Home & private gardens

Toronto homeowners took pride in their own private gardens as evidenced by backyard garden contests and garden party fundraising activities.

Garden party in aid of St. Mark’s Church Parkdale
Invitation, September 5, 1883
1883. Garden

Dovercourt Backyard Garden Contest Diploma
Issued by Dovercourt Land Building and Savings
1915. Dovercourt

Manuscript records like Cornelius Stovin’s diary describe the kinds of flowers, fruits and vegetables that were flourishing in local gardens at the time. In 1877 and 1878, Cornelius Stovin lived at the corner of Front and Brock Streets. In these pages from his diary you’ll notice that he records thefts from his garden on August 27th and 30th, 1878.

Cornelius Stovin. Diary recording chiefly the plants grown in his garden in Sarnia in 1872 and in Toronto in 1877 and 1878
Diary A

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Source: Special Collections, Toronto Public Library.