Lawrence Solman

Plot 10, Lot 90
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Lawrence “Sol” Solman was born in Toronto on May 14, 1863 and educated in the city’s public schools before attending the mechanic’s Institute on Church Street. As a young man he opened a mail order business in Detroit which he operated to ten years before returning to Toronto and marrying Emily Hanlan, sister of the great sculler Ned Hanlan. Now, as a member of the prominent Toronto Island family, Solman became interested in the development of an amusement park and sports complex at Hanlan’s Point. He started a ferry service which eventually evolved into the highly successful Toronto Ferry Company. When the company was purchased by the Toronto Transportation Commission many years later, it had a virtual monopoly on all Island-bound traffic. Solman also acquired the popular International League Toronto Maple Leaf baseball team and was responsible for giving the team a new, modern grandstand at Hanlan’s Point. The thousands of ball fans could only get there on his ferryboats Blue Bell and the recently restored Trillium. When the city appropriated the ferry fleet in 1926, Solman moved his team to a new stadium he had just built at the foot of Bathurst Street. In addition to his Island interests, Solman promoted the construction of the recently demolished Terrace (originally called Arena Gardens) on Mutual Street, and was managing director of the Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street West for many years. He also managed Sunnyside Amusement Park and was a vice-president of Loew’s Canadian Theatres. Lawrence Solman died in Wellesley Hospital after a long illness on March 24, 1931 at the age of 64.

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded


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