What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

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  • Series 372, Subseries 58 - Road and street condition photographs
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  • Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
  • Queen and West Lodge/Then and Now
  • Skyline Restaurant / Parkdale
  • Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
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  • Carlaw Avenue. - February 3, 1919
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Queen West/Then


Queen West circa 1958. Looking east towards Bathurst.

The Daisy Tea Room

An attractive Vitrolite facade on this forgotten restaurant situated on the S/E corner of College and Bathurst. Currently the home of Sneaky Dees . Thanks to M. Ross for the info in locating this one.


Below, the building can be seen in 1951 or so with the second floor addition.


Sneaky-Dees.jpgAnd finally, an earlier location of the Daisey Tea Room across the street on the north side circa 1930.


A closer look at this photo reveals this cover from the Saturday Evening Post.

Painted by the great J.C. Leyendecke.


The Black Cats of Parkdale

black-cat15I can’t be the only one who’s noticed the abundance of  black cats skulking around the alleys here in Parkdale. I’ve seen at least 10 within a half mike radius of my house. Not only are they black but they’re all identical in size and shape. I should know as 2 of them showed up in my backyard a couple of years ago.

One of them stuck around. His name is Black Cat (2) as he’s a replacement for the original Black Cat that showed up in 2000 and hung around for 14 years or so and was a dead ringer for its successor…..

More Lost Parkdale

The Brighton Theatre on Roncesvalles circa 1963.


Bloor and Keele /Then

Looking east across Keele in the early/mid 60’s.


Ancaster Vintage British Car Show


A few shots from this past weekend.



Something to do with Toronto…


Espana guitars were made in Italy at the Crucianelli factory. Some were branded Crucianelli/Elite, some were branded Vox (Britain and US) while those marked Espana were mostly sold in Canada. Although virtually identical, a VOX branded version is worth considerably more.




Years ago I worked on a music video for Ian Thomas’ band, the Boomers.I needed a guitar that could be set on fire so I bought an Espana from a pawn shop on Church for $100.00. I coated the headstock with rubber cement and we set it on fire several times. The video was shot in a warehouse at the foot of Fraser street.

No guitars were harmed in this video.

An excellent site on Crucianelli guitars here.

Lost Parkdale

Looking east along Queen from Roncesvalles sometime in the late sixties. Note the Centennial sticker on the trash can.


Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now

Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and NowLooking east from Dundas across Lansdowne in 1917. The building on the S/E corner is a bank.
For years afterwards it was the Dunlan restaurant and had a wonderful 1940’s stainless counter and several small booths. Scenes from David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch were shot there in 1991.
Below some screen grabs from Naked Lunch. At first it was used  a New York Diner and then later re-dressed as a Moroccan Coffee house.
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Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
Now it’s Yummy Pizza!
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
A couple of shots inside the long gone Dunlan Diner courtesy of mistagregory.
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
Good times!
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now“Freshen’ your drink hon?”
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and NowA couple of recent photos while under renovation.
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
It appears that it was a music academy before a restaurant.
These last two photos are by printwithfire.
Here’s another shot looking south on Lansdowne with the Dunlan in the B/G. The grey building on the left was a Hotel.

Queen and West Lodge/Then and Now

Queen and West Lodge/Then and NowAn old real estate listing from 1979. 1430 Queen Street West is listed for $83,000 with annual taxes of $1.491.58. Pizza Pizza, John’s Broadloom, a jewellery store and the Skyline Restaurant
Queen and West Lodge/Then and Now
In 2010 the Pizza Pizza is still here with new signage and to the far right
the Skyline is now closed…..

Skyline Restaurant /Parkdale Closing

I’m sad to report that the rumours  are true and that the Skyline Restaurant on Queen West is indeed closing. Sunday Feb 21/2016 will be the last day under the present ownership.

Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleSkyline Restaurant / Parkdale

The Skyline Restaurant in Parkdale is one of my favourite “Diners” in the city.
It has a great neon sign, the interior has lots of period details and it’s kept spotless.
Highly recommended: cheeseburger and onion rings (the best in the city) or
open face roast beef sandwich (Mat’s favourite).
Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleThe new owners have said that they’ll keep the interior intact.
Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleEven the back room is nice…for a private party.
Lou, the owner was kind enough to give me and old menu as a souvenir.
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Bassel’s Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Like the Silver Rail at Yonge and Shuter, Bassel’s was another bar on the strip that is sadly missed. Here’s a collection of photos over the years. Originally Bassel’s Lunch it evolved into Bassel’s Restaurant and Tavern and lasted until at least 1977 (the first time I visited).
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardBassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardA postcard from the early 1960’s.

1268716_550427725027216_649875017_o 1271238_547710438632278_1271380879_oSometime in the late 70’s. Nearing the end.
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardBassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

One last shot looking south down Yonge in front of the Coronet Theatre from the late 1970’s.
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard2010.
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2001, A Space Odyssey

No, this is an Agnew Surpass Shoe store at Fairview Mall in 1972.


Lost CNE

Up until the late 1960’s-early 1970’s the CNE featured a “Freak Show”.

People that were deformed and physically handicapped were put on display.



I personally saw the Bonnie and Clyde death car at the CNE circa 1967 complete with blood covered mannequins inside. At the time there were several “Death Cars” travelling around North America so it’s hard to say if this was the actual car.



More Lost Parkdale

The N/E corner of Queen and Macdonell.

The Metropolitan School of Music.


Currently under renovations with rumours that an A & W will be moving in soon..



Photo courtesy PVHS.

Bathurst and College Then

Looking east along College circa 1962.


Carlaw Hydro Building

Carlaw Avenue. - February 3, 1919The hydro Building on Carlaw when it was new in 1919 (built in 1916). There appears to be a showroom of some sorts.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.18.31 AM2012 with the addition to the south.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.01.38 PMAn interior shot of  their Yonge Street store.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.04.21 PMBelow, some of the interior equipment.

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Lawrence F. has sent some more images.

Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1917 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1922 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1923 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1925


Lost Church Street

14774146540_73953dfb64_o.jpgBelow, a current view. Note the “ghost” on the right hand side.

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Queen and Shaw/Then and Now

The N/E corner in the mid 1950’s.

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Grim Toronto

Some of you will remember how truly grim downtown was in the late 70’s early 80’s…there wasn’t much going . Below the S/w/ corner of King and John. The building on the corner (now a Second Cup) was practically abandoned and people (not me) would sneak in through the back fire escape and shoot heroin and fu*k around.


The building has a long history. It was built for S. W. Johnson, a druggist, who operated his shop on the premises until 1896, when another druggist, George Gibbard bought the business. During the years ahead, the premises was home to many different restaurants, including that of Mrs. Ryan Kate and James Mallan, who operated a New York-style eatery. The building was also at one time the offices of Cullen-May Richardson, an engineering firm. In the 1939, it housed the Union Trading Company.

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