RSS

Tag Archives: Mackenzie House Toronto

Capturing a Toronto winter on canvas

                       179.  16x20  2006

Capturing a Toronto winter on canvas is a daunting task. I prefer to sketch directly onto the bare canvas, placing an easel on the sidewalk, but this is not possible for winter scenes. For these paintings, only quick sketches were completed on site, the scenes then transferred to canvas and finished in my studio. Photos were employed to provide details. Many Canadians dread winter, but it also has its beautiful side, especially when the sun bursts forth in a clear blue sky following a snow storm. Even storms have a beauty, when the city is hushed and the noise of traffic dimmed.

Painted in 2006, the above view gazes toward the southeast corner of Spadina Avenue and King Street West. The painting is 16” x 20”, acrylic on stretched canvas. This is one of the scenes that has now disappeared. The car rental company on the southeast corner of the intersection, on the north side of the Winners Store, now contains an LCBO outlet. It is soon to be demolished to construct a high-rise condominium. The assortment of buildings to the right of the CN Tower has also changed greatly, with many more structures having been added to the skyline. When I painted this canvas, I had no idea that the view would disappear so quickly. I merely considered it a dramatic view of the CN Tower that I wished to preserve.  

                         144.  16x20 massonite 2008  looking south toward King W.

Painted in 2008, this scene is a view gazing south on Simcoe Street, from a short distance north of King Street West. The CN Tower and Ritz Carlton Hotel are evident in the background, behind the Roy Thomson Hall. The painting is 16”x 20”, on Masonite board.

157.  16x20  1991 Cecil St.

View of Cecil Street in the College and Spadina area. Painted in 1991, it depicts a man hauling home a Christmas tree. A young child bubbles with excitement at the sight of the tree. The painting is 16” x 20”, acrylic on stretched canvas. 

    73.  8x10  canvasboard  1975 McKenzie House, Bond St.     269.  11x14  2000  Mckenzie House

Mackenzie House on Bond Street, the home of Toronto’s first mayor. It is now an heritage property and operates as a museum, furnished in the style of the 1860s when the Mackenzie family lived in it. The left-hand painting is acrylic on canvas board, 8” x 10”, painted in 1975. The right-hand painting is 11”x14” on stretched canvas, painted in 2000.

                      206  24x36  2005 Queen West and John St.

  A streetcar travelling east on Queen Street West, the view gazing south on John Street. In the background, a partial view of the Chapters Book Store at John and Richmond is visible. The store closed in 2014. The painting is 24” x 36”, on Masonite, painted in 2005.

219.  8x10  2003  Queen &Spadina

This blustery winter scene gazes east on Queen Street West from Spadina Avenue. The tower of the Canada Life Building on University Avenue can be seen in the distance through the swirling snow. The Letteiri Restaurant on the southeast corner of the intersection is now gone and a Hero Hamburger outlet is on the site. Painted in 2003, it is 8” x 10” on stretched canvas. 

5. 16x20 --2003  View fro, Penthouse 4, 50 Camden St.

These snow-laden roof tops were on the north side of Adelaide Street West, between Brant Street and Spadina Avenue. View is from an apartment building on Camden Street, one block north of Adelaide. In the distance a westbound streetcar can be seen on King Street West. Almost all these buildings have been demolished to create the condominium, Brant Park. Painting is 16” x 20 “ on stretched canvas, painted in 2003.

261.  8x10  2002  Houses, Bellevue St.

View of houses on Bellevue Street, opposite Denison Square, in the Kensington Market. The Toronto Western Hospital is evident through the alleyway between the houses. Painted in 2002, the canvas is 8” x 10”, on stretched canvas.

262.  8x10  2004  Kensington Avenue

View gazing north on Kensington Avenue following a heavy snow fall in 2004. European Meats is evident at the head of the street, on Baldwin Avenue. Since this painting was completed, the European Meat Market has departed the scene. Painting is 8” x 10” on stretched canvas.

254  8x10  1999  High Park

   Sledding in High Park in 1999. Canvas is 8” x 10” on stretched canvas.

280.  8x10  2001

View of the Grange from Grange Park, 8”x 10”, on stretched canvas, painted in 2002.

In a previous post, I shared paintings that stimulated memories of my boyhood. For a link to this post:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/capturing-torontos-past-through-paintings/

For a link to paintings of the Kensington Market: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/capturing-torontos-kensington-market-in-art/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous blogs about movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It relates anecdotes and stories of the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                      cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[2]

   To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Store and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791

Theatres Included in the Book:

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), the Photodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

Tags: , , , ,

Mackenzie House—Toronto

DSCN9117   DSCN0381

                           Mackenzie House at 82 Bond St., Toronto      

William Lyon Mackenzie was born in Scotland in 1795. He arrived in Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1820, and settled in the town of Dundas. He relocated to Queenston, located  beside the Niagara River in May 1824, and commenced publishing a newspaper, the Colonial Advocate. He agitated through his editorials for political reform. His main purpose was to establish Responsible Government in Upper Canada. This meant that the Governor and his advisors would be required to obey the wishes of the elected representatives of the people. At this time, the royal governor and his unelected advisors (the executive council) passed whatever laws they deemed necessary, disregarding the member of the assembly, which was elected. The member of the governor’s executive council were chosen from among a group of influential and wealthy families, known as the Family Compact.  

