History Byte – The William Street Brewery

Following my last post on Copeland’s Brewery, here is the Globe’s description of the William Street Brewery as part of their annual review of the state of trade in Toronto.  This one comes from January 1867.


The Globe - Thursday, January 31st, 1867

This establishment has largely increased its facilities for brewing and malting purposes during the year 1866.  The main building having been raised tow and one-half stories, with an elevator about ninety feet in height for raising the grain.  No expense has been spared in procuring the newest machinery.  The cooling apparatus, manufactured by Booth & Son, of this city, cools the worts at the rate of fifty barrels per hour.  The cellars are seventeen feet under ground, are very extensive, and are, with the kilns and offices, lighted with gas.  The whole premises cover over an acre.  There are one hundred and eighteen breweries in Canada West in operation, and estimating the whole returns to Government, this establishment pays one-tenth of the duties according to present returns.  The shipments of malts are large during the season.  We understand that a large quantity of bricks has been purchased, with a view to future additions, which, if carried out, will make it one of the largest brewing and malting concerns in Canada.

For those of you who remember the name “Victoria Brewery” from an earlier post on O’Keefe’s Brewery, this John A. Aldwell of the William Street Brewery, was the original owner and founder of the Victoria Brewery.  There is a period of overlap where both O’Keefe and Aldwell are associated with the Victoria Brewery until Aldwell leaves to open the William Street Brewery in 1866.  Despite the grandiose designs for additions mentioned in the article, the William Street Brewery closed its doors in 1874.

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