre at 382 Queen Street West. It was opened as the Auditorium in 1908, was renamed the Avenue Theatre in 1913, and was renamed again in 1915 as the Mary Pickford Theatre. This photo likely dates from early 1910 as the film advertised, The Heroine of Mafeking, was released December 11, 1909.


"Auditorium Theatre" City of Toronto Archives. Fonds 1244, Item 320C. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=6bf918ec:15d0c1429db:-7da3&UniqueID=6000_3355_5&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_51609


B.M.E. Church Toronto

B.M.E. Church - Toronto.jpg

Website: 

www.bmechristchurch.org

VenueListID: 

866

Overview: 

Address: 94 Chestnut

"THE HISTORY OF B.M.E. CHRIST CHURCH ST. JAMES

The first site of the British Methodist Episcopal Church in Toronto was acquired on January 31st 1845 at 94 Chestnut Street. Through the 159 years of its existence and despite unfavourable circumstances, the church has continued to serve the community socially, educationally and spiritually to the fullness of its potential."

"About BME" BME Christ Church St. James. BME Christ Church St. James. 

www.bmechristchurch.org/?i=1239&mid=3

Type: 

Church

Current Status: 

BME Christ Church of St. James

Location: 

B.M.E. Church, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_017)

Venue Views: 

BME Church - Exterior

Textual Description

"Our History, our faith." BME Christ Church St. James. www.bmechristchurch.org/?i=1239&mid=3


Beaver Theatre Toronto

Beaver Theatre Toronto - exterior

Beaver Theatre Toronto - exterior

Beaver Theatre Toronto - interior

Beaver Theatre Toronto - interior

Beaver Theatre Toronto - lobby

Beaver Theatre Toronto - lobby

Overview: 

Address: 2942 Dundas Street West

The district that became known as the Junction was originally a rural farming community to the northwest of Toronto. It centred around Keele and Dundas Street West. The name “Junction” was derived from the fact that it was at the “junction” of four railway lines. The southern terminal of the old Weston Road streetcars, which travelled north to the town of Weston, was at the Junction. The West Toronto Railway Station was on the east side of Keele Street, several blocks north of Dundas Street. The old stone railway bridge remains in use today, and continues to span Keele Street, although the railway station was demolished decades ago. 

The since the Junction was a transportation hub, more and more people built homes in the area. It eventually became the town of West Toronto, which was annexed to the city in 1909. With the increase in population, more businesses gravitated to the area as well. It was not long before someone realized that the town needed a movie theatre. The man who decided to fulfill this need was William Joy. In 1907, he had opened a small theatre for live performances, named the Wonderland. It must have been profitable, because in 1913, William Joy closed the Wonderland and opened the Beaver Theatre, which cost $60,000. His new theatre was to show “moving pictures” and to feature vaudeville acts. He managed the new theatre himself. It was he who insisted that the Beaver have a fire-proof picture curtain, and personally supervised its installation.    

The Beaver was located at 2942 Dundas Street West, near Pacific Avenue. It was an impressive structure, especially considering that it was remote from downtown Toronto, where the demographics provided more possibilities for patrons. It was one of the first structures in Toronto purposely built for showing  “moving pictures” (the Bay Theatre was the first, built in 1909). The Beaver’s architect was Neil G. Beggs, and the neoclassical facade that he created was quite ornate. Its symmetrical design included an ornamented cornice, with an impressive row of dentils (teeth-like designs) below it. The facade contained smooth, glossy terracotta tiles that were glazed with a light-yellow patina. The lower lobby and foyer possessed alternate mirrored panels with frames of terracotta and rouge-noir marble. The auditorium’s colour scheme was antique ivory and green, and it possessed a large mural of flying cupids.The seating capacity was approximately 800, including a narrow balcony that was 50’ by 176,’ decorated with various shades of bronze. There were box seats along the sides of the auditorium, the box seats closest to the stage less than 50’ from the actors. 

In 1918, the theatre was taken over by the Allen brothers, who owned the Allen Danforth and the the Allen Theatre at Adelaide and Victoria. In later years, the theatre was operated by  the B&F chain and was renovated and modernized. The box seats were removed, after the theatre was exclusively employed for movies. 

In 1961 the theatre was closed, being one of the first to succumb to the onslaught of television.

Taylor, Doug. "Memories of Toronto's Beaver Theatre on Dundas St. West". Historic Toronto. CIty of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 63. tayloronhistory.com/2014/06/19/torontos-beaver-theatre-on-dundas-st-west/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1913

To: 

1961

Location: 

Unlocated site, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Beaver Theatre - Exterior

Image Date

1947

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Memories of Toronto's Beaver Theatre on Dundas St. West". Historic Toronto. CIty of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 63. tayloronhistory.com/2014/06/19/torontos-beaver-theatre-on-dundas-st-west/

Beaver Theatre - Lobby

Image Date

1930
Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Memories of Toronto's Beaver Theatre on Dundas St. West". Historic Toronto. CIty of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 63. tayloronhistory.com/2014/06/19/torontos-beaver-theatre-on-dundas-st-west/

Beaver Theatre - Interior

Image Date

1947

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Memories of Toronto's Beaver Theatre on Dundas St. West". Historic Toronto. CIty of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 63. tayloronhistory.com/2014/06/19/torontos-beaver-theatre-on-dundas-st-west/


Bijou: Robinson's Theatre & Musee


Bonita Theatre


Broadway Theatre


Carlton Theatre


College Theatre


Colonial Theatre


Cosmopolitan Theatre


Crescent Club Parlors, Broadview Hall

Overview: 

Address: 437 Queen St. W (pp.327)

AKA: Broadway School of Dance

1914 Toronto Directory. Might Directories Ltd, 1914. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/torontodirec191400midiuoft.pdf

Type: 

Multi-use

Location: 

Broadview Hall (Crescent Players), Toronto, York (yorktoro00_018)


Crystal Palace


Cyclorama Toronto

Overview: 

Address: 123 Front Street

An entertainment and educational facility, unique in the city.

DETAILS OF SITE LOCATION: The Cyclorama was built adjoining the Walker House Hotel on the west side, both on the south side of Front Street just west of York Street. Its street address was 123 Front Street West.

Boundary History: The boundaries of the lot were not large, and the building filled most of the lot. A narrow north/south laneway separated the Cyclorama from the Walker House. The large lot south of both the Cyclorama and Walker House was occupied by the old Union Station.

CURRENT USE OF PROPERTY: The property is currently occupied by University Place.

HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION: The Cyclorama was built in 1887 by the Toronto Art Company as a showroom for instructional art of the time. The building opened to the public on September 13, 1887. As its name implies, the Cyclorama was a circular building designed by architects Kennedy and Holland. Inside were panoramic murals on the walls in a continuous band, and these were of a religious nature. In its time, the murals were considered a major attraction. Today, it would be the design of the circular building which would attract attention. With the advent of moving pictures, the Cyclorama became superseded as an attraction. For some years, the building served the Petrie Machinery Company as factory space; then the Elgin Ford Company took over the building as a showroom for automobiles. Its final days were as a parking garage. Although the Cyclorama was listed on the City's Inventory, it was demolished in 1976 to make way for the construction of University Place. 

"Cyclorama" Toronto Historical Association. Accessed 10 Jul 2017. torontohistory.net/cyclorama.html

Built in 1887 and owned by Toronto Art Exhibit Co. Ltd., the Cyclorama was the focus of attention even before it was finished. Many passing the site wondered about the sixteen-sided building rising from the ground directly in front of Old Union Station. On the 12th September that year the first guests payed the 25-cent admission fee and ventured inside. Hanging floor-to-ceiling on all sides of the building were giant oil paintings depicting the Battle of Sedan, a decisive conflict in the Franco-Prussian war of the 1870s. 

The paintings were joined to provide a full panorama from the viewing platform in the centre of the room and the perspective was carefully calculated to make it appear as though the viewer was really looking out over the scene. Actors played out the roles of soldiers in the foreground, providing sound effects and sometimes smoke to add mood. Toronto Illustrated, a promotional booklet for the city printed in 1893, cooed about the "vivid and life-like" image quality of the paintings, the work of Austrian landscape painter August L

Cycloramas were a popular attraction in major European and North American cities in the latter part of the 19th century. Often showing important historical battle scenes, the touring installations would hang for several months at a time. Toronto's Cyclorama featured only a handful of exhibits in its time: the Battle of Sedan, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Waterloo and Jerusalem on the Day of the Crucifixion, but maintained a dedicated following. 

A reporter from the Toronto Daily Mail smitten with the "striking groups and striking incidents" in the Battle of Sedan installation described one panel showing a pair of mounted German officers, one fatally wounded, riding toward the viewer. "The figures stand out boldly; the horses will be upon you in a minute; the nerveless, swaying movement of the wounded man contrasts dramatically, yet naturally, with the strength, determination and martial acts of his generous comrade."

Despite its popularity, the Cyclorama ran into financial trouble as the new century approached and silent movies entered theatres. The city seized the property to recover tax arrears before the end of the 1890s. Plans to turn the building into a boxing venue or swimming pool were put forward but never realized. Instead, Petrie Machinery purchased the vacant building from the city and converted it into a showroom. 

The building was altered in the 1920s for use as a parking garage for the newly constructed Royal York Hotel located just a block away. Elgin Motors took over the property in the 40s and used it as a showroom for several years. Finally, back in use as a parking garage for Avis car rentals, the building was demolished along with the Walker House Hotel in 1976 to make way for the Citigroup Place building that occupies the location today.

Staff. "A brief history of the Cyclorama Building in Toronto." blogTO. 6 Jan 2012. Accessed 10 Jul 2017. www.blogto.com/city/2012/01/a_brief_history_of_the_cyclorama_building_in...

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1887

To: 

1976


Duchess Theatre


Eton’s 7th Floor Auditorium


Elgin Winter Garden


Empire Theatre Toronto

Empire Theatre - Toronto.jpg

Overview: 

Empire Theatre

AKA: The Imperial, the Palton, the RIalto.

Address:

The Theatre that many people remember as the Empire, was originally named the Imperial. It opened in 1915 in a newly completed building named the Shepherd Refuge Building. When it opened it featured vaudeville and silent “moving pictures.” Located at 408 Queen Street East, it was on the north side of the street, between Parliament and Sackville. It contained 762 wooden seats and no balcony or air conditioning.

In 1922 its name was changed from the Imperial to the Palton, and in 1925, was renamed the Rialto. In February 1936, a report stated that there was no urinal in the men’s washroom, but only a toilet. The washroom was located at the bottom of the stairs, with only a flimsy wooden frame partition around it. The floor in it was wet and there was a bad smell. To make matters worse, the basement was often dark as teenage boys were constantly turning off the light switch as a prank. This made descending the wooden old stairs difficult. The inspector insisted that the light switch be protected so it would be accessible only to employees.

In 1942, the theatre was renovated and in that year its name remained the Rialto. A report in the Toronto Archives states that someone remembered that during the war years, “God Save the King” was played on a scratchy recording. In 1953, a candy bar was added to the theatre by removing seven seats in the back row of the auditorium, and in that year, the theatre’s name was the Empire. I was unable to discover the exact year that it became the Empire.

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's Empire (Rialto, Palton) Theatre - Queen St. East." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History.

tayloronhistory.com/tag/empire-theatre/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1915

To: 

1960s

Location: 

Multiple sites at uncertain location, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

The Imperial Theatre - 1919 - Toronto Archives

Image Date

1919

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's Empire (Rialto, Palton) Theatre - Queen St. East." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History.

tayloronhistory.com/tag/empire-theatre/


First Baptist Church Toronto

First Baptist Church.jpg

Overview: 

First Baptist Church

Address: 157 University Avenue (pp.457)

The Toronto City Directory 1919. Might Directories Limited, 1919. archive.org/details/torontodirec191900midiuoft

Type: 

Church

From: 

1907

Location: 

University Avenue Baptist Church, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_029)

Venue Views: 

First Baptist Church (1953)

Image Date

1953

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "First Baptist Church (opened 1907), University Ave., n.e. corner Edward St." Toronto Public Library, Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-969. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-3539&R=DC-PICTURES-R-3539


Frank’s Hotel


Grand Opera House Toronto

Grand Opera House

Grand Opera House

Grand Opera House - exterior

Grand Opera House - exterior

Grand Opera House - exterior

Grand Opera House - exterior

Overview: 

AKA: Mrs. Morrison's Grand Opera House

Address: 9-15 Adelaide St. W (pp.13)

The Toronto City Directory for 1888. R.L. Polk, 1888. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/1316282_4.pdf

"Grand Opera House

Toronto's Grand Opera House, located on Adelaide Street, west of Yonge Street in Toronto, opened to the public on 21 September 1874 and was managed by the remarkable and popular Charlotte Morrison. The building was erected by the Grand Opera House Company, with Lalor and Martin of Toronto as architects andT.D. Jackson of New York the consulting architect. 

The new Grand Opera House measured ninety-one feet by 208 feet, presenting a four-storey entrance front on Adelaide Street, described by one reviewer as a 'handsome rendering of florid Parisian renaissance.' A more flattering description attributed to the architects before opening, the Mail of 30 March 1874, stated there would be an inclined passage fifteen feet wide leading from the street to a glass roofed vestibule, which in turn was to connect directly to the main seating level of the house. On either side of the vestibule space, stairs would lead to upper galleries. According to the Canadian Illustrated News of 29 August 1874, the Grand had a 'seating capacity of 1323 and campstool and standing room for 500 more.' Although accounts of seating distribution differ, there were 620 folding opera chairs upholstered in crimson rep in the orchestra stalls, with the remaining seats in the dress circle, family circile, and eight private boxes, each of the latter having four loose chairs [...] 

In the 30 March 1874 issue of the Mail, the stage is described as being thirty-five feet wide by fiftey feet deep. Little evidence, so far, has been found to indicate what sort of fly loft existed over the stage, or how the scenery was moved about, except perhaps for the Bell Smith sketches, which show a stage of ample proportiaons having a loft height approaching forty-five feet. backstage elements were placed along the west side of building on three floor levels, including cast dressing-rooms, green room, property room, manager's office, and other facilities. A lane flanking the building on the east gave direct access to the stage.

The Grand Opera House burned on 29 November 1879, although apparently not to the ground, since it was reconstructed in fifty-one working days, reopening on 9 February 1880. Few changes were made in the house, it seeems, althrough Julius Cahn's Official Theatrical Guide of 1900 gives a total seating capacity of 1,707, a figure hard to accept when it is compared wit the original house capacity of 1,323. After the turn of the century, the Grand lost its place as Toronto's leading theatre, eclipsed first by the Princess and later by the Royal Alexandra. It had been empty for many years when in June 1928 it was pulled down." (pp.222-224)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Editor Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Major musical and theatrical institution.

DETAILS OF SITE LOCATION: Located at 11 Adelaide Street West, the opera house was on the south side of Adelaide between Yonge and Bay. On its west side was a lane way named Johnson's Lane, now named Grand Opera Lane.

Boundary History: Bounded by Adelaide on the north side, Johnson's Lane on the west side, an unnamed lane on the east side, and backing onto an empty lot leading south to the Manning Arcade and the North of Scotland Chambers. Near its southwest corner were the Empire newspaper offices.

CURRENT USE OF PROPERTY: A building housing Wood Gundy.

HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION: The Grand Opera House was built in 1874 to become the major venue in the city for grand opera and for important theatrical performances. It fulfilled its ambitions and more. It opened in September 1874 with Sheridan's School for Scandal, then hosted a succession of international singing and stage stars. A fire destroyed the building in 1879, but it was rebuilt in only 51 days! Maurice Barrymore (father of Lionel, John, and Ethel) appeared there, as did Ellen Terry, Sarah Bernhardt, and a host of others. The Toronto Philharmonic Society gave concerts, including Handel's Messiah with singers from Mrs. Morrison's Opera Company. This event was pictured in the Canadian Illustrated Newsissue of January 1875. Mrs. Charlotte Morrison owned and managed the opera house, and gave it a brilliant record. O.B. Sheppard was a later manager, and moved on to manage the Princess. But it was mainly, and sadly, Ambrose Small for whom the opera house is remembered. Small was in the process of closing a sale of his theatrical assets to a syndicate, Trans Canada Theatres Ltd., when he vanished without a trace. At the end of her life, his wife confessed to murdering him and burning half of his dismembered body in the furnace of the opera house and disposing of the other half in the Rosedale Ravine. The case was never solved and remains a mystery today. The Small affair has overshadowed the brilliant history of the performing arts in the opera house, which brought the best in the world to Toronto and gave local talent many opportunities to shine. The Grand Opera House also demonstrated clearly that home grown impresarios had what it takes to reach the highest success. In 1927, eight years after Small's disappearance, the opera house was demolished.

REFERENCE SOURCES: Miles' Atlas 1878; Goad's Atlas 1884, 1890, 1900, 1910; Joan Parkhill Baillie, Look at the Record, 1985; Fred McClement, The Strange Case of Ambrose Small, 1974; Community History Project collections.

RELATIVE IMPORTANCE: No performing arts facility in Toronto's history quite equals that of the Grand Opera House. It is recalled in the name of the lane way existing today.

PLANNING IMPLICATIONS: In a densely developed section of the lower city, no archaeology is ever possible, but a large, permanent display giving some idea of its brilliant performing arts history should be encouraged for permanent mounting in the building that replaced it.

"Grand Opera House." Toronto Historical Association. torontohistory.net/grand-opera-house.html

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1874

To: 

1928

Location: 

Grand Opera House, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_004)

Venue Views: 

Grand Opera House - 1874

Image Date

1874

Grand Opera House- 1921

Image Date

1921

Adelaide Street, south side, looking east from Bay Street - 1924

Image Date

1924


Hart House Theatre


Loew’s Downtown Theatre

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - exterior

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - exterior

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - interior

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - interior

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - model cross-section

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre - model cross-section


Lyceum Theatre Toronto


Madison Theatre


Margaret Eaton Hall


Margaret Eaton School of Literature & Expression

Margaret Eaton School - exterior

Margaret Eaton School - exterior

Margaret Eaton School - crest

Margaret Eaton School - crest


Massey Hall

Massey Hall - exterior

Massey Hall - exterior

Massey Hall - interior

Massey Hall - interior

Massey Hall - floor plan

Massey Hall - floor plan

Website: 

www.masseyhall.com

Overview: 

Address: 178 Victoria Street

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

Massey Hall is a three-storey, red brick concert hall located in downtown Toronto. Built in a late Palladian style at the end of the nineteenth century, it was Toronto's major concert hall for much of the twentieth century and is renowned for the warmth of its acoustics.

HERITAGE VALUE

Massey Hall was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1981 because it has served as one of Canada's most important cultural institutions and has earned widespread renown for its outstanding acoustics.

The heritage value of Massey Hall lies in its historic role and a cultural institution and in the functional design which resulted in excellent acoustic conditions. These values are illustrated by the physical and design properties of the building. Massey Hall was a gift to the City of Toronto from wealthy industrialist Hart Massey (1823-1896). He commissioned the design from Canadian-born Cleveland architect S.R.Badgeley. Since it opened in 1894 Massey Hall has provided Toronto with concert facilities which have encouraged the development of the city's music community, in particular the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Interior modifications occurred in 1933 and 1948. The "warm" quality of its acoustics have attracted audiences, orchestras, soloists and speakers from around the world for over a century.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1981.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Key elements that contribute to the heritage value of this site include:

- the location in downtown Toronto;

- its siting flush to the sidewalk;

- the conservative late Palladian-revival style of architecture with its slightly projecting pedimented centre block and lower, hipped roof side wings;

- the restrained use of classical elements on the façade, including the symmetrically organized round and flat-headed windows divided by fluted pilasters, a decorated pediment, and triple portal entry under its inscribed name; 

- its red brick facing with stone detailing; 

- its steel frame construction technology; 

- the organization of the auditorium with a relatively small stage with 8 tiers of seats behind and 6 boxes on either side, a segmented orchestra area, dense 3-tiered seating arrangement with a U-shaped gallery and balcony supported by cast iron columns;

- Moorish elements of its interior decor (ogee balcony arches, horseshoe-shaped box arches, scalloped ceiling hangings with delicately carved trim, Moorish motifs), and use of rich interior materials and coverings;

- the dimensions and arrangement of interior spaces, surfacing finishings and structural materials that foster its idiosyncratic acoustics; 

- surviving original interior layout including basement offices, storage areas and rehearsal hall, small vestibule with ticket office and stairs leading to upper levels of the concert hall;

- surviving evidence of the rich materials and decorative elements of the lobby, dating from 1934 as well as evidence and memorabilia associated with the former decoration and use of the hall.

