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Keg Mansion Helped Build Toronto | Massey Family

Story of the Massey Family

Ghost Guide Daniel -- ggdaniel(at)ghostwalks.com

Jarvis Street, the pinnacle of Victorian Toronto’s high society.  Where families of the city’s rich escaped their busy lives. Escape work but remain in the city they helped build.

Jarvis lined with such strong monuments.  Unique mansions never copied… and none so impressive as the Keg Mansion.

Built for McMaster

The Keg Restaurant bought one of these houses in 1976. 

Not from Canada? The Keg is a steakhouse. Known for re-purposing old buildings. Like the Toronto mansion and an old factory in St. Catharines.

They built the house in 1867 for Arthur McMaster. This last name should be familiar to locals. It’s the same family who founded the university. 

Once in Toronto. They moved to Hamilton for space.  Arthur was nephew to the school’s founder, William McMaster.

Keg Mansion - Current Day
Current Day

The Massey’s

In 1880, Hart Massey bought the house as a stylish way to return home.  Hart was from Toronto, before moving briefly to Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Hart’s daughter Lillian would eventually take over the house and run family interests.  At the time, a woman running the family was different. Didn’t matter because Lillian demanded respect. 

Lillian Massey, matriarch of family
Lillian Massey Portrait

She renamed the house Euclid Hall after their old street in Cleveland.

The Massey’s are (arguably) the most prominent family in Toronto.  Hart an industrialist who help found new buildings. Including for the University of Toronto and Massey Hall.

Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln
Raymond Massey as Abe Lincoln

Grandson’s Vincent and Raymond were famous in very opposite ways.

Vincent became the Governor General of Canada in 1952 and Raymond was an actor.

Raymond known for many great roles in Hollywood movies. Got the Oscar nod in 1940 for playing Abe Lincoln in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois”. 

A Canadian playing Lincoln! This outraged Americans. Then easily silenced by the great acting performance by Massey.

A fellow once said,

“Raymond wouldn’t feel his Lincoln impersonation is complete until getting assassinated”

Euclid Hall (Keg Mansion) was…

  • Given to the Victoria College in 1915 as the first home of radio station CFRB (now Newstalk 1010)
  • Then an art gallery
  • A restaurant
  • Finally the Keg Restaurant.

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