Henry Scadding.

Toronto of old; collections and recollections illustrative of the early settlement and social life of the capital of Ontario online

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of the yacht _Bullfrog_, compelled to put in by stress of weather. He
was on his way from the Lower Province to Niagara. "His Excellency Sir
P. Maitland, after having visited Quebec, returning by the route of the
Rideau Canal, arrived at York," says the _Loyalist_ of Oct. 18, "on
Monday morning from Kingston, on board His Majesty's yacht _Bullfrog_,
Commodore Barrie, and on landing was received by a salute from the
garrison. It was His Excellency's intention, we understand, to have
landed at Niagara, but the _Bullfrog_ having encountered a heavy gale on
the previous night, was obliged to make for York. His Excellency
proceeded to Niagara on Wednesday by the _Canada_, and Commodore Barrie
with the _Bullfrog_ left the harbour on the same day on return to
Kingston." Sir Peregrine, we may observe, was on the point of leaving
Upper Canada, having been appointed to the Government of Nova Scotia.
The arrival of his successor at New York is announced in the same paper.
"The packet ship _Corinthian_ arrived at New York on the evening of the
7th instant. Sir John Colborne and family were passengers in the
_Corinthian_, and may therefore be daily expected at this place (York)."
It is announced in the same paper that "a public dinner will be given to
His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland, previous to his departure from
this Province. Tickets of admission to be had at Messrs. Meighan's." In
the number for November 4, we have an account of the addresses which are
being presented to Sir Peregrine on the occasion of his departure, with
the remark: - "The expressions of respect for his administration of the
Government, and of personal esteem towards His Excellency and family,
which these addresses contain, afford the most satisfactory testimonials
that the sincere and anxious desire of His Excellency for the
improvement of the country and the happiness of its inhabitants are duly
appreciated when the period of a long and arduous administration is
about to terminate. These, together with the approbation of his
Sovereign, fully evinced by the more important Civil and Military
honours conferred upon him, cannot but be gratifying, as well to His
Excellency as to the inhabitants of the Province generally." And again
in the _Loyalist_ of the 15th Nov., it is stated that "the last
_Gazette_ contains addresses to His Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland,
on his departure from the Province - from the Magistrates, Grand Jury,
and Bar of the London District, in Quarter Sessions assembled; from the
towns of Kingston and Brockville, and from Grimsby, all expressing the
same sentiments of personal regard and respect for his administration of
this Government, as those which were previously presented from other
places to His Excellency."

On Monday, the 10th of November, the new Governor, Sir John Colborne, is
at the Falls, making explorations there, while the steamer _Canada_ is
taking the luggage on board at Lewiston, preparatory to the passage over
to York. The Niagara _Gleaner_, quoted in the _Loyalist_, says: - "On
Monday last His Excellency Sir John Colborne paid a visit to the Falls.
His own elegant carriage, drawn by four spirited horses, furnished by
Mr. Chrysler, carried his Excellency's lady, her sister Miss Yonge, and
five children. His Excellency went on horseback, accompanied by Capt.
Phillpotts, of the Royal Engineers. In the meantime the steamer _Canada_
went to Lewiston, took in His Excellency's luggage, and was ready to
receive His Excellency and family at an early hour on Tuesday morning.
On the departure of the vessel a salute was fired from Fort George. We
have been informed," the _Gleaner_ adds, "that His Excellency was highly
gratified with the first view of the Province and the friendly reception
he met with; also of the good things he partook of at the hotel, much of
which was the produce of the Province."