"Massey Hall National Historic Site of Canada" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=9369&pid=0

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1894

Location: 

Massey Hall, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_006)

Venue Views: 

Massey Hall

TITLE

STATUS

OPERATIONS

Massey Hall

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 5/10/17

Caption *

Massey Hall

Textual Description

"Massey Hall." City of Toronto Archives. City of Toronto. Fonds 200, Series 1465, File 305. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/DoMenuRequest?SystemName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&UserName=wa+public&Password=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1580_11104&bCachable=1&MenuName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&eloquentref=toronto

Massey Hall - Main Floor & First Gallery Seating

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 5/12/17

Caption *

Massey Hall - Main Floor & First Gallery Seating

Textual Description

Bateman, Chris. "A brief history of Toronto's iconic Massey Hall." blogTO. 22 June 2013. www.blogto.com/city/2013/06/a_brief_history_of_torontos_iconic_massey_hall/

Massey Hall view from the stage - 1993

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 5/12/17

Caption *

Massey Hall view from the stage - 1993

Image Date

1993

Textual Description

Bateman, Chris. "A brief history of Toronto's iconic Massey Hall." blogTO. 22 June 2013. www.blogto.com/city/2013/06/a_brief_history_of_torontos_iconic_massey_hall/


McGill Hall

Venue Name *

McGill Hall

Location

"McGill Hall, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_022) (492935)"

Overview

Address: 21 McGill Street (inside Young Women's Christian Association) (pp.266)

1914 Toronto Directory. Might Directories Ltd, 1914. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/torontodirec191400midiuoft.pdf


Moore’s Musee Theatre


Music Hall, Mechanic’s Institute

Venue Name *

Music Hall, Mechanics' Institute

Location

"Music Hall, Mechanics' Institute (1862), Toronto, York (yorktoro00_026) (492939)"

Overview

Address: 76 Adelaide St. East (pp.2)

W.C. Chewett & Co.'s Toronto Directory 1868-9. W.C. Chewett & Co., 1868. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/2610561.pdf

Show row weights

TITLE

STATUS

OPERATIONS

Mechanic's Institute

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 4/16/17

Caption *

Mechanic's Institute

Image Date

1890

Textual Description

"Mechanics Institute, Church St., n.e. cor. Adelaide St. E." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, B 11-46a. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-6887&R=DC-PICTURES-R-6887

Music Hall - Mechanics' Institute - Interior

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 4/20/17

Caption *

Music Hall - Mechanics' Institute - Interior

Image Date

1900

Textual Description

"Mechanics Institute, Church St., n.e. cor. Adelaide St. E.; INTERIOR, music hall (in use as newspaper reading room). Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, X 71-6 Cab. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5970&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5970

Protestant Orphans' Home Ball - Mechanics Institute Music Hall

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 4/20/17

Caption *

Protestant Orphans' Home Ball - Mechanics Institute Music Hall

Image Date

1870

Textual Description

Norman & Fraser. "Protestant Orphans' Home Ball, Mechanics Institute music hall." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, JRR 809 Cab II. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5381&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5381

Mechanics Institute - Watercolour

Published

Edited by

David DeGrow - 4/20/17

Caption *

Mechanics Institute - Watercolour

Image Date

1912

Textual Description

Poole, Frederic Victor. "Mechanics Institute, Church St., n.e. cor. Adelaide St. E." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, JRR 886. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5190&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5190


Mutual Street Arena

Mutual Street Arena - interior

Mutual Street Arena - interior

Mutual Street Arena - interior

Mutual Street Arena - interior

Overview: 

Address: 68-88 Mutual Street

According to veteran Star sports columnist Jim Proudfoot, when Conn Smythe built Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 he was determined that the Maple Leafs’ former home on Mutual Street would never host another professional hockey game. One morning, he sent a message to staff at the old venue offering all of them work at his new facility. The catch? The jobs were only available until Smythe left for lunch at 12:15 p.m. The staff raced up to the construction site on Carlton Street, leaving no one behind to watch the furnace that powered the building’s ice-making equipment. When the flames died out, the pipes burst and destroyed the ice plant.

If the tale is true, Smythe achieved his goal. Pro hockey was never again played at the Mutual Street site. But it wasn’t the end of a building that adopted many guises over a 77-year history. Whether the venue on the west side of Mutual Street between Shuter and Dundas was called the Arena, Arena Gardens, Mutual Street Arena or The Terrace, it provided entertainment for generations of Torontonians.

Opened on October 7, 1912, the Arena’s initial backers included Casa Loma lord Sir Henry Pellatt and entertainment impresario Lol Solman. The debut attraction was the week-long Toronto Musical Festival, which offered comedy, opera and orchestras. Globe critic E.R. Parkhurst found the orchestra-style seats set up on the rink “as comfortable as those in any concert hall.” The 5,000 attendees on opening night enjoyed a program featuring works ranging from Bizet to Saint-Saens as performed by a 62-piece orchestra and half-a-dozen singers from the Boston Opera Company. The city’s papers heaped praise on the building’s acoustics—the Globe noted that “both solo singers and an orchestra can be heard in nearly part with clearness.”

Concerts were a sideline to the Arena’s role as a sports venue. It was the largest indoor rink in Canada and only the third to use artificial ice. Two professional hockey teams, the Blueshirts and the Tecumsehs, delayed their entry into the National Hockey Association (NHA) until the rink was ready. The Arena’s first pro match established Toronto’s eternal rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens. Previewing the Christmas Day 1912 game, the Starobserved that Blueshirts manager Bruce Ridpath had “gathered together a number of fast youngsters who are keen to show their ability, and may spring a surprise on the Canadiens.” A crowd of 4,000 saw the home team fall to the Habs 9-5.

Hockey caused Arena officials plenty of grief when Eddie Livingstone entered the picture. First as owner of the short-lived Shamrocks then, from 1915, the Blueshirts, Livingstone quarrelled with his players and fellow owners. When a team representing the 228th Battalion was summoned to fight in Europe and forced to drop out of the NHA in February 1917, the league jumped on the opportunity to rid itself of Livingstone by suspending the franchise for “transgressions of the rule.” Livingston sued, beginning a decade-long series of legal battles. That fall, the remaining NHA owners formed a new league, the National Hockey League (NHL), and asked Arena management to run a new Toronto franchise which would borrow Livingstone’s players for a year. After winning the 1918 Stanley Cup, the new team didn’t return the players to Livingstone, which spurred more legal sideshows. The team adopted the name “Arenas” soon after, then changed to the St. Patricks (“St. Pats”) in 1919.

On February 8, 1923, the Arena served as the backdrop for the first radio broadcast of a hockey game. Following a recap of the first two periods of a game between North Toronto and Midland, Norman Albert called the third period for radio station CFCA. Unlike modern sports coverage where the game takes precedence over regular programming, CFCA’s owner, the Toronto Star, promised listeners that “there is no intention to shorten the regular musical program on any night when a hockey game is being broadcast.” The two period recap/one period live format was repeated when CFCA produced the first broadcast of an NHL game six days later, which saw the St. Pats beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4.

On February 16, 1923, Star reporter Foster Hewitt called his first hockey game, which saw the Toronto Argonauts beat the Kitchener Greenshirts 5-3. The future Hockey Night in Canada icon was assigned at the last minute. His first booth, a four-foot-square glass box next to the penalty box, was equipped with a stool and a telephone. According to Hewitt biographer Scott Young, the box was so cramped that “when he sat on the stool his knees seemed to be around his ears.” Designed to keep out the crowd noise, the glass fogged up, hindering Hewitt’s play-by-play.

In 1927, when Conn Smythe bought into the struggling St. Pats and renamed them the Maple Leafs, the Arena was outdated. The building lacked heating, so its temperature depended on outside conditions. Players cursed whenever the rink was too cold, or when a heat wave made the ice slushy. Capacity was at least 10,000 seats below that of rinks recently built for the NHL’s new American franchises, such as Detroit’s Olympia and New York’s Madison Square Garden. Fans endured box seats that were little more than wooden benches. Smythe was also irritated by contract conditions which severely limited the Leafs’ ice time and gate receipts. Leafs star Ace Bailey later noted that his favourite memory of the Arena was leaving it and winning the Stanley Cup during the team’s first season at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Other activities filled the void of professional hockey in the building, such as basketball, bicycle races, mass meetings, tennis and wrestling. None made up for the lost hockey income. Bond defaults and unpaid taxes led to a takeover by the City of Toronto in the mid-1930s. The facility was leased to W.J. Dickson in 1938, whose family would operate it for the rest of its existence after he purchased the site outright in 1945. A roller skating rink that sparked many romantic relationships was later installed, while big band performers like Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller filled the seats.

Following $3-million worth of renovations in 1962, the arena was divided into three storeys and renamed the Terrace. While roller skating remained, new additions included a parking lot and Canada’s second largest curling facility. Unlike other local venues, memberships weren’t required to curl—like a bowling alley, all sheets were available for league and recreational matches. Curling and skating remained draws until The Terrace closed in April 1989, after which the building was demolished to make way for condos and Cathedral Square Park.

The site’s history has not been forgotten. In 2011, Cathedral Square Park was renamed Arena Gardens.

Bradburn, Jamie. "Arena Gardens" Heritage Toronto. 6 March 2013. heritagetoronto.org/arena-gardens/

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1912

To: 

1989

Location: 

Unlocated site, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Interior - Mutual Arena - 1940-60?

Image Date

1940-1960?

Textual Description

"Mutual Street Arena." Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 964. City of Toronto Archives, Toronto, ON. 25 March 2018. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/DoMenuRequest?SystemName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&UserName=wa+public&Password=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1580_11104&bCachable=1&MenuName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&eloquentref=toronto

Interior - Mutual Arena - 1940-60?

Image Date

1940-1960?f

Textual Description

"Mutual Street Arena." Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 965. City of Toronto Archives, Toronto ON. 25 March 2018. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/DoMenuRequest?SystemName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&UserName=wa+public&Password=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1580_11104&bCachable=1&MenuName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&eloquentref=toronto


O’Keefe Centre


Pantages Toronto


Parkdale Theatre


Princess Theatre Toronto

Overview: 

Address: 169-173 King St. W (pp.248)

1914 Toronto Directory. Might Directories Limited. 1914. Toronto Public Library.

static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/torontodirec191400midiuoft.pdf

Princess Theatre

Toronto's second acaedmy of Music opened on 6 November 1889 on King Street near York Street. After being remodelled in 1895, the Academy became known as the Princess Theatre. 

Beginning as a popular-priced playouose, the Princess functioned later as a stock house under the management of O.B. Sheppard. By 1901 it had been decided to run the Princess as a high-priced theatre, and after extetnsice alterations the house was reopened as such in September of that year.

A seating plan published in 1904 shows the orchestra and balcony levels of the Princess Theatre as having 698 and 375 seats, respectively, and in addition eight boxes are indicated, providing seating for fity or more. Together with gallery seating of some 500 patrons, the total seating capacity could have been in the order of 1,625. Less reliable perhaps is the Julius Cahn Theatrical Guide figure of 1,815 seats.

Photographs dated 10 May 1915, taken by the city architect after a disastrous fire at the theatre, furnish to only illustration of the auditorium so far found. The roof having burned away, what was left of the auditorium and stage was seen bathed in natural light, affording a rare photographic opportunity and giving us a reasonably accurate record of the first Princess Theatre interior.

The main floor appeared to have a gentle rake, without seating risers. The balcony had been framed in timber and supported on wrought-iron posts, the latter extending upward to carry the gallery framing above. Both balcony and gallery plans suggest a radisu curvature in the centre section, with seating in calipers on each side of the house, terminating at the boxes. The balcony front was of plaster, embellished with swags cast in thes ame material and likley picked out in gilt. The gallery balustrade was also plaster finished, although more modestly decorated, presumably in keeping with the cheaper seats.

The boxes, of which there were eight, seemed surprisingly untouched in the 1915 fire, even to the heavy velour draperies still elegantly framing each arched opening of the bupper boes. Richly detailed plaster work in the Edwardian mode framed the boxes and surrounds of the proscenium arch, displaying a stilted use of rosettes, sways, medaillions and other Baroque devices, all cast in plaster forms, which at that time could be purcahsed by the foot from mail-order houses.

From the 1915 photographs it would appear that the proscenium had a strcutural opening about thirty0five feet high and fifty feet wide. The stage appeared to be forty feet or so deep from curtain line to the upstage wall and about eighty feet wide. The height of the rigging loft above the stage could havn close to sixty-five feet. 

Recent studies suggest that the first Princess Theatre building accommodated an art gallery, a banqueting-room, and a drawing-room; also that stage and scene-handling equipment were, in some respects, unique in Toronto. The Princess, one can see, was a substantial and well-appointed theatre in its time, exlipsing the Grand in attracting discriminating audiences until the Royal Alexandra opened its doors in 1907.

Judging from the photographs, the fire of 1915 scarcely left the Princess a charred ruin. In any case a New Princess Theatre rose from the site of the old one in 1917, designed by architects C. Howard Crane and his associate Charles J. Read, on behalf of their client C.J. Whitney. Their building had a short life, however, for it was demolished in 1930 to make way for the extension of University Avenue. (pp.227-228).

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Edited by Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1889

To: 

1915

Location: 

Unlocated site, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Princess Theatre ruins after fire - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 139.

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7f13&UniqueID=6000_3355_5&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_100013

Princess Theatre after Fire 2 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 141. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7f13&UniqueID=6000_3355_8&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_100018

Princess Theatre ruins after Fire 3 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 144. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7f13&UniqueID=6000_3355_15&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_100021

Princess Theatre ruins after Fire 4 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 146. gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7dce&UniqueID=6000_3355_2&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_100024

Princess Theatre after Fire 5 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 367.

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7dce&UniqueID=6000_3355_5&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_79396

Princess Theatre after Fire 6 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 368.

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7dce&UniqueID=6000_3355_8&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_7939

Princess Theatre after Fire 7 - 1915

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 369.

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7dce&UniqueID=6000_3355_14&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_79398

Princess Theatre - 1913

Textual Description

"Princess Theatre ruins after fire." 10 May 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 1, Item 64

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/Action?ClientSession=-450568b0:15c14c9172a:-7dc9&UniqueID=6000_3355_2&TemplateProcessID=6000_3355&PromptID=&ParamID=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1051_1051&PromptID=&ParamID=&CMD_(DetailRequest)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_3363(0)&KeyValues=KEY_99925


Queen’s Theatre Toronto

Queen’s Theatre Toronto - watercolour, 1912

Queen’s Theatre Toronto - watercolour, 1912

Overview: 

Address: 90 King St. W (pp. 103)

Toronto Directory, for 1876. Containg an Alphabetical Directory of the Citizens, and a Street Directory, with Classfiied Business Directory and a Miscellaneous Directory..." Fisher & Taylor, 1876. Toronto Public Library. 

static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/1316821003.pdf

Queen's Theatre

An early theatre existed on the north side of King Street West, ambiguously knows as the Lyceum Theatre, until another theatre replaced it at that location, opening on 11 May 1874 under the name of the Queen's Theatre. By opening with Lady Audley's Secret plus a variety program, the Queen's sponosrs clearly intended the new house to be a variety theatre. According to the Toronto Mail of 29 April 1874, the theatre was 'constructed entirely without stairs, the whole occupying a spacious ground floor.' Audience capacity was reported to be 1,000, arranged in a parquette, dress circle, and amphitheatre, addressing a stage of sixty by forty feet. Destroyed by fire on 23 April 1883, the Queen's had caatered to abundant tast for the mroe popular forms of theatrical entertainment, which could have accounted in some measure for its more egalitarian floor plan. (pp.222)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Edited by Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1874

To: 

1883

Location: 

Unlocated site, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Queen's Theatre, King St. W., n. side, betw. Bay & York Sts.

Image Date

1912

Textual Description

Cf. pen & ink drawing 189? by W. J. Thomson reproduced in Landmarks of Toronto v.1, p.490, and also pen & ink drawing, ca 1888? reproduced in Evening Telegram series 'Landmarks of Toronto' 16 May 1889. Former printed JRR caption referred to the present as 1913, and described the building as "Originally Second Drill Shed in City."

Thomson, W.J. "Queen's Theatre, King St. W., n. side, betw. Bay & York Sts." Virtual Reference Library. Baldwin Collection, Toronto Reference Library, JRR 858. Accessed June 21, 2017. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5399&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5399&searchPageType=vrl


Regent Theatre Toronto

Overview: 

Address: 551 Mount Pleasant Rd.

Also Known As: The Regent, The Belsize, The Crest

History of the Regent Theatre Toronto

The Regent Theatre Toronto on Mount Pleasant Road is an old neighbourhood theatre that opened in 1927. It was designed by architect Murray Brown, a Scotsman who opened his practice in Toronto in 1914. In the 20s, as the city expanded northward, the empty fields and dirt roads of Mount Pleasant soon disappeared alongside a building boom. When the Regent opened in 1927, it did so as The Belsize, after the neighborhood in London, England. The theatre was built with an impressive lobby, opening to an opulent façade complete with decorative arches, ornate plaster trim, and small Venetian-style balconies for box seats. The stage was built to accommodate live stage productions as well as moving pictures. The Belsize had 726 leatherette seats and an additional 205 in the balcony.

The front of the Regent Theatre Toronto is symmetrical, on the second floor, there are large windows, topped by Roman arches. Stone trim was added to the façade to create a formal but attractive appearance. In the middle of the pediment, below the peaked roof, there is a large stone crest. The roof is terra cotta tile.

In 1953, the Belsize ceased screening film for an interim of nearly twenty years. It was renovated and reopened as the Crest, a venue exclusively dedicated to live theatre. As the only other theatre offering live stage performances was the Royal Alexandra, which featured plays and musicals from the American touring companies, many felt that a theatre for Canadian talent was needed, and the Crest was invented to fulfil this position. During the 1960s it was well known for its annual satirical review — the “Spring Thaw.”

In March of 1971, the theatre began screening films once again. In 1988, it was again extensively renovated and reopened as The Regent Theatre.

"About/History." The Regent Theatre Toronto. regenttoronto.com/about/

The Regent Theatre at 551 Mount Pleasant Road is an old neighbourhood theatres that has survived into the modern era. The theatre opened in 1927 as an entertainment and movie venue. Its architect was Murray Brown, a Scotsman by birth who opened a practice in Toronto in 1914. He designed many theatres in the city, such at the Park Theatre (Bedford) on north Yonge Street. Murray Brown is not to be confused with Benjamin Brown, who was the architect of several Art Deco warehouse lofts on Spadina Avenue, as well as the Victory Theatre at Dundas and Spadina. The Victory was one of the city’s notorious burlesque theatres. 

In the 1920s, the city was expanding northward, and the empty fields and dirt roads of the Mount Pleasant/Eglinton area were disappearing due to a residential building boom. It soon became obvious that it was an ideal location for a neighbourhood theatre. When the Regent Theatre opened in 1927, it was a part of the Famous Players Chain. Its original name was the Belsize, likely after the well-known residential area in London. The theatre possessed an impressive lobby and a single screen, set amid an opulent interior that contained decorative arches, ornate plaster trim, and small Venetian-style balconies with box seats. The auditorium included a stage area to accommodate live theatre as well as movies. The Belsize had 726 leatherette seats and an additional 205 in the balcony. 

The facade of the Regent Theatre is symmetrical. On the second floor there are large windows, topped by Roman arches. Stone trim was added to the facade to create a formal but attractive appearance. In the middle of the pediment, below the peaked roof, there is a large stone crest. I was unable to discover its origin or meaning. The roof contains terracotta tiles. 

