Recollections and Records of Toronto of Old. - 1914 by William Henry Pearson.


Cat No.:   CA0330:

With references to Brantford, Kingston and Others.

The author, William Henry Pearson, was uniquely qualified to write this book. He first came to live in Toronto in 1839 at about 8 years of age. He went on to spend his whole working life in the city, in employment which bought him into daily contact with its inhabitants and made him familiar with its institutions. Several years after his retirement, he was prompted by his friends and - he says - by a sense of civic duty, to make a permanent record of his life’s experience, including, as the title says, his “Recollections and Records.”

William was a student of everything going on around him, both in the lives of people and in the development of the environment, so that rather than simply regarding these events as a sort of “backdrop” to his own passing life, he considered them something he should capture and record. For instance, shortly after he went to work for the Post Office he started keeping a written record of the deaths of all the people he had had occasion to come into contact with, until, in his retirement his list amounted to some 3,900 individuals.

This is a somewhat difficult book to describe in a paragraph or so simply because it contains the reminiscences and stories accumulated through a whole lifetime and is, consequently, a mixed bag of individual, and often unrelated, memories.

Following an introduction to the old city of Toronto, largely based on his recollection of the buildings, the progress of William’s book approximates the passage of time, although the chapters continue to be named for the areas and individual edifices which were central to the events of the time rather than to the dates on which they occurred. Throughout the book the city’s inhabitants are introduced (and described) as a result of their connection to a location, or to an event, meaning that it is often not obvious where to look for them. Our computer search facility, however, is extremely useful in unlocking this valuable personal information provided by the book’s pages, as all the occurrences of a name can quickly be found.

Once the initial introduction to the city and the chronology of events is complete William continues with a commentary on the influence of civic growth and industrial development and particularly on the influence that the church and its clergy had. This area of the book is particularly rich in references to members of the churches discussed.

Illustrated with artwork and photographs of early Toronto landmarks and portraits of its inhabitants.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-40-6 ;