Hutchinson Family Stone

In the theme of  Riverside’s Month of Love, we celebrated this east end family of entrepreneurs and the automotive history in Riverside as the Hutchinson family, one of the builders of the east end, preserves their family namesake stone.

On Friday Feb 12th, Streetcar Developments celebrated the transfer of the Hutchinson Stone to back to the founding family.

This namesake stone, was preserved by Streetcar Developments and transferred back to the original family along with heart cookies and hot chocolate, to take the chill off the blustery day.

The family’s great grandfather, William James Hutchinson, was an entrepreneur and businessman who grew his first automobile venture from a backyard shop to a thriving business.

In 1908 and through the early 1900s, Hutchinson worked on the shop floor at 79 East Donway when the building was Conboy Carriage Works, a factory for making wooden horse-drawn carriages. Hutchinson was a master wood craftsman. In 1918, foreseeing the demise of carriages and the transition to automobiles, Hutchinson decided to start his own car repair business. He left Conboy Carriage Works and set-up a backyard shop on Roxton Road in Toronto.

By 1948 his business had expanded into not just car repairs but also retrofitting trucks into tanker trucks, as well as all sorts of other mechanical specializations. It was then that he bought back the very building where he used to work at Queen Street East and the Don Valley Parkway. Hutchinson commemorated the purchase by installing a 1300lb stone in the front, declaring it the “William James Hutchinson Building.”

Receiving the stone back with care, relative Jos Diening shares, “My family greatly appreciates the effort that Streetcar is putting into salvaging our family sign.” In spite of the cold day, there were many warm memories shared amongst the family and Riverside residents.

Feb 12