June 2016 - Toronto ON
Always wanted to see this and just happened upon it on Saturday in our rambles. It was closed for a wedding, so I will have to go back to see the museum.
Established and funded in 1848 by local brewer Enoch Turner, Toronto's first free school educated the children of the area's many poor immigrants from 1849-1859.
Corktown was originally settled by working class immigrants in the early 1800's. Many of these families came from the County of Cork in Ireland, which explains how this neighbourhood became known as Corktown.
Most Corktown residents found employment at one of the local breweries or brickyards.
I was curious about this name Enoch, which we don't hear nowadays.
From the Hebrew name חֲנוֹך (Chanokh) meaning "dedicated". In Genesis in the Old Testament this is the name of both the son of Cain and the father of Methuselah, and the supposed author of the apocryphal Books of Enoch.
Historians believe that Henry Bowyer Lane (1817-1878), an English architect who worked in Canada from about 1841 to 1847 designed both the schoolhouse and Little Trinity Church at the same time. He was also responsible for several other important Toronto buildings including the City Hall and St. Lawrence Market.
Click here to see Little Trinity Church which is next door.
Closed as a school in 1859, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse has had a chequered history remaining in continuous use through the years. Until the 1960s it was a Sunday school and Parish hall for nearby Little Trinity Church which, in 1869, added the West Hall. It became a Boer War recruitment centre in 1899, a serviceman's home away from home during two World Wars, a soup kitchen serving 1500 people a week in the"Dirty Thirties", a Little Trinity Church Neighbourhood youth clubhouse in the 1950s and a temporary meeting place after the church's fire. In the 1960s, it was home to concerts, community youth programs and performing and visual arts events. Then, in a sad state of disrepair, the building was in danger of being torn down.
Enter architect Eric Arthur and local citizens who lovingly saved and restored it for Governor General Roland Michener to open as an historic site and museum in 1972. Now one of the oldest, continuously operated buildings in Toronto, Mr. Turner's schoolhouse remains a unique architectural and historical treasure.
Some of the old homes along Trinity.