TPL History: It Just Takes A Spark!

First published in 1953, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 depicts a future in which firemen cause fires, burning books and shattering lives. This book, selected as the One Book for our 2013 Keep Toronto Reading Festival, inspired us to dig through our Digital Archive for pictures of firefighters and their equipment in our own town. We also want to commemorate the devastating fire of April 19, 1904 — the second time a large part of Toronto burnt to the ground.
36 Pins2.16k Followers
Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): South side of Wellington St looking east from Bay St.

Aftermath of Great Toronto Fire, Wellington St., south side, east from Bay St.

Taken just a year and a few weeks after the Great Toronto Fire of 1904, this dramatic shot of the fire at the Canadian Feather & Mattress Company on Melinda St. just east of Bay Street, illustrates the difficulty that the new taller buildings posed to firefighters. The relatively newly-developed elevator technology of the day allowed building to be built taller than ever before — far outstripping the fire department’s ability to propel water!

toronto Hoses tackle the devastating fire that levelled a large portion of the city's manufacturing district in Flames added for effect afterwards.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): The east side of Bay St., between Wellington and Melinda Streets. This image shows the photographic goods store of Henry Fowlds Sharpe, the photographer who took most of the 1904 fire shots that we display here.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April The east side of Bay St., between Wellington and Melinda Streets. This image shows the photographic goods store of Henry Fowlds Sharpe, the photographer who took most of the 1904 fire shots that we display here.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): Wellington St. West, looking east towards Bay St.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April Wellington St. West, looking east towards Bay St.

Leaside fire department pumper beside Leaside Municipal Building, at McRae Drive and Randolph Road, in 1955.

Leaside Fire Department Pumper beside Leaside Municipal Building, at McRae Drive and Randolph Road, in

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): In the south, the fire stopped at Melinda, as this image of Bay St. looking south from Melinda shows clearly. Sharpe’s photography shop is fourth from the left.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April In the south, the fire stopped at Melinda, as this image of Bay St. looking south from Melinda shows clearly. Sharpe’s photography shop is fourth from the left.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): This image shows the damage at Front Street, looking west towards Yonge St.

Fire, Yonge and Front, Aftermath of fire, Front Street. West, west of Yonge Street. The fire started on evening of April Over 100 buildings were destroyed. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): Taken shortly after the fire was under control, this shot illustrates both the destruction and the consternation the damage caused residents. Like the spectators pictures, we are looking south from just north of Wellington St., east of Bay.

Great Toronto Fire (April This image shows the aftermath of the fire. It is taken at Bay St., on the east side, looking south from just north of Wellington St.

In the mid 19th-Century, Rossin House Hotel was one of the most prestigious hotels in Toronto and one of the early city’s tallest structure. Located at the southeast corner of King and York Streets in Toronto, it was originally built in 1856. As this picture shows, it was destroyed by a fire in 1862 and re-built the following year.

Engraving from 'Canadian illustrated news', Hamilton, no.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): Front St. West, just west of Bay St.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April Front St. West, just west of Bay St.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): This view of Front St. West, looking north (from the south side of the street), is just west of Yonge St. The Customs House is on the right of the picture.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April This view of Front St. West, looking north (from the south side of the street), is just west of Yonge St. The Customs House is on the right of the picture.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): Bay St., looking south from the north side of Wellington St. West.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April Bay St., looking south from the north side of Wellington St.

Aftermath of the Great Toronto Fire (April 19, 1904): Printed on page 12 of The Globe on April 19, 1923, — nine years after the fire itself — this picture shows Front St. in ruins. The story that accompanied this photo states that 14 acres were burned, and a financial loss of $10,694,000 was sustained. More than 120 buildings were destroyed.

On the night of April 1904 and the morning of April a Toronto fire decimated downtown Toronto and took with it over 100 buildings

Captain William Coxhead, FMN.,  and F. MacFadden pose in front of the Etobicoke Fire Department hall at Royal York Road and Tenby St., in Humber Bay, on November 14, 1954.

MacFadden pose in front of the Etobicoke Fire Department hall at Royal York Road and Tenby St., in Humber Bay, on November

On Tuesday, April 19, 1904, a massive fire ripped through Toronto’s downtown core, in the Bay-Wellington-Esplanade area. The first alarm sounded at 8:04pm, under a strong north-west wind (30-40 mph). The fire was not under control until 10 am the next morning (Wednesday, April 20th).This Fire Insurance map by Charles E. Goad shows the area damaged by the fire. Many of the businesses were wholesalers. The fire started in a men's wear shop that specialized in neckties.

1904 - Shows buildings destroyed or damaged in the great fire of 1904 in the Bay - Wellington - Esplanade area

Pinterest
Search