Kane Willmott of iQ Office Suites was interested in discovering the contents of a vault found inside the 120-year old Dineen Building at 140 Yonge Street. The building, itself considered a historical landmark, was originally home to the W. & D. Dineen Company, which was an upscale hat and fur manufacturer. The building not only served as the business’ workshop, but also its offices and showroom.
After the 1930s, when the fur and hat maker vacated the building, there were different tenants and owners, many of which were carved into the stone registry located in the entrance of the Dineen Building. The stone tablet was discovered during recent renovations made by the Commercial Reality Group, current owners of the building.
Mr. Willmott had noticed the locked steel vault and was curious as to what was inside. The vault was built by J & J Taylor Safe Company of Toronto during the turn of the century and is considered to be a historical fixture itself. The vault was initially discovered during renovations made to the Dineen Building in 2011.
While all the other vaults within the building had been opened over the years, this one remained shut tightly. Part of the reason the vault had not been opened was because it had a broken spindle, which according to Josh Pothiers, from Toronto Safecracker, appeared to have been broken off out of frustration. The spindle is the part of the safe with the dial, which is used to open it, by turning it left or right and selecting the proper combination.
After spending some time searching for a capable locksmith to open the safe, Mr. Willmott eventually found Josh Pothiers. During his search for the right locksmith, there was speculation within iQ Office Suites from both Members and our staff as to what could be hidden away. Personally, Mr. Willmott was hoping for gold, diamonds, or even furs. Steel vaults were a common feature to protect against floods and fires during the 19th century.
On the evening of January 24th, Josh Pothiers, under the direction of iQ Office Suites got to work on cracking the safe. He had a drill, a remote camera, and a paper clip, along with much patience. Initially, he was asked how long he would think it would take to crack the vault open, but did not want to jinx it by providing this information. Two and half hours later, Mr. Pothiers had opened the vault and everyone was anxious to see what was inside.
Among the treasures found inside the vault were a pair of old skates, bank cheques, documents, and boxes. Many of the documents were from the 1960s and appear to have belonged to a development company called King Manor Ltd.
Even though there was not gold, diamonds, or furs, the contents of the safe provide insight into what it was like to do business in Toronto during the 1960s, which Mr. Willmott is very interested in continuing to review and read.
iQ Office Suites offers unique and inspiring shared offices, coworking spaces and virtual office packages in the Dineen Building, along with meeting rooms, event spaces, and other solutions for businesses of all sizes. To learn more about our services, please feel free to call us at 416.238.1111 today!