Our History



About Waddingtons

1850
Canada was still 17 years away from Confederation and Toronto’s population was less than 20,000 when Andrew Henderson originally of Paisley, Scotland opened auction rooms on Toronto's lower Yonge Street.

1863
In 1863, the company which now also included Henderson's son Charles, moved to 128 King Street East where the “C. M. Henderson & Co. Auctioneers” sign would hang over the entrance for the next 75 years, establishing Henderson’s as the auction house of Toronto.

“Charlie” Henderson was one of Toronto’s great Victorians keeping company with Toronto notables Ned Hanlan, Canada’s first international sports hero and world-class rowing champion, and Goldwin Smith, noted author and historian. Recognized by everyone as he drove his horse and buggy around town ready to conduct an auction at the drop of his top hat, he conducted many auctions directly on the Toronto docks, deftly taking bids from the crowd as containers of fruit and dry goods were unloaded.

1928
When Charles Henderson died at age 81 in 1928, the media paid tribute to the veteran auctioneer:

Elegantly silk-hatted, spatted and cravatted, he was this city’s most famous glass of fashion and mold of form, as well as its most persuasive orator and most original character. He never sold any article with a guarantee of uniqueness so genuine as his own”.A composite of civic history could be gathered from beneath Charlie Henderson’s hammer. His office was the scene of the making of many a political career...He has auctioned everything auctioned in Toronto”. Toronto Telegram, Dec. 7, 1928.

1939
The business passed on to Charles’ son Douglas, and in 1939, ownership of the company was transferred to Douglas’ partner Frank Waddington. As the new proprietors, the Waddington family re-named the auction house ‘Waddington’s’, and ran the successful business for the next four decades.

1960
In 1960 British auctioneer Ronald Mclean arrived in Toronto to work for Ward-Price Auctioneers on College Street near Yonge. By 1962, McLean bought Waddington’s from Frank’s two sons “on a handshake”. Waddington’s continued to develop its reputation as a Toronto institution, and in 1969, expanding business necessitated a move from 128 King Street East to larger facilities at 189 Queen Street East.

Ron McLean brought his own style to the auctioneer’s podium, always keen to share amusing anecdotes from his experiences in both Canada and the U.K. With a style reminiscent of Charlie Henderson’s, Ron is considered an institution of the Canadian auction business.

1970
Waddington, McLean & Co., Ltd. was incorporated in 1970 employing over 35 full-time staff and a roster of specialists to support all aspects of the auction and appraisal business.

1998
Again, growth of the business required a move and in June 1998, Waddington’s moved to 111 Bathurst Street, an exciting neighbourhood developing a strong arts and design identity.

2000
Waddington’s celebrated its 150th anniversary.

2001
A significant expansion of the business was realized with the creation of Joyner Waddington’s Canadian Art – a partnership of Canada’s most successful Canadian Fine Art auctioneer, Geoffrey Joyner, and Waddington’s Auctioneers.

2007
To keep pace with changing realities for secondary market product, Waddington’s opened an auction hall in Brighton, Ontario where we continued to conduct our successful weekly ‘regular auctions’ of estate goods.

That same year, capitalizing on the booming growth and power of the internet, Waddington’s conducted its first online auction. Online auctions have since become an important component for all our departments.

2011
After several successful years of growth, change and many exciting auctions, Waddington’s returned to its east end roots. Our new home is a sleek, concrete and glass facility in Toronto’s busy King Street East Design District.

2013
Linda Rodeck, one of Canada's most respected Canadian art specialists, re-joined Waddington's to lead our Canadian Art department, renamed Waddington's Canadian Fine Art.

2015
To fully round out our fine arts and luxury goods portfolio, we added Fine Wine & Spirits under the authority of the LCBO to our offerings in the fall of 2015.

2016
Today and looking forward -- Waddington's is committed and energized by the challenge to adapt to the changing demands of the business and to continuously look for opportunities to expand our horizons. Whether conducting unique auctions such as the contents of Maple Leaf Gardens, or the many estate, specialty and benefits auctions, we’re proud that as Toronto has become an international business and arts force - so have we.

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UPCOMING AUCTIONS & EVENTS



"Off the Wall" Art Online Auction
June 27 - 30, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 28 June 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery


Decorative Arts Online Auction
June 27 - 30, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 28 June 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery


Gentlemen’s Online Auction
June 27 - 30, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 28 June 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery




"Off the Wall" Art Online Auction
July 4 - 7, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 5 July 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

View the Preview Gallery


Asian Art Online Auction
August 22 - 25, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 23 August 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Inuit Art Online Auction
August 22 - 25, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 23 August 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm


"Off the Wall" Online Auction
August 22 - 25, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 23 August 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Fine Spirits Online Auction
September 12 - 20, 2016


This auction will start closing at 4:00 pm on Tuesday 20 September 2016

Under the authority of the LCBO


Fine Wine Online Auction
September 12 - 20, 2016


This auction will start closing at 6:00 pm on Tuesday 20 September 2016

Under the authority of the LCBO


Canadian Art Online Auction
September 19-22, 2016


On View:
Tuesday 20 September 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Wednesday 21 September 2016
from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Thursday 22 September 2016
from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

View the Preview Gallery


Fine Prints & Photography Online Auction
October 1-6, 2016


On View:
October 1-6, 2016

Weekday gallery hours
from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Weekend gallery hours
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

View the Preview Gallery


Shades of Grey: Prints & Photography Online Auction
October 27–November 3, 2016


On View:
October 27–November 3, 2016

Weekday gallery hours
from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Weekend gallery hours
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

View the Preview Gallery


Fine Wine & Spirits Online Auction
November 14 - 22, 2016


This auction will start closing at 6:00 pm on Tuesday 22 November 2016

Under the authority of the LCBO


Canadian Fine Art Auction
TBA