What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

  • NE corner of yonge and gerrard
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  • Bloor and Islington/ Then and Now
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  • The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now
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Sorry Cat

sorrycatSorry Cat sometimes makes an appearance attached to your clothes returned from the dry cleaners. They couldn’t get the spot out but how can you be mad at a little cat?
Next time a big assignment is due and you’re not ready, just show this instead.

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Yonge and Gerrard/Then

The N/E corner. Some very good signs.

NE corner of yonge and gerrard NE corner of yonge and gerrard 2 1938This lot would soon be filled by the Savoy/Coronet Theatre.


Queen and Bay/Then

pictures-r-3995Looking west along Queen. This would all disappear in a few years when New City Hall was built.

Queen and Mutual/Then and Now

I used to walk by this church in the early 1970’s on my way to the Acadia bookstore to buy old comic books.

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Buffalo Bill Cody/The Mississauga Connection

433px-Buffalo_Bill_Cody_ca1875Buffalo Bill Cody/The Mississauga Connection

This small Chapel at the N/E corner of Dundas and Cawthra in Mississauga was built in 1839 and still stands today. in 1847 Buffalo Bill Cody was baptized here.
Buffalo Bill Cody/The Mississauga Connection
Buffalo Bill later went on to be one of the founders of the Showmen’s League.
From their website:”On February 19, 1913 a small group of dedicated ‘out-of-doors showmen’ met at the Saratoga Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. Those present agreed that the time had come for an international organization that would cater to the needs and wishes of carnival people everywhere, through good times and bad.Thus, the Showmen’s League of America was born.Colonel William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, famed “Wild West” figure and showmen in his own right, was elected the group’s first president.The Elephant was selected as their symbol because “… the elephant in rampant with uplifted trunk, exemplifies in every particular the characteristics of the showmen, alter, sagacious, victorious.”

There is still a Toronto Chapter located on Beverly Street just south of College.

Buffalo Bill Cody/The Mississauga Connection

Buffalo Bill Cody/The Mississauga Connectionbuffalo bill

Parkdale Orphan

My father sent me an interesting piece in the National Post about an unclaimed plot of land in Parkdale.

Click on the photo for a link.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.55.33 PMThe area in question below. The red square.

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Bloor and Islington/ Then and Now

Bloor and Islington/ Then and NowThis photo was taken in 1958.
Bloor and Islington/ Then and NowSometime later the second floor was added and it’s been
the Black Angus Steakhouse since 1964.
I recently found some information about Joseph Sankey and Sons:
Sankeys had always been into export in a big way. In 1943 they set up Sankey Electrical Stampings Ltd. in Bombay (Mumbai) to produce electrical laminations. In 1950 another factory for electrical laminations was set up in Calcutta (Kolkata). In the same year an electrical laminations factory was started in Newcastle, Australia, and steel furniture factory was opened in Johannesburg. In 1952 a factory for both electrical laminations and steel furniture was opened in Canada.

Looking Back at the Rio Cinema

Click on the photo for a great article on the Rio Cinema

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Yonge and Richmond/Then and Now

pictures-r-4573pictures-r-1624The N/W corner in 1899. Hats were very popular back then….

I just noticed something very interesting in the first photo.

 The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company made a product called the “smoke ball”. It claimed to be a cure for influenza and a number of other diseases, in the context of the 1889–1890 flu pandemic (estimated to have killed 1 million people). The smoke ball was a rubber ball with a tube attached. It was filled with carbolic acid (or phenol). The tube would be inserted into a user’s nose and squeezed at the bottom to release the vapours. The nose would run, ostensibly flushing out viral infections.

The fact that it failed to work was followed by a lawsuit that for many law students is the first case that they lean about in law school and forms the basis for their understanding of contract law.


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Yonge and Gerrard/Then and Now

An early photo of the S/E corner.


yonge2band2bgerrard2bse2bcorner2b2 Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.05.36 PM

Queen and Boulton /Then and Now

An early postcard showing the N/W corner of Queen and Boulton.

pcr-2211 Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.22.38 AMA current vie.

Below the south side of Queen.

