When it was the Wembley, this Danforth tavern’s clientele liked to fight. Known as the Bucket of Blood, the Wembley afforded a kind of arena out the back door. Scores could be settled out of sight of police.
Now the serially-named Quigley-Wembley-(Bucket of Blood)-Wise Guys watering hole is slated to become – what else? – shops and condos. Am I sad that the colourful, nasty history of the Danforth is disappearing? Not in the least … but the storied past is entertaining.
Rising from the ashes of arson
The owners of hardware store/lumberyard balked at the cost of demolition when they wanted to develop their real estate into the Carmelina Condos. Arson and an insurance claim seemed like a good idea in 2001, but one of the criminals died in the fire, another was horribly burned and a few people got prison sentences, including one of the owners. [News story]
Nevertheless, the building is up. Twelve storeys, 148 units, named after the owner’s mother. Isn’t that sweet?