An Ontario Woman Found Newspapers From The 1800s In Her Ceiling & They Were Full Of Drama

From love affairs to the end of smallpox, these papers paint a picture.

Toronto Staff Writer
An Ontario Woman Found Newspapers From The 1800s In Her Ceiling & They Were Full Of Drama
Shannon Burns

Have you ever wondered what Toronto newspapers were like back in the 1800s?

Shannon Burns, a host on Virgin Radio, found newspapers dating from 1868 to 1902 filled with Bridgerton-worthy gossip inside the ceiling of her new home.

Shannon Burns

Burns told Narcity that while renovating her house in Beamsville, her brother and brother-in-law "found a huge stack of newspapers when they were cutting into the ceiling," along with several books and a telegram.

Shannon Burns

The new homeowner says they believe the goods were used as insulation inside of the ceiling.

She posted her hidden treasures on TikTok, narrating some of the newspaper clippings.


The tea from the 1800s hits different. #toronto #history #ontario

Burns shared the most scandalous sections in her TikTok, including a woman who got a $10 fine for kissing a police officer, a rich man who left his wife and ran away with a "16-year-old bean picker," and a man who died from getting drunk and "passing out in the snow."

More serious sections were also included like "buggy accidents, smallpox updates, and world-historic events," along with help wanted ads and sports sections, says Burns.

Shopping pages were also discovered where dresses were being sold for under 20 cents.

Shannon Burns

Burns says when she found the paper, she was "so excited" and "spent a good couple hours carefully reading every section."

"I feel like it gave me a great insight into what life was like in the Toronto area at that time," she said." My favourite part is seeing references to Toronto neighbourhoods and streets that still exist today."

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