Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This public telephone is found underground within the Toronto railway system, which is the most heavily used urban mass transit system in all of Canada.
The houses on Thomas Court and the two terraces behind it on Rainsford Avenue, were built by Guinness for their workers in the late 19th century in Dublin, Ireland. Each terrace has five houses and each house has four flats, some with one bedroom, some with two.
While the deed to 7 Thomas Court only goes back to the early 1970s, in the early 20th century, Guinness gave these buildings to Dublin Corporation (City Council) and they were used as social housing until the late 1960s when they were condemned. The homes were purchased by a builder who did extensive refurbishment and sold them as individual flats.
Rainsford Avenue, which runs behind Thomas Court, and Rainsford Street are named after the man who owned the land in the area including what is now Guinness. He sold the land to Arthur Guinness around 1759.
In 18th century Dublin, the Thomas St. area outside the city had many breweries and distilleries. Farmers and distributors who sold their grain to the distilleries did not have to go all the way in to the city, wait in queues at the city gate or pay city tax on their goods.
Today, 7 Thomas Court is owned by Padraig and his wife Rici (pronounced ‘Ricky’), believed to be the third owners since the home’s refurbishment. A semi-retired self-proclaimed lover of travel, he shares his home with travelers and visitors of Dublin (and was kind enough to share the history of this beautiful home with all of us).
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