Capt. McKenzie died August 27, 1832, aged 50. At the time of his death
he was engaged in the construction of a steamer at the head of the Lake,
and of another on Lake Simcoe. In 1832 Capt. Elmsley is offering for
sale his yacht the _Dart_. In the York _Sapper_ and _Miner_ of Oct. 25,
1832, we read the notice: - "For sale, the fast-sailing cutter _Dart_,
22½ tons burden, with or without rigging, sails, and other furniture.
For particulars enquire of the Hon. John Elmsley. York, 24th May, 1832."
There is an accidental prolepsis in the "Hon." He was not appointed to a
seat in the Upper House until after 1837. Capt. Elmsley, with his
friend, Mr. Jeffrey Hale, afterwards of Quebec, left the service of the
Royal Navy about 1832. In 1837 Captain Elmsley was appointed to the
command of a Government vessel carrying two swivel-guns on the Lower St.
Lawrence. He subsequently settled for a time on his estate known as
Clover Hill, where he expended considerable sums of money in farming
operations. Later he again undertook the command of a vessel, the _James
Coleman_, trading on his own account between Halifax and Quebec. He
afterwards, for a time, commanded one of the mail steamers on Lake
Ontario, the _Sovereign_. (In several other connections we have had
occasion to give particulars of Captain Elmsley's career.) The _Dart_,
above named, was built at York by Mr. Purkis, a well-known shipwright
there. In 1834, we notice, in MacKenzie's _Advocate_ of March 13, a
marine item following an observation on the mildness of the
season: - "The weather is very mild for the season," the _Advocate_ says:
"occasional showers; plenty of sunshine and slight frosts. A schooner
sailed last Tuesday for Niagara, and is expected back to-morrow."

It was in 1834 the grand old name Toronto was recovered by the harbour
and town, whose early marine we have sought in some degree to recall.

We have evidence in the Toronto _Recorder_ of July 30, 1834, that, at
that period, at least seven steamers were frequenting the harbour of
Toronto. In the paper named we read in succession seven rather long
steamboat advertisements. "The splendid low-pressure steamboat the
_Constitution_, Edward Zealand, master." She runs from Hamilton to
Toronto, touching at Oakville; thence to Cobourg, touching at Port Hope;
thence to Rochester, and _vice versa_. It is stated that "the
_Constitution_ will afford a safe and expeditious opportunity for
merchants from New York and other places to forward their goods by way
of Rochester to the head of the Lake Ontario." Agents at Hamilton,
Messrs. E. and J. Ritchie; Oakville, Mr. Thomas; Toronto, James F.
Smith, Esq.; Rochester, Mr. Greene, forwarder; Cobourg, E. Perry, Esq.;
Port Hope, J. Brown, Esq. Captain Zealand had formerly been in the
command of an ocean-going merchant ship. "The steamboat _William IV._,
Charles Paynter, Commander, propelled by a Low-Pressure Engine of a
Hundred Horse-power." She runs between Prescott, Niagara, and Lewiston,
touching at Brockville, Gananoque, Kingston, Cobourg, Port Hope,
Toronto, Hamilton, and _vice versa_. "For freight or passage, apply at
the Post-office, Toronto, or to the Captain on board." Four smoke
funnels rendered the _William IV._ recognizable at a distance. "The
fast-sailing steamboat, _St. George_, Lieut. Harper, R.N., Commander."
She runs between Prescott, Brockville, Kingston, Toronto, and Niagara,
and _vice versa_. "This beautiful vessel," the advertisement says, "is
propelled by a Low-Pressure Engine of Ninety Horse-power, is schooner
rigged, and has accommodation for sixty cabin passengers. The _St.
George_ will wait the arrival of the passengers who leave Montreal by
Thursday morning's stage." "The splendid fast-sailing steamboat
_Cobourg_, Capt. Charles Mcintosh, Master, propelled by two low-pressure
engines of fifty-horse power each." She runs between Prescott,
Brockville, Kingston and Toronto, and _vice versa_. "This boat will be
found by the travelling community not surpassed by any on Lake Ontario
for elegance, comfort and speed. The _Cobourg_ will wait the arrival of
the Montreal stage before leaving for her upward trip. For freight or
passage apply to the Master or Purser on board." "The _Queenston_, Capt.
James Sutherland." This is the _Queenston_ of which we have heard
already. She runs, according to the advertisement in the _Recorder_,
between Toronto and Hamilton. "Cabin passage each way, two dollars
(meals extra). Deck passage each way, one dollar. All baggage and small
parcels at the risk of the owners, unless delivered to the Captain and
entered as freight. Freight payable on delivery. As the boat will be
punctual to the hour of sailing, passengers are requested to be on board
in due time." Captain Sutherland has been chief officer of the first
steamer which crossed the Atlantic to Quebec, the _Unicorn_. He had
before been engaged in the Hudson's Bay trade. "The splendid
low-pressure steamboat _Great Britain_, Capt. Whitney." She runs between
Prescott, Brockville, Kingston, Oswego, Cobourg, Port Hope, Toronto, and
_vice versa_. "The accommodations on board the _Great Britain_ have been
much enlarged and improved during last winter, and every exertion will
be used to ensure regularity and comfort to the passengers. The above
boat will await the arrival of the passengers that leave Montreal on
Monday by the Upper Canada stage. Emigrants and others desirous of
taking this conveyance are requested to call at the Ontario Steamboat
Office in this town (Prescott), and procure tickets."

