“Livery stable report that business was never so dull as at present, and sigh constantly for plenty of snow and good sleighing. They state that the Commercial travellers are not doing half the business as formerly, and that not half the rigs have been hired for excursions into the country as in years gone by.”
While the temperature had dropped considerably, the weather of the first two weeks of 1876 had a negative impact on livery stable owners who rented out sleighs for city residents wanting to get out in the rural areas for a change of pace. The cold had not been accompanied with snow, so the horses and sleighs were not being rented.
On the other hand, the freezing temperatures, with no snow, made for a great combination for those wanting to skate on the bay
As noted in the Spectator :
“The skating on the bay was never better, the ice being perfectly smooth, and glassy, and quite clear of snow. Large numbers of people skate on it everyday with perfect safety.”
Michael McConnell was back in the news and the Spectator carried a description of his situation for its curious readers :
“Within the last few days, the Rev. J.C. Smith, pastor of St. Paul’s church has visited the prisoner McConnell in his cell regularly, and prayed with the wretched man. These visits have had a humanising effect on the man, and he has begun to talk rationally about his terrible crime. He, as well as people interested in him, have been anxious that competent counsel be engaged to defend him. Mr. Crerar has as much as declined the case, and now McConnell’s friends have turned to Mr. Thos. Robertson, Q.C., to see if that talented counsel will undertake the defence. Should Mr. Robertson accept, the prisoner will be most ably defended. McConnell’s animosity towards Taafe has not subsided. Taafe and he appear to have been on very bad terms, and nothing appeared to affect McConnell so much as Taafe’s evidence against him at the inquest. McConnell sent for counsel, on several occasions, to have Taafe arrested on the charge of perjury, but all declined.
The prisoner wears spectacles and reads constantly, but very seldom speaks to anyone but the jailor.”