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Queen and Elizabeth/Then

Looking north up Elizabeth Street from Queen in the early 1950’s. This was the original “Chinatown” before it moved west to Dundas and Spadina.

It’s impossible to show a now photo as this section of Elizabeth disappeared when New City Hall was built.

pictures-r-4013Below a map from 1924.

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The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now

The Toronto Arcade/Then and NowThe Toronto Arcade , the first in Canada was built in 1883 on the east side of Yonge Street at the intersection of Temperence Street.
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The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now As seen in the 1920’s.
The Toronto Arcade/Then and NowIt’s sad and final days in the mid 1950’s.
Going going..gone. Victoria and Lombard can be seen in the distance.
TNYongeStformerArcadesite1954_zps98a45cdd 537039_545315385538450_114455432_nThe newer Arcade building can be seen in the background of this film shoot from the 70’s.
20130612-Arcade-Arcade-BuildingErnie Coomb’s (Mr. Dress Up/CBC) wife was killed here by an out of control car that smashed through the Loblaws’ store front in 1992.
The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now
By the 1950’s it was no longer fashionable and was demolished in 1955.The same view in 2010.
The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now
.An interior view from 1888.
The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now

The Toronto Arcade/Then and NowThe Toronto Arcade/Then and Now

A collection of period ads.
The Toronto Arcade/Then and Now
This is the Manning Arcade, designed by E.J. Lennox and built in 1882 on the north side of King just west of Yonge Street.

Vintage Toronto Film from 1935

Shots of Toronto Transit Commission traffic at Broadview and Danforth, Sunnyside, Danforth Division, Canadian National Exhibition entrances, the Bay Street terminal, ferry service, and North Toronto terminal.

Mark moore sent me the link to this.

Source: Library and Archives Canada. Toronto Transit Commission fonds, 1981-0211.


The Vesta Lunch on Dupont

I’d always believed that the Vesta Lunch was the inspiration for the famous Saturday Night Live sketch “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger!”

P1040497After all, Dan Aykroyd lived in Toronto in the early 1970’s…

This video about the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago dispels this belief.




The Original Sunnyside Villa

This house, part of St. Joeseph’s Hospital is the original Sunnyside Villa built by John Howard in 1853 which he named Sunnyside. Howard never lived in this house but built it on spec and sold it to an American, George Cheney. The house became part of St. Joe’s in 1876 when it was an orphanage.


1024px-Sunnyside_Holiwell_Pic-nic 11021463_831713780231941_3393318440167273485_oFrom the Toronto Historical Association:

A surveyor and architect who is woven into much of Toronto’s 19th century history is John George Howard. He had built himself a home, Colborne Lodge, in what is now High Park, and continued to look around at other properties. In 1844, he and one partner purchased Park Lot 25, consisting of 100 acres. Four years later he was sole owner and decided to build a house near the lake, which he named  Sunny-side. This is the name used later to define an amusement park and, even later, to define a host of small business enterprises. Howard intended the building as an attraction among the many building lots he laid out on the Park Lot, and called the house a “marine villa” as it looked out to the lake. From the house, he watched a famous ship founder in a storm and engaged in the rescue of its crew, but he did not live in the house. Howard was also selling off timber cut from his land. Eventually, all of the building lots were sold and by this time the area was known as Sunnyside. The last sale made by Howard was of the house and the 9-acre lot on which it stood. George Cheney purchased it and converted it into a picnic area. There were subsequent owners, the last of whom became aware of the space crisis at the House of Providence on Power Street and its problems in accommo-dating children. At first, Sunnyside was loaned to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who used it as a boys’ orphanage. In 1881, the Roman Catholic Diocese purchased the property and the institution became Sacred Heart Children’s Orphanage, still run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, but accommodating both boys and girls. The original four-storey house had many additions, but the basic structure was octagonal in shape and Romanesque in style. It soon disappeared as the work expanded. In typical fashion, the City of Toronto decided to expropriate the property for use as a school in the growing residential area. To prevent the expropriation, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Diocese decided to convert the property into a hospital, which could not be expropriated. The hospital opened in 1921. During successive expansions, Howard’s house was demolished in 1945.


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