Monday, May 22, 2017

Toronto Archaeological Finds at St. Lawrence Market North - 92 Front St E, Toronto

 The remains of previous structures built at the St. Lawrence Market North site had been discovered in advance of construction to replace the aging building. With remnants of former markets dating back to 1831, the find is a significant step forward in understanding the cultural and built history not only of this historic Toronto neighborhood, but the city as a whole.
 The current building lies directly across Front Street from the larger 1850 structure which National Geographic named the world's best food market. Markets, in several shapes and forms, have occupied the site since at least 1803, when Lt. Governor Peter Hunter declared the location a place to sell "cattle, sheep, poultry, and other provisions, goods and merchandise." It wasn't until 1831 that a permanent two-story building with an open courtyard was erected on the site, with the north end housing City Hall from 1834 onward.
 A massive fire in 1849 destroyed the market, which was replaced by a new building two years later. In an effort to rejuvenate the area, a new building was constructed in 1904, until again making way for the current one-storey building which opened in 1968.
 Preparing the site for construction, Golder Associates Ltd. conducted a stage 2/3 archaeological assessment on August 31. Three trenches, measuring 15 by 1 metres, were dug out beneath the concrete floor of the existing building, subsequently peeling back layers of Toronto history. Evidence from each previous market was uncovered, a discovery which had been anticipated and factored into the new building's construction timeline.
Remnants of the old foundation piers from the 1831 market are largely intact, a good sign of things to come, as the building's cellars are likely in a similar preserved state. Those cellars as expected to provide precious artifacts that shed light on the first permanent market's activities until its unfortunate demise in 1849. The 1904 market's concrete foundation, running north and south, is also visible.

So these old foundations are before the formation of Canada. Is it possible that we remove traces of history while removing these historical artifacts?
 History of Canada

All the former colonies and territories that became involved in the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, were initially part of New France, and were once ruled by France.

Following the Rebellions of 1837, Lord Durham in his Durham Report, recommended that Upper and Lower Canada be joined as the Province of Canada and that the new province should have a responsible government. As a result of Durham's report, the British Parliament passed the Act of Union 1840, and the Province of Canada was formed in 1841.

The new province was divided into two parts: Canada West (the former Upper Canada) and Canada East (the former Lower Canada). Governor General Lord Elgin granted ministerial responsibility in 1848, first to Nova Scotia and then to Canada. In the following years, the British would extend responsible government to Prince Edward Island (1851), New Brunswick (1854), and Newfoundland (1855).

The area which constitutes modern-day British Columbia is the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia District and New Caledonia District following the Oregon Treaty. Prior to joining Canada in 1871, British Columbia consisted of the separate Colony of British Columbia (formed in 1858, in an area where the Crown had previously granted a monopoly to the Hudson's Bay Company), and the Colony of Vancouver Island (formed in 1849) constituting a separate crown colony until it was united with the Colony of British Columbia in 1866.
 Robber trenches, aligning with the foundations for what were the walls of the 1851 market, were also found. A large flagstone sewer and two capped stone feeder sewers have been discovered and are assumed to have been constructed as part of the 1851 structure.

The northernmost trench shows several cast iron drainage pipes and a brick-lined box drain representative of the 1904 structure. An arched stone sewer from 1851 lies beneath. Each of these trenches is capped by the relatively simple concrete flooring of the existing building, demonstrating that construction of the 1968 market did not remove all traces of history associated with the site.
( this is the building in the back of the construction site is city property hopefully would not be demolished )
Stage 4 mitigation is the next step, which requires the complete demolition of the current building. Four levels of underground parking are included in the redevelopment of the site and it is not yet known which and how many of these artifacts will be preserved. City officials hope to eventually put many of the findings on public display.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Ghost Canal of The Town of Newmarket that contributed to the defeat of the Liberal Government in 1911

The First Railroad in Upper Canada On the first Saturday of June 1853, the first train came into Newmarket this was the first railroad built in Upper Canada. Called the Ontario, Huron & Simcoe Railway, it eventually linked Toronto to Collingwood on Georgian Bay, but that June day the tracks ended here.

1905-1906 Farmers and businessmen from all over the Newmarket district, angry at skyrocketing railroad freight rates, met in the Town Hall on Market Square to look for cheaper ways to get their products to market.
Their Member of Parliament, Sir William Mulock, convinced them a canal was the answer and so the Newmarket Canal was born. 
Newmarket’s civic leaders went to Ottawa to lobby for a canal linking to Lake Simcoe and the Trent Waterway. 

