Beer History: Bloor Street

Read this in The Star today:
Bloor Street: If you have ever enjoyed a beer on Bloor, the man it was named for may have been looking down with a smile. Joseph Bloore was one of the city’s earliest brewers. He built his brewery in 1830 and when he sold it in 1843 bought land in what would become Yorkville. City historians are not sure why the ‘e’ was dropped when Tollgate Road was renamed Bloor Street in 1855.

I started googling to find more information on Joseph Bloore but couldn’t find much. I found this out about a brewery called Severn that was located in Yorkville:

Located in Rosedale Ravine east of Yonge Street and north of Davenport Road, Severn’s Brewery occupied a four story stone and brick structure. John Severn, its proprietor, emigrated to Canada from Derbyshire in 1830 and worked briefly as a blacksmith before establishing himself as a brewer in Yorkville in the mid-1830s.

By 1867 the brewery employed twelve men in manufacturing 6-7000 gallons of ale and porter each week. Dissatisfied with the local water supply from Severn Creek (also known as Castle Frank Brook), Severn apparently had water piped from Summerhill through wooden pipes. 

A restless entrepreneur, Severn travelled to California to establish another brewery in 1854, leaving his Yorkville business in the hands of his eldest son George. Returning to Canada in 1859, he sold his business to his sons George and Henry and travelled to Iowa to establish another brewery. Four years later, in 1863, he returned again to Toronto and repurchased the Yorkville business from his sons; he continued to operate the brewery until his death in 1880. Severn served as both Reeve and Councillor on the Yorkville Council; the beer barrel on the Yorkville coat of arms commemorated his years of service.

Severn Brewery (Reproduced from the Toronto Public Library website




Filed under beer history

2 responses to “Beer History: Bloor Street

  1. karellp

    Cool post, I didn’t know much about the Severn Brewery, so it was great an interesting read. I believe there is now a Canadian Tire complex on the site, though I’m not sure when the brewery was torn down.

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