In 1953, the Belsize ceased screening movies. It was renovated and reopened as the Crest, a venue for live theatre. In the 1950s, the only theatre offering live stage performances was the Royal Alexandra, which featured plays and musicals from the American touring companies. Many people felt that a theatre that featured Canadian talent was needed in the city, and the Crest was renovated to fulfill this need. For a few years, during the 1960s, it was well known for a revival of the annual satirical  review—“Spring Thaw.” I attended “Spring Thaw” several times during that decade, and immensely enjoyed the shows. It was there that I saw Barbara Hamilton on stage. In 1968, I attended the play, “Jack Brel is Alive and Living in Paris,” on the stage at the Crest. At one time, only the Royal Alexandra Theatre surpassed the Crest in importance in Toronto’s live theatrical scene. 

In March of 1971, the theatre commenced screening films once more. In 1988, it was again extensively renovated and reopened as the Regent. The name Regent had been employed by two of Toronto’s earlier theatres. One of them was on the southwest corner of John and Adelaide Streets. However, it retained the name between the years 1884 and 1890 only, and then became the Majestic. It was demolished in 1930. Another Regent Theatre was at 225 Queen Street East, west of Sherbourne, but it too was demolished. 

Thankfully, the Regent on Mount Pleasant Avenue has survived into the modern era. The old Belsize Theatre lives on.

  Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old movie theatres - the Regent (the Belsize, the Crest)". Historic Toronto.  tayloronhistory.com/2013/12/21/torontos-old-movie-theatresthe-regent-mt-pleasant/



Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1927


Location: 

Unlocated site, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Regent Theatre - Interior

Textual Description

"About/History." The Regent Theatre Toronto. regenttoronto.com/about/


City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 27.



Regent Theatre - Interior

Textual Description

"About/History." The Regent Theatre Toronto. regenttoronto.com/about/


Regent Theatre - Orchestra Rehearsal

Image Date

1927

Textual Description

"Regent Theatre Orchestra" City of Toronto Archives. Fonds 1266, Item 10106.

gencat4.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/request/DoMenuRequest?SystemName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&UserName=wa+public&Password=&TemplateProcessID=6000_1580_11104&bCachable=1&MenuName=City+of+Toronto+Archives&eloquentref=toronto


Belsize Theatre - Exterior

Textual Description

"Regent Theatre Orchestra" City of Toronto Archives. Fonds 1266, Item 10106.

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Belsize Theatre - Lobby

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old movie theatres - the Regent (the Belsize, the Crest)". Historic Toronto. City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, Fl. 27.

tayloronhistory.com/2013/12/21/torontos-old-movie-theatresthe-regent-mt-pleasant/


Residence of Mr. E. Alfred Richardson

Overview: 

Address: 694 Kingston Rd.

"Richardson, Alfred E. elect contr 694 Kingston road" (pp.1322)

Might Directories. 1914 Toronto Directory. Might Directories Ltd Publishers. 1914. archive.org/stream/torontodirec191400midiuoft#page/n0/mode/2up/search/richardson

Type: 

Private Residence


Robinson’s Theatre Musee

Overview: 

Address: 91-93 Yonge St. (pp.375)

The Toronto City Directory, 1896. Vol. XX. The Might Directory Co. 1896. Toronto Public Library. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/tcd1896.pdf

"6 December, 1890, Toronto: Opening of Robinson's Musee Theatre, a dime museum; later operated under variety of names: Moore's Musee Theatre, Crystal Theatre and Eden Musee, Bijou Theatre." (pp.334)

"31 August 1896, Toronto: Edison's Vitascope at Robinson's Musee Theatre makes first public showing of a film in Toronto." (pp.336)

Plant, Richard. "Chronology." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. University of Toronto, 1990, pp.288-346.

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1890


Royal Alexandra Theatre

Royal Alexandra Theatre - exterior

Royal Alexandra Theatre - exterior

Royal Alexandra - interior

Royal Alexandra - interior

Royal Alexandra - interior

Royal Alexandra - interior

Overview: 

Address: 260 King Street W.

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

The Royal Alexandra Theatre is an early-20th-century, Beaux-Arts-style theatre. It is located in downtown Toronto. The formal recognition consists of the building on the legal property on which it sat at the time of recognition.

HERITAGE VALUE

The Royal Alexandra Theatre was designated a national historic site because it is a nationally significant example of a theatre which was built specifically for the presentation of live theatrical performances.

The Royal Alexandra is an intimate but lavish version of a traditional 19th-century theatre built exclusively for live theatrical performances. Designed by noted Toronto architect John M. Lyle (1872-1945), who had worked in theatre design in New York, the Royal Alexandra was a direct importation of the small, lavish and more intimate type of theatre being built in New York. Its design allowed a relatively large number of seats in a deceptively small space. The Royal Alexandra was one of the last theatres of its type built in Canada and likely the best surviving example. Since its rescue and rejuvenation by Ed Mirvish in 1963, the Royal Alexandra has played a central role in the social and cultural life of Toronto. Its Beaux-Arts style continues to provide an elegant setting for theatrical and musical events.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, 1985; Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Plaque Text, 1988.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

The key elements that relate to the heritage value of this site include:

-its symmetrical, five-bay composition, in which a central, two-and-a-half-storey, mansard-roofed, three-bay block is flanked by smaller, recessed wings

-its tripartite facade, composed of: a channelled base; a pilastered main storey capped by a pronounced parapet edge; and a steep mansard roof over the central block and partially concealed behind the parapet edge

-exterior detailing loosely following the Louis XVI style, including: the channelled stone base with radiating voussoirs over window openings; elaborate entablatures and balconies at each of the massive windows on the main storey; Ionic pilasters; a heavy, dentilled cornice; and a stepped and decorated parapet

-its fenestration, consisting of: small, mullioned windows at street level; massive, heavily mullioned windows on the main level, and small, hooded dormer windows at roof level

-its interior plan, with the front third of the building devoted to reception and administration; the auditorium occupying the central third; and the back third taken up by stage and backstage areas

-curving staircases which ascend from either side of the lobby to a promenade foyer at balcony level

-the broad, shallow proportions of the auditorium, bringing the audience closer to the stage

-its steeply pitched, cantilevered balconies and boxes, allowing clear sightlines

-the heavy, lavish, Baroque-inspired classicism of its interior décor

-its use of durable, fireproof materials, including: brick, reinforced concrete, steel, terracotta and stone

"Royal Alexandra Theatre National Historic Site of Canada." Canada's HIstoric Places. Parks Canada. 2017. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=1137. Accessed 10 May 2017.

History

A masterpiece of beaux-arts architecture, the historic Royal Alexandra is Toronto's senior theatre and, at 108, never having been converted to any other use, the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in North America.

The Royal Alexandra embodies the ambition of the young Toronto stock broker Cawthra Mulock, who sought to put his home town on the cultural map by building for it "the finest theatre on the continent." What he and his architect - John M. Lyle - created has since been called "an Edwardian jewel-box", a treasure chest of imported marble, hand-carved cherry and walnut, fine silks and velvets, crystal chandeliers and ornate, gilded plaster - all constructed on the city's first steel-framed structure (allowing cantilevered balconies, with no internal pillars to obstruct lines of sight) - and over a huge ice-pit that made this theatre one of the first "air conditioned" buildings in North America.

The Royal Alexandra is also North America's first truly "royal" theatre - "royal" by patent from Edward VII - named with royal permission for his consort, Alexandra, a Danish princess and great-grandmother of the present queen.

Since its opening in 1907, almost 3000 productions have played the Royal Alexandra. Its roster of stars is an honour-roll of twentieth century theatre: John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Orson Welles, Ruth Gordon, Al Jolson, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Cedric Hardwicke, Sydney Greenstreet, John and Ethel Barrymore, Fred and Adele Astaire, Harry Lauder, Maurice Evans, Alan Bates, Marilyn Miller, Deborah Kerr... Edith Piaf sang here, Paul Robeson played Othello here, Pavlova danced here, the Marx Brothers made Alex audiences laugh and Mae West made them blush.

Edwin "Honest Ed" Mirvish purchased the Royal Alexandra from the Mulock estate in 1963 and closed the theatre for extensive modernisation, repair and renovation, restoring the old house to the splendour of its early days. Ed Mirvish personally oversaw the operation of the theatre for the next 23 years, until 1986 when he handed management and administration over to his son, David, and David's company, Mirvish Productions.

The Royal Alexandra was named a National Historic Monument in 1987, on its 80th birthday.

INSIDE THE THEATRE

There are three levels of seating in the Royal Alexandra: orchestra, balcony and upper balcony(gallery). Each level offers a lobby, bar/refreshment area and washrooms. The largest lounge area, the Yale Simpson Room, is on the lowest level, beneath the auditorium. The Royal Alex has a wheelchair-accessible washroom on the street (orchestra) level, on the east side of the main lobby.

“History - Royal Alexandra Theatre.” Mirvish.com, Mirvish Company, 2017, www.mirvish.com/theatres/royal-alexandra-theatre?open=history#view. Accessed 10 May 2017.

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1907

Location: 

Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_008)

Venue Views: 

Royal Alexandra Theatre - Interior

Source

“History - Royal Alexandra Theatre.” Mirvish.com, Mirvish Company, 2017, www.mirvish.com/theatres/royal-alexandra-theatre?open=history#view. Accessed 9 May 2017.

Royal Alexandra Theatre - Interior

Source

“History - Royal Alexandra Theatre.” Mirvish.com, Mirvish Company, 2017, www.mirvish.com/theatres/royal-alexandra-theatre?open=history#view. Accessed 9 May 2017.

Royal Alexandra Theatre - Exterior

Source 

"Royal Alexandra Theatre" Wikipedia. Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Alexandra_Theatre


Royal Lyceum Theatre

Royal Lyceum Theatre - exterior

Royal Lyceum Theatre - exterior

Royal Lyceum Theatre - interior

Royal Lyceum Theatre - interior

Royal Lyceum Theatre - floor plan

Royal Lyceum Theatre - floor plan

Overview: 

Address: 99 1/2 King St. W (pp.250)

Mitchell's Toronto Directory for 1864-5; containing an Alphabetical Directory of the Citizens, a Street Directory, a Business Directoy, or Classified List of Business, Trades and Professions; and an appendix of much Useful Information. W.C. Chewett & Co., 1864. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/37131055361174d.pdf

"The Royal Lyceum was the first building in Toronto to be erected for exclusive theatre use, the first proper theatre in town, and, from all accounts, the first proper theatre in Ontario. Histories differ on the matter of an opening date, although according to the Toronto Globe at the time, the theatre opened on 28 December 1848. The main facade of the building presented a two-storey masonry front with four pilasters carrying a pediment into which was inserted a half-round attic window. Below are three entrance doorways. Two precarious-looking wood stoops are indicated, with steps to grade. A Sketch plan and interior perspective by F.H. Granger, dated 24 September 1849, gives a general picture of the likely arrangement of the house and backstage. The auditorium evidently had the usual pit seating, with a balcony and gallery on two levels above. Supported on posts and encircling the house in horseshoe fashion, the balcony and circle terminated at boxes on each side of the proscenium. A Brithish Colonist article on 21 December 1848 notes tha tthe theatre accommodated an audience of 600 to 700 comfortably, although likely all the seating consisted of benches. 

Granger's sketch of the stage indidcates a depth of twenty-nine feet from curtain line to back wall and a width of twenty-six feet, giving a playing area eighteen feet wide inside wings. A height shown of twenty feet possibly referred to the clear distance between stage floor and timber roof trusses above. Eleven footlight lanterns are inidcated in the Granger floor plan, as well as an orchestra pit which did not appear to be depressed below auditorium floor level.

John Nickinson leased the Royal Lyceum in 1852 and, after completeing renovations of the premises, reopened the theatre on 28 March 1853. Nickinson possibly reconstructed the boxes, the occupants of which previously faced the audience instead of the stage. Later complaints concerning the Lyceum's uncharitable benches, dim gas lighting, and tarnished gilt suggest, however, that he had not improved conditions quite enough in matters of public comfort. [...]

Following a fire in 1874, the Lyceum was reconstructed by the new proprietor, James French, to the designs of his architect, Wallace Hume of Chicago. The building then became known as the Royal Theatre, or the Royal Opera House. (pp. 218-221)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Editor Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Type: 

Theatre

Location: 

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_009)

Venue Views: 

Royal Lyceum Theatre - Interior

Image Date

1849

Textual Description

Granger, Francis Hincks. "Royal Lyceum Theatre, King St. W., s.side, between Bay & York Sts.; interior, view from stage." Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, B 2-68a. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?R=DC-PICTURES-R-6509

Royal Lyceum Theatre - Exterior

Image Date

1913

Textual Description

Cotton, John Wesley. "Royal Lyceum Theatre, King St. W., s. side, between Bay & York Sts." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, JRR 857. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?R=DC-PICTURES-R-6837

Royal Lyceum Theatre - Top Plan

Image Date

1849

Textual Description

Granger, Francis Hincks. "Royal Lyceum Theatre, King St. W., s. side, between Bay & York Sts.; interior, ground floor plan." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, B 2-68b. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-6511&R=DC-PICTURES-R-6511


Runnymede Theatre


Shea’s Hippodrome - exterior

Shea’s Hippodrome - exterior

Shea’s Hippodrome - interior

Shea’s Hippodrome - interior

Shea’s Hippodrome - interior

Shea’s Hippodrome - interior

Overview: 

Address: 440-448 Bay St. (pp.71)

The Toronto City Directory 1924. Might Directories Ltd. 1924. Toronto Public Library. 

archive.org/stream/torontocitydirectory1924#page/n11/mode/2up

Shea's Hippdrome

The next "movie palace" that opened in Toronto was Shae's Hippodrome on Bay St., north of Queen.[...]

Two Ontario-born brothers, Jerry and Michael Shea were the enterprising businessmen who built the theatre, at a cost of $245,000, an enormous amount of money in 1914. The brotehrs were later to relocate their residences to Buffalo, New York, where they eventually owne twenty0three theatre in the Buffalo area, as well as three in Toronto.

When the Hippodrome opened on April 27, 1914, it was the largest vaudeville house in Canada. It contained 3,200 seats, evenly divided between the auditorium and the balcony. The Hippodrome's enamelled white-brick, terra cotta facade dominated Bay Street, with only the west facade fo the Old City Hall across it being more impressive. On the north and south corners of the theatre's east facade were copper-topped towers. The massive marquee soared forty-six feet above the entrance, and its lobby was the large the city at the time. To reduce the time people spent in the ticket lines, sales booths were located on both sides of the lobby.

On the evening the Hippodrome opened, the feature film was Run for Cover, starring James Cagney. The theatre's auditorium contained intricate plaster mouldings that were painted ivory and gold. The walls and ceiling were decorated in gold and grey. The ceilings contained huge panels that created a massive dome. The twelve opera boxes had polished brass railings. [...]

In 1924, Shea's Hippodrome presented a new marvel: the "phonofilm", which combined the media of raido and moving pictures to create a "talkie."

In 1926, the Hippodrome was renovated. A Wurlitzer organ was installed, at a cost of $50,000, and the famous organist Roland Todd was hired to perform on the grand instrument.

In 1957, as the attendance of movie theatres began to lag, they demolished the great theatre. Theatre's organ was sold for than $500 and relocated to Maple Leaf Gardens. Today, it is in Casa Loma. The site of Shea's Hippodrome is now a part of Nathan Philips Square in front of city hall.

Taylor, Doug. "Shea's Hippodrome". Toronto Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen. The History Press, 2014. 

books.google.ca/books?id=zHyACQAAQBAJ&pg=PT28&lpg=PT28&dq=Shea's+hippodrome&source=bl&ots=BWpV3V9pn0&sig=V18EmYYV_Gw7mmV2lsH9EYTZ_Jo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwignOqAxebTAhVq2IMKHZT6DSs4ChDoAQgzMAU#v=onepage&q=Shea's%20hippodrome&f=false

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1914

To: 

1957

Location: 

Shea's Hippodrome, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_010)

Venue Views: 

Shea's Hippodrome - Interior

Textual Description

Auditorium and Stage of Shea's Hippodrome. Ontario Archives, RG 56-11-0-325. books.google.ca/books?id=zHyACQAAQBAJ&pg=PT28&lpg=PT28&dq=Shea's+hippodrome&source=bl&ots=BWpV3V9pn0&sig=V18EmYYV_Gw7mmV2lsH9EYTZ_Jo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwignOqAxebTAhVq2IMKHZT6DSs4ChDoAQgzMAU#v=onepage&q=Shea's%20hippodrome&f=false

Interior of Shea's Hippodrome in

Image Date

1914

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Memories of Toronto's Shea's Hippodrome Theatre." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. tayloronhistory.com/2012/03/06/old-movie-houses-of-toronto-fond-memories-of-sheas-hippodrome/

Shea's Hippodrome - Bay St. w. side, s. of Albert St.

Image Date

1953

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "Shea's Hippodrome, Bay St., w. side, s. of Albert St." 1953. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-2569. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-4067&R=DC-PICTURES-R-4067

Salmon's silver gelatin print, Acc. S 2-2569; 129 x 177 mm.; Inscribed by him in dark blue ballpoint pen, vso t.: Shea's Hippodrome Theatre 80 ft south of the s/w cor. of Bay & / Albert St. Apr. 3/55|1953 Apr 03


Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - interior

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - interior

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - exterior

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - exterior

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - demolition

Shea’s Victoria Street Theatre - demolition

Overview: 

Address: 83 Victoria Street

In the early decades of the 20th century, the name “Shea” was synonymous with theatre excellence. The name referred to two brothers, Jeremiah (Jerry) and Michael Shea, born in St. Catherines, Ontario. Enterprising by nature, they realized the potential of the new entertainment medium,“moving pictures.” In 1903, they rented space at 91 Yonge Street and opened a small theatre, on the east side of the street, between King and Adelaide Streets. The theatre screened silent films, accompanied by vaudeville acts. The vaudeville’s slap-stick routines and comedians had always been popular, but it became obvious that the real attraction was now the “moving picture” shows. Films in this  decade were not as lengthy as today, so vaudeville routines were necessary if the Shea brother were to offer a performance that justified the five-cent admission price.  The Shea’s Theatre on Yonge Street was an immediate success. With the funds they accumulated, in 1910, they decided to open a larger and grander theatre.

The Shea brothers chose a site at 83 Victoria Street, on the southeast corner of Richmond and Victoria Streets. They engaged the architect Charles James Reid to design their theatre. In 1908, Reid had been appointed the official architect of the Roman Catholic Separate School Board in Toronto, and between the years 1910 and 1920, he designed many school throughout the city. He was also the architect of the York Theatre on Yonge Street, north of Bloor. Reid chose an unadorned facade for the new Shea’s theatre, with an elaborate cornice and beneath it, modillions that resembled large dentils. The design of the facade facing Victoria Street was symmetrical, except for the ground floor, where there was a door to the right of the entrance. A plain rectangular canopy over the entrance protected patrons from inclement weather as they alighted from cabs and carriages or entered on foot.

Determined to offer the best vaudeville and legitimate theatre in the city, the Shea brothers competed with the Princess and Royal Alexandra Theatres on King Street. In some respects this was not accurate, as the latter two theatres did not offer vaudeville. However, the Shea brothers did compete for popular touring plays. Shea’s Victoria, which was simply referred to as the Victoria, contained two balconies, the combined seating capacity approximately 1800 seats, of which 700 were on the ground-floor level. The projection booth was at the rear of the second balcony. A 1909 issue of Construction Magazine, a highly respected periodical, gave the theatre a positive review for its architectural design. 

Despite the increasing popularity of films, the Victoria continued to offer live theatre. Barry Jones, a famous British film star in the 1920s, performed at the Victoria in 1926. In later years, Jones played Aristotle in the film “Alexander the Great.” This movie was released 1956, Richard Burton playing the role of Alexander. Jones retained fond memories of the Victoria, but stated that the Royal Alexandra was the finest theatre of them all. On April 16, 1936, “Ten Minute Alibi,” a smash hit from London’s West End, where it had played for two years, opened at the Victoria. It was one of many road shows performed at the theatre. These shows usually played between one and eight weeks, depending on ticket sales. Eventually, Famous Players purchased the theatre.  