Finally, the _Recorder_ displays the usual advertisement of the
Steam-packet _Canada_, Hugh Richardson, Master. She leaves Toronto daily
for Niagara, at seven in the morning, and Niagara daily for Toronto, at
one in the afternoon. The fares continue unchanged. "Passengers
returning to either of the Ports within the week will only be charged
half-price for the return. Accommodation for Horses, Carriages, and
Cattle." About the same period the _Oneida_, of Oswego, the _Hamilton_,
the _Sir Robert Peel_, and the _Commodore Barrie_, are other steamers
entering the harbour of Toronto.

Near the landing place at Niagara, a row of capacious warehouses is
still to be seen, disused and closed up, over the large double portals
of which, respectively, are to be dimly discerned the following
inscriptions in succession: - Great Britain; William IV.; St. George;
United Kingdom; Cobourg; Commodore Barrie; Canada; Schooners. This is a
relic of the period to which we are now referring. These warehouses were
the places of deposit for freight, tackling, and other property
appertaining to the vessels named, with a compartment for the
accommodation of Schooners collectively. Niagara was then the
headquarters of the shipping interests of the Lake, and the place where
the principal wholesale mercantile houses were situated.

Sailing craft visiting the Harbour in 1835, and later, were: - the _Three
Brothers_, the _Superior_, the _Emily_, the _Robert Burns_, the
_Prosperity_, the _Fanny_, the _Perseverance_, the _Matilda_, of Oswego,
the _Elizabeth_, of Lewiston, the _Guernsey_, the _Peacock_, the
_Caroline_, the _Fair American_, the _Sovereign_, the _Jessie Woods_,
the _Erin_, the _Charlotte_, the _Winnebago_, the _Lord Nelson_, the
_Enterprise_, the _Boxer_.

The _Three Brothers_ was so named from the three brothers
McIntosh - John, Robert, and Henry. John commanded the _Three Brothers_;
Charles commanded the _Superior_, named second above; Robert commanded
the _Eunice_, of which we have heard already. Two other brothers of this
marine family were early owners of contiguous building lots on the east
side of Yonge street, south of Shuter street. Prosperous descendants of
the same name are still to be found in business on a portion of this
property. Modern improvements have caused the removal of many of the
original buildings of this locality; but one of the McIntosh family
residences yet remains, at the present time converted into the show
rooms of a carriage manufactory. (Capt. Wm. McIntosh, of the _Minerva
Ann_, a schooner of this period, was of another family).

The _Fanny_ is noticeable as having been the first craft commanded by
Captain Dick of Toronto, who speedily afterwards became distinguished in
connection with the steam marine of Lake Ontario, not only as a builder,
large proprietor, and sailing master, but also as commander of a
Despatch vessel in the Public Service, especially during the troubles of
1837. The _Fanny_ was the property of Mr. James Lockhart of Niagara, as
also were the _Sovereign_ and the _Jessie Woods_. The _Boxer_ was
commanded by a veteran Lake captain, Wm. Peeke. Capt. Peeke, it is
stated, supplied lime burnt at Duffin's Creek before the close of the
last century, for the foundation of the Lighthouse on Gibraltar Point,
and other structures in York.

