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108

Croft Street and Alan Powell Lane

- Michelle - Sunday, October 14th, 2012 : goo

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Croft Street mural to honour John Croft.

"On the evening of April 19, 1904, a nightwatchman noticed flames in an elevator shaft of the E&S Currie Building at 58-60 Wellington Street West. Unfortunately, most of its neighbouring buildings were made of highly flammable wood and designed in ways that fueled fires. The blaze quickly spread and cut a 12-hour path of destruction roughly bounded by Simcoe, Melinda, Yonge and the rail lines. Firefighters from as far as Buffalo assisted Toronto firefighters, with teams from London and Peterborough arriving too late to battle the flames. By 4:30 a.m., the fire was declared to be under control."

"Over the next few weeks, safecrackers were hired to rescue important documents from the ruins, followed by demolition teams equipped with dynamite. Among the men hired for the demolition was Parliament Street resident John Croft, a recent immigrant from England who had occasionally assisted dynamiters in coal mines in his native land. He was assigned to the W.J. Gage Building at 54-58 Front Street West. His team was not given a storage battery to set off the dynamite and had to resort to lighting long fuses then running for cover (an image associated with modern cartoon gags—a possible inspiration for the mural design?). This worked for the first two explosions that were set on May 4th. The third try proved unlucky for Croft."

For more info see Bradburn's 2008 article in torontoist:torontoist.com/2008/05/historicist_the_4/

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Continuing north on Croft Street.

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Alan Powell Lane.

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This article has been viewed 7015 times in the last 60 months


Jean Hilscher: 14th Oct 2012 - 19:22 GMT

These murals are totally amazing! I really think that a company that organizes city tours should consider initiating a planned tour of the impressive graffiti located around the downtown area.

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