Men’s restaurant

Page 946 of the 1900 Toronto city directory, which I mentioned yesterday, contains this ad at the top of the page:

mcconkey

I’m not sure why Mr. McConkey restricted his restaurant to men only. I can guess, but the answer probably involves one or more gender stereotypes.

I couldn’t find much on McConkey’s restaurant. A catalogue for a 1900 art exhibition includes a balcony fragment and ceiling ornament from the restaurant. It was apparently designed by E. J. Lennox, who also designed Toronto’s old city hall. A history of Upper Canada College from 1829 to 1892 includes a listing for George S. McConkey, but this might not be the same one. Though, honestly, I would be surprised if there were two of them.

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About davetill

I'm a writer and occasional web designer. I live in Toronto.
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