INTRODUCTION & HISTORY
In 1787, the British negotiated the purchase of more than a quarter million acres (1,000 km²) of land on the shores of Lake Ontario in the area of what is now Toronto. Our City is located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is also covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Williams Treaty signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
In 1793 Governor John Graves Simcoe named York, as Toronto was then known, the capital of the new colony of Upper Canada. The parliament and government offices moved here from Niagara-on-the-Lake, then called Newark, in 1796. At the time, York was a small ten-block rectangle at the eastern end of the harbour. It extended from Berkeley Street west to George Street, and north from Palace Street (now Front Street), which ran along the harbour, to Lot Street (Queen Street). In the next few years this settlement expanded to become the Town of York, which covered the area north of Palace (Front) Street and south of Lot (Queen) Street between about Parliament Street and Yonge Street. Palace (Front) Street was at that time right on the banks of Lake Ontario and George Street ended at Palace (Front) Street. It was called Palace Street because it ran between the "Palaces of Government" - the parliament and other government buildings.
It is interesting to note that the land on which MTCC 573 is built is still described by the Land Registry Office as "being composed of parts of Water Lots 16 and 17, part of the Walks and Gardens, part of the Bank of Toronto Bay". In 1834, the Town of York became the City of Toronto. This 1833 map - prepared by the British Royal Engineers - shows the layout of York-Toronto and how the corner of George Street and Palace Street was 'in the thick of things!
The painting above shows Taylor's Wharf in 1835. (City of Toronto Toronto Culture, Museums and Heritage Services. Skating at Taylor's Wharf by John George Howard 1835.
The map below is from 1827. James Grant Chewett's Plan of the Town of York. This shows the site of our building at the corner of George and Palace Streets - New Street is now Jarvis Street, Palace Street is now Front Street, Caroline Street is now Sherbourne and the building marked "Market" is now St Lawrence Hall. Note the stream that crossed Palace Street just west of George and the location of the shoreline.
In the mid-1850s, when the Grand Trunk Railway's line from Montreal was being constructed, the Province, the railway and the City agreed to create a one hundred foot landfill strip into the harbour. Forty feet of this were for the rail lines, sixty for the City: this is approximately where The Esplanade runs today. According to evidence given in an 1885 court case, Archibald Taylor built a wharf at the foot of George Street in 1852 or 1853 and in the 1856 City directory the area of our building was listed as being occupied by Capt. Archibald Taylor, who was part owner of a ship, the Clarissa, ran a coal and timber yard and operated a wharf (Taylor's Wharf). An Archibald Taylor was elected Councilman for St Lawrence Ward in 1859 and 1860 but it is unclear if this is the same person.
After the initial landfill was in place, the first record of a building at 27 Palace Street, the location of today's New Town of York, was in 1864 when it housed the business of William Reford, Wholesale Grocer, Capt Archibald Taylor (now described as a 'warfinger, coal and wood') was still next door at No. 29. By 1866 the grocery business was run by John Playter, "grocer, wine and spirit merchant." Capt. Taylor was still at No. 29 and there was a blacksmith nearer to Frederick Street. By 1873 Playter had gone but Capt Archibald Taylor was still there in the newly numbered 109-111 Front Street (he died, of 'senile decay' on 12 July 1884 at the age of 80, his death certificate describes him as a "Sea Captain", he is buried at the Necropolis). Another grocer, 'MacMillan and Williams, Produce' were at 107.
The south-east corner of George and Front in 1972. Note the J.J. Taylor Safe Works building to the east.
