Tree growing in the middle of College Street, 1897

An 1897 photo from a Jan. 8 Reddit post ( shows a tall elm tree growing right in the unpaved College St. roadway across from the intersection with Major.

The photo was taken from the tower of the Fire Hall at College and Bellevue; see the full original here and admire other sights from that period (e.g., the large Broadway Tabernacle Church at College and Spadina [now gone], the nearly complete new City Hall at the far right [now the Old City Hall]).

r/toronto - College Street looking east from Firehall No.8, 1897

After the tree was cut down in 1911, growth rings showed it had probably sprouted in the late 1780s, before York (Toronto) was founded as a colonial town.

With thanks to Nicole Schulman for noticing the interesting Jan. 8 post by “eric-very” (Eric Sehr, a City project manager for the Waterfront area and an author for Spacing Magazine). Use this link and click on the arrows on the photo to read an article from The Globe (Oct. 19, 1911) lamenting the tree’s end. Add your comments to those from other local residents and history buffs.