Toddle Inn

In 1891, Michael Cullen and Walter Milburn operated a blacksmith shop in the building that now houses the Toddle Inn. William Lashbrook took over the shop in 1893, just as Richmond Street was about to undergo a transformation as electric trolleys and street lights replaced horse-drawn streetcars and oil lamps. New houses and businesses were being built, including Lashbrook`s home (now 642 Richmond Street) next to his blacksmith’s shop. In1924 he leased the smithy to Richard Weir. Lashbrook died in 1938, but his wife Sarah retained ownership of the building until 1947, when she sold it to Charles W. Egleston.

Ironically just south of the blacksmith shop, a Cities Services Oil Company gas station had been established at the northeast corner of Hyman and Richmond streets as early as 1931. With the increased number of cars on the roads by the late 1940s, the need for blacksmithing declined.

Egleston converted the shop into a restaurant to cater to the bustling neighbourhood which included a bank, barber shop, grocery, and a coffee shop.

Egleston’s new enterprise, the Toddle Inn, opened as a modest establishment with a simple menu and a large, horseshoe-shaped counter. His customers were mostly single people and students. In later years, tables were added and the Toddle Inn expanded its menu to appeal to a broader clientele.

More than fifty years later, the Toddle Inn is still operated by the Egleston family.


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Toddle Inn
640 Richmond Street
London, ON
42° 59' 30.7572" N, 81° 15' 4.176" W