Gaming house at Ascot Hall, 323 Keele St


The beautiful building at 323 Keele St, has long been a interesting and substantial part of the Junction community, 1st as the home of long term factory and office  G. H. Wood & Co. Ltd where reportedly the building housed the company from 1935 to until 1952.

Later the building became Ascot Hall, below are two exciting stories about the Hall from 196.

Newspaper story one, July 10 1961,

Bingo Games Raided Twice In Five Nights A bingo game operated by Knosses Israel Anshia Slupla congregation on Word St. was raided by morality police Saturday night for the second time in five nights. Two other men were arrested and charged with keeping a common gaming house at the Ascot Hall, Keele St. Last Tuesday, police raided the hall and arrested 23 men and three women in connection with a bingo run by the same organization. Arrested were Harry Cronman, St Stephen Rd.; Edwin Cogan, 26, Garthdale Ct; Milton Straiten, 34, Mahoney Ave; Robert Rosenberg, 29, (word not recognizable) Ave; Seymour Shadlisly, 27, Oxford St; Bernard Wall, 41, Seatonburg; Julius Mandel, 20, Baldwin St; Morris Gilman, 43, Fraserwood Ave; Milton Ginsberg, 37, Wiltrout Cres; Frederick Dick, 23, Reselawn Ave; Ronald Blatchford, 30, Boston Rd; and Leo Lewis, 26, Keith Ave. Police said proceeds from the bingo were to be applied to the synagogue’s cemetery fund.

Newspaper story two, Nov 23rd 1961,

Claimed Bingo For Synagogue. 2 Fined $33,000 Two officers of Knosses Israel Anshia Slupla congregation yesterday were fined $5,500 each or, alternatively, six months in jail for keeping a common , Keele and Dundas Sts.Keele and Dundas Sts. Magistrate Joseph Addison gave Alex Seltzer, secretary of the congregation, and Albert Grossman, its treasurer, two months to pay the fine. He dismissed gaming house charges against 28 other persons. Although the synagogue itself was on Oxford St., the accused maintained they acquired the new hall because they could draw upon the Jewish population in the area for support, said Mr. Addison. About 28 bingo games were played in the period under review, attended weekly by as many as 1,300 persons, Magistrate Addison went on. He said Ascot Hall’s location was excellent for bingo games, but no religious services had ever been held in the hall, and no adequate books had been kept. “I find it impossible to believe that this complex machinery was set in motion merely to set up a building fund and establish a synagogue,” Magistrate Addison said in giving judgment. Seltzer and Grossman alleged that all funds were deposited in a bank account entitled Ascot Hall Building Fund, Mr. Addison went on. “A perusal of bank statements showed $18,585.40 deposited in a five-month period, yet at the end of July, the account showed an overdraft of $537.48,” Magistrate Addison said. “In effect, the building fund at the end of July was $37.48 in the red, and all the time the ship was sinking, the two captains were allegedly selling tickets for the next night’s concert.” Mr. Addison commented. He found that the games were neither charitable, religious nor educational.

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