Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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The Macdonald-Mowat House 1872
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted March, 2004
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted January, 2011
Did you know that our first PM, Sir John, lived in Toronto for a time? True, and in this house at 63 St. George Street. So who was this Mowat guy and what did he have to do with this house? Well, to quench your curiosity, here's the text of this Ontario Heritage Trust plaque on the site with the details:
Coordinates: 43.661430 -79.397120
Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, purchased this house in 1876 and lived here 1876-78. It was built in 1872 in the French Second Empire style by Nathaniel Dickey, a Toronto iron founder. Macdonald owned the property until 1886 and it was occupied by his son, Hugh John, 1879-82. The Hon. Oliver Mowat, prime minister of Ontario, bought and occupied the house in 1888 and retained ownership until 1902. The property was leased, 1897-98, to the Hon. Arthur Sturgis Hardy who succeeded Mowat as prime minister and sold to Knox College in 1910.
Posted January 17, 2015
This week marks the bicentennial of John Macdonald's birth, commemorated with a postage stamp and coin, both issued in his hometown of Kingston on his birthday, January 11, 2015. The city continues celebrating, this year, including at Bellevue House National Historic Site, Macdonald's home in 1848-49.
Few figures in history attain the larger-than-life stature which is his; a mind which filled a nascent nation with dreams of the continental empire it would become. -Wayne
July 1, 2010
Although it is customary, and convenient verbal shorthand, to refer to the provincial leader as the "premier" and the federal leader as the "prime minister", the two terms mean the same thing. In the nineteenth century, for example, it was not unheard of for the PM of Canada to be referred to as "the premier". The wording on the plaque can rest in peace :). - M. Shepherd
February 10, 2010
The best story about this plaque was the prank performed by the UofT Engineering Students (Lady Godiva Marching Band was out in full force) prior to the dedication of the plaque; they posted a notice "Sir John A. drank here"! For many of the Presbyterian tee-totlers of the era, they were aghast when the offending photo appeared in the Presbyterian Record. The house was the Presbyterian Church in Canada's HQ until 1966, when they moved to 50 Wynford Drive in Don Mills, so Record Staff were present with cameras clicking....
> Posted April 23, 2009
Don't you mean Oliver Mowat was Primier of Ontario and Minister of Justice? Prime Ministers run the Country and a Primier run the Province. Sir Oliver Mowat 1820-1903 was born in Kingston, Upper Canada. Not sure who made this plaque but it should be redone. lol
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