With Mulock as its chief advocate in Cabinet, the canal was approved and construction started in 1906. It was almost complete in the summer of 1912 – three lift locks, three swing bridges and a turning basin – when the new government of Robert Borden cancelled the project. 

The attempt to build a canal linking Lake Simcoe to the Holland River during the years 1906 to 1911 was one of the fore most topics of controversy on Parliament Hill. 

This  project was apparently entered into with an amazing lack of foresight, there being insufficient water to operate it, thus totally impractical. 

The scandal brought about as a result of this project and the wasteful expenditure of a large sum of government money contributed significantly to the defeat of the Liberal Government in 1911.
History of Newmarket

In June, 1800, Timothy Rogers, a Vermont Quaker, explored the area  around the Holland River and up to Lake Simcoe to find a suitable location for a contemplated Quaker settlement. The Quakers were disturbed as a result of difficulties encountered when this peaceful sect refused to take part in the rioting and bloodshed of the American Revolutionists. In 1801, Rogers, leading several Quaker families, left their homes in Vermont and Pennsylvania and secured land grants of 8,000 acres located at the east end of lots 93, 94, and 95 along Yonge Street in the former Townships of Whitchurch and King. It was easy for them to see the potential in these fertile rolling lands, through which flowed the Holland River, an important trading artery for both aboriginals and fur traders.

Having arrived in the spring, these first Quaker settlers immediately began the arduous task of clearing the land for their homes and farms. Indeed, By Christmas of 1801, Joseph Hill had constructed a mill on the Holland River at what is now Fairy Lake, around which the settlement to be known as Newmarket sprouted.
 It is possible that at that time the river to have been larger.

In its first 50 years, the community grew and prospered. Farmers’ markets were held regularly on Saturdays and were well-attended because purchasers were spared the long journey to York. Although it was essentially an agricultural community, it provided a busy centre for commerce and small industry. It is believed that the name Newmarket evolved as a result of the trading that took place, while York (not Toronto) was the ‘old market’, this new centre of commerce became the "New Market".

Many factors helped to shape this growing community. One which had a significant impact was the Rebellion of 1837. Newmarket was a focal point of discontent against the manipulations of the governing Family Compact, of whom it was said "were robbing the country". This anger grew to the explosive point with the general election in 1836. 
When the new "Constitutional Reform Party of Upper Canada" was defeated, and grievances of the settlers were not addressed, there was no holding back the tide of rebellion. 

The rebellion was quickly crushed and William Lyon MacKenzie fled to asylum in the United States. Two participants in the uprising were hung, one of whom, Samuel Lount, was from the Newmarket area. The death warrant was signed by Sir John Beverly Robinson. 

By the mid-1800s the fur trade had come to an end and the aboriginals were no longer trading along the Holland River.  

A local news paper, the "New Era", was started in 1852 and in 1853, with Erastus Jackson as its editor, was renamed the "Newmarket Era". 
With the coming of the steam railway the same year, Newmarket experienced another surge of prosperity and growth making it the
most important village north of Toronto.

Newmarket was incorporated as a village in 1857 with a population of 700. Schools we re built, many small industries were started, dry goods and grocery stores flourished. In 1880, with a population of 2,000, Newmarket became a Town and William Cane was elected as its first

Newmarket benefited from technology with the advent of the Electric Railway in 1902. The railway ran from Toronto to 
Newmarket and in 1906 was extended north to the trendy summer resort of Jackson’s Point. 

Newmarket was experiencing a boom, which was to last until the onset of the Great Depression in 1930. 
The coming of the railroad also cinched Newmarket’s role as the business center of the vast and wealthy hinterland north of Toronto. Communities missed by the tracks withered and disappeared, those with stations grew and prospered. 

Businesses moved here, mills and factories were built and the population grew. It has never stopped growing. The railway station was replaced with a larger building twice in the first half century. Today’s railway station was built in 1899 and has been restored by the Chamber of Commerce as a symbol of our business success.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Newmarket Ontario Canada Kilometre Trail Markers Ojibwe Custom.

Using natural elements this art was inspired by the environment and the Ojibwe ancestors.
There are 10 trail markers that help your journey to the trail system one km appart.

The earth is all we have in common.

The following interpretation as gifted to us by a native Ojibwe elder may help you to find nature and symbolism in each nature inspired piece of art.

These work of art are named totems or doodems.


