Wednesday, 24 June 2009

St Andrew’s Ward: It's All There

Division One of St Andrew's is now complete (all 250 households with 1400 inhabitants) and I am working on Division Two. Division One’s enumerator did not note the streets and sides, so I wasn’t completely sure where I was although it was pretty clear that Yonge Street and Queen West were involved. I think at one point a resident gave his address as on Temperance Street, and another on Bay. Division Two has addresses. Again, it started on Yonge, but before the 50th household the addresses were on King Street West. I will probably find that the dividing line between the two was between Adelaide and Richmond, and the westernmost limit for both was York Street.

The census allows for remarks on the reverse of the form. These are not often filled in, but are always worth a read—if they are legible. The first one I found in St Andrew’s was made by Robert C Todd who described himself as an artist. I quote his comment as found: Toronto is to New and two Poor te suport an Ornamental artist. The “annual product of business or manufacture” was $300.00 to $400.00. Raw material used (paints oils & brushes) cost about $100.00.
Artists do complain, don’t they?

The second remark worth mentioning was made by J W Smith, a dry goods merchant: Since the completion of the Railways, the business of the City has fallen off and is now done in the Country villages. Unless the Government encourages to the fullest extent, Manufacturers of various kinds, there is but little hope that Toronto will ever regain its former prosperity.
Mr Smith’s business capital was $7600, he employed 5 clerks to whom he paid a total of $120 per month, and he had reached the grand old age of 24!

Had I read something about a recession in Canada in 1860? Perhaps I had.

The third comment was not made by a householder but by the enumerator on a particularly messy census form that I wasn’t making much sense of. Names did not attach to ages or any other details. When I read the remarks I burst out laughing: A notorious whore house keeper that owns the property she lives in. Destroying the people all round both morally and phisically, a curse to the neighbourhood and wich no law, as yet, has been able to reach!!!
signed Wm Hopkins, enumerator.

There had to be one somewhere. And there it was in the division in which the enumerator had taken a form to list the all the churches and the Temperance Hall.

Good Old Toronto. It was ever thus.

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