INTRODUCTION AND 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. 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 (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 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 led to 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 described by the Land Registry 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! (Double click on the map to get a bigger version.)
This earlier map, from 1827, 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. 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 Radford, Wholesale Grocer. By 1868 the business was run by John Playter, "grocer, wine and spirit merchant."
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 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. 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. These buildings were constructed in 1867, for the W. Davies & Company Pork Packing Company, and 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.
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 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 between Chicago and Montreal and was Deputy Harbour Master of the Port of Toronto.
By 1873 Palace Street had become an extension of Front Street and 27 Palace Street became 107 Front Street East, occupied by MacMillan and Williams, Flour and Feed. In 1891 or 1892 street numbering on Front Street East was changed and number 107, on the south-east corner of 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. A restaurant, the Transport Diner, was in business at 129 Front Street until 1974.
This 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 (129 Front Street East), a detached warehouse building (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 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. The developer 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.
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.
The building, which 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). 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. There is one sub-divided commercial unit, with Front Street addresses, on the building's Front Street frontage.
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.
View New Town of York MTCC 573 in a larger map
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 2014-2015, are:
Under our By-laws, one Director, currently Mr Amdur, is elected by only resident owners.
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.
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 began where the present rail berm lies.)
A view looking north on George Street from just below The Esplanade (in 1909). The Christie biscuit factory (now George Brown College) can be seen in the distance.