In the autumn of 1824, Mackenzie moved to the town of York, the provincial capital, to be closer to the heart of the political scene. He possessed a strong personality and was a colourful character. In York, continuing to publish the Colonial Advocate, through his fiery editorials he gathered a large following, particularly among those who were discontented with the present system of government.  In this same year, he advocated a union of the British American colonies, an idea that was eventually followed and became known as confederation. In 1832 he travelled to Britain to present to the imperial government the grievances of the citizens of Upper Canada against the political system. Back in York, when the reformers won a majority on the city council in 1834, he  was elected mayor, the city’s first. 

In 1836, Mackenzie was defeated in the elections. Governor Bond Head had actively participated in the process and through bribery and threats managed to prevail. Mackenzie became increasingly frustrated with the situation and the lack of democracy in the colonial government. He began to ferment rebellious ideas, and it the autumn of 1837, with a group of followers took up arms against the government. It became known as the Rebellion of 1837. Although most of Upper Canada agreed with Mackenzie, they failed to support him in open rebellion. The rebellion was crushed.

Mackenzie fled to the United States, where he lived in exile for twelve years. During his absence, the ideas he fought for were implemented and Upper Canada achieved Responsible Government. In 1849 the Government granted an amnesty to those who had participated in the rebellion, and in 1850, Mackenzie returned to Toronto. In 1851, he was re-elected to Assembly, retiring from politics in 1858. However, he continued to publish his newspaper.

In 1859, the house on Bond Street was given to him by the grateful citizens of Toronto in recognition of the role he had played in reforming the Canadian political system. The house can be visited today. It is a two-storey, yellow-brick townhouse in the Greek Revival style. Originally, there were other houses attached to it on either side. Under the eaves is a pattern referred to as the Greek key. There is a gable window in the roof that provides light for the attic of the home. Tall chimneys are positioned on the north and south ends of the roof. The kitchen is in the basement, so the basement windows are partially above ground. Ceiling-fixtures with gas provide lighting in the rooms.

Mackenzie and his wife, Isabella Baxter, had thirteen children, seven of whom survived childhood. After Mackenzie died in 1861, his family continued to live in the house on Bond Street and remained there until 1871, when they leased the house. They sold it in 1877. The home had various owners in the years ahead, one of whom discovered a musket buried in the back garden. He contacted Mackenzie’s grandson, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, thinking that the weapon might have been owned by the rebel leader of the 1837 Rebellion.

The house was opened as an historic site in 1950, and in 1967 an addition was built on it that contains an 1860s print shop and gift shop. Today, the house has been furnished to reflect the lifestyle of the Mackenzie family. Viewing its cozy rooms provides an intimate look into the lives of the family. It is reported to be one of the few documented haunted houses in Toronto. An historic site, it is fascinating to visit, its location only a few blocks from the Eaton’s Centre.

Fonds 1244, Item 9077

Ruins of Mackenzie’s printing shop in Queenston, photographed in 1911. City of Toronto Archives Series 1244, It. 9077

Mack.'s desk, of 1837, photo 1915, York Pineers --f1548_s0393_it12463[1]

Mackenzie’s desk of 1837, photographed in 1911. Photo from the York Pioneers, City of Toronto Archives Series 393, S0393, S.0393, Id. 12463.

f1231_it1696[1]

Bond Street, gazing south from Dundas Street, May 9, 1919. Mackenzie House is among the row of houses on the right-hand side of the photo, four or five houses from the corner. It is to the south of the home with the large porch that has support pillars. The church spire farther down the street is that of St. Michael’s Cathedral. 

DSCN9123

Mackenzie House before 1938, when the houses on either side of it had not been demolished. Photo from the collection of Heritage Toronto.

1950s --f1257_s1057_it0741[1]

Mackenzie House in the 1950s, before the print shop and gift shop were added. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, F. 1257, Id.0741. 

DSCN0378   DSCN0378

                Greek key pattern under the eaves of Mackenzie House

DSCN0382

                  Parlour windows on the first floor, facing Bond Street.

                  DSCN0383

Doorway of Mackenzie House, with transom windows above the doors.

                       DSCN5738

        Gazing into the dining room of Mackenzie House from the parlour.

 

                        DSCN5735

                           Dining room of the the house on Bond Street.

DSCN5736        DSCN5742

                                  Treats on the table at Mackenzie House

                  DSCN9124

Gateway on the north side of the house that today leads to the visitors’ entrance and the addition that contains the print shop and gift shop. 

                      DSCN0377

                         Mackenzie House in the spring of 2013.

Visiting Mackenzie House is an opportunity to learn about the lifestyle of Canadians in the 19th-century Toronto. The guided tours are excellent, the staff friendly and knowledgeable.

For information on visiting this historic home : http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=33e5909d6fd70410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

For a link to Colborne Lodge, another historic property under the auspices of Heritage Toronto:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/torontos-architectural-gemscolborne-lodge-in-high-park/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous blogs about other movie houses of Toronto—old and new

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                      cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852

   To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

Theatres Included in the Book:

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

Tags: , , ,