When vaudeville died, the Victoria closed. Though empty, it was employed for special events and for charity fund-raisers, such as those for Crippled Children’s. Jewish stage plays were also performed in the theatre. Since it was not in continuous use, during the early years of World War II, big-name theatrical acts rehearsed at the Victoria prior to being shipped overseas to entertain the troops. 

About the year 1944, Famous Players submitted a request for a license to convert the theatre exclusively for movies. The license was granted on December 3, 1945, the capacity listed as 1896 seats. However, difficulties with the licensing authorities continued as the top balcony did not contain proper exists, the aisles blocking the escape route. The authorities ordered the upper balcony closed. In 1947, with a reduction in seating capacity to 1260, another licence was issued. The same year, a candy bar was installed.  During the summer of 1949, the theatre closed for renovations. It received new seating and a new floor in the auditorium. These were completed by January 1950.

The newly renovated Victoria continued as one of Toronto’s largest movie theatres. However, as attendance declined, the theatre’s size made it difficult to fill. No longer profitable, it was demolished in April 1956 by the wrecking company of A. Badali, and the site became a parking lot. Another of the city’s great theatres of yesteryears disappeared from the scene.

"Toronto's old Shea's Victoria Theatre" Historic Toronto. tayloronhistory.com/2015/04/17/torontos-old-sheas-victoria-theatre/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1910

To: 

1956

Location: 

Shea's Victoria Theatre, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_012)


Venue Views: 

Shea's Theatre, Victoria St., view from rear during demolition

Image Date

1956

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "Shea's Theatre, Victoria St., s.e. cor. Richmond St. E.; view from rear, during demolition." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-3524A. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5615&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5615

Shea's Theatre, Victoria Street, s.e.cor. Richmond St. E.

Image Date

1955

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "Shea's Theatre, Victoria Street, s.e. cor. Richmond St. E." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-3287. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5617&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5617

Auditorium of the Victoria


Shea’s Yonge Street Theatre

Overview: 

Address: 91-93 Yonge St.

(Formerly Bijou and Robinson's Theatre Musee )

canadawest.library.utoronto.ca/content/robinsons-theatre-musee)

Shea's Theatre Cultural heritage site: museum, theatre, movie house.

Details of Site Location: Located at 91-93 Yonge Street, on the east side, half way between King and Adelaide Streets, Toronto.

Boundary History: Built upon two lots (25'2" x 74'6" and 26' x 81'6") the theatre filled almost all of the two lots.

Current Use of Property: A high-rise office building which occupies more than the theatre site.

Historical Description: Constructed in 1889 and opening in 1891 as the Wonderland Museum or Robinson's Museum, since it was owned by Marvyn Robinson of Buffalo. Robinson sold the building in 1890 to George Moore of Detroit who called it Moore's Musee Theatre. Its next names were: Crystal Theatre, then Eden Museum. Then in 1896, Robinson took over the theatre again, this time calling it the Bijou. In 1897 the theatre was gutted by fire, one year from the time it began to show movies. In 1899, the property was bought by Shea Amusement Company of Buffalo, and the opening performances were given in September that year. The bookings were identical to those given at their Gordon Theatre in Buffalo and, under Mr. Shea's auspices, excellent bills raised the vaudeville bookings to a higher level. In 1910 Shea's bought the southeast corner of Richmond and Victoria and here developed Shea's Victoria. The old Yonge Street building was then named the Strand. As Moore's, the theatre had pyrotechnic displays, orchestras, operatic selections, blackface performers, and comedians. As Shea's it offered performances by dogs and cats, dancing comedians, singers, jugglers, and had shows given by the Aborn Comic Opera Company.

Relative Importance: Part of Toronto's performing arts history, the site, in its many incarnations should be remembered as an interesting Yonge Street fixture and attraction, and because most of its offerings were American in origin. It seems that little home-grown talent had a chance here, although the theatre was lucrative, despite its history with fires. It is part of a period when live theatre flourished and fought for survival against the growing movie business.Planning Importance: Other than a plaque, there are no planning implications.

Reference Sources: Toronto Reference Library, newspaper collections; City of Toronto Archives, assessment rolls; National Library of Canada, newspaper collections.

Acknowledgements: Peggy Kurtin; James Orr. "Shea's Theatre." Toronto Historical Association. torontohistory.net/sheas-theatre.html

Type: 

Theatre

Location: 

Shea's Theatre, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_011)


Smith House

Overview: 

Address: 267 Indian Rd.

"Home of the Week, 267 Indian Rd., Toronto. Asking price: $1.169-million. The house in High Park, built in 1896 by architect Eden Smith for his own family, displays many of the characteristics that showed up in Mr. Smith’s later work, including the steep gable, soaring chimney and small windows. The front door is also inconspicuously located at the side of the house."

Ireland, Carolyn, Liam Griffin and Steven Evans. "Home of the Week: Eden Smith house is a Toronto original." The Globe and Mail. 3 October 2013. www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/home-of-the-week-eden-smith-house-is...

Type: 

Private Residence

From: 

1896

Location: 

Smith House, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_027)


Spadina House


St. Clair Theatre


St. Lawrence Hall

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior detail

St. Lawrence Hall - exterior detail

Overview: 

Address: 157 King St. E (pp.57)

Brown's Toronto General Direcotry 1861; Being the 25th Year of the Reign of her Majesty Victoria, comprising amongst other Information, Street Directory, Commercial Directory, Trades Directory, City Directory, and Banking & Insurance Direcoty; with Miscellaneous, Detail and General Information. W.C. Chewett & Co., 1861.

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

St. Lawrence Hall National Historic Site of Canada is an elegant three-and-a-half storey mid 19th-century public building on the southwest corner of King and Jarvis Streets in downtown Toronto. Its classical proportions, fine stonework, ornate roof cresting and domed cupola are outstanding features in the surrounding urban landscape. The designation refers to the St. Lawrence Hall building as distinct from the St. Lawrence Market to the rear.

HERITAGE VALUE

St. Lawrence Hall was designated a national historic site in 1967 because:

- designed in the renaissance tradition, this hall was for many years Toronto's chief social and cultural centre;

- it ranks amongst the finest of 19th-century Canadian public buildings; and

- it was a place of gatherings of the Abolitionist movement. 

St. Lawrence Hall was built by the City of Toronto in 1850. Designed by architect William Thomas in the Italianate style, it provided an elegant meeting place for Toronto's 19th-century elite. The ground floor was designed as commercial space, the second as offices, and the third to house a 1000-seat assembly room. The building was a major cultural venue for lectures, concerts, balls and receptions attended by the city's most notable citizens. These events included several important Abolition meetings in the years when Canada was receiving thousands of Underground Railroad refugees from American slavery. St. Lawrence Hall was restored in 1967, and has once again become an active cultural centre. 

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 1967, June 1968 and December 1998.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:

- the location in the old centre of Toronto;

- its siting close up to the sidewalk on the north and east sides and abutting the public market on the south side;

- features of the hall contributing to the Italianate style, notably its compact massing comprising a four-storey central pavilion topped by a cupola and flanked by three-and-a-half storey wings under recessed mansard roofs; the elaborate 15-bay facade with central frontispiece comprising a triple-portal arched main entry of channeled masonry at ground level, giant fluted engaged columns extending through the second and third stories to support a decorated cornice and pediment; the building's tripartite vertical divisions, marked by an elaborate stringcourse separating ground from upper stories, a decorated cornice at the third storey roofline and another at fourth storey roofline of the central pavilion, the use of distinct window treatments for each storey including round headed dormers and evenly spaced multi-pane display windows to each side at ground level, the use of giant pilasters separating the window bays along the second and third storeys;

- the application of classically inspired detailing such as Corinthian capitals, a decorated pediment, formal cresting and cupola with dome supported by classical columns;

- the finely crafted masonry construction;  

- surviving evidence of the original interior layout;

- surviving original furnishings, fittings and finishes, including the auditorium with evidence of the raked balcony at its north end and the thrust stage at its south end;

- its continuous multi-functional use with public access.

"St. Lawrence Hall National HIstoric Site of Canada." Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=7527&pid=0

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1850

Current Status: 

In continuous, multi-functional use with public access.

Location: 

St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_013)

Venue Views: 

St. Lawrence Hall

Image Date

1996

Caption: General view of St. Lawrence Hall, showing the finely crafted masonry construction

St. Lawrence Hall 2

Caption:” Corner view of St. Lawrence Hall, showing the façades facing the roads, 1996.

St. Lawrence Hall 3

Detail view of St. Lawrence Hall, showing features of the hall contributing to the Italianate style.

Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.

“St. Lawrence Hall National Historic Site of Canada”. Canada’s Historic Places. Parks Canada.

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=7527&pid=0


St. Leger Hall Toronto

Overview: 

Address: 484 Queen St. W (pp.324)

The Toronto City Directory 1914. Might Directories Ltd.m 1914. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/torontodirec191400midiuoft.pdf

Type: 

Multi-use

Location: 

Hall (Queen & Denison), Toronto, York (yorktoro00_020)


Standard Theatre


Star Theatre

Overview: 

Address: 23 Temperence St. (pp.262)

The Toronto City Directory 1907. Vol. XXXII. Might Directories, Ltd. 1907. Toronto Public Library. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/31385037145370d.pdf

"19 August 1907, Toronto: Opening of F.W. Stair's new Star Theatre (replacing Old Star Theatre)." (pp.344)

Plant, Richard. "Chronology: Theatre in Ontario in 1914." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 288-354.

Tag this record

Type: 

Theatre


Temperance Hall Toronto

Stone Church - plaque

Stone Church - plaque

Overview: 

Address: 21 Temperance St. (pp.98)

Brown's Toronto General Directory 1861; Being the 25th Year of the Reign of her Majesty Victoria, comprising amongst other Information, Street Directory, Commercial Directory, Trades Directory, City Directory, and Banking & Insurance Direcoty; with Miscellaneous, Detail and General Information. W.C. Chewett & Co., 1861.

Jesse Ketchum (1780-1867) was a tanner, politician and generous public benefactor in the town of York. He helped to establish churches, schools and libraries. A life long opponent of the use of liquor, he worked diligently to further the cause of temperance, even calling a street which he opened through his property "Temperance Street". He built a meeting hall on site in 1848, which was used by the community for various functions. In 1853, he donated the building to the York Sons of Temperance and it remained the centre of the temperance movement in Toronto for a century. The hall was sold to The Stone Church in 1969 on condition that temperance continues to be served. In 1986, the church built a new sanctuary for their increased congregation and active downtown ministry, which maintains the temperance cause. The bricks supporting the plaque were saved from the only remaining portions of the original hall, which had undergone many alterations over the years.

"Stone Church Site of Jesse Ketchum Hall." Toronto's Historical Plaques, 2016. torontoplaques.com/Pages/Stone_Church.html

Type: 

Multi-use

Location: 

Temperance Hall, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_014)

Venue Views: 

Stone Church Plaque

Image Date

2009

Source:

"Stone Church Site of Jesse Ketchum Hall." Toronto's Historical Plaques, 2016. torontoplaques.com/Pages/Stone_Church.html


Theatre Royal Toronto


Toronto Mechanic’s Institute


Toronto Opera House

Overview: 

Address: 385 Dundas St., Woodstock Ontario

AKA: The Capitol Theatre

Current discussion about the sale and probable demolition of the old Capitol Theatre, built in 1864 as the Woodstock Opera House, brings back memories of the heyday of local movie houses.

 The elegant theatre featured a huge chandelier, a large horseshoe-shaped balcony and an orchestra pit. During the first years, it hosted many eminent groups, including the touring New York Opera Company, and prominent political figures as they stumped the hustings in search for votes. 

In the early 1900s, former Canadian prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier and opposition leader Sir Robert Borden each presented their views of the controversial reciprocity discussion; 75 years later that discussion was still alive and well as the free trade issue.

Local music entrepreneur Thomas Carter bought, remodeled and renamed it Carter's Music Hall in 1890 and, after it was badly damaged by fire in 1893, enlarged the capacity to around 1,100. In those years, the travelling shows used what was claimed to be the largest stage between Windsor and Hamilton as a favourite testing ground before moving to major cities.

In 1908, it became part of the Griffin Amusement Company of Toronto's theatre chain. More renovations increased the seating capacity to over 1,400 and it had a house orchestra of six local musicians who accompanied the silent movies.

The Famous Players chain took over in 1927, renamed it the Capitol Theatre and operated it until 1940 when local businessman Tom Naylor took over. Regulations requiring new standards included upgrading the sound system, fire-proofing the projection booth -- film was highly flammable -- and cementing the floors, which no doubt resulted in the demise of the old horse-shoe balcony.

Although vaudeville was pretty well kaput soon after talking movies arrived on the scene it was still alive on the Capitol stage until well into the '50s as a Saturday night feature. 

Additional renovations in 1975 created a twin two-storey movie complex that was the only theatre in town for a few years. It closed in 1999 due to the new Gallery Cinemas.

 Symons, Doug. "Memories of the Capitol Theatre." Woodstock Sentinel Review. 28 September 2009. Accessed June 4, 2017.

www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/2009/09/28/memories-of-the-capitol-theatre

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1864


University Baptist Church


Victoria Theatre

Overview: 

Address: 83 Victoria Street

In the early decades of the 20th century, the name “Shea” was synonymous with theatre excellence. The name referred to two brothers, Jeremiah (Jerry) and Michael Shea, born in St. Catherines, Ontario. Enterprising by nature, they realized the potential of the new entertainment medium,“moving pictures.” In 1903, they rented space at 91 Yonge Street and opened a small theatre, on the east side of the street, between King and Adelaide Streets. The theatre screened silent films, accompanied by vaudeville acts. The vaudeville’s slap-stick routines and comedians had always been popular, but it became obvious that the real attraction was now the “moving picture” shows. Films in this  decade were not as lengthy as today, so vaudeville routines were necessary if the Shea brother were to offer a performance that justified the five-cent admission price.  The Shea’s Theatre on Yonge Street was an immediate success. With the funds they accumulated, in 1910, they decided to open a larger and grander theatre.

The Shea brothers chose a site at 83 Victoria Street, on the southeast corner of Richmond and Victoria Streets. They engaged the architect Charles James Reid to design their theatre. In 1908, Reid had been appointed the official architect of the Roman Catholic Separate School Board in Toronto, and between the years 1910 and 1920, he designed many school throughout the city. He was also the architect of the York Theatre on Yonge Street, north of Bloor. Reid chose an unadorned facade for the new Shea’s theatre, with an elaborate cornice and beneath it, modillions that resembled large dentils. The design of the facade facing Victoria Street was symmetrical, except for the ground floor, where there was a door to the right of the entrance. A plain rectangular canopy over the entrance protected patrons from inclement weather as they alighted from cabs and carriages or entered on foot.

Determined to offer the best vaudeville and legitimate theatre in the city, the Shea brothers competed with the Princess and Royal Alexandra Theatres on King Street. In some respects this was not accurate, as the latter two theatres did not offer vaudeville. However, the Shea brothers did compete for popular touring plays. Shea’s Victoria, which was simply referred to as the Victoria, contained two balconies, the combined seating capacity approximately 1800 seats, of which 700 were on the ground-floor level. The projection booth was at the rear of the second balcony. A 1909 issue of Construction Magazine, a highly respected periodical, gave the theatre a positive review for its architectural design.

Despite the increasing popularity of films, the Victoria continued to offer live theatre. Barry Jones, a famous British film star in the 1920s, performed at the Victoria in 1926. In later years, Jones played Aristotle in the film “Alexander the Great.” This movie was released 1956, Richard Burton playing the role of Alexander. Jones retained fond memories of the Victoria, but stated that the Royal Alexandra was the finest theatre of them all. On April 16, 1936, “Ten Minute Alibi,” a smash hit from London’s West End, where it had played for two years, opened at the Victoria. It was one of many road shows performed at the theatre. These shows usually played between one and eight weeks, depending on ticket sales. Eventually, Famous Players purchased the theatre. 

When vaudeville died, the Victoria closed. Though empty, it was employed for special events and for charity fund-raisers, such as those for Crippled Children’s. Jewish stage plays were also performed in the theatre. Since it was not in continuous use, during the early years of World War II, big-name theatrical acts rehearsed at the Victoria prior to being shipped overseas to entertain the troops.

About the year 1944, Famous Players submitted a request for a license to convert the theatre exclusively for movies. The license was granted on December 3, 1945, the capacity listed as 1896 seats. However, difficulties with the licensing authorities continued as the top balcony did not contain proper exists, the aisles blocking the escape route. The authorities ordered the upper balcony closed. In 1947, with a reduction in seating capacity to 1260, another licence was issued. The same year, a candy bar was installed.  During the summer of 1949, the theatre closed for renovations. It received new seating and a new floor in the auditorium. These were completed by January 1950.

The newly renovated Victoria continued as one of Toronto’s largest movie theatres. However, as attendance declined, the theatre’s size made it difficult to fill. No longer profitable, it was demolished in April 1956 by the wrecking company of A. Badali, and the site became a parking lot.

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old Shea's Victoria Theatre." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. April 2017. tayloronhistory.com/2015/04/17/torontos-old-sheas-victoria-theatre/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1910

To: 

1956

Location: 

Multiple sites at uncertain location, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_000)

Venue Views: 

Shea's Victoria Theatre - Exterior

Image Date

1955

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "Shea's Theatre, Victoria Street, s.e.cor. Richmond St.E." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-3287. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5617&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5617

Shea's Theatre, during demolition

Image Date

1956

Textual Description

Salmon, James Victor. "Shea's Theatre, Victoria st., s.e.cor. Richmond St. E.; view from rear, during demolition." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, S 1-3524A. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-5615&R=DC-PICTURES-R-5615

Auditorium of the Victoria, Ontario Archives

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old Shea's Victoria Theatre." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. April 2017. tayloronhistory.com/2015/04/17/torontos-old-sheas-victoria-theatre/

Lobby of the Victoria c. 1946, Ontario Archives

Image Date

1946

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old Shea's Victoria Theatre." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. April 2017. tayloronhistory.com/2015/04/17/torontos-old-sheas-victoria-theatre/

Auditorium of the Victoria, the organ and organist visible on the left-thand side of the stage. Photo Toronto Archives, Series 1278 File 166

Textual Description

Taylor, Doug. "Toronto's old Shea's Victoria Theatre." Historic Toronto: Information on Toronto's History. April 2017. tayloronhistory.com/2015/04/17/torontos-old-sheas-victoria-theatre/


Victory Theatre


Zion Chapel

Zion Chapel.jpg

Overview: 

Address: 30 Adelaide St. (pp.138)

Hutchinson's Toronto Directory, 1862-63; containing A General Directory of the Names of the Inhabitants, A Street Directory, A Business Directory, of classification of the various professions, Trades &c, and an Appendix of much Useful Information. Compled by Thomas Hutchinson. Lovell & Gibson, 1862. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/1363386.pdf

Type: 

Church

From: 

1856

To: 

1882

Location: 

Zion Chapel, Toronto, York (yorktoro00_030)

Venue Views: 

Zion Congregational Church (1856-1882)


Image Date

1856

Textual Description

Thomas, Willam, 1799-1860

Notes

Another impression (col. with watercolour; 468 x 281 mm): JRR 761 (REPRO: T 14090).

JRR 761 is JRR (1912) 71

Printed inscription l.m.: ZION CHAPEL, / ADELAIDE ST. TORONTO / Wm. Thomas Architect / Printed in Colours by Maclear & Co. King St. Toronto.

Shows Fire Hall, Bay St., s.e. cor. Temperance St.

"Zion Congregational Church (1856-1882), Adelaide St. W., n.e. corner Bay St., Toronto, Ont." Toronto Public Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, X 76-30 Cab II. www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PICTURES-R-6762&R=DC-PICTURES-R-6762


Streetsville

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Streetsville

St. Andrews Presbyterian - exterior

St. Andrews Presbyterian - exterior

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian - side view

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian - side view

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian - cemetery

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian - cemetery

Website: 

http://standrews-streetsville.org

VenueListID: 

852

Overview: 

Address: Concession V, Lot 4

Current Address: 295 Queen St. S, Mississauga

"St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Streetsville is an historic congregation founded in 1822 and has continuously serviced the village of Streetsville and its surrounding area for over 180 years. The building housing our main auditorium was built in 1867 and has been designated an historic building. Our modern gymnasium and activity center was built in 2001 to provide facilities and resources for effective ministry in the new millennium."

