Toronto's Historical Plaques
2004 - Now in our 10th Year - 2014
Rupert Hotel Fire
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted April, 2008
Inlaid in the sidewalk on Parliament Street, west side, just a few steps north of Queen Street East, is this 1993 historical plaque produced by the City of Toronto and the Rupert Coalition. Here's what it says about a tragic fire:
Plaque coordinates: 43.655670 -79.364569
On December 23rd 1989 a fire roared through the Rupert House Hotel, a licensed rooming house on this site. Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters and several tenants, ten people died in the blaze, making it one of the worst fires in the history of Toronto. The tragedy sparked action by municipal and provincial governments and community organizations to improve the conditions in rooming houses throughout Toronto. This plaque was dedicated by the City of Toronto and the Rupert Coalition in a special ceremony on May 18, 1993 in memory of the ten who died.
Donna Marie Cann
Stanley Blake Dancy
Vincent Joseph Clarke
David Donald Didow
John Thomas Flint
Ralph Oral Stone
Victor Paul Whyte
> Posted April 26, 2013
Darling sister, after 24 years, I still miss you as though you said goodbye yesterday. I will love you always Donna Marie. Your sister, Deb XO
> Posted July 29, 2011
There is no reference to the Rupert Hotel Fire on Wikipedia. You should submit this information to Wikipedia.
> Posted January 16, 2011
My father Karle Oostrom was one of the fire fighters that was there that night. In fact he is the one who was passing people out the window. I am proud and thankful that all the brave people are thanked in such a honourable way.
> Posted December 17, 2009
I lived down the street when it happened, saw a chopper shot on CityTV news of the blaze, so I made my way west along Queen East to have a look. The police had blocked Queen off completely, but the smoke was so thick you couldn't walk along it anyway. However, I was a local boy, so I made my way down an alley behind the shops on Queen, that opened right in front of The Rupert Hotel. Fortunately the wind wasn't blowing the smoke down the alley. Hotel Rupert was right across from Mr. Tasty's. It was a fairly run-down, two story, rusty red looking thing with a painted over plaque that said "Hotel Rupert" that you otherwise wouldn't notice. The misfortunate & challenged lived there, and on occasion, would come into Tasty's for a burger etc. That night, the flames where very intense (it was probably a wooden 'balloon' frame building, easily 100 years old, dry as tinder) and the smoke was incredible. I suspected people would die - but I didn't think as many as did.
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Alan L Brown