Last night, December 2nd, author Geordie Telfer hosted a special reading of Hogtown Empire to mark the 100 year anniversary of the disappearance of Ambrose Small, the subject of his recently published book. The event took place at the prestigious One King West Hotel & Condos in downtown Toronto which was one of the very last places Ambrose was sighted on that fateful night in 1919. Held in the lower level Vault, once a secure storage for The Dominion Bank’s cash – now a party space, guests filed in greeted by welcome glasses of bubbly and lots of yummy treats.The performance started with an intro by Bruce Bell, Toronto’s leading historian who also wrote the forward for Geordie’s book. Bruce (pictured below) set the stage which his description of the city’s social make-up back then.Geordie then read multiple excerpts from Hogtown Empire, adding many humorous asides and sharing his thoughts on Canada’s longest running cold-case. He also treated the audience to a number of musical interludes featuring his original songs about Ambrose’s upper crust society wife, his giant mustache and even a ditty about his famous racehorse.The audience included several local celebrities (Brian Kaulback from Murdoch Mysteries tv series and most recently, the movie Shazam!) …
Brian Kaulback (L) with Bruce Bell (C) and Brian’s lady friend Linda (R)
…and descendants of one of the key real-life characters in the book. Also in the house was psychic medium Gaby who offered her impressions via channeled spirits about the place itself and about the possible “resting place” of Ambrose himself. Geordie then personally signed copies of Hogtown Empire for his guests who posed with facsimiles of that giant moostache!!Psychic medium Gaby brought her handsome ex-pro baseball player hubby, Gabriel, who enjoyed the evening of mystery (below)…and even the One King West bar staff got into the spirit of the event (below)Many of the guests stayed behind for even more photo opps with the author…If you would like to learn more about the mysterious disappearance of Toronto’s millionaire theatre mogul and Geordie’s book, please visit the website: www.hogtownempire.com You can subscribe to Geordie’s social media and listen to podcasts featuring interviews with Torontonians who have links to the impresario himself. You can also purchase your own copy (soft-cover or eBook) via Amazon.
Big thanks to One King West for providing such a unique space (www.onekingwest.com) and to Gaby’s colleague, Lynda, who offered tarot readings to many of the guests.
Big CONGRATULATIONS to local author GEORDIE TELFER on his packed-house book launch last night held at Toronto’s Dominion Pub & Kitchen. He entertained his guests with selected readings, music and original songs that told the tale of the disappearance of Toronto theatre mogul & millionaire, Ambrose Small (pictured below), who led a life of dodgy dealings and showbiz shenanigans.“Hogtown Empire” is a tale of money, deception and betrayal with a cast of captains of industry, socialites and would-be con artists. It’s the culmination of several years of research, interviews and scouring official police and news archival records, much of which led Geordie in different directions complete with red herrings and false starts.Here is an exciting true-crime adventure story. Ambrose Small and his wife, Theresa, were wealthy entertainment impresarios who owned a prominent chain of theatres in southern Ontario. On December 2, 1919, the Smalls banked a cheque for $1-million, a down-payment on the sale of their theatrical empire. That night, as dusk fell, Ambrose disappeared into the darkness and was never seen again. What happened? Was he murdered? Did he disappear of his own volition? No body was ever found and, as far as anyone can tell, he took none of his money with him. Ambrose left behind his wife, his mistress, and his frustrated secretary. The case prompted an international man-hunt that spanned the globe and had renowned psychics of the day hearing voices and seeing visions. There were lurid rumours of infidelity and accounts of suspicious activities by Small’s enemies….so many enemies. The subject of films and TV shows, Canada’s longest running cold-case remains unsolved after 100 years. Ambrose Small was famous for his HUGE handlebar mustache so we made sure all the guests had their very own moo-stash on a stick…which worked well for the sing-along during the “Ambrose Small’s Mustache” song. It also provided lots of laughs at the photo wall, too!If you would like more information about this fascinating real-life unsolved mystery and to purchase a copy of Geordie’s book ($24.95), visit the official website: www.HogtownEmpire.com The book is also available from Amazon.com or .ca Geordie also hosts regular Hogtown Empire podcasts, also found on the website.And thanks to the Dominion Pub & Kitchen for the great service, deelish food and frosty drinks. Check them out in person: www.fabrestaurants.ca/restaurant/dominion