Rossin House Toronto

jd755

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So the image that kicked it all off is this one, Click for Image, and the thing I noticed is the length of those gable end supports which must mean one or two floors of the terrace building are below the street level which makes no sense whatsoever. Then found this one with ghostly figures and street cars.

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Then this site popped up which included some history.
  • Shortly after the arrival of the Braham family, the three Rossin brothers, Marcus, Samuel and Julius, came to Toronto from their native country, Germany, and set up a jewellery business at 32 King Street East. Their advertisement of 1846 tells us that they had a “Jewellery, Watches, and Fancy Goods Establishment.” In 1855 Marcus and Samuel Rossin entered upon a new enterprise. They bought the piece of land on the south-east corner of King and York Streets, where the British Coffee House, owned by Mr. William Chewett, once stood, and part of which ground is now occupied by the Prince George Hotel. Here they erected the famous Rossin House. There was accommodation for over 500 guests, and during its existence it sheltered many of the celebrities that passed through Toronto, including H. R. H. the Prince of Wales and Suite in 1860; General Slistel, acting Lieutenant Governor, who had his suite there for over a year; many of the nobility of England, and a number of European literary notabilities.
  • It was a bold enterprise and a good investment while intact. On Friday, November 14th, 1862, occurred a fire which will long be memorable to old residents of Toronto. About 2.30 that morning the cry of “fire” rang through the halls of the Rossin House. The conflagration assumed such gigantic proportions that many of the occupants had to jump out in their night-clothes to save their lives. The House was completely destroyed. the loss amounting to about $200,000, only one-third of which was covered by insurance.

  • A few months after the fire Dr. Chewett assisted the Rossins in incorporating a company for the purpose of rebuilding the hotel. Messrs. Rossin, however, did not remain long in Toronto after this conflagration. In 1863 they opened a wholesale tobacco shop at 10 Wellington Street West in addition to their jewellery store at 55 Front Street East. But discouraged by their misfortune of ’62, they left Toronto three years later. Marcus, the elder brother, returned to Germany, while Samuel went to the United States. They have both died since.
A fine postcard from the opposite direction to the first image.
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No pictures of the fire or its aftermath just an engraving. No photo of the first Rossin House Hotel so presumbly pre camera days. Nothing in the engraving matches with any photograph of the second hotel on the site.

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And then quite bizarrely up popped a Mark Twain connection
  • "While in Toronto, Twain and Cable both stayed at the upscale Rossin House Hotel at the corner of King Street and York Street. The building stood until 1969, when it was demolished to make way for the Toronto-Dominion Centre."
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First hotel built by three german jewish brothers burns down then rebuilt expanded and restyled to the building in the images.
"On Friday, November 14th, 1862, occurred a fire which will long be memorable to old residents of Toronto. About 2.30 that morning the cry of “fire” rang through the halls of the Rossin House. The conflagration assumed such gigantic proportions that many of the occupants had to jump out in their night-clothes to save their lives. The House was completely destroyed. the loss amounting to about $200,000, only one-third of which was covered by insurance."

So they lost a considerable sum in that fire but were able to build the much larger replacement soon after.
"A few months after the fire Dr. Chewett assisted the Rossins in incorporating a company for the purpose of rebuilding the hotel. Messrs. Rossin, however, did not remain long in Toronto after this conflagration. In 1863 they opened a wholesale tobacco shop at 10 Wellington Street West in addition to their jewellery store at 55 Front Street East. But discouraged by their misfortune of ’62, they left Toronto three years later."
And then they left. The hotel Mark Twain stayed in was full of the columns and looked from that colour image very well appointed at odds really with the descriptions of Toronto on the jewish site's page.
The picture with the propped up gable end must have been taken shortly after the second hotel was built.
Not sure where if anywhere this is going save to say something feels off with this tale of how this hotel came into being and fell in 1969.

Just storing this link to the georgian grandeur of 1860's Toronto which is completely at odds with the population figures for the time. Mud flood evidence reveals itself once again.
Toronto of the 1860s

This page contradicts a lot of the above. A brief history of the Rossin House Hotel

In this image the pianoforte advert is on the opposite gable end of the terrace to the propped up one in the first picture linked above. The pianoforte manufactory was also owned by an immigrant jew.

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The article page holding this image states it was taken in 1856 (from the roof of an unfinished Rossin Hotel) and yet in the one below there are no buildings between the terrace and the Rossin hotel.

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There is no space for them. Please correct me if I am 'reading' these images wrong as I am going bog eyed at this point!

Panoramic Toronto 1856 here almost deserted.
 
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