Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood in Old Town Toronto

Children were hanged, women without husbands had little choice but to prostitute themselves, clergy and ruling families cruelly dominated a lusty, oftentimes unruly population.

The seamy and the sacred united to form one of the world’s great cities: Toronto. Telling its tales is famed local historian Bruce Bell, a uniquely skilled and deeply emotional storyteller.

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About Bruce Bell

Bruce Bell has been the popular monthly local history columnist for The Bulletin, Canada’s largest-circulation community newspaper, since 1999.

In 2002 he was named by the City of Toronto the Official Historian of St. Lawrence Hall and St. Lawrence Market. In November 2003 Bruce was asked by the Ontario Heritage Foundation to host the 200th anniversary celebrations of St. Lawrence Market.

In May 2004 Bruce was appointed Official Historian of Toronto’s King Edward Hotel as part of the famed hotel’s centennial celebrations. In October 2004 Bruce was appointed Honourary Historian of the Hockey Hall of Fame Heritage Building.

In June 2006 Bruce was appointed Curator in Residence for the spectacular Dominion Bank Building, now One King West (built in 1914). In October 2006 Bruce was bestowed the title Honourary Historian of the 51 Division Heritage Building by Toronto Police Services for his work as a historian in 51 Division.

Bruce sits on the board of the Town of York Historical Society and is the author of two books Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and the just published TORONTO: A Pictorial Celebration. Bruce is also the official tour guide of historic St. Lawrence Market where visitors from around the globe are constantly entertained by his amusing, fact-packed renditions of the Market’s and the area’s history.

In April 2007 as part of the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts 100th-year birthday celebrations, Bruce was named Honourary Historian of the famed Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Bruce’s History Project, a plaque program marking historical sites with large bronze markers, to date includes Toronto’s First Jail, The Great Fire of 1849, the Hangings of the Rebellion of 1837 leaders Lount and Matthews and the Birthplace of Canadian Statesman Robert Baldwin.

Bruce’s mission is to tell Toronto’s history through his tours, writings and lectures, including his sold-out shows at Toronto’s famed Winter Garden Theatre, in an informative and entertaining way. Visit Bruce’s website www.brucebelltours.ca to book a tour or to make a reservation for one of his upcoming events.

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