May 2021 - Toronto ON
Rush Lane aka Graffiti Alley
Rush’s string of shops received deliveries from the lane behind Queen St., which runs between Portland St. and Augusta Ave. where Graffiti Alley now runs. MacKenzie recalls a taxi driver taking him there in the 1970s, before a signpost was ever installed. Everyone knew Rush Lane, he said.
Frank and Mary Rush are listed in the 1881 Census for St. Andrew’s Ward as Roman Catholic immigrants from Ireland with five children: Mary, Mary Ann, Ellen, Teresa and Margret. Eldest son Edward, the great-grandfather of MacKenzie, had already grown up and left home by then. He eventually worked for the City of Toronto and had a hand in naming Rush Lane, MacKenzie said.
“It took the Eatons five or six generations to blow their money. Apparently it only took the Rushes a couple generations. None of that money worked its way down,” said MacKenzie, now an Ottawa-area entrepreneur. In an unlikely twist, Mercer attended the wedding of MacKenzie’s sister, who married a producer at the CBC.