QUIRKY CROFT STREET HONOURS JOHN CROFT, THE GREAT TORONTO FIRE’S ONLY CASUALTY, 1904

CROFTSTREET1After a large part of TORONTO burned down 112 years ago this month, dynamiters were hired to blow up the shells of the destroyed buildings.  JOHN CROFT of Parliament Street, 38, father of three, was one of them.

CROFTSTREET3On May 4, his team set 33 dynamite blasts.  The last 3, under a wall at W. J. Gage and Company, failed to go off.  Mr. Croft ran up to investigate and, as fate would have it, was killed by an explosion.

CROFTSTREET2CROFTSTREET5A double-sided Croft Street mural honours both John Croft, and the events of April 19, 1904.

CROFTSTREET4

CROFT STREET is a higgledy piggledy laneway of colourful murals, an ode to both Monty the Cat (deceased) and TORONTO’s black squirrels, a feminist bookstore, tumbledown garages and  a variety of architectural styles.  It runs for two blocks, from Harbord to College Street, east of Bathurst. Streetcar #506 takes you there.

Black and white photos: William James & W. J. Whitingham/City of Toronto Archives

CROFTSTREET7

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s