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296   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

Yonge Street tavern trade occurred between 1837 and 1847. With the opening of the North-ern Railway, and consequent falling off in traffic by road, a decline set in.

"While the tavern-keepers prospered the distilling interest prospered as well," said Mr. Langstaff, "and at one time I could count the sites of no fewer than nine distilleries between Toronto and Richmond Hill. A distillery was not a very elaborate affair in those days, —a roof, a few round logs, and some tubs being about all that was called for in the way of equipment. The most important consideration was a good spring, and a farm that had such was considered a favourable site for a distillery."

One of the first of the old taverns was built at Elgin Mills. There, lot fifty-one was taken up by Bolsar Munshall in 1793, and twenty-five years later Aaron Munshall established a tavern on the place. A daughter of the first Munshall married a man named Wright, and theirs was the first white child born north of Toronto.

The best known of these old hostelries," said Mr. Langstaff, "was of course, Montgomery's Tavern. Montgomery, on being pardoned for his part in the rebellion, afterwards established the Franklin House in Toronto and died in Barrie in his eightieth year. Another famous place was the old Red Lion. Polling was held at the Lion in the election of 1832, following Mackenzie's expulsion from the Legislature in 1831. Forty sleighs escorted Mackenzie to the poling place, and in the first hour and a half one hundred and nineteen votes were cast for him to one for Street, his opponent, and then the


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