What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

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  • Carlaw Avenue. - February 3, 1919
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  • Dundas Roncesvalles 1913-Collections Canada[1]
  • Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984
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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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Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 4.16.26 PM.pngrj250-5.jpgScreen Shot 2016-01-10 at 4.15.50 PM.png


Back in the dark ages before cell phones and home computers, it was possible to fly from New York to London in 3.5 hours. Toronto to London took a bit longer.


People were actually travelling to the moon as well on a regular basis….


Buying a New Car 1957


1957 (I believe) was the first year that the Canadian Banks were allowed to lend money to buy a new car.

Photo by Vera Tachtaul .

Nick the Parkdale Barber

A photo from the star archives circa 1990. Does anyone remember this guy and where this photo was taken?

There’s a reflected sign in the b/g that reads Parkdale Furs.


I think the detective work by the readers has proven successful. 1606 Queen West appears to be the location.

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The architecture of the store front makes sense and the indication of these two holes on the column line up with the original location of the barber’s pole….

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The gas valve seems to line up as well.

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Thanks to everyone that commented and helped solve this

Parkdale Mystery.



Dundas and Roncesvalles 1913

Dundas Roncesvalles 1913-Collections Canada[1].jpg

The bank on the right would later be robbed by the Boyd Gang and then used as Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway in the movie “Hairspray”.


More Bad Christmas Albums

This one from Mark Moore……

no relation or so he claims.


Merry Christmas 2015!

Santa, the evil puppet master!Eatons-Christmas-Catalogue1[1].jpgtop-15-worst-christmas-album-covers-155578[1].png

Kool Yonge Street/Yonge and Dundas

The east side of Yonge north of Dundas.

Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984Note the billboard below advertising the new Paul McCartney album, “Ram”.Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984 Yonge Street Mall. - August 17, 1971-September 10, 1973 Yonge Street, Carlton Street to Dundas Street. - July, 1970-April 20, 1981Muntz would have been MadMan Muntz the Hi Fi dealer and car builder.


Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984

Yonge Street, Carlton Street to Dundas Street. - July, 1970-April 20, 1981The Muntz store would soon be replaced by a Pinball Arcade and the Tops restaurant by an Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips.

The Derby closed and was replaced by a Mr. Submarine…..

Frank’s Hamburgers was always a busy place.

Eaton Centre north side and interior construction. - May 11, 1977-September 29, 1984arthur-treacher-celebrity-1441974470Actor, Arthur Treacher.

Screen shot 2014-12-30 at 12.01.00 PMSecond City’s spoof on Going Down the Road


image_119_resizeThe Muntz Jet.

Below, the George Barris designed VOX Roadster equipped with a  Muntz 8 track.



Welcome to Canada!

s0409_it0002[1].jpgToronto Immigration Office, Front Street.

Bathurst and Stewart Street

Currently the site of the Thompson Hotel. This was originally the International Harvester Showroom.


More Lost Parkdale


12376286_988058087930842_8084074467238711044_n[1].jpgphoto-toronto-king-roncesvalles-and-queen-picken-chicken-sign-corner-store-appears-derelict-1964[1].jpgPHOTO - TORONTO - KING QUEEN AND RONCESVALLES - NOTE TAXI STAND - CLOTHING STORE AT CORNER - LOOKING E - 1966.jpg

Novelty Popcorn Bag


King and Bathurst/Then and Now

Otto Higel Co. Ltd. Toronto manufacturer of piano and organ supplies. The company was founded in 1896 by Otto Higel (b Silesia, Germany, 1869, d Toronto 2 Jul 1930), who had bought the Toronto piano action and key manufacturing business of F. Koth, for whom he had worked since moving to Canada in 1889. Higel amalgamated in 1901 with Augustus Newell & Co (founded in 1878 as the Newell Organ Reed Co), and the resulting firm – Newell & Higel Co Ltd – manufactured piano actions, keys and hammers, and organ keys, reeds, and reedboards. Higel purchased the firm’s assets in 1904 and restored the name Otto Higel Co Ltd, but also used Canada Piano Action and Key Co Ltd. He achieved his greatest success with the manufacture of player-piano actions, begun in 1906. By 1911 he had added a department for the cutting of perforated piano rolls, labelled Solodont. The company, located at Bathurst and King streets, employed 450 workers in 1912. Player pianos with Higel actions were in use around the world and were in such demand that a second plant was opened in Buffalo, NY, ca 1914, and a third in New York City in 1916. On Higel’s death his son Ralph O. Higel assumed direction of the company, which gradually began making other products, such as cabinets and wooden toys. By 1938 control had passed out of the Higel family, though the name was retained. After 1938 the firm apparently made only kitchen cabinets and appliances, and in 1944 business ceased. The Otto Higel building at Bathurst and King was demolished in 1981.

Author Florence Hayes

Piano factory, northwest corner of Bathurst Street and King Street West. - [ca. 1919] Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.51.13 AM


Catalogue scan provided by:

Terry Rowe: Piano and Clock Repair, Elliot Lake, Ontario

Another view below.

1ace4040280173f334f4f362518c970fScreen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.57.45 AM

Lost Yonge Street

Just north of Wellesley.


Gas Prices 1975


1975 is the first year that gas was sold by the litre in Canada.

14 cents/litre works out to 60 cents/litre in today’s money.

Photo by Boris Spremo, Toronto Star.

Luck Boys

From the Toronto Star, 1971. Photo by Boris Spremo.

Putting together scraps of old bills found in the Black Creek ravine. Mrs. Emily Coggon helps Patrol Sgt. Cyril Barnes and Inspector Tom Cooke while her sons Kirk; 6, and Neil, 5, watch. Kirk is one of the eight children who found the money three months ago, $2,960 in bills from the 1930s. It’s not been claimed, and it’ll be divided among the youngsters. Kirk’s going to buy a bicycle.


$2,976.00 in 1971 would be worth $18,000.00 today!


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