Vintage Toronto Ads: A Victorian Home Entertainment System
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Vintage Toronto Ads: A Victorian Home Entertainment System


There was a time in this fair city when home theatres did not run
When the grand majestic steeples stood alone against the sun
Long before the iPod and long before the radio
When the brown dark piano entertained homes in Toronto

(with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot)
Founded in 1888, Whaley, Royce & Co. quickly billed itself as “Canada’s Greatest Music House.” Initially manufacturing a wide range of instruments, the company focused on brass and drums from the 1920s onwards under the Imperial, Sterling and Ideal brands. The company maintained a publishing arm until a fire in 1969 destroyed its stock.
A variety of addresses served as downtown “warerooms” for the company through the mid-1970s. Their 1894 address would have been at the corner of Yonge Street and Richmond Street West, where musical instruments are still sold at The Bay.
Source: Truth, March 17, 1894