Combination Drinking Fountain & Trough

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The structure in the area of Old Town is located at the south east end of King Street in St. James Cathedral Park and was manufactured by Canada Foundry Co. Limited, Toronto.

It was erected in the 19th century and offered fresh water to humans, horses and dogs. On one side two taps fed water into a large horse trough. The other side hosted a demi-lune basin with a tin cup suspended on a chain. The water run-off fed into a small basin at ground level for dogs and smaller animals.

The structure is seated on a rectangular base bolted to the ground. The drinking fountain is attached to the trough by consoles decorated with scrolls and trefoil relief. Bas-relief palmette form the design on the back and interior of the fountain. The terminal is a palmette.

These drinking structures were common at major intersections in the city, i.e. at the southeast corner of King & Dufferin Streets, Bathurst and Bloor Streets; and Kingston Road and Warden Avenue in Birch Cliff.

Spadina Avenue and College Street in 1899

1899. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 376, Subseries 2, Item 49

1899. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 376, Subseries 2, Item 49

Parliament and Queen south west corner

1914. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1295.

1914. Public Domain. Source: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1295.

Queen and Broadview

In the late 19th and early 20th century there were many combination drinking fountain/horse troughs in the city particularly on University Avenue where the horses were hitched and watered as late as the 1940s. The structure on King Street was utilized often by horse and owner doing business at the St. Lawrence Market. It was not uncommon for humans and horses to be seen drinking at the same time, and with the advancement of indoor plumbing and the awareness of public hygiene the fountain/troughs became redundant and were removed.

Glossary
• Bas-relief, sculpted material that has been raised from the background to create a slight projection from the surface
• Console, a decorative bracket support element
• Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
• Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
• Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal
• Trefoil, An ornamental design of three rounded lobes

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