In 1835, the harbour was visited by Capt. George and his barge from
Quebec. Capt. George - for so he was styled in these parts, although, as
we shall see, not a professional navigator - was a combined nautical and
mechanical genius, who vigorously urged on Government and the forwarding
community the adoption of a scheme of his for enabling loaded vessels to
overcome the rapids of the St. Lawrence, and reach the upper ports
without breaking bulk. Pulleys and chains were to be anchored at points
in the river, or along the banks of the stream. He contrived to get his
own barge in this way up to Toronto, well filled with merchandize, and
made the return trip with cargo of the upper country products, possibly
more than once, but the undertaking, being found too expensive for a
private individual, was abandoned; and soon after, the construction of
canals round the rapids rendered needless all such ingenious projects.
Mr. George had been long a merchant in Quebec; and it was simply his
inability to secure a satisfactory person for the superintendence of his
experiment, that induced him to take the command of his own vessel in
her perilous venture up and down the St. Lawrence. Mr. George continued
to reside at Quebec; and for an annual stipend of £200, he offered the
corporation of the city to create for them every winter a "pont," or
ice-bridge, opposite the city. From the action of the tides, the "pont"
fails occasionally to form, to the great inconvenience of the
inhabitants. Here again Mr. George gave ocular proof of the
practicability of his plan. Proceeding up the river above the influence
of the tide, he cut loose a vast field of ice and floated it down whole
to Quebec, where it fixed itself fast between Cape Diamond and the
opposite shore, and formed a "pont." It did not, however, prove
sufficiently durable. Some eccentricity in language is remembered as
characterizing Mr. George. A person conversing with him occasionally
found himself addressed in rhyming couplets, as if, of their own accord,
his words would run into doggerel. "Some chance of wreck between this
and Quebec! Mishap befall ere I reach Montreal! You're a fool! go to
school!" &c. His barge likewise is described as possessing a peculiar
rig. Its masts, or rather the two spars which served to support his
sails, formed above the deck, as we are told, a sort of large St.
Andrew's cross, such being, according to him, the most convenient
arrangement for working the leg of mutton or triangular sails which he
used. (We note here the two heroic captains who were the first to
encounter appalling risks on the waters of the St. Lawrence in vessels
propelled by steam. Captain Maxwell, in the employment at the time of
Messrs. McPherson and Crane, first discovered and navigated in a
steamboat the deep channel of the Long Sault; and Captain Hilliard, on
board the steamer _Ontario_, first descended the rapids at Lachine.)

In 1835 and years immediately following, additional names appear in the
Toronto harbour steam-marine lists - the _Experiment_, the _Queen_, the
_Gore_, the _Princess Royal_, the _Traveller_, the _City of Toronto_
(the first steamer so named), all of them boats built at Niagara under
the superintendence of Capt. Dick, and all of them, with the exception
of the _Traveller_, in the Royal Mail Service. The _City of Toronto_,
built in 1841, and commanded by Captain Dick, was the first steamer that
conveyed the mails westward. The mail-service previously had been
performed by Mr. Weller and his stage-coaches. The principal owners of
the vessels named were Mr. James Lockhart, of Niagara, Capt. Dick
himself, Mr. Andrew Heron, also of Niagara, and Mr. Donald Bethune. The
_Experiment_, above mentioned, was the Government Despatch boat which,
under the command of Capt. Dick, did such good service on the Lake
during the troubles of 1837.

