Canadian Fashion Connection – The Golden Lion, 1847 – 1898

English-born Robert Walker moved to York (Toronto) in 1829 and by 1836 was operating a dry goods store on King street. By 1847 he had built a stone-fronted store and two years later adopted a golden lion as its symbol. The business was successful and became known for its men’s ready-to-wear. In 1866/67 the store underwent an expansion to open up floor space and bring in more natural light; a 12-foot-high stone lion was added to the top of the building prompting the business to become better known as The Golden Lion. ┬áRobert Walker and Sons, (The Golden Lion) was considered the largest retail business in Ontario in the late 1860s. The store was remodelled and expanded again in 1892, but then went into decline, closing in 1898. In 1901 the lion was removed and the store demolished to make way for Victoria street and the King Edward Hotel. The image below was taken in late 1872 or early 1873.

For more information about the Golden Lion:

Vintage Toronto Ads: The Golden Lion

 

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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