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Toronto of Old   By: (1813-1901)

Toronto of Old by Henry Scadding

First Page:

TORONTO OF OLD

[Illustration]

H. SCADDING. D.D.

[Illustration]

Toronto of Old:

Collections and Recollections

ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE

EARLY SETTLEMENT AND SOCIAL LIFE OF THE CAPITAL OF ONTARIO.

By HENRY SCADDING, D.D.

[Illustration]

TORONTO: ADAM, STEVENSON & CO. 1873.

Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy three, by Adam, Stevenson & Co., in the office of the Minister of Agriculture.

Hunter, Rose & Co., Printers, Stereotypers and Bookbinders, Toronto.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

The Earl of Dufferin, K.C.B.

GOVERNOR GENERAL OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, A KEEN SYMPATHIZER WITH THE MINUTE PAST, AS WELL AS THE MINUTE PRESENT, OF THE PEOPLE COMMITTED TO HIS CHARGE,

This Volume,

TREATING OF THE INFANCY AND EARLY YOUTH OF AN IMPORTANT CANADIAN CIVIC COMMUNITY NOW FAST RISING TO MAN'S ESTATE,

IS

(BY PERMISSION GRACIOUSLY GIVEN,) THANKFULLY AND LOYALLY DEDICATED

[Illustration]

PREFACE.

It is singular that the elder Disraeli has not included in his "Curiosities of Literature" a chapter on Books originating in Accident. It is exactly the kind of topic we might have expected him to discuss, in his usual pleasant manner. Of such productions there is doubtless somewhere a record. Whenever it shall be discovered, the volume here presented to the reader must be added to the list. A few years since, when preparing for a local periodical a paper of "Early Notices of Toronto," the writer little imagined what the sheets then under his hand would finally grow to. The expectation at the time simply was, that the article on which he was at work would assist as a minute scintilla in one of those monthly meteoric showers of miscellaneous light literature with which the age is so familiar; that it would engage, perhaps, the attention for a few moments of a chance gazer here and there, and then vanish in the usual way. But on a subsequent revision, the subject thus casually taken up seemed capable of being more fully handled. Two or three friends, moreover, had expressed a regret that to the memoranda given, gathered chiefly from early French documents, there had not been added some of the more recent floating folklore of the community, some of the homely table talk of the older people of the place; such of the mixed traditions, in short, of the local Past of Toronto as might seem of value as illustrations of primitive colonial life and manners. It was urged, likewise, in several quarters, that if something in this direction were not speedily done, the men of the next generation would be left irremediably ignorant of a multitude of minute particulars relating to their immediate predecessors, and the peculiar conditions under which were so bravely executed the many labours whereby for posterity the path onward has been made smooth. For many years the writer had quietly concerned himself with such matters. Identified with Toronto from boyhood, to him the long, straight ways of the place nowhere presented barren, monotonous vistas. To him innumerable objects and sites on the right hand and on the left, in almost every quarter, called up reminiscences, the growth partly of his own experience and observation, and partly the residuum of discourse with others, all invested with a certain degree of rational, human interest, as it seemed to him. But still, that he was sometime to be the compiler of an elaborate volume on the subject never seriously entered his thoughts. Having, however, as was narrated, once tapped the vein, he was led step by step to further explorations, until the result was reached which the reader has now placed before him.

By inspection it will be seen that the plan pursued was to proceed rather deliberately through the principal thoroughfares, noticing persons and incidents of former days, as suggested by buildings and situations in the order in which they were severally seen; relying in the first instance on personal recollections for the most part, and then attaching to every coigne of vantage such relevant information as could be additionally gathered from coevals and seniors, or gleaned from such literary relics, in print or manuscript of an early date, as could be secured... Continue reading book >>




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