When the steam-packet _Canada_ was finally sold, Capt. Richardson
commanded and principally owned the _Transit_, on the route between York
and Niagara. This _Transit_ was in reality the steamer _Constitution_,
of which we have already heard as being commanded by Capt. Zealand,
conjointly with the _Transit_. A steamer named the _Queen_ was for a
time maintained by Capt. Richardson on the route between Niagara, the
head of the Lake, and York. The _Queen_ was under the charge of Capt.
Richardson's son, Mr. Hugh Richardson, assisted by two brothers, Charles
and Henry Richardson. Simultaneously with the _Transit_ and _Queen_, the
_City of Toronto_ (the first steamer so named) also plied to Niagara,
under the command of Capt. Dick. After some years the _Transit_ was sold
and became a tug-boat on the river below. The steamer _Chief Justice
Robinson_ was then built by Capt. Richardson for the Niagara route, in
some respects after a model of his own, being provided, like the ancient
war-galleys, with a rostrum or projecting beak low down on a level with
the water, for the purpose, as was generally supposed, of breaking a way
through ice when such an impediment existed; but by Capt. Richardson
himself, the peculiar confirmation of the prow was expected to
facilitate the vessel's progress through the heavy surges of the Lake.
About 1850 the _Chief Justice Robinson_ became the property of Capt.
Dick and Mr. Heron. This transfer closed the career of Capt. Richardson
as a commander on the Lake. From 1852 to 1870 he filled the post of
Harbour-master at Toronto, and on the 2nd of July, 1870, he died, in
the 87th year of his age. The _Chief Justice_ continued to ply between
Toronto and Niagara, in company with the _City of Toronto_, until the
removal of the latter vessel to the waters of Lake Huron, where she
became famous as the _Algoma_.

In 1855 the _Peerless_ was placed on the Niagara route. The _Peerless_
was an iron vessel, first constructed in the Clyde in parts, then taken
asunder and shipped to Canada, where she was put together again under
the eye of her owner, Capt. Dick, at Niagara. The number of pieces
entering into the composition of the _Peerless_ was six thousand. Such a
method of transporting an iron ship from the Clyde to Niagara, if
complicated and troublesome, was shown to be, at all events, a dictate
of prudence by the fate which befell a vessel intended to be a companion
to the _Peerless_ on Lake Ontario. A steamship of iron named _Her
Majesty_, built in the Clyde expressly for Capt. Dick, was lost in the
Atlantic, with all the men in charge on board, sixteen in number; so
that no clue was ever attained as to the cause of the disaster. We now
find ourselves treating of times which, strictly speaking, do not come
within the scope of these 'collections and recollections.'

For the sake of imparting roundness and completeness to our narrative,
we have ventured on the few details just given. We finish by simply
naming the successor of the _Peerless_ on the route to Niagara, Capt.
Milloy's splendid steamer, the _Zimmerman_. It fell to our lot to
witness the last agonies of this vessel in the devouring flames as she
lay at the Niagara quay, near the mouth of the Niagara River. On that
never-to-be-forgotten occasion (Aug. 21, 1863), the long-continued
shrieking of the steam whistle, the resounding moans and convulsive
sighs issuing fitfully, in a variety of keys, from the tubes of the
boiler and other parts of the steam apparatus, gave to all hearers and
on-lookers the painful and most affecting impression of some gigantic
sentient creature helplessly undergoing a fiery death, suffering in the
process grievous pangs, protracted and inexpressible.





In 1869, the survivors of the early occupants of York, Upper Canada,
formed themselves into a Society entitled The Pioneers, for the joint
purpose of mutual conference, and of gathering together and preserving
whatever memorials of the local Past might be found to be yet extant.
The names of the members of this Association are subjoined, all of whom
were resident at York customably or occasionally, at some period prior
to March 6th, 1834, when the name of the town was changed to Toronto.
The date which precedes each group shows the year in which the members
included in the group became identified with York, whether by birth or
otherwise. In numerous instances, the father of the individual named in
the following list, having been the establisher of a family in these
parts and its first breadwinner here, was the true pioneer. (By a change
in the original constitution of the Society, the sons and descendants of
the first members of the Association, and of all the first grantees or
occupants of land in the county of York, as defined in 1798, are, on
their attaining the age of 40 years, eligible to be members.)

1794. - Edward Simcoe Wright, Toronto. - Isaac White, do.

1795. - Lieut. Francis Button, Buttonville.

1797. - John Thompson, Toronto.

1798. - Hon. W. B. Robinson, Toronto. - John Bright, do.

1799. - John W. Gamble, Pine Grove, Vaughan.