Chejak: Strength, Sovereignty Diplomacy. The crane or heron told our Ojibwe ancestors about liberty independence, equality, rights, duties and cooperation.

The Crane doodem represent the traditional hereditary chiefs of the Ojibwe.

 The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, or Chippewa are an Anishinaabeg group of indigenous peoples in North America. They live in Canada and the United States and are one of the largest Indigenous ethnic groups north of the Rio Grande. In Canada, they are the second-largest First Nations population, surpassed only by the Cree. In the United States, they have the fourth-largest population among Native American tribes, surpassed only by the Navajo, Cherokee, and Lakota-Dakota-Nakota peoples.
The Ojibwe people traditionally have spoken the Ojibwe language, a branch of the Algonquian language family. They are part of the Council of Three Fires and the Anishinaabeg, which include the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree, Odawa and the Potawatomi.

The majority of the Ojibwe people live in Canada. There are 77,940 mainline Ojibwe; 76,760 Saulteaux and 8,770 Mississaugas, organized in 125 bands, and living from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia. As of 2010, Ojibwe in the US census population is 170,742.

Ojibwe are known for their birch bark canoes, birch bark scrolls, mining and trade in copper, and cultivation of wild rice. Their Midewiwin Society is well respected as the keeper of detailed and complex scrolls of events, oral history, songs, maps, memories, stories, geometry, and mathematics.

The Ojibwe language is known as Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwemowin, and is still widely spoken, although the number of fluent speakers has declined sharply. Today, most of the language's fluent speakers are elders. Since the early 21st century, there is a growing movement to revitalize the language, and restore its strength as a central part of Ojibwe culture. The language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group, and is descended from Proto-Algonquian. Its sister languages include Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cree, Fox, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Shawnee among the northern Plains tribes. Anishinaabemowin is frequently referred to as a "Central Algonquian" language; however, Central Algonquian is an area grouping rather than a linguistic genetic one.

According to Ojibwe oral history and from recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec. They traded widely across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated, and knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, and then south in the Americas. The identification of the Ojibwe as a culture or people may have occurred in response to contact with Europeans. The Europeans preferred to deal with bounded groups and tried to identify those they encountered.

According to Ojibwe oral history, seven great miigis (radiant/iridescent) beings appeared to them in the Waabanakiing (Land of the Dawn, i.e., Eastern Land) to teach them the mide way of life.

One of the seven great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful and killed the people in the Waabanakiing when they were in its presence. The six great miigis beings remained to teach, while the one returned into the ocean. The six great miigis beings established doodem (clans) for people in the east, symbolized by animal, fish or bird species. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii (Bullhead), Baswenaazhi (Echo-maker, i.e., Crane), Aan'aawenh (Pintail Duck), Nooke (Tender, i.e., Bear) and Moozoonsii (Little Moose), then these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the seventh miigis being had stayed, it would have established the Thunderbird doodem.

At a later time, one of these miigis appeared in a vision to relate a prophecy. It said that if the Anishinaabeg did not move further west, they would not be able to keep their traditional ways alive because of the many new pale-skinned settlers who would arrive soon in the east. Their migration path would be symbolized by a series of smaller Turtle Islands, which was confirmed with miigis shells (i.e., cowry shells). After receiving assurance from their "Allied Brothers" (i.e., Mi'kmaq) and "Father" (i.e., Abenaki) of their safety to move inland, the Anishinaabeg gradually migrated west along the Saint Lawrence River to the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing, and then to the Great Lakes.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

St. Lawrence Hall Toronto Ontario Canada

Survivors style architecture in Toronto. An architecture found from South America Europe Asia Japan. Is something that we do not know about this building?

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 center;
- it ranks among the finest of 19th-century Canadian public buildings; and
- it was a place of gatherings of the Abolitionist movement

Character-Defining Elements

Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the location in the old centre of Toronto;

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.

Official History says that:

The location was previously part of the Market Square area, and had been the site of the first permanent market buildings. A fire in 1841 caused the northern portions of this building to be pulled down, leading to the building of the current St. Lawrence Market in 1850 a block south at what was then Palace Street, and today known as Front Street.

