William George Gooderham Springs to Hoggs Hollow
George Gooderham, William Gooderham’s grandson and George Gooderham’s son bought
more than one-hundred acres of land in Hogg’s Hollow from the Bathgate family
He started at Gooderham and Worts as an entry level
clerk in the 1870s and worked his way up until assuming the presidency
following his father’s death in 1905.
William George Gooderham (1853-1935)
He was quiet and retiring, and while he shunned any sort of publicity, he proved an astute businessman and a skilled yachtsman. Like his father and grandfather before him, he became director—and president—of a dizzying array of companies including the Bank of Toronto, the Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company, and Canada Permanent Savings and Loan. Although he already owned at least two other homes in the city, he apparently built another grand new home in York Mills. He was also a founder of the Toronto Cricket Club and helped the club acquire its grounds on Wilson Avenue. It was his discovery of a hillside spring on his new property however, that cemented his place in Hogg’s Hollow history. Ever the entrepreneur, William turned his hillside spring into a bottling plant and was soon selling his products around the world.
facility—initially known as The Mineral Springs Limited—seems to have been re-branded
as the York Springs Bottling Plant by 1920. It was sold to the O’Keefe Brewery
Company Limited in 1931, the same year the main building was destroyed by a
terrible fire that burned for a full day and injured several firefighters.
The Mineral Springs Limited bottling plant, 1911
Mineral Springs Limited bottling plant is seen here, roughly three years after
it was constructed on the west side of Yonge Street. This view looks north, down
the hill into Hogg’s Hollow. The water produced here was known as York Springs
Water, and the facility was later known as the York Springs Bottling Plant. The
plant offered much-needed employment to a York Mills community that had been in
economic decline since it was by-passed by the railway over fifty years
earlier. Two workers stand beside the radial tracks in the lower-right corner. (NYHS00976,
The Mineral Springs Limited bottling plant,1931
the time this photo was taken on February 7, 1931, ownership of the bottling
plant had changed and the sign out front advertised “O’Keefe’s Dry,” referring
to a soft drink of the day. Sadly, this was also the year the main building was
destroyed by fire. O’Keefe’s graded and sodded the land where the bottling
plant once stood, although they left operational water pipes and a water tank
inside a windmill on the property to ensure a continued supply of spring water.
(City of Toronto Archives f16, s71, it8279)
William George Gooderham was one of Toronto’s great philanthropists. It was said that he never refused assistance to any worthy cause. He exhibited genuine sympathy and humanity in his dealings with others and was renowned for the good relations he had with his employees.
Excerpt from Tales from The Hollow; The Story of Hogg's Hollow and York Mills by Scott Kennedy. It is being published by Friesen Press in the near future.
1907 William George Gooderham Springs to Hoggs Hollow
The story of The Mineral Spirits Bottling plant built by William George Gooderham
|Owner of original
|William George Gooderham, I