New Toronto Post Office
As far back as 1892 the village of New Toronto was served by a Post Office located at 818 Lake Shore Road, under the management of Christopher Reid. Prior to this time, residents of the village secured their mail at Mimico. Mr. Reid acted as Postmaster until 1906, when the position was given to Adam Dyer. At this time the Post Office was a sideline to a grocery business.
In 1908, J.H. Whitlam assumed office, and in 1910, he moved the office to 131 Sixth Street, where it remained until the opening of the premises on the corner of Seventh and Lake Shore Road on August 31st, 1936. (Pictured to the left in 1937)
In June 1929, home delivery was instituted in Mimico and New Toronto, with the New Toronto office as the distributing point. Long Branch was included in this distribution in 1935. (Extracted from New Toronto in Story and Picture: A Souvenir of the July First Celebration 1937, in conjunction with the postmaster information listed on the Library and Archives Canada website).
The building on Seventh and Lakeshore now houses Job Start, an organization that helps people find work. I’ve been asked if anyone knows what happened to the clock that used to be in front of the post office (seen in the picture below from about 1980) and if it could be reinstalled. It was installed by the BIA (Business Improvement Association) in 1987, but I am told that it never worked properly. I’m still trying to come across an old newspaper that might have an article about its demise, because I’ve received a couple stories already. One story says that a couple years ago, the clock just crashed to the ground and broke. Another person said several years ago, a vehicle crashed into it. Maybe there was a crash that weakened the structure enough to fall a couple years later? And another story says that an errant truck hit it and the city just came and took the clock away. That story didn’t tell me if it had actually crashed to the ground. If anyone has any further information about this clock, please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Regardless, the City of Toronto says it will not be reinstalled.
This building is historically significant, designed in the Art Deco style by architects Catto & Catto. It is constructed of Ontario limestone with polished black granite around the foundation and roof. It has a terrazzo floor and a modern skylight in the interior public area. The one-storey addition on the east side was constructed in 1962, matching the original design of the main building. The building came under threat as Canada Post streamlined its operations and the structure was no longer needed, but in 1997 the CAWL organization took over, and the building has since been preserved. Last I heard, Job Start was looking to have the front steps repaired in keeping with the rest of the building, but restoration projects like that are expensive, and funds are limited. Unfortunately, the building has not yet been designated under the Heritage Act, so they are not eligible for the grants that are offered for that type of work.