Monday, May 17, 2021

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.
Timeless Thursdays is hosted by Stevenson Que

Toronto ON

Click here for a history of Toronto lane naming and a list of other lanes. That post is a work in progress, and gets updated frequently.

Flicker Lane - after the large woodpecker most commonly seen on the ground, where it forages. It plays an important role in the woodland communities because it excavates tree cavities, which are subsequently used by other species. Areas such as the Don Valley and Rosedale Ravine nearby form a desirable habitat. Flickers are Piciformes of the Picidae/Woodpecker family.

Prohibition Lane - after the 20 th century social movement which prohibited the sale of alcohol without prescription. So oppressive was the movement, that many
sought to overcome it through bootlegging practices or by obtaining a doctor’s consent. It is said that in one single day, a Cabbagetown doctor of good repute wrote over 700 prescriptions for the use of alcohol giving them to local residents of all socio-economic ranks. Prohibition ended in 1927.

Mickey Lane – after Mickey Wilson, who was the owner of the Winchester Hotel during Prohibition. Wilson engaged in the common practice known as “rumrunning” by taking alcohol across Lake Ontario to the U.S. for sale during this time.

Arthur Goss Lane – after Arthur Goss who was born in 1881 and moved to Cabbagetown at the age of 6 years where his family lived at 20 Metcalfe Street. He attended Rose Avenue Public School. After his father’s sudden death he began his working life at age 14 as an office boy in the City of Toronto Engineer’s Office on Front Street. 
As a young man, Arthur Goss joined the Toronto Camera Club and formed the Studio Club. No one knows how and where he learned to take photographs.
Bloor St Viaduct looking east July 18, 1917 by Arthur Goss City of Toronto Archives

While working for the City, he was staffed to the position of City Photographer, a posting that he held for almost 40 years. 
Arthur Scott Goss 
Toronto's First Official Photographer
During his career, he captured many images on film and created countless photos of early Toronto including Cabbagetown and the Riverdale Zoo. 

Working until his death in 1940, Goss made photographs for a range of municipal departments. Some of his best-known images were taken for the Works and Health Departments. For the Works Department, he photographed street cleaning, the construction of new roads, and major infrastructure projects, such as the city's new hydroelectric system and the Bloor Viaduct. His photographs of street grading and widening, bridge, underpass, and sewer construction, street cleaning, and garbage disposal were used as records to assist with the routine business of the Works Department, which, at the time, was focused on improving the physical environment of the city.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Charles Hastings enlisted Goss's help in his crusade to improve public health. Goss photographed unsanitary and overcrowded conditions for the Health Department, and Hastings used Goss's photographs as evidence in his 1911 report on slum conditions. Many of Goss's photographs for the Health Department were never published, but were used internally to identify problems, to track the progress of particular projects, or to report on new technologies and methods for carrying out the Department's work. With Goss as the city photographer, photographs quickly became an important resource in many aspects of Toronto's municipal government

There are approximately 26,000 negatives in the Arthur Goss collection at the City of Toronto Archives. These negatives were found in the attic of old City Hall and were catalogued by city archivists in the 1960s.
Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje relied on Goss′s photographs when researching his novel In the Skin of a Lion about the immigrant and working class experience in early 20th Century Toronto. Ondaatje decided to include Goss as a character in this novel. Following the publication of Ondaatje′s novel, the City of Toronto Archives developed a special lecture and tour, tailored for students, addressing the role of Goss′s photos in Ondaatje's book.

Click here for an article containing some of his photos of Toronto.

Eddy Lane - after the Eddy family who lived at 495 Sackville. Mr. Eddy was a clerk for the Canadian National Railway. The Eddy children attended Rose Street School and Winchester School with the family shopping at Power’s Grocery Store at Parliament and Carlton and at McMorran’s Butcher at Sackville and Amelia. The family attended Jarvis Street Baptist Church.

Jarvis Street Baptist Church


  1. I never knew Canada had probition and never getting a prescription for alchol.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  2. Thank you so much for explaining some of the Laneway names in Toronto. Good to see your photographs and read the stories. Arthur Scott Gross was a distinguished looking fellow. Prohibition was a wrong thinking movement in both Canada and the US. It had profound negative consequences, and we are still to this day fighting some of these battles. It was legislation aimed at suppressing immigrants from Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe who consumed beer and wine as part of their cultural customs. Everyone I know who lived through the 1930s in Chicago has a personal bootlegger.

  3. City street signs tell a story. So interesting!

  4. ...nice older house at the corner of Flicker Lane. Prohibition was a failure! Mickey Wilson knew how to make a buck. Arthur Scott Goss was a dapper gent. More neat houses at the corner of Eddy Lane. Thanks Jackie, take care!

  5. I like flickers! The story about Arthur Goss is interesting. Writing prescriptions for alcohol sounds a lot like medical marijuana.

  6. How interesting. Of course I don't know the streets in question, but it was so interesting to read about Arthur Goss and his photographer career.
    Keep smiling,

  7. I love learning bits of your history as I blog! Such a beautiful church.

    I appreciate your link at 'My Corner of the World' this week!


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