Between 1872 and 1887, two brothers from Hamilton, Edward and Charles Gurney, built an iron foundry on the location known today as 500-522 King Street West, Toronto. In his wonderful website on Toronto history, Doug Taylor describes the price of progress "as the natural playground was to be buried beneath an enormous industrial complex" (Click here to link to Doug Taylor's website on Toronto history)
500-522 King St West today
"Viewing these restored buildings today, it is difficult to imagine them being a part of a bustling, sooty, industrial complex, with hundreds of workers labouring in hot, fetid conditions to tend the furnaces, shovelling coal to keep the fires alive. It was an era when workers possessed few rights. Wages were poor and hours were long, usually nine or ten hours a day, six days a week. Lung disease and work-related illnesses were common."
BUT WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MARMORA?
In March of 1937, Mr. S.A. Lowe, owner of the Royal Hotel in Marmora, decided to make improvements to the hotel, one of which was a new heating system. Putting in a call the the Gurney Foundry Company resulted in the delivery of a three and a half ton furnace within 48 hours, and complete installation within another 24 hours! For Mr. Lowe it resulted in half the fuel costs.
If anyone has the opportunity to visit the basement of the Royal Hotel, we'd be interested to know if it is still there!