1800. - Andrew Heron, Toronto. - Cornelius Van Nostrand, Yonge Street.

1801. - Robert Bright, Toronto.

1805. - John Murchison, Toronto.

1806. - Hon. H. J. Boulton, Toronto. - William Cawthra, do. - John Ridout,

1808. - Rev. Saltern Givins, Toronto. - Allan Macdonell, do. - Joseph
Gould, ex-M.P.P., Uxbridge. - James Marshall, Youngstown, N.Y.

1809. - Judge G. S. Jarvis, Cornwall - William Roe, Newmarket.

1810. - Rev. William MacMurray, D.D., Niagara. - Richard P. Willson,
Holland Landing.

1811. - George Bostwick, Yorkville. - Joseph Lawrence, Collingwood. - Rev.
D. McMullen, Picton.

1812. - Francis H. Heward, Toronto. - William Dougall, Picton.

1813. - R. E. Playter, Toronto. - George Snider, M.P.P., Owen
Sound. - Capt. Thomas G. Anderson, Cobourg.

1814. - Lieut.-Col. Richard L. Denison, Toronto. - Henry B. Heward, do.

1815. - R. G. Anderson, Toronto. - George Monro, do. - Dr. George Crawford,

1816. - Col. George T. Denison, Toronto. - Ven. Archdeacon Fuller,
do. - Lieut.-Col. W. M. Button, Buttonville. - Capt. Robert Brock Playter,
Queenston. - Thomas Montgomery, Etobicoke.

1817. - R. H. Oates, Toronto. - Charles Stotesbury, do. - Sheriff B. W.
Smith, Barrie. - Robert Petch, Toronto. - J. W. Drummond, do. - Alex.
Stewart, do. - James Stafford, do.

1818. - James Beaty, M.P., Toronto. - J. O. Bouchier, Georgina. - John
Doel, senior, Toronto. - John Doel, junior, do. - James Gedd, do. - Thomas
Humphrey, do. - John Harper, do. - John Moore, do. - William Reynolds,
do. - James Sparks, do.

1819. - W. B. Phipps, Toronto. - Grant Powell, Ottawa. - F. H. Medcalf,
Toronto, ex-Mayor. - Robert H. Smith, Newmarket. - John Raper,
Toronto. - John B. Bagwell, Hamilton.

1820. - W. J. Coates, Toronto. - Alexander Hamilton, do. - Clarke Gamble,
do. - Hon. J. G. Spragge, do. - W. H. Lee, Ottawa. - Dr. John Turquand,
Woodstock. - Charles L. Helliwell, Stayner. - William Helliwell, Highland
Creek. - Edward Musson, Toronto. - Thomas J. Wallis, do.

1821. - Lieut.-Col. Robert B. Denison, Toronto. - William Barber, M.P.P.,
Springfield. - Henry Sproatt, Toronto. - John Eastwood, Port
Elgin. - Edward C. Fisher, Humber. - William Duncan, York
Township. - Jonathan Scott, Toronto. - Charles Scadding, do. - Rev. Dr.
Scadding, do.

1822. - Lieut.-Col. Frederick Wells, Davenport. - Stephen M. Jarvis,
Toronto. - John Helliwell, do.

1823. - Hon. David Reesor, Markham. - Major John Paul, Weston. - John
Small, M.D., Toronto. - James McMullen, do. - Alderman Adamson, do. - James
Duncan, York Township.

1824. - Rev. Dr. Richardson, Toronto. - Matthew Teefy, Richmond
Hill. - John Bell, Toronto. - Charles Lount, do. - Robert Young,
Georgetown. - Rufus Skinner, Toronto.

1825. - Allan McLean Howard, Toronto. - D. O. Brooke, do. - Thomas
Helliwell, do. - Thomas Armstrong, do. - James Taylor, Eglinton.

1826. - James Stitt, Toronto. - Ishmael Iredale, do. - David Burns,

Online LibraryHenry ScaddingToronto of old; collections and recollections illustrative of the early settlement and social life of the capital of Ontario → online text (page 56 of 59)