"Who We Are." St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Streetsville. St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Streetsville, 2013. standrews-streetsville.org/about/who-we-are/

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is located at 295 Queen Street South, on the east side of Queen Street South, south of Old Pine Street, in Streetsville, in the City of Mississauga. The one-storey brick church was constructed in 1867. 

The property was designated, by the City of Mississauga in 1987, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 715-87.

HERITAGE VALUE

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church has one of the oldest congregations in the area, founded in 1821. The present building opened for worship in 1868 and was the fourth structure in Streetsville for the Presbyterian congregation. Interior elements are also designated for their heritage value. These include the original pews that are located beside the centre aisle, which were rented to families until the 1880s. Additionally, there are windows in the church which honour pioneer families. The property also includes the cemetery, which contains many early headstones, including that of Timothy Street, who founded Streetsville.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is typical of churches built in nineteenth century Ontario. Characteristics include the central entrance tower, piercing the front gable end roof. Detailing was restricted to the brick buttresses, corbelling, and the tall spire, as well as the pointed distinctive window-heads. The window trims are heavy and quite plain.

Source: City of Mississauga, By-law 715-87.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church include the:

- one-storey red brick exterior

- steeply pitched gable roof

- extended chancel 

- cemetery

- pointed gothic windows

- 80-pane windows

- brick frieze

- brick buttresses

- square central tower

- octagonal wooden spire

- main entrance 

- radiating brick voussoirs

"St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=14593&pid=0

Type: 

Church

From: 

1867

Location: 

Streetsville Presbyterian Church, Streetsville, Peel (peelstre00_001)

Venue Views: 

St. Andrew's Presbyterian - Exterior

Image Date

2008

Textual Description

Tam, Beatrice. "St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. - Image: 1/3" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. 2008. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=14593#i1

St. Andrew's Presbyterian - Cemetery

Image Date

2008

Textual Description

Tam, Beatrice. "St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. - Image: 2/3" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. 2008. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=14593#i1

St. Andrew's Presbyterian - Side View

Textual Description

Tam, Beatrice. "St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. - Image: 3/3" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. 2008. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=14593#i1

Commentary

"Featured are the pointed Gothic 80-paned windows."

Tam, Beatrice. "St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. - Image: 3/3" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. 2008. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=14593#i1


St. Catherine's

B.M.E. Church St. Catherine’s

Venue Name *

B.M.E. Church

Type

Church

DATES

From

1853

Location

"B.M.E. Church, St. Catherines, Lincoln (lincstca00_001) (492909)"

Overview

Address: 92 Geneva St. (pp.47)

Vernon's City of St. Catharines Street, Alphabetical Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the Year 1916. Henry Vernon & Son, 1916. ia801601.us.archive.org/24/items/vernstcatharines00vernuoft/vernstcatharines00vernuoft.pdf

People of African descent began settling in the St. Catharines, Ontario area around 1788 and they brought their religion with them. Many were followers of Rev. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism and a staunch abolitionist. They also followed Bishop Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC).

An AMEC Society was established in the Queenston Street area in St. Catharines between 1814 & 1820 and a small chapel was built to serve the faithful. When construction on the first Welland Canal (1824-1833) began, most of the community relocated to the underdeveloped area of Geneva, Welland and North Streets.

The AMEC worshipers purchased land in 1835 on North Street from abolitionist businessmen, William Hamilton Merritt and Oliver Phelps to build specifically an "African Methodist Episcopal Church." This church would be the second in St. Catharines and it would house about 70 people. It was located in the center of the African Canadian community that was known as the “Colored Village”.

In 1837, the St. Catharines group sent a petition to the AMEC Conference in the US asking for pastoral care. As a result of this action, AMEC missionaries stationed in Upper Canada were instructed to regulate the existing Societies, organize more in other regions and also communicate that "… they shall be subject to the order of the Bishops, and amendable to the Annual Conference of the New York District." The following year, the New York AMEC Conference organized a church in St. Catharines with forty members and two local preachers. The church was named Bethel Chapel.

After the US Congress passed the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act many free and escaped African Americans relocated to various parts of Canada West. With so many fugitive slaves arriving by way of the UGRR it became necessary to build a larger AME Church in St. Catharines. As a Methodist meeting house, the church provided aid, assisted with temporary shelter for the newly arrived African Americans and hosted many anti-slavery lectures.

The third and current church was also built by African American freedom seekers. The construction began in October 1853 and AMEC Bishop Daniel Payne publicly dedicated the new church to the service of Almighty God on November 4, 1855.

"Welcome to the Salem Chapel Sanctuary of History" Salem Chapel BME Church Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad NHS Canada. Salem Chapel, 2016. salemchapelbmechurch.ca/index.html

Current Status

Salem Chapel BME Church

Website

salemchapelbmechurch.ca/index.html

Sources

Vernon's City of St. Catharines Street, Alphabetical Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the Year 1916. Henry Vernon & Son, 1916. ia801601.us.archive.org/24/items/vernstcatharines00vernuoft/vernstcatharines00vernuoft.pdf

"Welcome to the Salem Chapel Sanctuary of History" Salem Chapel BME Church Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad NHS Canada. Salem Chapel, 2016. salemchapelbmechurch.ca/index.html


Grand Opera House St'. Catherine’s

Grand Opera House Demolition

Grand Opera House Demolition

Grand Opera House - front view

Grand Opera House - front view

Grand Opera House - interior

Grand Opera House - interior

Venue Name *

Grand Opera House

Type

- None -BoatChurchCircusConcert HallHotelLecture HallMulti-useMusic HallPleasure GardensPrivate ResidenceSchooltest typeTheatreUnknown

DATES

From

1877

To

1998

Overview

Address: 47 Ontario St., St. Catherine's

In the late 1870s, influential forces in the city felt that the community needed a proper place for public gatherings, abandoning the former practice of holding such events in the Old Courthouse, in churches, or in the meeting halls of local fraternal societies.

A new purpose-built theatre opened in September 1877 and was initially known as the Academy of Music. The name was soon changed to the Grand Opera House, and later was often shortened to just “The Grand.”

There are two things worth emphasizing about our Grand Opera House – it was not very grand looking, and it didn’t offer just opera, either.

Physically, the building bore no resemblance to the grandiose opera houses of Europe. It was a multi-purpose building — part commercial, part residential, and part entertainment venue, with the public face of the building being the commercial-residential part of the building, facing Ontario Street. It didn’t look any different than a lot of other buildings along Ontario or St. Paul streets.

And the theatre’s offerings were by no means a steady diet of Wagner, Verdi and Puccini – as much or more time was devoted to a mix of choral concerts, plays, minstrel shows, lectures — once a troupe of trained horses took the stage!

The actual theatre space was at the back of the complex, reached by walking through the Ontario Street entrance and down a long corridor past the commercial tenants. The theatre’s exterior was pretty plain, constructed of the reddish-brown rubblestone widely used for other important buildings during the 1870s. But inside it was quite grand, judging by the drawing that accompanies this article, showing what a performer on the Opera House stage would have seen when looking out at the audience.

The Opera House survived one damaging fire in 1895, but another one in April 1926 was severe enough to end the building’s days as a theatre. After that the interior was stripped of whatever remained of its seats and stage and was ultimately filled with three levels of bowling alleys, thus being reborn as Dorado Lanes.

But Dorado Lanes eventually closed, and the commercial-residential part of the building on Ontario Street suffered another fire in the winter of 1992. Not long afterward that part of the complex was demolished and replaced with a parking lot. The shell of the former theatre building/bowling alley behind it remained until 1998, when it too was demolished.

Gannon, Dennis. "Yesterday and Today: Grand Opera House." St. Catherine's Standard. 28 October 2016. Accessed 4 June 2017.

www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2016/10/28/yesterday-and-today-grand-opera-house


Sources

Gannon, Dennis. "Yesterday and Today: Grand Opera House." St. Catherine's Standard. 28 October 2016. Accessed 4 June 2017. www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2016/10/28/yesterday-and-today-grand-opera-house

VENUE VIEWS

Show row weights

TITLE

STATUS

OPERATIONS

Grand Opera House Front

Published

Caption *

Grand Opera House Front


Image Date

1992


Textual Description

A photograph of the Grand Opera House/Dorado Lanes, and Peninsula Press St. Catharines, Ontario.

Taken after the March 1992 fire. Dorado Lanes was located at 47 Ontario Street.

"Grand Opera House." St. Catherine's Public Library. File Number: 02/pt1/18-1.2. March 1992. Accessed 4 Jun 2017. bmd.stcatharines.library.on.ca/en/3197374/data?n=2


Caption *

Demolition of the Grand Opera House

Image Date

1992

Textual Description

A photograph of the demolition of the Grand Opera House/Dorado Lanes, 47 Ontario Street, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Taken after the March 1992 fire.

"Demolition of Grand Opera House, 47 Ontario Street." St. Catherine's Public Library. File Number: 02/pt1/18-1.3. March 1992. Accessed 4 Jun 2017. bmd.stcatharines.library.on.ca/en/3197377/data


Caption *

Audience from stage/Former Opera Building

Textual Description

LEFT: A troupe of trained horses was one of the acts that took the stage at the Grand Opera House in St. Catharines. Photo credit: St. Catharines Public Library Special Collections Room. RIGHT: Site of the former opera building on Ontario St. Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/Postmedia Network


Zion Baptist Church St. Catherine's

ZionBaptistChurchOriginal.jpg

Edited by

Beth Zdriluk, 24-Dec-10; David DeGrow - 11/16/16; David DeGrow - 4/25/17

VENUE OVERVIEW

Venue Name *

Zion Baptist Church

Location

"Zion Baptist Church, St. Catherines, Lincoln (lincstca00_002) (492910)"

Overview

Address: 84 Geneva St. (pp.47)

Vernon's City of St. Catharines Street, Alphabetical Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the Year 1916. Henry Vernon & Son, 1916. ia801601.us.archive.org/24/items/vernstcatharines00vernuoft/vernstcatharines00vernuoft.pdf

"The history of the Zion Baptist Church in St. Catharines begins with Elder Washington Christian, a West Indian from New York, who founded the First Baptist Church in Toronto in 1826 when he organized local worshippers along the north shores of Lake Ontario. The popularity of his congregation grew rapidly throughout the 1830's as word of its formation spread across Canada West.

Christian was responsible for establishing the First Baptist parish in the city of St. Catharines in 1838. Members of the city's Baptist community constructed a chapel, the Zion Baptist Church, on a piece of land granted to the congregation by William Hamilton Merritt in the early 1840's. The church building was located on Geneva St., just south of North St., and it was completed in 1844."

"Zion Baptist Church." The Underground Railroad St. Catherines. www.freedomtrail.ca/st_catharines/zion.html

Vernon's City of St. Catharines Street, Alphabetical Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the Year 1916. Henry Vernon & Son, 1916. ia801601.us.archive.org/24/items/vernstcatharines00vernuoft/vernstcatharines00vernuoft.pdf (pp.47)

"Zion Baptist Church." The Underground Railroad St. Catherines. www.freedomtrail.ca/st_catharines/zion.html

VENUE VIEWS

Caption *

Zion Baptist Church

Textual Description

"Zion Baptist Church." The Underground Railroad St. Catherines. www.freedomtrail.ca/st_catharines/zion.html

London

London Grand Theatre

Website: 

https://www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall

Overview: 

 Here are a few quick facts about Kingston's City Hall National Historic site.

June 15, 1842, the town of Kingston publicized a competition for architects and builders for the design for a Town Hall and Market. The probable cost of construction was set at 10,000 pounds.

The design of the government architect George Browne (31 years old) was selected from the 12 submissions received from the contest. George Browne also designed the Mowat Building, the Victoria and Grey Trust Building, the S&R Department Store, the Presbyterian Manse and Rockwood Villa

The building was completed in December 1844, at a final cost slightly in excess of 25,000 pounds. The increased cost was due to additions and changes from the competition submission.

The original design of City Hall had a hemispherical dome with no clock faces or belfry. The belfry and clock were housed in a large square end block that originally extended the market wing all the way to King Street. The market wing end block was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 10, 1865. The original clock that had been given jointly by John Counter and John A. Macdonald was moved to the main dome.

The Governor General Sir Charles Metcalf laid the City Hall corner stone June 5, 1843.

Past tenants of City Hall include the Market Vendors, the Board of Trade, the Post Office, the Customs House, the Bank of British North America, the Mechanics Institute, the Orange Lodge, the Masons, the Merchants Exchange, A&D Shaw Dry Goods, various church groups, a saloon and some residential tenants.

After his death in 1891, the body of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister and one-time Kingston alderman, lay in state in what is now Memorial Hall, an impressive chamber dedicated in 1921 to honour the city's war dead.

In 1908 the cupola on top of the dome and part of the dome burned, the cupola was rebuilt in May 1909 and the new Seth Thomas clock and a new bell was installed. The 1908 clock and bell are the current clock and bell that are present in the dome today.

In 2002 a new copper roof and clock tower reconstruction commenced along with phase-one of the masonry restoration. All four clocks were removed so that the stained glass faces could be repaired.

"Historic City Hall." City of Kingston. Corporation of the City of Kingston. www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1844

Current Status: 

Kingston City Hall

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

Kingston City Hall


Holman Opera House

Overview: 

Address: 69 Richmond St.  (pp.106)

McAlpine's London City and County of Middlesex Directory, 1875 [...]. McAlpine, Everett & Co., 1875. Canadian Directories Collection, Library and Archives Canada.

www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/001075/f2/e010780536_p1.pdf

HOLMAN, SARAH (Dalton) (known as Sallie Holman), singer and actress; b. probably 24 June 1849 at Lynn, Mass., daughter of George W. Holman and Harriet Phillips, née Jacobs (Jackson); m. in 1879 James T. Dalton; d. 7 June 1888 in London, Ont.

Sallie Holman was the undisputed star of the Holman opera company which toured the eastern United States and Canada from the late 1850s to the early 1880s. Her parents were active in the theatre in New York throughout the 1840s and 1850s. By 1858 the four Holman children were touring as members of the Holman Juvenile Opera Troupe. Sallie, the elder daughter, was the leading lady in all of the Holman productions; an attractive girl, she won the hearts of audiences with her pleasing soprano voice and her dramatic skills. Benjamin Phillips Holman, Harriet’s son by an earlier marriage, was the comedian of the group, while Alfred took the dramatic male roles. Julia, the youngest, sang the contralto roles and Harriet Holman served as coach, accompanist, and musical director.

One of the Holmans’ earliest Canadian performances, in August 1858, was in London, Canada West, George’s home since the 1830s as well as the Holmans’ summer home for many years. In its early years the company appeared at Barnum’s Museum and the Hope Chapel Theatre in New York (1859 and 1860), at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Toronto (May 1860), and in Montreal (1861). During the 1860s, the company’s tours extended south to Nashville and west to St Louis. Following Benjamin’s untimely death in 1864, his place was taken by William Henry Crane, who became one of America’s best-loved comedians.

In 1867 George Holman took over the management of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Toronto. The Holmans performed there until 1872, while continuing to tour, under the name the Holman English Opera Troupe; the company changed names repeatedly, however, with eight variations recorded between 1858 and 1878. Their repertoire consisted primarily of English versions of French operettas in vogue during the period, such as Offenbach’s La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein and Lecocq’s Giroflé-Girofla. Other favourites included Balfe’s The Bohemian girl, Auber’s Fra Diavolo, and Donizetti’s La fille du régiment. The Holmans also performed farce as well as dramatic works, such as The streets of New York, Under the gaslight, and The coleen Bawn. The company was composed of actors, comedians, and singers, including Canadian comedian Harry Lindley, Joseph Brandisi, a French Canadian, and Blanche Bradshaw, the wife of Alfred Holman. Sallie, however, was the main attraction. One Toronto critic described her as “the bright star of the constellation”; others noted her sprightly manner, finely expressive face, and “the thorough abandon with which she entered the spirit of the role.”

In 1872 the company moved to Montreal where George took over the management of the Theatre Royal. One year later he bought the Music Hall in London, renovated it, and renamed it the Holman Opera House; the company opened there on 25 Dec. 1873, performing La grande-duchesse. Until 1880 the Holmans opened each season in London before setting out on tour. Other engagements included the opening of Gowan’s Opera House in Ottawa in February 1875 and the Canadian première of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore at the Royal Opera House in Toronto on 13 Feb. 1879. Sallie played the role of Josephine; Captain Corcoran was played by James T. Dalton, an English baritone who had joined the Holmans around 1877. Dalton and Sallie Holman were married during 1879.

Following Julia Holman’s death in the same year, the troupe’s success began to wane; Sallie’s death in June 1888 was the final blow to the company. She had fallen ill in February of that year prior to an evening performance at Glencoe, Ont., and after a brief recovery suffered a relapse. Her father died four months after her death.

An obituary which appeared in the Montreal Gazette bears witness to Sallie Holman’s successful career. She is referred to as “the soul” of her company and “one of the most amiable and gifted of Canadian artists.” William Henry Crane considered her to be an exceptional performer yet one born perhaps too early to receive the recognition which she deserved.

Murray D. Edwards and Frances R. Hines

MTL, Theatre Dept., Vertical file, Royal Lyceum file. Gazette (Montreal), 12 June 1888. Globe, 8 Oct. 1867, 14 Feb. 1879. London Advertiser (London, Ont.), 23 Dec. 1873, 24 Sept. 1877, 7 June 1888, 24 Feb. 1936. London Free Press (London, Ont.), 20 Aug. 1858, 27 Dec. 1873, 18 Feb. 1888. G. C. D. Odell, Annals of the New York stage(15v., New York, 1927–49). Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada, ed. H. J. Morgan (1v. publ., Toronto, 1903), I: 161. W. H. Crane, Footprints and echoes (New York, 1927). Franklin Graham, Histrionic Montreal; annals of the Montreal stage with biographical and critical notices of the plays and players of a century (2nd ed., Montreal, 1902; repr. New York and London, 1969). Carl Morey, “Canada’s first opera ensemble,” Opera Canada (Toronto), 11 (1970), no. 3: 15, 75.

Murray D. Edwards and Frances R. Hines, “HOLMAN, SARAH,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 11, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed May 22, 2017, www.biographi.ca/en/bio/holman_sarah_11E.html.

Type: 

Music Hall

From: 

1873

Location: 

Unlocated site, London, Middlesex (middlond00_000)


Sources

Morey, Carl. "Holman English Opera Troupe." The Canadian Encyclopedia. 16 Dec. 2013.

www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/holman-english-opera-troupe-emc/


Majestic London

Majestic - front view

Majestic - front view

Cigarettes for the Troops

Cigarettes for the Troops

Overview: 

Address: 231 Dundas Street

Also Known As: London Mechanics Institute; Bennett's Theatre; Scott's of London

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

The London Mechanics Institute Building is located at 229 to 231 Dundas Street, on the south side of Dundas Street, east of Clarence Street, in the downtown area, of the City of London. The four-storey white-brick library building was constructed in 1876. 

The property was designated, by the City of London, in 1988, for its historical or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 2982-79). The London Mechanics Institute Building is also protected by a municipal heritage easement agreement.

HERITAGE VALUE

The scale and opulence of the London Mechanics Institute Building makes it an impressive landmark within the City's downtown area.

The Mechanics Institute originated as an idealistic enterprise in Great Britain in the late 18th century and found fertile ground in Upper Canada. Its goal was the technical and cultural enrichment of the working man. The London Mechanics Institute Building is associated with its namesake organization, the London Mechanics Institute. The London Mechanics Institute was originally established in 1841. The London Mechanics Institute Building, at 229-231 Dundas Street, was the third and final building it operated from. It was constructed in 1876 under a design prepared by Thomas Tracy of the London architecture firm of Robinson, Tracy and Fairbairne. Despite this worthwhile goal, the objectives of the London Mechanics Institute were not realized and it eventually faded out of existence and its educational functions were taken on by the public library system.

