Lamb's Glue and Stove Blacking Factory

Peter and Daniel Lamb’s factory was situated along Lamb’s Creek, which was known in mid nineteenth century as the most polluted stream in Toronto due to the pollution derived from this enterprise. Peter Lamb and his son Daniel had a tannery, a glue factory and also manufactured stove blacking, here from 1849 to 1888. They dumped all sorts of noxious substances into the creek, but it was the terrible stench of the place that provoked the City Fathers to start negations to buy the property. Bargaining was not going well, until the factory was burnt to the ground. The buildings were grossly underinsured, so the Lambs had little reason to hold on. Also the area around the factory was becoming built up, and the residents objected to the smell. This put an end to the business.

Peter Rothwell Lamb had come to Toronto in 1834 and established the P.R. Lamb Manufactory at the end of Amelia Street, then in the suburbs, in 1848. The business was very successful and later occupied twelve buildings. In 1860, Peter Lamb’s son Daniel took over the business. Daniel Lamb (1842-1920) was active as a civic politician from 1885 to 1901, serving as an Alderman 1885-1886 and 1895-1903, and on the Board of Control in 1897, 1898, and 1901. In addition to being a founder of the Riverdale Zoo, he was responsible for building the Rosedale Valley Road, the first public water works on the Toronto Islands and the reclaiming of Ashbridge’s Bay.

For more see “A Glimpse of Toronto’s History MPLS # 177