Another source state that: As you can see the date of the fire is different:

A public hall flanked by shops was built in 1831 as part of a rectangle of buildings making up York's market square. When York was incorporated as Toronto in 1834, the hall became the City Hall for a decade until its successor was built nearby. After the great fire of 7 April 1849 burned down much of the town center, the area was revitalized by the construction of St. Lawrence Hall and St. James’ Cathedral.
Designed restoration in 1859 by William Thomas of Toronto, the hall’s architecture reflected the influence of the Renaissance style, with its raised portico over an arcaded base, but reinterpreted in a distinctly Victorian manner. Its richly carved ornamentation, picturesque skyline and the eclectic incorporation of a French mansard roof were typical of contemporary architectural tastes.

Located on the southwest corner of King and Jarvis streets, St. Lawrence Hall was attached by a market annex to the city hall at Front and Jarvis. The building included ground-level commercial storefronts, second-level offices and a 2,700-square-foot assembly room on the third floor that seated 1,000 people for concerts and speeches. A raked balcony at the north end of the assembly room served as a speaker's platform, and a thrust stage was located at the south end.

St. Lawrence Hall’s genesis lies in a great force of destruction. In 1849, a major fire swept through the area bounded by Adelaide, King, Church, and George streets, killing one and destroying 10 vital acres at the heart of the city. The original St. James Cathedral was ruined, as was the city’s main market at King and Jarvis.
The damage might have been worse were it not for heroic fire fighters who made the best of their primitive equipment and a well-timed rain shower. 
No sooner had the fire been extinguished, the city hired architect William Thomas to design a replacement building for the site of the wrecked market. The finished three-storey structure, which was topped by a mansard roof and grand clock tower cupola, opened in 1850.

Thomas’ hall became the primary entrance to the St. Lawrence Market, which at the time was located north of Front Street. An arched entranceway on King Street led into an indoor shopping arcade connected to the market behind.

At the heart of the building, on the third floor, was an event space described in great detail in the 1858 Handbook of Toronto:

It was “100 feet long, 38 feet 6 inches wide, and 36 feet hight, with a gallery at the entrance end. The ceiling of the Hall is ornamented by flat hemispherical, enriched panelled, domed compartments, and lyres surrounding them.”

“When the large and magnificent chandelier is lighted up, and when the room is filled by such an assembly that which graced Jenny Lind’s concerts, it has a brilliant and most imposing effect. It is admirably suited for concerts, being easily filled by the voice, and having no echo to mar the performance, and is in fact the only place in the city for lectures and fashionable concerts.”

As the premier event space in Toronto, a dizzying range of prominent speakers, performers, and musicians appeared at St. Lawrence Hall during the 19th century.

The future King Edward VII (when he was still Prince of Wales,) Niagara Falls tightrope walker and all-round daredevil The Great Farini, Upper Canada Rebellion leader William Lyon Mackenzie, Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass all trod the planks.

Showman and impresario P. T. Barnum bought legendary opera singer Jenny Lind—dubbed “the Swedish Nightingale”—to St. Lawrence Hall for three nights in 1851. Another Barnum act, General Tom Thumb (a dwarf born Charles Sherwood Stratton,) came for four nights in 1862.
 Around 1900, the ground floor was home to a branch of the Dominion Bank and a stove and furnce store. The arched entrance at the centre led to a small shopping arcade.
As planned by architect Thomas, the ground floor was leased to retailers. There were stores on either side of the indoor shopping arcade and also facing the surrounding streets. 

Early photos show gigantic signs for businesses such as the Toronto Tea Company and Graham’s Temple of Fashions crowding the fine, if eccentric, architectural detailing.
Much of the space on the east side of the building was leased to the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union, which advertised its presence with a sign for “St. Patrick’s Hall.”

In later years, likely in the 1890s, the third-floor St. Patrick’s Hall was stripped bare for one of the earliest basketball courts in Canada. Players had to avoid wooden roof beams to get the ball in the iron hoops at either end of the room.

The Irish Catholic Benevolent Union installed one of the earliest basketball courts in Canada inside St. Lawrence Hall. The iron hoops were removed during renovations and placed stored with the city. Image: Toronto Fire Department.
Among the notable features of the exterior are columns that are a close copies of those used on the ancient Temple of Jupiter Stator in Rome. Closer to the ground, on King Street, a number of carved men’s faces peer out from the sides of the building, representing fictional deities of Lake Ontario, the Niagara, and St. Lawrence rivers.
Near the roof, also facing King Street, the figure of Britannia, an Indigenous man with bow and quiver, and the crest of the Royal Arms of England form the City of Toronto coat of arms. The city’s motto at the time, “Industry, Intelligence, Integrity,” is carved below.

