Born to Irish parents, NED HANLAN (1855-1906) was a professional sculler, hotelier and alderman who lived in TORONTO. Hanlan’s Point is named after a small hotel his father opened on Toronto Island’s west end. Every day young Ned would row back and forth across the harbour to attend George Street public school in the city.At eighteen he was competing in rowing events and became amateur champion of Toronto Bay. He turned professional in 1874/5, and soon afterwards beat all comers, losing only six of his 300 races, and became the world sculling champion for five consecutive years from 1880 to 1884. Following his career as an athlete, Hanlan became a hotelier like his father, and eventually was voted a city alderman. He was also the first head coach of the University of Toronto Rowing Club in 1897. In 1900 he coached Columbia University’s crew for several years. <Abbreviated excerpt from Wikipedia>NED HANLAN died of pneumonia at age 52. Ten thousand Torontonians paid their final respects at the church where his body lay in state. <ABOVE – Ned Hanlan monument on the Toronto Islands, sculpted by Emanuel Hahn><Ned Hanlan tug boat, September 16/1932; photo – City of Toronto Archive/Sidewalk Labs><Breaking ice, March 14/1934><Ned Hanlan steam tug approaching the foot of Bay Street, February 20/1952; photo by JAMES VICTOR, 1911-58><The Ned Hanlan tugboat still exists, although it’s been retired. You’ll find it on Toronto Islands.>
The first flatiron building in North America was TORONTO’s Coffin Block, constructed in the triangle formed by Front and Church Streets. The stubby little structure housed the offices of a stagecoach company.It was demolished and replaced in 1892 by the present day Flatiron or Gooderham Building. For the record – NEW YORK CITY’s Flatiron was completed in 1903.The present-day Flatiron was constructed for $18,000. Until 1952, it contained offices for George Gooderham of the giant Gooderham and Worts Distillery. There’s now a pub in the basement, a patio outside, and Berczy Park in behind. The Flatiron is close to three theatres, St. Lawrence Market, St. James Cathedral, Hockey Hall of Fame and numerous fine restaurants and pubs. <photo above by bmccle . . . #streetsoftoronto>
FOR YOUR INFORMATION – This unusual boat measured 125 by 25 feet. There was an opening at each end where people could board. The inside remained stationary, while the outer casing, equipped with small paddle-like projections, revolved around it. This allowed the ship to roll sideways along the surface of the water like a rolling pin.
<PHOTO ABOVE – the inventor of the Roller Boat, FRED KNAPP>
In 1897, while a large crowd was watching, the ship demonstrated a top speed of 5 miles per hour in TORONTO Bay. The idea was dropped because the vessel was too slow and very expensive. <PHOTO above – City of Toronto Archives; WATERCOLOUR below by THOMAS HARRISON WILKINSON, 1847-1949>
LEE SHIMANO is a CNE enthusiast, and her treasured collection of Canadian National Exhibition memorabilia is most impressive. As a youngster she says “the CNE was this huge, magical world. It was only open for . . . 10 to 14 days. So it was very special.” And a perfect subject for a book.Ms. Shimano’s book, ‘Treasures of the CNE”, features her private collection and the positive stories of.people who loved Canada’s largest fair. The self-published book came out in 2017. It’s from FRIESENPRESS, and it’s also available from AMAZON as well as several other outlets. <PHOTO BELOW – the Canadettes on the big stage at the Ex, 1960’s>
There are over 30,000 historic photographs on the OLD TORONTO project’s website. Created by the City of TORONTO Archives and Sidewalk Labs, this valuable research facility is very easy to use and well worth exploring. The photos below illustrate day-to-day life of the city’s construction workers. For more of the same go to – https://oldtoronto.sidewalklabs.com/<A shoveller at work for Bell Canada, Temperance and Sheppard streets, 1923. This site would soon become a new telephone exchange to house an automated system.><Hard to believe, but this was the site of Union Station on July 28, 1914. Smoke gallore. Construction was about to begin.><Thompson Welding and boiler industries at 169 Adelaide Street West, January 28, 1914><Laying concrete on Front Street at John, January 13, 1928. Workers are watched over by “the suits” on the left.><Deconstruction site at 432 Bay Street, which seems to be adjacent to Shea’s Hippodrome, February 18, 1937>And to take the chill off, here’s a rare photograph of movie star MARY PICKFORD in front of her birth place home, 211 University Avenue – an address now occupied by TORONTO’s Hospital For Sick Children. Ms. Pickford’s photo was taken on March 23, 1924.