Friday 2 December 2016

Getting into the Christmas Spirit(s)

The Toronto Christmas Market is underway for another year in the Distillery Historic District, the area formerly known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery. In the latter half of the 19th century, Gooderham & Worts was the largest distillery in Canada. Ontario’s period of prohibition from 1916 to 1927 hurt production, and the company was sold in 1923. The new owner, Harry C. Hatch, merged the company with Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. four years later.

The letter below is from ARCAT’s collection. The “government stores” it refers to are the soon-to-be-opened Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores (now commonly known as LCBOs), which were authorized by the highly criticized Liquor Control Act (1927). The original purpose of the LCBO was, essentially, to monitor the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages in Ontario as well as to track drinking in the province. People needed a licence, similar to a driver’s licence, to purchase and consume liquor. The LCBO kept track of what each person bought, down to the bottle.

Letter from Larry McGuiness to Fr. Manley,
December 13, 1926

MN AH15.109
Archbishop McNeil fonds

The Christmas Market continues until Thursday, December 22.

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