St. Charles Blunt Force Trauma

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2018)

Fred John Fontaine, 32, was severely beaten in the washroom of the popular St. Charles Tavern at 484-488 Yonge Street on December 20, 1975. He was discovered at 8:50pm, and 911 was called. He died at Toronto General Hospital from his injuries on July 15, 1976. He was 33 when he died.

His killer has never been found.

The St. Charles Tavern closed in 1987. The iconic clock tower, built for the Fire Hall, remains on the building to this day. “Meet me under the clock” was, for several decades, the slogan of the St. Charles Tavern.

The St. Charles Tavern was located in a building that was originally part of Fire Hall Number Three, which operated from the early 1870s until the 1920s. It was, variously, a bicycle shop, car dealerships and the Metropolitan Gallery of Fine Arts. The flamboyant horse breeder and real estate mogul Charles Hemstead opened the St. Charles Tavern in August 1950. Hemstead sold the building long before 1957, when gay clientele began to filter in from the nearby Red Lion Room. The St. Charles Tavern closed in 1987. The iconic clock tower, built for the Fire Hall, remains on the building to this day. “Meet me under the clock” was, for several decades, the slogan of the St. Charles Tavern.

St. Charles Tavern, 1955. Photo by James Salmon. Toronto Public Library.

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VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Fred John Fontaine
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 15, 1976
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: St. Charles Tavern, Yonge St.
Suspect Name: none

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Sawyer Cowley

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