The London Mechanics Institute Building is a prominent example of the Second Empire architectural style as applied to commercial design. Characteristic of Second Empire architecture, the Institute exhibits a mansard roof atop the central tower and the fourth-storey, which also features ornately decorated dormer windows. Other decorative elements which typify this style include the brackets below the cornices on the façade, the pilasters which are terminated by capitals that frame the upper-stories and the extended window sills.

Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 2982-79.

"London Mechanics Institute Building". Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=11682&pid=0

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1876

Location: 

Unlocated site, London, Middlesex (middlond00_000)

Venue Views: 

Front View - 229 Dundas St

Image Date

2007

Braustein, Martina. "Image 1/3 - London Mechanics Institute Building." Canada's Historic Places. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=11682#i1

"Cigarettes for the Troops" shows at the Majestic Theatre, London, Ontario

Image Date

1914-1918

Textual Description

This is a scene from the production "Cigarettes for the Troops" which was being performed at the Majestic Theatre. Stanley Meredith and Kit Smart are the actors on stage.

There is a handwritten inscription on the back of the photograph.


""Cigarettes for the Troops" shows at the Majestic Theatre, London, Ontario". Ivey Family London Room Digital Collections. London Public Library. images.ourontario.ca/london/2303563/data


Palace Theatre London

The Palace Theatre.jpg

Website: 

www.palacetheatre.ca

Overview: 

Address: 710 Dundas Street

The property where the theatre now sits was the original location of the “Jubilee Home for the Incurables”.  This “infirmary” was operated by the Women’s Christian Association from 1896 until the 1920’s, when it was relocated to Grand Avenue and renamed Parkwood Hospital.  When the new orchestra pit at the Palace was excavated, the foundation walls and basement floor of the original Jubilee Home for the Incurables were discovered, just a few feet below the auditorium floor.  

The Palace Theatre originally opened as a silent movie theatre in March of 1929, just prior to the stock market crash in October of the same year.    It was the last theatre built in London until well into the 1940's.  The first movie to grace the screen when the theatre opened in 1929 was the silent film Synthetic Sin, featuring Colleen Moore as “a good little bad girl who wanted to sin and suffer”. The shift to Talking pictures and the advent of the great depression, saw the owners of the property, Hyatt Brothers Construction, leasing the building to Famous Players and ultimately to 20th Century Theatre.

The Palace operated as a neighbourhood movie theatre throughout the 1930's and 40’s showing popular movies such as The Gay Divorcee with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Return of the Cisco Kid with Jimmy Durante, A Foreign Affair with Marlene Dietrich and Something for the Boys starring Carmen Miranda.  It was the habit of the time to hold small talent shows on Saturday afternoons during the intermission between movies.  Many people over the past 20 years have told us they tread the boards at the Palace as a child, doing their stand up routine, and winning a small prize.

In 1948 the building was sold to Famous Players and underwent considerable renovation before it reopened in 1951 as the Park Theatre.  This renovation saw the removal of much of the theatre's original ornamentation, including the original auditorium chandeliers, and its “modernization”, to a 1950’s style cinema.  A large wall-to-wall cinema-scope curved screen was installed over the north end of the auditorium, sealing off the access to the Palace stage for what was to be eventually almost 35 years. The newly renovated and fully air conditioned Park Theatre had audiences lining around the block,  to enjoy such classics as Ben Hur, My Fair Lady and The Ten Commandments.  The Park was considered a first run theatre, and was the venue of choice for such blockbusters as the Star Wars: A New Hope and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The trend toward multi-plex theatres in the late 1970’s and 1980’s led to a decline in attendance at the Park, and finally the old theatre closed its doors for the last time in September of 1989.

The renovations LCP undertook in the period between purchasing the building in November of 1990 and opening night on July 17, 1991 were prodigious. 

"History of the Palace - The Palace Theatre." The Palace Theatre. 2016. www.palacetheatre.ca/history-of-the-palace/

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1929

Current Status: 

The Palace Theatre - Home of the London Community Players

Location: 

Unlocated site, London, Middlesex (middlond00_000)

Venue Views: 

Palace Theatre

"History of the Palace - The Palace Theatre." The Palace Theatre. 2016. www.palacetheatre.ca/history-of-the-palace/

Milton

Milton Court House

VenueListID: 

749

Overview: 

Current Address: 150 Mary Street

"Historic Town Hall

The Town Hall, originally built as the County Court House, was completed in 1855. The addition of the Town jail and jail yard took place in 1877. In 1982, the Town purchased the building from Halton Region for just $1 and after restoration in 1985, it became the new Town Hall. (pp.1)

"Milton Town Hall Heritage: History Meets Modern Day." Town of Milton. www.milton.ca/en/townhall/resources/poster_heritage_meeting_rooms.pdf

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1855

Current Status: 

Current Milton Town Hall

Location: 

Court House, Milton, Halton (haltmilt00_001)


Venue Image

“New Town Hall, Milton, Ontario” Milton Images. Milton Historical Society. images.milton.halinet.on.ca/3687/data


Date

1998

Photographer: Bruce Carlin


Farlton Baptist Church

VenueListID: 

752

Overview: 

Address: Concession 8, Lot 3

Type: 

Church


Location: 

Farlton Baptist Chapel, Milton, Halton (haltmilt00_002)


New Connexion Methodist Church

New Connexion Methodist Hall Side.jpg
New Connexion Methodist Hall.jpg

Overview: 

Address: Concession 1, Lot 5, Nelson Township

History:  Bethel chapel was one of the original Wesleyan New Connexion Methodist Churches.  It was erected in 1853, but regular weekly services were discontinued just 20 years later when the union of all the then-existing Methodist bodies favoured the churches on the Lowville and Carlisle circuits.  The simple, white frame structure stands on a farm owned by Harvey Prudham whose great-grandfather, John, settled here in 1844 and who provided the land in 1853 for the church and cemetery.  The 150 year old deed remains a treasured possession of the Prudham family.  It would seem that John Prudham obtained his land from Murray Killman, as the Land Registry Office shows him as Crown Patentee registering all 200 acres of Lot 1, Concession 5, on 14 February 1809.

The timbers for the church were provided by William Bousfield who also split the shingles at his mill in Tally Ho.  Inside the chapel are to be seen the original old wood stove, the original pulpit with its hinged doors on both sides, and the original seats which at one time had been taken to the Kilbride Community Hall, itself an old church, but now have been returned to their rightful place.

This cemetery has always been known as the Canadian Wesleyan New Connexion Methodist Cemetery.  It is a church cemetery of the Methodist faith.  The earliest interment recorded on a monument is that of Jonithan Dawson, 1764- Aug.14,1845, who emigrated to Canada in 1816 from Newcastle-on-Tyne.  The cemetery has approximately 73 visible graves and is still in use today.  A further ½ acre of land has been donated which will enable 365 plots to become available.

"Bethel Chapel & Methodist Church Cemetery." Ontario Genealogical Society, Halton-Peel Region. Ontario Genealogical Society, www.haltonpeel.ogs.on.ca/h/ne15.htm


Type: 

Church

From: 

1853

Location: 

New Connexion Methodist Hall (1864), Milton, Halton (haltmilt00_003)

Venue Views: 

New Connexion Methodist - Front View

New Connexion Methodist - Side View


Milton Temperance Hall

Overview: 

Address: 104 Mill St.

"For many years the house at 104 Mill Street, Milton served as the Temperance Hall. In 1889 the Royal Templars of Temperance installed a drinking fountain in front of the old Town Hall on Main Street. Today the fountain stands outside the Hugh Foster Hall."

"The Royal Templars of Temperance". Milton Images, part of Halton Images. Milton Historical Society. images.milton.halinet.on.ca/80174/data

Type: 

Lecture Hall


Milton Town Hall

Milton Town Hall 2.png

Overview: 

AKA: Milton Court House

Current Address: 251 Main St. E

Historic Town Hall

The Town Hall, originally built as the County Court House, was completed in 1855. The addition of the Town jail and jail yard took place in 1877. In 1982, the Town purchased the building from Halton Region for just $1 and after resotration in 1985, it became the new Town Hall. (pp.1)

"Milton Town Hall Heritage: History Meets Modern Day." Town of Milton. www.milton.ca/en/townhall/resources/poster_heritage_meeting_rooms.pdf

In December 1864 Milton Council accepted the offer of Joseph Martin to provide the site for a new Market House for the town.

The building was to be of stone, about 40 feet by 60 feet and the cost was estimated at $4,000. The lowest tender came in at $6,640 but Councillor Joseph Martin (1818-1900) maintained he could build it for just $5,000. The contract was awarded to him in June 1865, he resigned his council seat and work began.

Joseph Martin was the second son of Jasper and Sarah Martin who came to Canada in 1818. Joseph was an infant at that time.

The construction and the payment for the work continued to be contentious for the life of three councils. For nearly a year Council was unable to obtain a quorum of members to enable it to conduct other than the most essential business.

It is no use talking about the Market House. It is built and must be paid for and the only sensible course is to accept as a fixed fact and make the best of it,” wrote the editor of The Canadian Champion in August 1866.

The building committee was authorized then to complete the tower on the town hall but this was months in coming, following yet another controversy, as council refused to accept the building from the contractor who sought payment of his $5,000 plus interest on $1,000.

It was late in July 1867 that the committee recommended acceptance of the town hall, paying $5,000, less $250 for rent of the town hall and completion of the basement floor.

The first meeting in the new building was on Monday September 16, 1867. Council had previously met in a building across the street from 1858.

The tower on the building was not completed until June 1868 when the dome was erected by another contractor. Even that was controversial with council maintaining the construction had not been done in a workmanlike manner and suits and arbitration followed.

The memoirs of Charles Jones, written in 1936, indicate that Peter Bam Zimmerman was the builder and it is his likeness that is carved in the key stone over the door. David Downie worked as a mason on the building and Thomas McDowell did the plastering.

Offices in the building were rented and in 1868 John Dewar Jr., Crown Attorney; Mateson and Dixon, Barristers at Law; and the library Reading Room were all located on the main floor.

In April 1894 Council approved the brick addition at the rear of the stone section. The Town vacated this building in 1985 to occupy the former county court houses.

Town Bell

In 1877 the Council approved the purchase of a 400 pound bell at the cheapest cost and attempted to obtain subscriptions to pay for it.

The town bell played an important role in the life of the community. It was rung on Sunday for Divine Worship at 10:30 a.m., at 2:30 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. It also served for many years as the town’s fire alarm to summon firefighters and in years of water shortages it was used to alert ratepayers that the water service would be discontinued, either to repair a pipe or because of insufficient supply in the reservoir.

The town bell also shared the use of the town hall tower with a hose drying box in which fire hose was hung to drain and dry. The hose drained into a water tank in the main entrance way to the building.

In 1894 Council purchased an 800 lb. bell from the Blimer Bell Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio since the old bell had been cracked for some time.

The Auditorium

The auditorium on the second floor of the town hall was the community centre until changes in 1966 resulted in the council chambers being moved there and the interior of the building being completely renovated.

The auditorium was in place in 1867 when government representatives were to be elected as a result of Confederation. The raucous nomination meeting to name candidates bordered on a riot.

Besides the political meetings, of course, was the whole range of community activity from the opening benefit concert held to raise funds for a piano, through gala balls, soirees, tea meetings, stage presentations, public speaking competitions, Christmas concerts and card parties. The charter night dinner and meeting for the Rotary Club of Milton was held there in 1947.

Building Changes

A weigh scale for farm produce was maintained beside the town hall for many years, with the clerk operating it. In November 1913 a furnace was installed after the steam supply from the adjacent power house was discontinued.

The steps and front entrance to the building were altered in the 1940’s with the outside steps being moved inside and glass doors installed. In February 1949 the new kitchen was completed on the second floor back of the stage. Early home economics classes received their training there from the local schools.

In 1952 major changes were made in the interior with the library being moved to the basement and a council chamber and police office taking its place on the main level. It was at this time too that the dome was removed from the tower and the bell lowered.

In 1955 the panelling was completed in the main hall.

In 1966 a major renovation was undertaken–just 100 years after the original building had been completed-which saw the upstairs auditorium converted to a council chamber and other space altered, including the removal of the stage and kitchen.

Dills, Jim. "Town Hall." Milton Historical Society. Milton Historical Society. www.miltonhistoricalsociety.ca/historic-buildings/town-hall/

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1864

Location: 

Town Hall, Milton, Halton (haltmilt00_005)

Venue Views: 

Milton Town Hall


Milton Wesleyan Church

St. Paul's.jpg

Website: 

stpaulsmilton.com

VenueListID: 

758

Overview: 

Address: 123 Main Street E

A Brief History of St. Paul’s United Church, Milton, Ontario

The original church was altered to accommodate a larger congregation when the local New Connection Methodists joined the Wesleyans in 1874. The present sanctuary, built in 1891, was an addition to the original church. The architect remains unknown although one unsubstantiated story says it was the minister of the day, the Rev. Dr. George Clarke. The original windows were of light, delicately-tinted cathedral glass and the initial lighting was provided by 150 glass lights. Church membership at the time was 325 and the original estimated cost of the new sanctuary along with some changes to the adjoining structure was nearly $18,000.

St. Paul’s traces its roots in Wesleyan Methodism to the time of the saddlebag preachers. It was in 1851 that the decision was made to build the first church on the current church site in Milton, a Wesleyan Methodist Church. A large date stone placed in that first church sets 1852 as the year of construction. That date stone can be seen on the south side of the present church under a window taken from the original church at the time of its demolition.

The need for additional Sunday School facilities became apparent when the town’s population doubled and enrolment increased in the 1950s. In 1962 the original Sunday School building was demolished and a neighbouring house was moved to make room for the Christian Education building which now adjoins the Church sanctuary. The lower hall was named Graham hall in recognition of the contribution of the Rev. J.L. Graham and Mrs. Graham who ministered to the congregation during the time of the construction.

Over the years, of course, modifications were necessary to keep abreast of changing times. Gas lights gave way to electricity in 1927. The present fixtures were installed in 1993. To make the sanctuary accessible for wheel chairs, access from the James Street parking lot was added in 1988 and a new lobby including a lift was constructed in 1998.

In the mid-1980s a platform was built to extend the original preaching platform. A lectern was added on the south side for the reading of scripture. The platform was amalgamated into the original preaching structure and extended in 1995.

In the same year a new sound system was installed. The new system has provision for hearing enhancement devices for the hearing impaired.

The summer of 1996 brought about the refurbishment of the sanctuary. Under the direction of Trevor Garwood-Jones of Hamilton, walls and ceiling were repaired and painted, floors were refinished and carpeted, and acoustic tile was added under the balcony. This work preserves the excellent acoustics of the building. It is one of the best buildings for sound, especially music, in southern Ontario.

Presently serving a membership of over 1,000, the congregation of St. Paul’s United Church thanks God for the rich heritage that is ours, and prays that our buildings will continue to be a meaningful symbol of God’s kingdom reaching out to this community.

"Heritage." St. Paul's United Church. St. Paul's United Church. stpaulsmilton.com/about-us/history/heritage/

Type: 

Church

Current Status: 

St. Paul's United Church

Location: 

Wesleyan Church, Milton, Halton (haltmilt00_006)

Venue Views: 

St. Paul's United Church & Annex

"St. Paul's United Church & The Annex". Milton Area Christian Churches Working Together. 2017. www.miltonchristianchurches.ca/ChurchListings/StPaulsUnited.aspx

Kingston

Atheneum

Overview: 

Address: 

"By the time the Atheneum Theatre, established in a new room nexxt door to the British Whig on Bagot Street, opened its doors in 1841..." (pp. 217)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

"2, 3 September 1841, Kingston: Opening of Atheneum with Grand Dramatic Concert' by Mrs Fitzwilliam." (pp.299)

Plant, Richard. "Chronology: Theatre in Ontario to 1914." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 288-346.


Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1841

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)


Frontenac County Court House

Overview: 

Address: 1 Court Street

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

Frontenac County Court House National Historic Site of Canada is a large, limestone court house, built in the mid-19th century in the Neoclassical style. Its imposing columned portico and dome overlook a wide expanse of park to the shoreline of Lake Ontario. It is located in a downtown residential area of 19th-century homes, adjacent to Queen’s University, in the city of Kingston. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property at the time of designation.

HERITAGE VALUE

Frontenac County Court House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1980 because: 

- it is representative of a significant functional type;

- it features many of the traditional exterior elements of large-scale mid-19th century court houses. 

Frontenac County Court House is representative of the large-scale, court houses erected in Ontario after 1850. The passage of the Municipal Act gave increased power to county government, justifying the construction of court houses on a monumental scale to accommodate multiple county functions. The Frontenac County Court House is one of several surviving court houses built during the boom in court house construction from 1852 to 1856. Designed by architect Edward Horsey, the building’s elaborate façade, comprised of a central portico, flanking wings and domed cupola, and the elaborate mix of Italianate and classical detailing, are typical of mid-19th century Ontario judicial buildings. The court house was rebuilt by architect John Power and contractor George Newlands in 1874 following a fire. The only significant exterior change was the central dome, which was given added height and emphasis.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, March 1980.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of the Frontenac County Court House include:

- its monumental scale;

- its exterior features typical of large-scale, mid 19th-century court houses, including classical detailing and composition, a bold portico, and a domed cupola;

- its Neoclassical style, evident in its form, composition and detailing;

- its symmetrical composition, consisting of a centre pavilion with central dome and pedimented portico;

- flanking end pavilions terminating in projecting bays with diminished and responsive pediments;

- regularly placed window and door openings;

- the features added in 1874, including the domed cupola resting on a drum composed of sixteen arched windows and cupolas on the end pavilions;

- the grand, pedimented portico, with frieze, cornice, Ionic columns, pilasters, coffered ceiling, and tympanum with the county court of arms;

- its sophisticated mix of Italianate and classical detailing

- its construction of local limestone;

- the surviving nineteenth-century elements of its interior plan and decorative finishes;

- the features of its site, including, the broad expanse of gently inclined, landscaped lawn fronting the courthouse; and the centrally placed stone fountain.

"Frontenac County Court House Historic Site of Canada" Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. Accessed 26 Jun 2017. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=12033

From: 

1858

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

General View of the Frontenac County Court House


Grand Opera House

Website: 

www.kingstongrand.ca

Overview: 

Address: 218 Princess St., Kingston ON

Also Known as the Grand Opera House, Martin's Opera House

Originally the Grand Opera House, built 1901-2 on the site of Martin's Opera House (1879). H.M.S. Parliament and the premiere of Leo, the Royal Cadet were given at Martin's Opera House, which also saw visits from John Philip Sousa, Oscar Wilde, and others before it was destroyed by fire 6 Dec 1898. The Grand opened 14 Jan 1902 and was bought in 1905 by Ambrose J. Small, a theatre-chain owner who had been influential in its original planning. Bernhardt, Melba, and Jolson performed there. In 1936 it was bought by Famous Players, and it reopened as a movie house 20 May 1938, but closed again in 1961. The Kingston Arts Council campaigned for its restoration as a civic theatre, and as the Grand Theatre it opened 20 May 1966 with a performance of Spring Thaw. Its new mandate was to accommodate touring and local groups and serve as the home of the Kingston Symphony. It had 832 seats, a proscenium stage, and an orchestra pit. Renovations begun in 1978 provided new lounges, improved backstage facilities, and a second smaller theatre space, The Baby Grand, which opened in November 1990. 

Further restorations were undertaken in 2004-08 to include expansion of The Baby Grand, new lounges, full orchestra pit with mechanical lift, acoustic towers, an orchestra shell, 35 moveable seats in the main auditorium, improved lighting and safety systems and a multi-purpose room under the stage as well as enhancements to the external façade.

Beharriell, Patricia. "Grand Theatre." Historica Canada. Last edited 4 Mar 2015. Accessed 27 Jun 2017. www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/grand-theatre-emc/

Type: 

Music Hall

From: 

1902

Current Status: 

The Grand Theatre Kingston

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)


HMS Niagara

Overview: 

Also Known As HMS Royal George

"HMS Royal George was a 20-gun ship of the Provincial Marine. She carried a crew of 200 and had been launched at the royal naval dockyard in Kingston in July 1809. 

