700 Richmond Street parking lot
East of the Murray Selby building, stood the Anglican Chapter House, the nucleus of a grand cathedral never completed. Alice Moore Hubbard, an early advocate for women’s rights, once lectured there, and Pamela Glew tells a beautiful but bittersweet story about Hubbard’s last days.
East of the Murray Selby building where the parking lot is today, stood the Anglican Chapter House. Demolished in 1981, it was the nucleus of a grand cathedral that was never completed. Alice Moore Hubbard, an early advocate for women’s rights, once gave a lecture there. Pamela Glew tells a beautiful but bittersweet story about Hubbard’s last days.
I found a little scrap of cardboard that had fallen through one of the floor vents and ended up in the ductwork. And for some reason I didn’t just throw it out because they had a reference to women’s changing role in the late 19th century. “Lecture: Mrs. Elbert Hubbard, on women’s work. An enquiry and an assumption, at the Chapter House Unitarian Church, London, Ontario, Monday evening, December the 9th.” And tickets were fifty cents. Now, I really do hope that the purchaser of the ticket was able to attend the lecture before she lost it down the floor vent in our house.
And of course Mrs. Elbert Hubbard was not only an American leader of the women’s movement but she and her husband were trailblazers for modern marriage and equal marriage and were extremely supportive of each other’s artistic and journalistic activities. They were both writers, lecturers, propagandists for more sexual equality, and when the First World War broke out, Elbert Hubbard, I’m not sure whether he was in an official capacity or whether it was just a personal interest. They decided to go to Europe, and Elbert was to interview the Kaiser. Unfortunately, their ship, the Lusitania, was torpedoed in the Atlantic, and rather board the lifeboats and have some chance of survival, this loving couple in their intense marriage relationship decided that they would die together, they went down, locked themselves in their cabin, and perished, together. So we have this little scrap of propaganda that expanded… extended as far as London, and ended up in the duct-work of my 1907 house, and yet there is so more to that little scrap of card than we could ever have imagined.
If you’d like to hear more stories about The Village walk north on Richmond Street to the stoplights cross Richmond Street, head west for about half a block and look for the orange Hear, Here sign.