The building was topped with a public clock connected to a 966-kilo bell that chimed the hour. In the 1850s, this timekeeping device was a critically important piece of infrastructure.
Before affordable watches, the clocks at St. Lawrence Hall and Union Station were among the few ways of knowing the time of day on the street with any degree of accuracy. 

Scientists at the observatory at University College send a signal to the town’s fire halls when the sun approached its peak at 11:55 am.

St. Lawrence Hall and its clock fell slowly out of favour in the 1900s. Bigger venues attracted major touring performers and the centre of the city shifted west, allowing the hall to become increasingly run-down.
Evidence of the building’s decline is clear from archival photos. Around the 1890s, the exterior appears caked in soot and grime, windows on the upper floors are broken, and the stores are offering things like stoves and ranges, tents, and other outdoor supplies.

By the 1950s, the 100-year-old building was in trouble. It lacked historical status and was increasingly fragile. Parts of the original structure had been ripped out and windows carelessly punched in the interior walls.

The southeast corner was badly sinking and the delicate stonework on the exterior was starting to crumble. Several rooms in the building were occupied by homeless people.

The Great Hall of St. Lawrence Hall as it appeared in 1898. The room was lit by a gasolier, a gas-powered chandelier.  

The building’s complex ownership arrangement was one the main obstacles to heritage protection. The city owned the land and the arcade corridor to the North Market, but all the other units were the property of private companies. 

When the National Ballet moved into the upper floors in the 1950s, it started a long conversation about how to properly restore the building.

The city dithered over whether or not to buy St. Lawrence Hall and bring about the necessary repairs until plans for Canada’s Centennial began to solidify in 1961. Toronto Parks Commissioner George Bell envisioned using Centennial funds to extend St. James Park east from the cathedral to Jarvis Street and restore St. Lawrence Hall.

The first version of the city’s Centennial plan was much broader. It envisioned spending $16.8 million to construct a new repertory theatre and concert hall, rebuild the North Market, refurbish Massey Hall, and buy the St. Lawrence Hall land. 

Over the next few years, various components of the project were ditched in an effort to keep costs down and the arts centre idea alive.

“In this century it had degenerated into a doss house for the unemployed,” read a booklet on the history of the hall.

The fire halls would ring their bells, allowing anyone with a stopped or slowing timepiece to synchronize it with the rest of the city. The clocks at St. Lawrence Hall and Union Station were configured in the same way.

However, due to the tireless advocacy of architect and heritage activist Eric Arthur, the city, the Toronto Chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects, and the Toronto Construction Association banded together to fund $2 million of the restoration cost.

“Every growing city sooner or later reaches the point where it has to decide either to give way completely to commercialism at the expense of cultural values or steadfastly resist,” wrote J. I. Rempel, an and architect vice-president of the York Pioneer and Historical Society.

In 1966, builders and restoration experts began probing the building, stripping out debris and assessing the scale and scope of the project.

Expert masonry, woodworking, and plastering workers set about creating historically-accurate replacement parts and more than a century of dirt was sandblasted off the exterior. Arthur, the champion of the project, felt some of the exterior work was too heavy handed.
“Age is something we want to keep,” he said. “I look on St. Lawrence Hall as our Westminster Abbey. When they lose a cherub, they don’t replace it. We should be satisfied to retain the appearance of age; we don’t want newness.”

A large portion of the east wing of St. Lawrence Hall collapsed during the Centennial renovations. Image: Toronto Daily Star.
Just as work was hitting its stride, disaster struck. On March 10, 1967, site foreman Jack McGowan noticed mortar falling from the east wall and called for extra reinforcement. Around 4:25, as rush hour approached, more material began to fall and McGowan gave the order to evacuate the site.

Workmen halted traffic on King and Jarvis streets and minutes later the entire east wing collapsed in on itself. “The main floor just folded and everything above it fell inward,” McGowan said. 
Rescue crews combed through the rubble, but found no-one trapped or injured.

Although St. Lawrence Hall experienced a renaissance in the late 60s and 70s, it has once again fallen into relatively peaceful obscurity. The second floor is now City of Toronto offices and Heritage Toronto occupies part of the third. The practice space and office for Opera Atelier is in the attic.
The Great Hall is still available for weddings and other events, and the one-time basketball court in St. Patrick’s Hall is a meeting and boardroom.
Today, most people haven’t seen the Great Hall, the grand event space for which the building is named.

With a third of the hall in ruins, the founders met to discuss the future of the project and agreed to continue, much to the delight of the Toronto Star.