Have a look back at a time of great change in Toronto, as we grew from a small town into an Imperial City.
When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, Toronto had only recently been incorporated into a city. Over the next 64 years, we would grow into a city of 250,000 people, and develop a lot of the character that can still be found on the streets of the city today.
The first steam trained pulled out of Toronto in 1853, and revolutionized Canadian transportation. The city was governed out of a small city council chamber on top of St. Lawrence Market, right up until 1899, when our grand new city hall was built opened up at the top of Bay Street. And, in keeping with our status as a growing city within the British Empire, there were palatial homes built around Toronto for our various lieutenant governors. This presentation will take you behind the scenes and show you the gilded halls and rooms of a few of these magnificent homes.
In addition to technology and architecture, this talk will also explore entertainment, and explain what Victorians did to amuse themselves. There were a few notable concert halls built in the city, and in the 1890s, the first silent movies flickered across a wall in a darkened basement on Yonge Street. We’ll share a few of these short movies with you.
Certain components of this talk can be made into an independent talk of their own. For example, if you’d like a presentation on the history of locomotives and street rail in Toronto, a history of the city’s banks, or a retrospective on Toronto’s Victorian architecture, just let me know.