Yorkville Fire Hall – Toronto’s Oldest Working Fire House, Since 1889

1952 – Fire Station No. 10, known today as Toronto Fire Station 312, is located at 34 Yorkville Ave. The structure received heritage status from the city in 1975
1952 – Fire Station No. 10, known today as Toronto Fire Station 312, is located at 34 Yorkville Ave. The structure received heritage status from the city in 1975 (Toronto Public Library R-1899)

The Yorkville Fire Hall, today known as ‪Toronto Fire Station 312‬, is located at ‪34 Yorkville Ave (between Yonge St and Bay St)‬ in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto.

The History of Yorkville Fire House

In 1876, the quaint village had a firehouse constructed with a 5-storey tower and two bays built on the site. It was designed by architects Herbert Hancock and Samuel Townsend.

In 1889, except for the tower, that structure was demolished and replaced with today’s fire hall. The architectural gem was designed by Mancel Willmot and is made of yellow brick with dark orange brick highlights.

Also known as Fire Station No. 10, the fire hall was restored and renovated to accommodate another truck in 1974. The Toronto Historical Board gave the firehouse heritage status in 1975. When the city’s fire service amalgamated in 1998, it was renamed ‪Toronto Fire Station 312‬.

Today, the Toronto Fire Station 312 is the oldest working fire hall in the city at over 140 years old. It’s situated amongst posh shops and next to the Four Seasons Hotel. The heritage building also serves as one of the busier fire stations in Toronto. Another one of Toronto’s older working fire stations is Kew Beach Fire Hall.

The Coat of Arms

2020 – This Coat of Arms was originally located on the Yorkville Town Hall until 1941 when it was destroyed by fire. This surviving piece, along with the clock, was relocated to the fire hall
2020 – This Coat of Arms was originally located on the Yorkville Town Hall until 1941 when it was destroyed by fire. This surviving piece, along with the clock, was relocated to the fire hall

Yorkville had a beautiful High Victorian-style town hall on the west side of Yonge St at Collier St. In 1941, that building was destroyed by fire, but the town hall’s clock and Coat of Arms were saved. The clock was transferred to the fire hall tower, while the Coat of Arms was added to the building’s front.

The crest is made of carved stone and features a beaver atop five symbols and letters that represent the town’s first councillors’ occupations along with the first initial of their last names:

  • Bull and the letter H: Butcher, Peter Hutty
  • Barrel and the letter S: brewer, John Severn
  • Brick and the letter A: brickmaker, Thomas Atkinson
  • Plane and the letter D: carpenter, Reeve James Dobson
  • Anvil and the letter W: blacksmith, James Wallis

Toronto Fire Station 312 Photos

2022 - Looking northwest toward Toronto Fire Station 312, located at 34 Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto
2022 – Looking northwest toward Toronto Fire Station 312, located at 34 Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto
1952 – Fire Station No. 10, known today as Toronto Fire Station 312, is located at 34 Yorkville Ave
1952 – Fire Station No. 10, known today as Toronto Fire Station 312, is located at 34 Yorkville Ave (Toronto Public Library R-1899)
2022 - Looking northeast towards Toronto Fire Station 312. To the east of the fire station is the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library
2022 – Looking northeast towards Toronto Fire Station 312. To the east of the fire station is the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library
1975 – Looking northwest towards Toronto Fire Station 312 and the steps of the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library
1975 – Looking northwest towards Toronto Fire Station 312 and the steps of the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 63, Item 101)
2020 - The clock at the top of the tower at Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville
2020 – The clock at the top of the tower at Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville
2020 - Looking north towards the main facade of Toronto Fire Station 312 from Yorkville Ave. The fire hall received heritage status from the city in 1975
2020 – Looking north towards the main facade of Toronto Fire Station 312 from Yorkville Ave. The fire hall received heritage status from the city in 1975
1975 - The top of the hose tower at Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave. The fire hall's tower dates back to 1876
1975 – The top of the hose tower at Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave. The fire hall’s tower dates back to 1876 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 63, Item 103)
2021 – The Toronto Fire Station 312, also known as Yorkville Fire Hall, with the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences in the background
2021 – The Toronto Fire Station 312, also known as Yorkville Fire Hall, with the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences in the background
1980 - Looking northwest toward the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and fire station
1980 – Looking northwest toward the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and fire station (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 3, ID 78)
2020 – The south facade of Toronto Fire Station 312. The fire hall is made of yellow brick with dark orange brick highlights
2020 – The south facade of Toronto Fire Station 312. The fire hall is made of yellow brick with dark orange brick highlights
1975 - Reopening day of Fire Station No. 10 after the restoration and addition was completed. Today it's known as Toronto Fire Station 312
1975 – Reopening day of Fire Station No. 10 after the restoration and addition was completed. Today it’s known as Toronto Fire Station 312 (City of Toronto Archives, Series 61, File 283, Item 1)
2021 - Fire trucks in front of Toronto Fire Station 312 in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto
2021 – Fire trucks in front of Toronto Fire Station 312 in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto
1975 – Looking northwest from Yonge St and Yorkville Ave towards the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Fire Station 312
1975 – Looking northwest from Yonge St and Yorkville Ave towards the Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Fire Station 312 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 1, Item 135)
2022 - The Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and next door, Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St
2022 – The Yorkville Branch of the Toronto Public Library and next door, Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St
Date unknown – Once known as Fire Station No. 10, today it's Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave
Date unknown – Once known as Fire Station No. 10, today it’s Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 249, Series 61, File 165, Item 1)
2020 – This Coat of Arms was originally located on the Yorkville Town Hall until 1941 when it was destroyed by fire. This surviving piece, along with the clock, was relocated to the Yorkville fire hall
2020 – This Coat of Arms was originally located on the Yorkville Town Hall until 1941 when it was destroyed by fire. This surviving piece, along with the clock, was relocated to the Yorkville fire hall
2020 - The Village of Yorkville heritage plaque located at Toronto Fire Station 312 reads: "The Coat of Arms above is from the Yorkville Town Hall, built on Yonge Street in 1859. It contains symbols representing the occupations of the first councillors: John Severn, Brewer; Thomas Atkinson, Brickmaker; Reeve James Dobson, carpenter; James Wallis, blacksmith; and Peter Hutty, Butcher. Established in the 1830's by William Jarvis and Joseph Bloor, Yorkville was incorporated as a village in 1853 and annexed to Toronto in 1883. This fire hall was begun in 1876 and restored in 1974." Toronto Historical Board 1975
2020 – The Village of Yorkville heritage plaque located at Toronto Fire Station 312 reads:

