The First Bewery in York

The breweries within the block bounded by Caroline (Sherbourne), Duchess (Richmond), Ontario, and Duke (Adelaide) Streets, were numerous have a history worthy of a book or a television series about their owners and products. The honour of being Toronto’s first brewmaster; however, belongs to Robert Henderson whose brewery was in this block. Until his time, beer in Toronto was made in back yards. Henderson, a brewer from Kingston, built his brewery on the south-west corner of Duchess and Caroline, on the south bank of Taddle Creek. The Henderson Brewery (or the Sherbourne Brewery later) had a stone granary and some small frame buildings. The malt kiln was destroyed by fire in 1804. Henderson established a slaughterhouse and tannery two years later. He married Elizabeth Hunter in , April 1811, but left her a widow only a few months later, dying in October of that same year. Dr. Thomas Stoyell took over operation of the brewery that year and expanded it. How much longer the brewery operated is not clear.

There were actually two different breweries within this block; the second one was at the southwest comer. It was established around 1807, by Irish brothers, George and Joseph Shaw, and was operated by a succession of owners until around 1929. In the contemporary and later accounts, the two breweries are often confused.

Information from “A Glimpse of Toronto’s History” MPLS # 187