Friday, February 15, 2013

G. G. Green in Toronto

I have always been intrigued by the little image of an amazing Second Empire Victorian era warehouse that appears in countless issues of Green's August Flower Almanacs and maps advertising their "Toronto Branch Laboratory." Until now, I have been unable to discover the actual location of it or even if it was still standing, as usually the illustration is printed without an address. I then discovered an excellent Library Company of Philadephia collection entitled: "Postcards, bank drafts, and invoices relating to G.G. Green, manufacturer of proprietary medicines, Woodbury, N.J." In this collection was an original invoice dating from 1885 (see below), which clearly shows the address of the Toronto Branch Laboratory as 37 Front Street East. My first step was to plug the address into google maps and using their street view, I was able to discover what appeared to be the building! Cross referencing this address with Toronto travel guides I was able to get more definitive proof. The entire building encompasses the address 35-39 Front St. E. and is most commonly referred to as the Beardmore Building after the prominent leather manufacturer that had a lengthy occupancy in the building, after G.G. Green of course! It is was built circa 1872 and was first home to a wholesale grocer. The entire building, like others in the area were fancifully adorned and featured a cast iron facade, not bad for a warehouse! The importance of creating beautiful buildings was important back then, as again it should be, and the entire building still stands true to its original glory, completely restored. (Notice the pedestrian appeal... take note Woodbury!)
2012 photo from flickr: beachdigital

From an 1885 book: History of Toronto further
connecting 37 Front St E to G.G.Green of Woodbury
Illustration from 1880 issue of Green's Atlas and Diary Almanac

Illustration from 1880 issue of Green's Atlas and Diary Almanac

Adam, G. M., & Mulvany, C. P. (1885). History of Toronto and County of York, Ontario: Containing an outline of the history of the dominion of Canada; a history of the City of Toronto and the County of York, with the townships, towns, general and local statistics; biographical sketches. (Vol. 1, p. 501). Toronto: C.B. Robinson. Retrieved from"37 front st" toronto "august flower"&pg=PA501