I would appreciate your comments.
Send me any comments you have about this site or the
content by clicking this link.
Some feedback received so far:
I have been doing some research on O L Hicks with the objective of
writing a Wikipedia article. John Hicks was kind enough to send me the
photo which you have titled "hick4.jgp"
You have a sentence: "He kindly forwarded two photos (hicks3 and
hicks4) taken about 1910-1912 on the Humber River in Toronto, Ontario
with several decked canoes included." which links to hicks3 and hick4
I have had some discussion with John Hicks on the photo hicks4.
FROM John Hicks RCVD October 16, 2018 at 12:47
I think the attached picture (your hicks3) of O L Hicks standing in front of his second boathouse was taken the same day.
His daughter, Hannah Hicks, is in the canoe nearest him. She is also in
the second photo (your hicks4) in the canoe in the center of the
photograph. Hannah was born in 1888. So I think Hannah is a teen so it
could be about 1904.
Maybe it was a regatta day on the Humber.
You can see who I suspect is Ned Hanlan performing for the crowd in the
background. This photograph would have been taken from were O L is
standing in the first photograph. You are looking west and can see the
Hicks Humber Hotel in the background.
END JOHN HICKS MSG
Ned Hanlan died in 1908 so a date of 1904 is plausible. The text above
"BOATS & CANOES" which someone has attempted to obliterate says "L.
N. Devin's". Devin was a competitor of Hicks. Another photo from the
same day can be seen here:
I stumbled across your website because I was in search of a photo of a
canoe livery from the turn of the twentieth century or thereabouts.
I'm writing a chapter about the canoe for a book on Canadian symbols
and I wanted to include the following photo:
First off, would you be okay with the photo appearing in the chapter?
Second, if you are okay with that, is there any chance that you have a
larger version of the photo? Because it's a print publication, the
photo needs to be high resolution (suitable for 300 dpi printing). The
designer told me that it needs to be 3x as large as the version
currently available on the website.
Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
Jessica Dunkin, PhD
I am fascinated by your quest to establish the bona fides of your
family heirloom " The Sailing Canoe - Dora".
I stumbled on your site while tracking to find out information on
Walter Dean. He is reputed to have owned and operated a flying boat out
of Toronto Island Hanlan's point in the early years of Canadian
Mike Filey references this in his book but there is no other
corroboration to be found on the internet.
Perhaps a grandson may know of this family "aerial tidbit"
I am preparing a manuscript for publication on The Airfelds of
Toronto: From de Lesseps to de Havilland and Beyond.
The search is like your own Canoe Quest...never ending
I find your research re your canoe very interesting.
I live in Humber Bay and have spent many hours canoeing on the Humber
river.. Swimming as a child,canoeing as a youth and today with my
fiberglass canoe. I also look after all coneing members at the Toronto
Humber Yacht Club.
In 1943 I bought a canoe from Wellwoods Boat Livery near the mouth of
the river. It was between the Lakeshore Road and the train bridge. on
the west side of the river. Cost I believe was 10 dollars for my
To this day I do not know if the builder was Walter Dean Or Mr Hicks.
I built lea boats, one on each side, Installed a short mast and built a
lug type sail, two booms and an old recut jib sail to fit. It was my
My girlfriend and I sailed up and down the river plus inside the
breakwall to the western Gap.
We stopped may times at Hicks Boat (Wanita) Livery for a cold pop
I stowed the canoe in the boat Wellwoods. (1st name Jakes),
I believe the cost was 3 dollars a month but not sure.
Now, why I write to you. I belong to the Toronto Humber Yacht Club once
the site if Hicks Boat Livery and once the Wanita Tea Garden..
I have a few pictures of Hicks locations on the Humber River.
Would you be able to tell me where he had the first locations prior to
the Old Mill site. I believe he moved from there to the Wanita site in
1925 which burned down completely in 1967. was the first one south of
the Lakeshore Road or north?
For the yacht club history records it would be nice to be able to have
a recprd anhd also inform the members not only our history but history
of the Humber River.
Sincerely, Ken Maxwell (85) Humber Bay, Ontario
My husband is a great-grandson of Walter Dean and has many interesting
stories for your collection. Could you e-mail me a copy of the
"Bill of Sale" mentioned so I could frame it as a gift for him.
Afterwards, I will pass this link along so that you can share info.
I came across the link to your site while reading the Fall 2010
Carleton Magazine. I think it's great that you are helping Carleton
Graduates with Careers in the Public Service. R.B.
First off I would like to commend you on your great work as a mentor
and in providing assistance to undergrads and graduate students looking
to be employed in the federal public service. I read the very
interesting article in the most recent edition of my Carleton
University alumni magazine. I think it is great what you are doing! I
am a big proponent of mentors and have been lucky to have several
during my young career. C.V.
David - I am looking at a Walter Dean Launch. Can you give me any
information of web site where I may find information on the boat.
Specifically on how to determine the year of manufacturer and what
finish (painted or bright) the would have probably had when it was
made. Thank you Bob Brown.
The pics are simply amazing. The ice sculpture and the night sky at the
cottage were the best for me. Your skill with the camera is awesome.
Thank you for sharing. S.
Your website came up in response to my Google search for genealogical
information on the Joseph Laing Hicks family (I am-- and I think John
Hicks must be also-- a 2nd great grandson of Joseph). What caught my
attention was the possible connection between your canoe, "Dora", and
the Hicks' Boat Livery. A couple years' ago, my wife and I travelled to
Toronto, armed with a few newspaper clippings. We found the site of the
original Hicks' Boathouse, just downstream from the Old Mill on the
Humber River. We knew from the newspaper clippings that the Boathouse
was moved down river when the water level of the river dropped as a
result of development upstream. Then came Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The
flooded Humber all but wiped out the inventory of the Boathouse.
William ("Pappy") Hicks, and his wife ("Ma"), sold what was left of
their Boathouse to the Toronto Humber Yacht Club.
When we walked into the yacht club and introduced ourselves and our
connection to the Hicks family, a couple of guys exclaimed, "Do you
mean Pappy?". They brought out their archives scrapbook, and we swapped
stories and newspaper clippings.
This is all a little away from the subject of your canoe, but in our
family photos is one of the Hicks' Boat and Canoes Boathouse. On the
float in front of the building are 5 canoes, 2 of which appear to
decked fore & aft, and could be of the same design as your 'Dora".
I'd send that photo to you, but this website doesn't seem to allow
that. If you're intereted in following up, drop me a note. I don't
remember how much information about the Boathouse is in the Yacht Club
archives, but it's worth a phone call.
I'd be interested in having John Hicks contact me also, as one of our
family has put together a great deal of information on the Hicks
family. John and I are grandsons of brothers, William and Norman Hicks.
Warren Weston Bailey, Qualicum Beach, BC
I now see that you have the photo already, and have most of the history
also. I'd still think it worthwhile to check with the yacht club. I'd
still be interested in hearing from John Hicks.
Hi David. Marvellous website. From looking at the photos of the canoe I
recognize the waterfront near Brechin Point on Lake Simcoe where our
cottage was (except for the ones on the Trent system). I always
wondered how the craft got its name "Dora".
Anyway, I'll drop back every so often for another look.
David Cartlidge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.