Was the “Types Riot” type ever recovered?

As outlined on an historical plaque in Toronto (pictured at http://www.torontoplaques.com/Pages/Types_Riot.html):

“The printing offices of William Lyon Mackenzie’s controversial weekly newspaper, The Colonial Advocate (1824-34), were located on this site in 1826. That year on June 8 a group of young men broke into the premises, destroyed the press and threw the types into nearby Lake Ontario. The rioters were related by blood or profession to the Province’s ruling elite who had been much criticized and ridiculed in the newspaper’s columns. This did not excuse their vandalism, but compounded it, in the eyes of those who favoured political reform. Although criminal charges were never laid, a civil court awarded Mackenzie damages sufficient to re-establish his newspaper elsewhere. The types riot incident became a symbol of the many grievances that eventually led to the Rebellion of 1837.”

Does anyone know if the type in question was ever recovered from Lake Ontario?

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I think that you should try to find a copy of the orginal Colonial Advocate to see if the type is even worth looking for. Most likely small roman text type with “maybe some headline/sub-head type. If found, I also doubt if it would be usable after this much time under water.


The type would certainly have some cultural value, William Lyon Mackenzie’s mug appears on our $50 bills to this day.

Us Canadians have a bad habit of losing culturally important things in the big lakes. Perhaps Mackenzie type can be found tangled up with the remains of the Avro Arrow models that have been making news recently.

To address the original question. If you’re suggesting a recovery effort, the waterfront in that area has undoubtedly undergone significant changes in the last 192 years, and I can’t imagine that they would have gone through any more effort than heaving the type off of the nearest dock.

According to wikipedia, the land that stands between 160 Frederick Street and the water “was filled in during the 19th and 20th Century to accommodate growth of business needing access to the waterfront.”

@keelan The Canadian $50 bill has the image of William Lyon Mackenzie King (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lyon_Mackenzie_King), who was William Lyon Mackenzie’s grandson.