CROFT ST., ACTUALLY A LANEWAY, HONOURS JOHN CROFT, WHO DIED IN 1904’S GREAT TORONTO FIRE

A large part of TORONTO burned down 115 years ago, in April, 1904. 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. On May 4th, 1904, 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.A double-sided mural <photos above> honours both JOHN CROFT, and the events of April 19, 1904. Unfortunately the mural has been destroyed by taggers <photo below>. It’s a total mess now, but the culture of Croft Street lives on. There’s been a lot of painting done lately. May the aerosol spritzers respect the art.<The John Croft mural as it looks today>CROFT STREET is a laneway of colourful murals, an ode to both Monty the Cat (deceased) and TORONTO’s black squirrels, a feminist bookstore, multiple 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.

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