“The Coat of Arms above is from the Yorkville Town Hall, built on Yonge Street in 1859. It contains symbols representing the occupations of the first councillors: John Severn, Brewer; Thomas Atkinson, Brickmaker; Reeve James Dobson, carpenter; James Wallis, blacksmith; and Peter Hutty, Butcher. Established in the 1830’s by William Jarvis and Joseph Bloor, Yorkville was incorporated as a village in 1853 and annexed to Toronto in 1883. This fire hall was begun in 1876 and restored in 1974.”

Toronto Historical Board 1975
2020 - The hose tower of Toronto Fire Station 312 at 34 Yorkville Ave‬. The tower dates back to 1876 and was designed by architects Herbert Hancock and Samuel Townsend
2020 – The hose tower of Toronto Fire Station 312 at 34 Yorkville Ave‬. The tower dates back to 1876 and was designed by architects Herbert Hancock and Samuel Townsend
1907 - Yorkville Town Hall was once located on the west side of Yonge St opposite Collier St in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. When the building was destroyed by fire, the surviving clock and Coat of Arms were relocated to what we know today as Toronto Fire Station 312
1907 – Yorkville Town Hall was once located on the west side of Yonge St opposite Collier St in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. When the building was destroyed by fire, the surviving clock and Coat of Arms were relocated to what we know today as Toronto Fire Station 312‬ (Toronto Public Library R-6634)
1929 - The Coat of Arms was originally on the Yorkville Town Hall that once stood on Yonge St opposite Collier St. When the Town Hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, the surviving Coat of Arms and clock were relocated just around the corner to the fire hall on Yorkville Ave
1929 – The Coat of Arms was originally on the Yorkville Town Hall that once stood on Yonge St opposite Collier St. When the Town Hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, the surviving Coat of Arms and clock were relocated just around the corner to the fire hall on Yorkville Ave (Toronto Public Library R-6636)
2021 – The hose tower of Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St. Notice the Coat of Arms over the red doors. It was originally on the Yorkville Town Hall that once stood around the corner on Yonge St opposite Collier St
2021 – The hose tower of Toronto Fire Station 312 on Yorkville Ave‬, west of Yonge St. Notice the Coat of Arms over the red doors. It was originally on the Yorkville Town Hall that once stood around the corner on Yonge St opposite Collier St
2019 - Looking northeast towards Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville. It’s the oldest working fire hall in the city at over 140 years old
2019 – Looking northeast towards Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville. It’s the oldest working fire hall in the city at over 140 years old
2021 - Looking northeast from Cumberland St towards an excavated site and Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville
2021 – Looking northeast from Cumberland St towards an excavated site and Toronto Fire Station 312 in Yorkville
2022 - Looking east along Yorkville Ave towards Yonge St
2022 – Looking east along Yorkville Ave towards Yonge St
2020 - The Early Firefighting in Toronto heritage plaque located at Fire Station 312 reads: "In the early 19th century, individual citizens were responsible for firefighting. Each house was required by law to have two leather buckets and two ladders to reach burning roofs. The “bucket brigades” drew water from Lake Ontario or water tanks. The bells of St. James Cathedral were used to raise the fire alarm. The Toronto Fire Brigade was created in 1826 with volunteers who raced to fires pulling hand-pumped engines equipped with hand-sewn leather hoses. Carters hauled water in large casks. Members of the first Hook and Ladder company, created in 1831, accessed upper storeys and roofs and used long pike poles to pull down burning buildings.
The arrival of steam-powered engines drawn by horses in the 1860s as well as rubber hoses encased in woven cotton improved firefighting. In 1871, the city installed its first fire alarm system with call boxes located throughout Toronto. In 1874, as Toronto continued to expand, the city established its first professional fire service."
Heritage Toronto 2019
2020 – The Early Firefighting in Toronto heritage plaque located at Fire Station 312 reads:

“In the early 19th century, individual citizens were responsible for firefighting. Each house was required by law to have two leather buckets and two ladders to reach burning roofs. The “bucket brigades” drew water from Lake Ontario or water tanks. The bells of St. James Cathedral were used to raise the fire alarm.

The Toronto Fire Brigade was created in 1826 with volunteers who raced to fires pulling hand-pumped engines equipped with hand-sewn leather hoses. Carters hauled water in large casks. Members of the first Hook and Ladder company, created in 1831, accessed upper storeys and roofs and used long pike poles to pull down burning buildings.

The arrival of steam-powered engines drawn by horses in the 1860s as well as rubber hoses encased in woven cotton improved firefighting. In 1871, the city installed its first fire alarm system with call boxes located throughout Toronto.

In 1874, as Toronto continued to expand, the city established its first professional fire service.” Heritage Toronto 2019
September 1, 1924 – A Toronto Fire horse-drawn steam engine during a Labour Day Parade
September 1, 1924 – A Toronto Fire horse-drawn steam engine during a Labour Day Parade (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 3748)
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