By November 1812 she was the largest warship afloat on Lake Ontario. Her captain was Commodore Hugh Earle."

Lea, Michael. "When Kingston was on the frontlines." Kingston Whig. 9 Nov 2012. Accessed 26 Jun 2017. www.thewhig.com/2012/11/09/when-kingston-was-on-the-frontlines

" History

She was launched at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard in Kingston, Ontario, in July 1809. Royal George was renamed Niagara in 1814 and was sold in 1837." 

"HMS Royal George (1809)." revolvy.com. Accessed 26 Jun 2017. www.revolvy.com/topic/HMS%20Royal%20George%20(1809)&item_type=topic

Type: 

Boat

From: 

1809

To: 

1837

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

A ship playing role of HMS Royal George, left, exchanges fire with an American ship during a reenactment of the Fight of the Royal George, November 9, 2012.

Image Date

2012


J. Meagher’s Hotel


Kingston City Hall

Kingston City Hall.jpg

Website: 

https://www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall

Overview: 

 Here are a few quick facts about Kingston's City Hall National Historic site.

June 15, 1842, the town of Kingston publicized a competition for architects and builders for the design for a Town Hall and Market. The probable cost of construction was set at 10,000 pounds.

The design of the government architect George Browne (31 years old) was selected from the 12 submissions received from the contest. George Browne also designed the Mowat Building, the Victoria and Grey Trust Building, the S&R Department Store, the Presbyterian Manse and Rockwood Villa

The building was completed in December 1844, at a final cost slightly in excess of 25,000 pounds. The increased cost was due to additions and changes from the competition submission.

The original design of City Hall had a hemispherical dome with no clock faces or belfry. The belfry and clock were housed in a large square end block that originally extended the market wing all the way to King Street. The market wing end block was destroyed in a fire on Jan. 10, 1865. The original clock that had been given jointly by John Counter and John A. Macdonald was moved to the main dome.

The Governor General Sir Charles Metcalf laid the City Hall corner stone June 5, 1843.

Past tenants of City Hall include the Market Vendors, the Board of Trade, the Post Office, the Customs House, the Bank of British North America, the Mechanics Institute, the Orange Lodge, the Masons, the Merchants Exchange, A&D Shaw Dry Goods, various church groups, a saloon and some residential tenants.

After his death in 1891, the body of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister and one-time Kingston alderman, lay in state in what is now Memorial Hall, an impressive chamber dedicated in 1921 to honour the city's war dead.

In 1908 the cupola on top of the dome and part of the dome burned, the cupola was rebuilt in May 1909 and the new Seth Thomas clock and a new bell was installed. The 1908 clock and bell are the current clock and bell that are present in the dome today.

In 2002 a new copper roof and clock tower reconstruction commenced along with phase-one of the masonry restoration. All four clocks were removed so that the stained glass faces could be repaired.

"Historic City Hall." City of Kingston. Corporation of the City of Kingston. www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1844

Current Status: 

Kingston City Hall

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

Kingston City Hall


Poncet’s Inn


St. George’s Cathedral

Address: 270 King St. E


Website: 

http://www.stgeorgescathedral.ca/index.cfm/home/

Overview: 

Prior to 1825, St George's church was located on a different site. The first St. George's church was built in 1792 and was a wooden structure across from what is today the Kingston Market Square. 

Construction of a new building on the present site started in 1825. It was a rectangular stone structure designed by Thomas Rogers. The walls of this church form the nave of the present Cathedram from the main entrance to the dome. 

Between 1838 and 1840 the church was englarded and the protico with Dorico columns was added. 

In 1865 St. George's Hall, designed by John Power was built. Between 1891and 1894 John Power's son Joseph designed the extended chance, the dome and the gallaried transpets for enlargement of the church. 

In 1899 on New Year's Day the building was destroyed by a fire, but was rebuilt by 1900  and was only renovated by Neil Maclennan in 1975. 

“St George's Cathedral.” A St George's Cathedral Timeline - St George's Cathedral, St. George's Cathedral, www.stgeorgescathedral.ca/index.cfm/history-architecture/a-st-georgee280....

Tag this record

Type: 

Multi-use

From: 

1825

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

St. George's Cathedral's dome and portico

Coffered ceiling in the apse of St. George's Cathedral


Theatre in the Tete de Pont Barracks

Tete de Pont Barracks.jpg

Overview: 

"At Kingston, according to the Whig Standard of 3 August 1946, Imperial Army officers first presented amateur performances in a small theatre at the Freemasons' Tavern near the Tete du Pont barracks in the 1790s and until the building of Walkers hotel in 1807, when the latter presumably offered better facilities for concerts and private theatricals." (pp. 216)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Edited by Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Type: 

Theatre

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Venue Views: 

Tete de Pont Barracks, Kingston, Canada

Image Date

1910

Mahood Brothers, "Tete de Pont Barracks, Kingston, Canada.". Picture. 1910. Virtual Reference Library. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Collection, PC-ON 980. www.virtualreferencelibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-PCR-989&R=DC-PCR-989&searchPageType=vrl


Theatre Royal Kingston

Overview: 

"By the time the Atheneum Theatre, established in a new room next dooor to the British Whig on Bagot Street, opened its doors in 1841, we may assume the earlier novely of theatre had given way to the orderly and easy decorum of a well-mannered theatre-going citizenry at Kingston. Two years later a two-storey frame building was erected at the corner of Montreal and Queen streets on which was kown as the Theatre Royal until it burned to ashes on 8 January 1851, after which its productions moved to Kingston's splendid new Town Hall." (pp.217)

Fairfield, Robert. "Theatres and Performance Halls." Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800-1914. Edited by Ann Saddlemyer. University of Toronto Press, 1990. pp. 214-287.

Type: 

Theatre

From: 

1843

To: 

1851

Location: 

Unlocated site, Kingston, Frontenac (fronking00_000)

Haltonville

Canada Presbyterian Church

Canada Presbyterian Church.jpg

Website: 

nassagaweya.com

VenueListID: 

846

Overview: 

Address: SW Lot 16, Concession 4, Nassagaweya Township.

Current Address: 3097 15 Side Road, RR1, Campbellville, ON 

The first Nassagaweya Presbyterian church, a frame building in Haltonville, was erected in 1839.  The old records are missing, but a society was organized some years before that at Knowles School House on Hutcheon's Hill in June 1836, when John Bell, John McAlpine and John McKinnon were appointed the first elders of the Presbyterian Church in Nassagaweya by the Rev. D. McMillan.  They had no minister stationed here but were occasionally supplied by ministers from adjoining stations, amongst whom were the following: Meldrum, Wardrobe, Barrie, Ferguson and Rintoul, and also students from college.

The earliest record found is as follows: At Nassagaweya, the seventeenth day of May 1839, on which day the session of the Presbyterian Church met, after sermons in English and Gaelic by the Rev. Peter Ferguson and Rev. William Rintoul was constituted with prayer.  Preparatory to the dispensation of the Lord's Supper, the following persons were examined and admitted to church membership – Mary, wife of John King; Margaret, wife of Samuel Taylor; and Ann, wife of Archibald Campbell.

In 1861 a stone church was built to replace the frame one.  Church membership in 1854 was 45 persons.  This increased in numbers until 1869 when the congregation at Campbellville was organized, at which time 58 members left the Nassagaweya congregation and went to Campbellville.  In 1889 the communion roll contained 204 names.     [Abridged from "Early History of Nassagaweya" by J. Norrish, printed 16 Sep 1889]

Norrish also states about Haltonville: "This place is and always has been called Sodom.  I suppose some person called it that at first for mischief, the residents call it the bigger name [Haltonville] but it don't stick worth a straw."   The rival community of Moffat was called Gomorrah.

This stone church was recognized as a Heritage Building in 2004.

The cemetery was established in 1866.  There are no known cemetery records.

"Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church & Cemetery." Ontario Genalogical Society: Halton-Peel Branch. 9 November 2014. www.haltonpeel.ogs.on.ca/h/na02.htm

History:

Nassagaweya was surveyed in 1819 with settlers arriving soom afterwards from England, Ireland and Scotland. A Sabbath School was established in Knowles School House (on Hutcheon’s Hill) in the early 1830s; the church was established in 1836. The first church building was a frame building which was erected in 1839. The stone building we meet in today (now a recognized historic building) was built in 1861.

In 1869, 58 people from Nassagaweya established St David’s Presbyterian Church in Campbellville. Nassagaweya and St. David’s operated as a two-point charge (i.e. where two congregations are served by the same minister) from that time until November 2004. Many ministers have served Nassagaweya and St. David’s well through the years. A few names that stand out are: Archibald Blair, who stayed at Nassagaweya/St. David’s for 30 years (1885-1915) during which time the congregation numbered 204 members; Mary Farmery (1976-1979), the first female minister to serve the charge; Desmond Howard (1980-1990), Glen Soderholm (1991-2004), whose gifts and leadership helped us begin the transition into a 21st century ministry and then Sean Howard (2004-2011).

"History." Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian Church in Canada, nassagaweya.com/about/history/

Type: 

Church

From: 

1861

Location: 

Canada Presbyterian Church, Haltonville, Halton (halthalt00_001)

Source

"Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church & Cemetery." Ontario Genalogical Society: Halton-Peel Branch. 9 November 2014. www.haltonpeel.ogs.on.ca/h/na02.htm

Guelph

Guelph Opera House

Guelph Opera House

Guelph Opera House

Guelph Opera House - interior

Guelph Opera House - interior

Guelph Opera House - postcard

Guelph Opera House - postcard

DATES

From

1894

To

1953


Overview

Address: 106-108 Wyndham St., Guelph Ontario

"Hard to believe now, but 100 years ago Guelph had a 1,200-seat opera house where local and touring musicians and stage performers entertained crowds.

Last week’s “mystery” photo shows the castle-like Royal Opera House as it looked in 1953 on the west side of Wyndham Street North at Woolwich Street. Today this site holds the Guelph Community Health Centre offices.

Of course, most oldtimers today recall the building not for heartfelt arias but for the cowboys who galloped across the movie screen installed in the 1920s when the Royal was relaunched as the Capitol theatre.

“Back in the late ’30s and early ’40s we would go to the movies at the Capitol every Saturday afternoon,” Doreen Felice wrote by email.

“It was just super,” agreed Janet Wheeler, who remembers that her mother would give her a quarter to spend on Saturdays, easily enough to get into the Capitol, where the afternoon show might have two features, a newsreel, cartoons and an episode from a serial such as The Phantom.

Guelph had a population of roughly 11,000 in November 1894 when the opera house opened. The building was owned not by the city, but by citizens who had purchased stock in the venture and hired Stratford architect Harry Powell to come up with a design that also included space for five storefronts and an upstairs meeting hall.

The opera hall itself was initially leased to actor-entrepreneur Albert Tavernier, who chose an American comic opera Athenia, by John O’Keefe and Leonard Wales, for the debut presentation.

Tavernier lasted just two years. His efforts are described in an essay by Wayne Fulks that was published by the Guelph Historical Society in 1983. It includes details from an account book in which Tavernier figured his expenses would total $65 (including $9 for orchestra costs) for each night the theatre was open.

“It was a rare evening when he managed to clear his expenses,” Fulks wrote.

The opera house did become the town’s No. 1 entertainment spot, but continued to struggle as a business. For a time it was run by the Griffin Amusement Corp. of Toronto. Then in 1923 it became the Capitol Theatre. It still had live performances, but over the next three decades increasingly became a movie house.

In 1953 the opera house was demolished by Wolfond Construction. On the site it built a Simpsons-Sears department store (now the health centre) and to the south it built the Odeon Theatre, now home to the Cowboys Guelph nightclub. Some of the opera house stone was used in 1956 to build the Christian Education wing at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Norfolk Street."

Fear, Jon. "Flash from the Past: Guelph opera house could seat more than 1,200." The Waterloo Region Record. 9 Sept 2011. Accessed 4 Jun 2017.

www.therecord.com/living-story/2587663-flash-from-the-past-guelph-opera-house-could-seat-more-than-1-200/


Source

Fear, Jon. "Flash from the Past: Guelph opera house could seat more than 1,200." The Waterloo Region Record. 9 Sept 2011. Accessed 4 Jun 2017.

www.therecord.com/living-story/2587663-flash-from-the-past-guelph-opera-house-could-seat-more-than-1-200/

Textual Description

Catalog Number 1986.18.162

Object Name Postcard

Title Views of Guelph

Date: 1906

Year Range from 1900

Year Range to 1910

Description

Black and white divided back postcard with correspondence and a one cent Canada postage stamp on back. It has three photographs in a cartouche, against a beige coloured background. The pictures are of the Priory in use as a CPR station, The Royal Opera Building, and the Grand Trunk Railways Yards and Jubilee Park, Guelph Canada.

On front "CHAS. L. NELLES" "GUELPH'S EARLIEST BUILDING NOW OWNED BY THE CPRY" "ROYAL OPERA BUILDING" "RAILWAY YARDS AND JUBILEE PARK, GUELPH, CANADA"

Textual Description

Fear, Jon. "Flash from the Past: Guelph opera house could seat more than 1,200." The Waterloo Region Record. 9 Sept 2011. Accessed 4 Jun 2017.

www.therecord.com/living-story/2587663-flash-from-the-past-guelph-opera-house-could-seat-more-than-1-200/

Guelph Museums (1971:81:4)

Galt

Scott’s Opera House

Scott's Opera House - Fire.jpg
Scott's Opera House with Knox Church.jpg

Venue Name *

Scott's Opera House

Type

Music Hall

DATES

From

1899

To

1928


Overview

Address: 10 Grand Avenue Sout, Galt ON (Approximately)


It must have seemed like the end of an era, when fire raged in the building that for 40 years was the Scott Opera House in Galt.

But by 1930, around the time this photo was taken, the era of the grandiose opera houses in small-town venues was ending.

The window for the phenomenon was really only about a century.

The mid-1800s saw the creation of immense personal wealth from the booming economy of the expansionist United States and Canada, and resource-hungry Europe. Lumber moguls, cattle barons and wheat kings thrived. The nouveau riche wanted to bring the sophistication of their European homelands to their new rough-and-tumble communities in the Western Hemisphere.

It was in this period that such buildings as the Amazon Opera House at Manaus in the heart of the Amazon jungle, and the Hilliard Opera House in the wilds of Rat Portage (now Kenora, Ont.) were built.

An opera house was being planned in Galt at roughly the same time.

The driving force was John Scott.

Scott was born in 1834 in Hawick, Roxburgh, Scotland, and arrived in Galt (now Cambridge) in the mid-1800s. After holding a few jobs and working as a butcher, he became an exporter of cattle and horses.

The Flash from the Past from December 2011 quotes City of Cambridge archivist Jim Quantrell as noting in his book "Cambridge Mosaic" — a "who's who" guide to the city's past — that "In time he became one of the largest livestock exporters in Canada, operating out of the immense Seagram Stables in Waterloo."

In 1899, Scott financed the construction of the 1,000-seat Scott's Opera House on the west side of the Grand River in Galt.

Over the years, it was a venue for more than opera. Stage acts of various types, hypnotists and magicians, gymnasts and travelling theatre companies made "Scott's" a regular stop on their circuit of southern Ontario performance spaces.

The eminent theatrical weekly paper of the early 20th century, the New York Dramatic Mirror, noted for the issue of Sept. 5, 1903, that Scott's Opera House (John Evans, manager) had recently hosted the performance of "The Fisherman's Daughter" to a small house, but good performance. Upcoming were William Owen in "When Louis Eleventh Was King" (which was also playing in London and St. Catharines); "Ghosts"; and Culhanes, Chase and Weston's Minstrels.

The Waterloo Region Museum has a display of theatrical artifacts at the entrance to its own theatre, with some items from Scott's, including the 1904 playbill for "The Bohemian Girl" and an elegant lady's opera cloak.

The museum's accompanying text about Scott's notes that, "Audiences attending opera performances at Scott's were expected to 'refrain from stomping their feet, shouting, standing in chairs and spitting,' but audiences rarely did."

Among the museum's holdings is a Scott's playbill from "Friday Eve'g, March 16 1906" that promotes the "Dumfries Foundry Benefit Society's 23rd Annual Concert of the Goldie & McCulloch Co.'s Works."

Galt long-timers may remember that Goldie and McCulloch was a manufacturer of engines, turbines, water wheels and doors for safes. In 1923, Goldie and McCulloch merged with Babcock and Wilcox, which continues the tradition of making boilers and energy-producing equipment.

Cambridge author Bob Green, in his popular book "Eavesdroppings: Stories from Small Towns When Sin was Fun," writes about Scott's, saying that playbills from the early 1900s "are loaded with famous stage names that make one swoon with nostalgia. Who can forget Mortimer Ellingham, Adelaid Eaton Colton and Linnie Lorrimer Deanne? And how about Mack Sennett, Bessie Smith, Billie Burke, and Sophie Tucker? Mack Sennett played a minor role in the musical comedy 'Wang,' but later became Hollywood's king of slapstick and creator of the Keystone Kops."

Maude Adams, who at the height of her career in the early 1900s made as much as a million dollars a year, played Scott's in her most popular role as Peter Pan, "flying over the audience suspended in a harness hooked to an intricate network of wires."

Green wrote that, "Local talent performed at Scott's too. The YMCA annually staged a Grand Gymnastic Exhibition, including stunts on a real horse, a ladies' physical culture and Morris dancing demonstration ..."

Green wrote that Scott built the opera house " ... because he believed the district could do with a bit of class. Scott made the ushers and orchestra members wear tuxedos and stiff white shirts ..."

Many opera houses found that movies brought in more revenue than gymnastic exhibitions, and visible in this photo is a banner for "Footshead Crime" and "Ranson's Folly."

Ranson's Folly could be the 1926 silent film that was widely circulated just a year before the talking film "The Jazz Singer" was to consign all silent films to the trash heap of history.

The date for this photo, from the City of Cambridge Archives, is suggested as around 1930.

Both the museum's display and the 2011 Flash from the Past mention that Scott's closed in 1928 and was razed shortly some time after, but this photograph would suggest that fire damage precipitated the demolition.

Linda F. "Lost Architecture of Cambridge." 1 June 2015. Accessed 20 June, 2017. ideaexchange.org/life/idea/lost-architecture-cambridge


Bean, Bill. "#TBT Where famous names came to perform in Galt." The Record. 26 September 2014. Accessed June 22, 2017. www.therecord.com/living-story/4876930--tbt-where-famous-names-came-to-perform-in-galt/

Esquesing

Joseph Brownridge’s House

Location

"Joseph Brownridge's Home, Esquesing, Halton (haltesqu00_001) (492886)"


Overview

Address: Concession VI, Lot 10

"Full Record Browbridge, James." The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project. McGill University, 2001,

digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/showrecord.php?PersonID=60845


Sources

"Full Record Browbridge, James." The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project. McGill University, 2001,

digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/showrecord.php?PersonID=60845


Residence of Rev. William Pickard

Residence of Rev. William Pickard, Esq.

Residence of Rev. William Pickard, Esq.

Venue Name *

Residence of Rev. Wm. Pickard


Location

"Residence of Rev. Wm. Pickard (1868), Esquesing, Halton (haltesqu00_002) (492887)"


Overview

Address: Concession IX, Lot 3

"Tremaine's Man of the County of Halton 1858 - Township of Esquesing." Halton Images, Halton, Burlington, Esquesing, Milton and Trafalgar Public Libraries, images.halinet.on.ca/58115/image/136615

Eden Mills

Wesleyan Sabbath School

Eden Mills Methodist.jpg
emills77sepia.jpg

Venue Name *

Wesleyan Sabbath School

Type

Church

DATES

From

1861

Location

"Wesleyan Sabbath School, Eden Mills, Halton (halteden00_001) (492885)"

Overview

Address: 19 Cedar Street, Eden Mills ON, N0B 1P0

Wesleyan Sabbath School was taught from here.

Church History

Eden Mills Methodist Church was built in 1861 and became a United Church in 1925.

