In 2004 a fire on lower Major Street became more serious than it might have been otherwise because of unseparated attic spaces.
Two years later, another serious fire on lower Robert Street spread in a matter of minutes to five houses, also through their unseparated attics. After this fire, there was an outpouring of public concern about the terrible consequences for our neighbours. Money was collected and donated to HVRA — to see either to the welfare of the victims of the fire, or to promote fire safety.
As almost all the victims of the fire were covered by their own insurance, HVRA decided to put the money gathered toward the general purpose of fire prevention in old houses such as those in Harbord Village.
Board Member Colin Furness took charge of the research that produced a four-page leaflet distributed to all houses in the neighbourhood; Gus Sinclair oversaw the layout (thanks to Donna Endicott Layout Services) and printing (by Skylar Printing). The leaflet was distributed to all houses in Harbord Village in 2009, and is available here as a PDF file.
Just before the final printing in 2009, a third fire broke out on lower Major Street, and again spread because of no attic fire separations between living quarters. As this website was being prepared in 2016, three more fires struck: one on Ulster near Bathurst, one on Lippincott near Bathurst, and the other once again on lower Major, where a deck fire spread quickly to neighbouring roofs.
So our 2009 leaflet is still relevant: Fire Safety is a Serious Matter. If you live in Harbord Village, or in any of Toronto’s Victorian neighbourhoods… please read this leaflet with deep care and attention.