Robert Walker was born in England in 1809. He immigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec on August 30, 1828. He moved to the town of York in 1829, and in 1836 founded a dry goods business on King Street, near Yonge, with his partner, Thomas Hutchison. In 1849, they adopted the name “Golden Lion” for their business, and had a gilded wooden lion, facing east, placed above the entrance. In 1853, the partnership dissolved and Walker took his son into partnership six years later. In 1867, they built a dramatic four-storey shop at 33-37 King Street East, with five arches of plate glass, 30 feet high, framed in cast iron. A row of lions’ heads decorated the roof cornice and a huge lion rampant, facing west, was mounted above the centre of the balustrade. Robert Walker died of pneumonia on October 5, 1885. The Golden Lion went out of business in 1898 and the building was demolished three years later.