Benjamin Chapman presumably learned the watchmaking and jewellery trade from his father who had established a jewellery business in Dublin, Ireland in 1814. Benjamin worked for 16 years as a jeweller in Belfast before immigrating to Canada in 1864. Ten years later he established his own business at 261 Yonge street in Toronto.
Photo taken May 2021 - not sure what the city plans to do with it.
B. Chapman’s shop offered imported clocks and jewellery from England and Germany. In January, 1890 The Trader & Canadian Jeweller reported that his store had recently installed the “new Edison incandescent electric lighting”, which “shows off their handsome goods to great advantage.”
William James Chapman (1911 – 1999) great grandson of Benjamin, was the last owner of the family business that remained in operation until c, 1983. In 1979 the original building was given heritage status and housed a Tim Horton’s on the main floor until recently.