What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Bloor and Bay/Then and Now


In 1897, Henry Leland Bowles borrowed $1,000 to start his first Bowles Lunch business in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1904, he expanded under the firm name of H.L. Bowles & Co. (Charles C. Gilbert parent company) in Detroit, Michigan; and in the years that followed, quickly grew the Bowles Lunch chain within the United States and Canada. In September 1912, he opened a Bowles Lunch in Toronto, Canada under the Bowles Lunch Co., LTD of Canada, followed by Bowles Lunches in Ottawa, Hamilton & London, Canada. Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 3.37.30 PM124349a9c6484080eBowles%2520Lunch%2520Interior-largeThe barrel-vaulted ceiling of Bowles’ lunchroom echoed the curve of the arched window over the entrance. Originally there were no tables. Men picked up their meals at steam tables and carried the food to one-armed chairs arranged in straight rows against the walls. You could eat quickly and alone, or for more sociable gatherings the chairs could be pulled together in a square, facing each other.




The Queen and Bay location.

urbantoronto-5147-158267 King Street East.

From 1951 and worth a read.



One response

  1. Pingback: Queen and Bay /Then and Now | Lost Toronto

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