Lesser Known Toronto–Site of George Bernard’s Circus
36-42 Wellington Street East at Leader Lane
On a vacant space was ground on which George Bernard’s Circus used to pitch its tent in the 1840’s. Mrs. Bernard was an accomplished equestrienne and, consequently, a drawing card. The leading members of the company were Cadwaller Stone, Rockwell, Gossan, who played the clown, Frank Wilmot and Harry Bacheldon, and a boy named Frank, an apprentice in the athletic business. Frank was “a clever youth,” wrote Alexander Jacques in a letter dated 1889, “a good horseman and tumbler. Later, he was the champion somersault thrower of the world.” In the springtime, Bernard put his tent and wagons in order and moved on an annual tour through Upper Canada, which lasted for at least five months.
Lesser Known Toronto will soon be another digital and print guide from Caddo Publications USA.