Delivery trucks lining Richmond Street, looking east towards Yonge Street, February 19, 1913. From the City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1266.
The most common horses seen on the street were work animals. Grocers, butchers, ice merchants, dairies, and retailers of all varieties maintained horses for deliveries—and the beasts’ contribution of labour was essential to the success or failure of the enterprise. Doctors too needed a horse to make house calls.
Bred for their utilitarian purpose, the workhorses were “[t]he commonest kind of stallions” and mixed breeds, E. King Dodds recalled in Canadian Turf Recollections and Other Sketches (Toronto, 1909), with “the chief consideration of the majority of owners being cheapness of service.”