1883-1884 Wellington County Directory

The Canada Methodist Church is a stone building seating 250 and was erected in 1861. Services at 2:30pm Sunday School at 1pm. There are 100 members. Rev. John W. Freeman of Rockwood officiates.


krassoc. "Eden Mills Methodist Church - Eramosa Township, Wellington County, Ontario." Fadedgenes: A Chronicle of the people of the Methodist Church in Canada, 25 Dec. 2014, krassoc.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/eden-mills-methodist-church-eramosa-township-wellington-county-ontario/


In 2014 the church was sold to the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, and it has transformed the church into rentable board room and chapel space.


Current Status

Now known as Rivermead, home of the Eden Mills Writers' Festival.

Eden Mills Writers' Festival. "Rivermead Rentals." Eden Mills Writer's Festival, emwritersfestival.wordpress.com/rivermead-rentals/

Sources

Frank, Day. "Here and There in Eramosa; an Historical Sketch of the Early Years, and of the People and Events Contributing to the Growth and Development of the Township." our roots: Canada's Local Histories Online, 2006, www.ourroots.ca/e/page.aspx?id=2866020

krassoc. "Eden Mills Methodist Church - Eramosa Township, Wellington County, Ontario." Fadedgenes: A Chronicle of the people of the Methodist Church in Canada, 25 Dec. 2014, krassoc.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/eden-mills-methodist-church-eramosa-township-wellington-county-ontario/

Shuttleworth, Joanne. "Eden Mills Writers' Festival buys historic church in Eden Mills." Guelph Mercury Tribune, Feb 17, 2015, www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/5342767-eden-mills-writers-festival-buys-historic-church-in-eden-mills/

Eden Mills Writers' Festival. "Rivermead Rentals." Eden Mills Writer's Festival, emwritersfestival.wordpress.com/rivermead-rentals/

Dundas

Dundas Town Hall

Dundas Town Hall - Front View

Dundas Town Hall - Front View

Dundas Town Hall - Plaque

Dundas Town Hall - Plaque

Venue Name *

Town Hall

Type

Multipurpose

DATES

From

1849

Location

"Town Hall, Dundas, Wentworth (wentdund00_001) (492685)"

Overview

Address: 60 Main St, Dundas, ON

Dundas was incorporated as a town in 1847 by a special Act of the legislature of the Province of Canada. The following year the town council accepted a tender from a local builder, James Scott, to erect a stone town hall and voted £2000 to cover the cost. Designed in a version of Roman Classic, by Francis Hawkins of Dundas, the building was completed by July, 1849, and was said to have cost £2500. Except for a small Italianate wing added later, the exterior has been little altered, although a thorough renovation was carried out in 1946. It is one of the most handsome, pre-1850, municipal buildings surviving in Ontario.

Brown, Alan L. "The Dundas Town Hall Plaque". April 2004. Ontario's Historical Plaques. www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Hamilton21.html

* Recognized as one of the few remaining early town halls and public buildings in the province. "The Dundas Town Hall is perhaps the most appealing architecturally of the modest-sized buildings," according to the city's planning and development department.

* One of only five municipal buildings remaining in the province with heritage designation to be constructed before 1850. Most municipal buildings of that era were torn down and replaced because the towns outgrew them and larger facilities were needed.

* When the building was first opened in 1849, the town hall not only hosted municipal government meetings, the building also featured a farmers' and butchers' market, Alfred Bennett's Crystal Palace Saloon and a jail.

* Sometimes the saloon -- or at least other town drinking establishments -- was used by elected officials to the detriment of civility at council meetings. In one heated meeting in the 1870s, in an event unearthed by local historian Brian Henley, an unruly councillor was forcibly removed from the meeting and thrown in one of the nearby jail cells to cool off and dry out.

* The cell block was also in the news February 1948 when a Hector McKinnon, alias Harold Helm, managed to escape by crawling 10 metres through a 1/2-metre square ventilator. He was being held for vagrancy and public intoxication charges. The basement jail was closed sometime after the incident.

* In 1972, a new council chamber was added in an addition made to the western end.

* Today, the former town hall is used as a municipal service centre. Councillor Russ Powers keeps his ward office there. The former council chamber is used for public meetings.

"Dundas Town Hall at a Glance" Hamilton Spectator, Feb. 19, 2008.

www.thespec.com/news-story/2120888-dundas-town-hall-at-a-glance/

Current Status

City of Hamilton municipal service centre.

Sources

Brown, Alan L. "The Dundas Town Hall". April 2004. Ontario's Historical Plaques. www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Plaque_Hamilton21.html

"Dundas Town Hall at a Glance" Hamilton Spectator, Feb. 19, 2008. www.thespec.com/news-story/2120888-dundas-town-hall-at-a-glance/

Chatham

Chatham A.M.E. Church

Chatham A.M.E. Church, c.2014

From

1888

Location

"Campbell A.M.E. Church, Chatham, Kent (kentchat00_001) (492904)"

Overview

Address: 104 King St. East


Very limited documentation from Land Purchase in 1888, to the reroofing in 1984.

Shreve, Ellwood. "Looking for Campbell A.M.E. Church history". Chatham Daily News. Oct. 9, 2011.

www.chathamdailynews.ca/2011/10/09/looking-for-campbell-ame-church-history

Current Status

Services

Sun Service 11 am-1 pm; Bible Study Wed 6-7 pm; Missionary Group 2nd Mon/mth 10am; Soup Kitchen Wed 11 am-1 pm

chathamkent.cioc.ca/record/CHK2420

Sources

Shreve, Ellwood. "Looking for Campbell A.M.E. Church history." Chatham Daily News. Oct. 9, 2011. www.chathamdailynews.ca/2011/10/09/looking-for-campbell-ame-church-history

"Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church." United Way of Chatham-Kent. chathamkent.cioc.ca/record/CHK2420


Grand Opera House

Overview

Address: 167 King St. West, Chatham ON

Also Known As: Hotel Brisco, Edelstein Block

"1985.27.2.84" Interior of the Grand Opera House. Chatham-Kent Museum. 29 May 2013. Accessed June 20, 2017. vitacollections.ca/ckmuseums/2676466/data?n=1

Sources

"1985.27.2.84" Interior of the Grand Opera House. Chatham-Kent Museum. 29 May 2013. Accessed June 20, 2017. vitacollections.ca/ckmuseums/2676466/data?n=1


Griffin’s Theatre

Address:  55 King Street West

Griffin's age, experience, and apparently deep pockets allowed him to operate a small chain of theaters right from the beginning. In June 1907 the Griffin Amusement Company was registered with the Ontario government, an official partnership with son, Peter. Employees and wages are listed with property tax assessments of head office begeinning in 1907. A year later John Griffin, president was assessed a wage of $1,000, a figure that fluctuated each year, but was never again that high. Although wages do not tell the whole story, simply defining the president's position as a waged employee of the company shows a certain degree of modern management and detached rationality in the operation of Griffin's company. 

Griffin worked to inegrate his theatoriums into Toronto's leisure traditions, rather than boast and exaggerate moviegoing as a break from the past. This was partly achieved by developing an increasingly stronger relation between Griffin and vaudeville, moving film to the sidelines of the show, in contrast to being the focus at the start. As a career showman, Griffin perhaps saw film as part of traditional amusements, rather than something entirely novel. [...]

The Griffin Amusement Company expanded rapidly and become the preeminent chain of moving picture shows throughout Ontario with business arrangements linking to chains of theaters in Michigan, Quebec, New England, and the Maritime Provinces. In Toronto, Griffin ran a maximum of eight theatoriums at a time, a total of eleven theaters at some point. Expansion outside the city began in St. Catherines and continued until at least thirty-four Griffin theaters straddled the province. (pp.86-90)

Moore, Paul S. Now Playing: Early Moviegoing and the Regulation of Fun. State University of New York Press, 2008.

From: 

Nov. 24, 1913

To: 

1929


Chatham Union Church

Overview: 

Address: 218 Forest St., Chatham ON 

Vernon, Henry. Vernon's City of Chatham: Street, Alphabetical, Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the year 1918. Henry Vernon & Son, 1918. pp. 25 & 192. Toronto Public Library. static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/vernonschatham00vernuoft.pdf

Brantford

S.R. Drake Memorial British Episcopal (B.M.E.) Church

SR Drake BME Church 1.jpg
SR Drake BME Church 2.jpg

VenueListID: 

884

Overview: 

Address: 165 Murray Street

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

The S. R. Drake Memorial Church, located at 165 Murray Street, is situated on the north side of the street between Darling and Dalhousie Streets, in the City of Brantford. This two-storey brick building was designed with elements characteristic of the Loyalist style and was constructed in 1856. 

The property was designated for its historic and architectural significance by the City of Brantford under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 188-85).

HERITAGE VALUE

The S. R. Drake Memorial Church is associated with the Underground Railroad. Some American run-away slaves fled to Upper Canada via the Underground Railroad system and settled in groups along the Grand River. The Black Settlement of Ontario began after the American Revolution when a group of free blacks, who fought alongside the British, journeyed to Canada, with other settling Loyalists. Those who belonged to the African Methodist Episcopal Church formed the Society of Coloured Methodists, and as early as 1834, they worshipped in private homes. Later, a parcel of land was purchased and a frame church was built. In 1896, the existing brick building was constructed. 

In 1856, the denomination changed their name from “African” to “British” to give their place of worship a greater Canadian identity. The new name also protected the congregation from fear of being recaptured by American slave owners or their bounty hunters. During 1956, in honour of the Centennial of the Canadian British Methodist Episcopal Church, the Brantford church was named the S.R. Drake Memorial, in honour of the Revered S.R. Drake, who was the pastor from 1902 until 1909. Rev. Drake was responsible for the incorporation of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1913. 

The S. R. Drake Memorial Church was built with elements characteristic of the Loyalist style. The original church, a simple frame building, was constructed for temporary use. It was replaced, in 1896, by the current yellow-brick building. The church is box-like and the gabled roof is steeply pitched. The round top windows on the upper level have rock-faced brick voussoirs, which are mirrored by a small rectangular two over two sash window, on the lower level. A date stone exists on the Murray Street facade indicating the church's founding of 1856, as well as the church's construction of 1896. 

Source: City of Brantford By-law 188-85.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the S.R. Drake Memorial Church include its:

- exterior facades 

- round-top windows with rock-faced brick voussoirs 

- rectangular two over two sash windows on lower level 

- round-top transom over the front double doors with rock-faced brick voussoirs 

- small arched window and date stone above the entrance doors 

- front gabled roofline

LOCATION OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

City of Brantford 100 Wellington Square P.O. Box 818 Brantford, ON N3T 5R7

"S.R. Drake Memorial Church." Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=10046


Sources

"S.R. Drake Memorial Church." Canada's Historic Places. Parks Canada. www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=10046

Ibbotson, Heather. "Heritage Church needs repairs." Brantford Expositor. Oct. 3 2009.

www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2009/10/03/heritage-church-needs-repairs

Type: 

Church

From: 

1896

Location: 

B.M.E. Church, Brantford, Brant (branbran00_001)

Venue Views: 

S.R. Drake Memorial Church - Front View

"This image captures the rock-faced voussoirs above the curved windows, 2007.

City of Brantford, Department of Planning, 2007."

Parks Canada. "S.R. Drake Memorial Church." Canada's Historic Places.

www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=10046#i1


Image Date

2007


S.R. Drake Memorial Church - Plaque

"The date stone and church name are pictured in this photo, 2007."

Parks Canada. "S.R. Drake Memorial Church." Canada's Historic Places.

www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/image-image.aspx?id=10046#i1

Image Date

2007


Stratford’s Opera House

From

1866

To

1908

Address: 140 Colborne Street, Brantford ON

"Stratford Opera House: Beginning as a music hall in 1866, the building that once sat at 140 Colborne St. (now the site of Harmony Square) was purchased by local merchant Joseph Stratford and turned into an opera house in 1881. One of its most famous guests was the brilliant Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, who stopped there on his North American lecture tour in 1882. The opera house was destroyed by fire on Jan. 10, 1908."

Ibbotson, Heather. "City has lost many historic buildings." Brantford Expositor. 5 April 2012. Accessed 20 June 2017. www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2012/04/05/fires-have-claimed-many-historic-city-buildings

Boyne

Boyne School

Boyne School, Front View

Overview: 

Current Address: 6035 Highway 25

"Boyne School, 6035 Highway 25, Milton, Ontario" Milton Images: part of Halton Images. Milton Historical Society. images.milton.halinet.on.ca/2257923/data?n=1%20

Tag this record

Type: 

School

Current Status: 

Possibly still in existence, on private land.

Location: 

Boyne School, Boyne, Halton (haltboyn00_001)

Venue Views: 

Boyne School - Front View

Sources

Milton Images. "Boyne School, 6035 Highway 25, Milton, Ontario" Milton Images: part of Halton Images. Milton Historical Society. images.milton.halinet.on.ca/2257923/data?n=1%20

Blyth

Blyth Memorial Community Hall

Address: 431 Queen St., BLYTH, Ontario

https://blythmemorialcommunityhall.ca

Our Story

a living memorial, a thriving Canadian theatre festival

After Private Teddy Maines was killed in France in 1917, the residents of his home village of Blyth thought they had to do something to commemorate the terrible losses the First World War was wreaking.

Maines was far from the only soldier from the Blyth area to die in the conflict that began 100 years ago this summer, but the death of the 21-year-old and other local men on European battlefields helped galvanize this community.

The women of Blyth wanted a little something more than the commemorative statues that were rising up here and there across the country, and in that they were not alone.

The whole community, including the surrounding areas in East Wawanosh, Hullett and Morris Twps. got involved. The Women’s Institute purchased the land on which the building would be erected.

By the next June the new building was ready and the opening, including the dedication of a memorial plaque, was held on Sunday, June 5, followed by three days of concerts.

The community effort to build the hall, and raise the $25,000 needed (a considerable sum in those days), fostered a volunteer spirit that still thrives.  

"Almost every person in the village did without to build the hall, and everybody brought their talents, whatever they were, to the fundraisings," said local historian Janis Vodden.

"And now any project that rises in the village, we don't have as much trouble as a lot of places do in getting volunteers. We're a small village of avid volunteers and I think it's a result of the hall.”

 Nearly a century later, memorial hall  - a vibrant landmark on the main street - is undergoing a $3.8 renovation (2017).

                                                             _ _ _

Today Blyth  Memorial Hall is not just a centre for Blyth, but for all of Huron County with people coming to enjoy professional theatre in summer and top name Canadian and international talent during the fall and winter season.

The Hall has grown with two additions that allow professional-quality facilities for the theatre auditorium which make it attractive for both touring acts and the resident theatre company, as well as The Bainton Gallery for art shows.

The dreamers of the early decades of the last century would be thrilled to see the thousands of people who pass through this building, erected as a memorial to the community’s lost soldiers of World War I.

Blyth’s lack of a decent hall for concerts (most concerts were held in Industrial Hall, where the Masonic rooms are today), had led to interest in building a new hall as early at 1910. It was following the Armistice in 1918, however, that momentum grew to build a concert hall as a fitting memorial to those who had fallen during the war.

The Huron Expositor reported on June 6, 1919 that a big day had been held in Blyth including people taking rides in two airplanes and a total of $2,000 had been raised, bringing the fund to $8,000. By July 28, 1920 the cornerstone for the $25,000 building was laid. The architect was W. Murray of London and the builders were local contractors.

There was so much excitement about the new hall that 1,500 attended the opening, jamming the auditorium, the basement meeting room and the lawns around the building.

The original building housed not just the 500-seat auditorium upstairs and the meeting hall downstairs, but the town firehall at the rear underneath the stage area.

If you look closely at old photos, you can see a rope that hangs down from the bell tower to the street below. Brock Vodden recalls this was the town fire alarm and anyone who saw a fire could ring the alarm. A special clapper activated by that rope sounded a different peal than the regular town bell. He remembers being allowed to ring it once.

Former Blyth resident Pat Powell, recalled  attending the opening ceremony and later visits of the Chautauqua circuit to Blyth. Cantatas such as Queen Esther and Belshazzar with casts of 60 or more produced and performed under the direction of Dr. Charles Toll, a dentist. J.S. Chellew, the local funeral director, created minstrel shows.

As the needs of the fire department increased, this tiny fire hall became too small and the department moved to a new location. In 1946 tenders were called to erect a new 16 by 20-foot addition on the south side of the building where the fire hall had been. This would become the village library and new public washrooms. Inside the original building, a kitchen was created in the old fire hall space with the floor lowered to the same level as the meeting room.

Given the kind of excitement the opening of Memorial Hall had created, it must have been sad for older residents to have seen the proud building’s situation by the 1970s. Though it had been the centre of community life for decades with many concerts and plays presented, the television era and changing times had combined to see the upstairs auditorium become largely ignored except for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11.  

But in the summer of 1972 a group of volunteers, organized by the Blyth Board of Trade’s President Helen Gowing, decided to clean up the hall, sweep away the dust and add a coat of paint.

Ironically this act of community spirit brought the whole future of the building into doubt. There had been many changes in fire and other regulations since the hall was built in 1920. If it was going to go back into use, for instance, a fire escape was needed.

Cleaning and painting could be paid for with enthusiasm but a fire escape was beyond the scope of the volunteers. They turned to village council. Council agreed to build the fire escape but had second thoughts when someone wondered about the safety of the old electrical wiring. Next came concern about a sagging of the roof. An engineer’s test proved there was a structural problem in the design of the original roof and it would have to be replaced.

Now came a time for soul-searching for village councillors. Was it worth spending several times the original construction costs to replace the roof so the auditorium could be used once or twice a year? Given that the greatest use of the building was the basement meeting room, could the auditorium be blocked off and beams be put up through the theatre area to support the roof? Or should council listen to some people in the community who said the greatest need was for a larger dance and banquet hall and the building should just be torn down and replaced?

In the end the community rallied once again behind the old hall. The senior citizens went after a grant. People recalled that this was a memorial and should be kept a living memorial and a poll in The Blyth Standard showed near-unanimity that the hall should be saved.

So, after two years of debates, councillors went ahead and replaced the roof, though they couldn’t know that Memorial Hall was about to enter the busiest decades in its history. Renovations were competed in late 1974. In July 1975 the Blyth Festival held its first season and since then the use of the Hall has been increasing.

After a successful first season, the Festival undertook a small-scale renovation which saw the floors and woodwork refinished and the seats, which had proved sticky in the heat of the first season, repainted. By 1979 air-conditioning had been added and in 1980, an addition to the north side added dressing rooms and a fire escape that allowed the balcony to be put back into use. That addition also contained space for offices and an art gallery which later became the library for several years before it moved to Queen St.

The growth of the Festival brought more changes when construction began in the late 1980s on a huge addition to the south. The “old library” addition was removed and Memorial Hall was joined to the Festival’s administration building to the south by “the link” which contains a new lobby area, new washrooms, handicapped access to all levels of the building, The Bainton Gallery and new box office facilities. Outside, main street gained a graceful courtyard.

Today tens of thousands of people walk by the plaques that bear the names of the fallen of two World Wars. Memorial Hall remains a living memorial to our community’s appreciation of their sacrifice.

Article sources:

https://goo.gl/VVu4Gn
http://www.northhuron.on.ca                  PHOTO BY KEITH ROULSTON

Ashgrove

Methodist New Connexion Church, c. 1912

Est. 1860

Ashgrove New Connexion Methodist Church, c.1912

Overview Description:

This New Connexion Church was built at Ashgrove in 1860, becoming part of first the Methodist Church and then the United Church.

Notes:

A basement was put under the church in about 1925. When Hillcrest United Church was formed it was sold and moved to Limehouse where it is now a private residence.

 

"Ashgrove New Connexion Methodist Church". Halton Images. Burlington, Esquesing, Milton, Oakville and Trafalgar Township Historical Societies. images.halinet.on.ca/1915/data

 

Current Status

Building was moved and is now a private residence.

 

Sources

Halton Images. "Ashgrove New Connexion Methodist Church". Halton Images. Burlington, Esquesing, Milton, Oakville and Trafalgar Township Historical Societies. images.halinet.on.ca/1915/data