Raccoon furs were frequently advertised in Toronto newspapers during the late 19th century. Among the vendors was the original location of Fairweather. The Globe, March 10, 1896.
A pair of short stories from the 1890s this week…
From the May 21, 1895 edition of the Toronto Star, under the possibly-a-racist-joke title “A New Coon in Town.” We do not recommend risking your life the way one participant in this story did.
At the corner of Queen and Berkeley Streets at eight o’clock this morning five hundred people congregated to witness the antics of a raccoon that had escaped from its owner and had taken refuge on a telegraph pole. A man climbed the post with a bag to capture the animal, and narrowly escaped breaking his neck. The coon finally jumped from the top of the pole without suffering serious injury.
(Among the many reasons I’m wondering about the nature of the article’s title? Near the top of the same page is an ad for a Yonge Street clothier depicting a baby in blackface.)
The Globe, December 16, 1896.
From the May 2, 1899 edition of The Globe, under the heading “Want a Game Preserve,” it sounds like raccoons were not the only urban wildlife found near The Annex:
People in the north end of the city are beginning to think a menagerie has been turned loose in that vicinity. On Saturday a raccoon was captured on Bloor Street and the incident caused some talk. On Sunday afternoon Miss Jessie Alexander, while walking down Brunswick Avenue, met a young bear, who was taking a stroll. The presence of the cub was reported to the police, and he was taken into captivity, and now the residents of the street are waiting for a boa constrictor or a monster lion.