In 1855 the brothers James and John Taylor, emigrants from England, began making, in a small factory on Toronto's Palace Street, the first safes ever produced in Canada. In 1875 they moved their factory ( J & J Taylor Safe Company or, later, The Toronto Safe Works) to the existing buildings (then 117-119) at the corner of what is now Front Street East and Frederick Streets and they used a wharf, Taylor's Wharf, from which to ship their safes. Taylor's Wharf (also known as Pier 43) was located between Frederick and George Streets about where The Esplanade now runs. In the next few years they expanded westwards towards George Street
In 1890 street numbering on Front Street East was changed again and number 107, on the south-east corner of Front and George Street, was renumbered as 129 Front Street East. This was a vacant site for several years but there was a "Spice and Coffee Mill" at 131 in the late 19th. century and by 1922 H.A. Wickett, General Contractor had a yard there. . Gillanders woodwork and furniture was at 131 Front Street East in the 1960s and a restaurant, the Transport Diner (or The Diner), was in business at 129 Front Street East until 1974. If you look closely at the west wall of the building immediately to our east you can still see the name "Taylor Safe Works" painted on it. (See photo on the "Local Links" page. The building closest to Frederick was constructed in 1867, for the W. Davies & Company Pork Packing Company, and it and the addition just west of it housed the safe factory until 1959 when Chubb-Mosler and Taylor Safes Ltd. was formed, and a new office and plant were built at Brampton. See https://www.housestories.ca/2013/06/the-j-j-taylor-safe-company-2/
In 2009, to commemorate Taylor's Wharf the City of Toronto named the Lane which runs behind our building Taylor's Wharf Lane. Initially this wharf was thought to be named after the Taylors of the Safe Works but it is now certain that "Taylor's Wharf" pre-dated the safe works and was actually named after Captain Archibald Taylor (see above and photo below) who, from 1852 or 1853 to about 1880, had a coal and wood business and a wharf - noted in City Directories as "Taylor's Wharf - on Palace Street close to what would become George Street South. Capt. Taylor was the Master of several schooners, including the Clarissa, the John A. MacDonald and the Atlantic, operated several lakers running between Toronto, Chicago and Montreal.
The illustration below is from the 1893 Goad Fire Atlas of Toronto:
In 1977, an application was made for a permit to demolish a detached eating establishment building (The Diner, 129 Front Street East), a detached warehouse building (Gillanders at 131 Front Street East) and portions of a pair of detached warehouse buildings (139 and 145 Front Street East). At the same time the City slightly narrowed George Street south of Front Street and the western few feet of our building are on this former City land - by-law 1977-0432. In late 1979, advertisements appeared in Toronto newspapers for a 51-unit condominium Corporation to be known as The New Town of York: see copy of an article in the Toronto Star from 1979 at the bottom of this page.
The developer of our building was Westok Holdings, the building's architect was H.D. Burston, the consulting engineers were M.V. Shore and the price of a unit ranged from $92,750 to $160,000. In 1980 the City formally transferred their right of way on what is now the east side of our building, under the 'archway'. The New Town of York was occupied by residents in 1981/1982 and was registered as Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation (MTCC) 573 on March 3, 1982. Copies of the original ‘sales brochures’ for most units are on the Useful Documents section of our website. The street name was changed from George Street to George Street South in 1980 to accommodate the additional building numbers south of Front Street.
This photo, taken from King and George, shows our building under final construction - still with the construction fencing and the New Town of York sign. 1981? There is another view of the building during construction on the Local Links page.
New Town of York (MTCC 573) is located at the southeast corner of Front Street East and George Street South, has a resident Superintendent and contains 51 residential units (9 originally one-bedroom, 42 two-bedroom) and one (sub-divided) commercial unit. Among the 'common elements', the building offers residents an indoor swimming pool, a lounge with a billiard table, a squash court, a patio deck with a barbecue and an exercise room. The sub-divided commercial unit has Front Street "convenience addresses".
As with all Condominium Corporations in Ontario, the building is divided into Units and common elements; everything that is not a Unit is a common element. Unit boundaries are described in the Declaration. The Corporation does not own the common elements, they are jointly owned by all Unit owners in the percentages shown in Schedule D of our Declaration.
All condominiums in Ontario are governed by the Condominium Act (S.O. 1998, c. 19) and the Declaration, the By-Laws and the Rules of the individual condominium corporation. The hierarchy is Act, Declaration, By-Laws and Rules & Guidelines.
The owners of the 52 Units in the building are all equal members of MTCC 573, which has a five member Board of Directors, elected by all owners for renewable, staggered, three-year terms. The members of the current Board, and their positions for 2018-2019, are:
The Board has the responsibility of operating the Corporation for the benefit of all owners and we employ a Property Management Company and a Superintendent to assist us with this task. The Corporation must be administered in accordance with the Condominium Act and the Declaration and By-Laws of MTCC 573; the Act taking precedence. Under the authority of the Act, the Declaration and the By-Laws, the Board is empowered to establish and enforce Rules to ensure that the building runs smoothly and that the rights of all its owners are respected.
latlng: (43.6496778, -79.3700412)
The government of Ontario has a website that answers some common questions about condominiums. See: http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Condos.aspx
Foot of George Street. October 5, 1914. (Until about 1925 the railway tracks were where The Esplanade now runs and Toronto Bay, which used to almost reach our garage ramp, began where the present rail berm lies.)
From Mitchell's Toronto Directory for 1864-5