What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

The Bloor Street Viaduct and The Parkdale Connenction

10630550_733538456716141_2218913164769847647_oWhen work on the Bloor Viaduct (renamed the Prince Edward Viaduct) began in 1915, the metal truss work was built here in Parkdale at the Dominion Bridge works on Sorauren Ave.

The original building at 289 Sorauren was sold to the TTC in 1947 to be used as a maintenance facility. It was later used as a studio for film and television productions before being demolished. Sorauren Park is there now.

Below, one of the massive steel spans being assembled at the plant. The houses on Sorauren can be seen in the background.

10704269_734414816628505_6461823007884407328_o10608217_734413809961939_9154590833746787975_oScreen shot 2014-09-15 at 5.31.21 AMThis is the same background as in the black and white photo above.


Below, an interior shot when it belonged to the TTC.

parkdale-garage-01Below, a shot of the factory looking north on Sorauren past Wabash.

4505794040_5072d2d50cbloorStreetViaductA hand tinted postcard courtesy of J.D. Lowe.

TTC-Sorauren1 TTC-Sorauren2A couple of signs that were liberated just before the building was demolished.

wabash1This photo of Wabash Avenue during WW2, looking east shows what appears to be a rail car running up the centre of the street.

I suspect that the trusses were built and pre-assembled at the factory on Sorauren. They were then taken apart and loaded onto a spur rail line that ran inside the facility and transported east to the site where they were installed.


9 responses

  1. Fascinating photos. Years ago I came across this old postcard of the Bloor Street Viaduct in some family files: http://www.30squaresofontario.blogspot.ca/2011/11/torontos-bloor-street-viaduct-circa.html Do you know what year it might by from?

    September 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    • The viaduct opened in 1918 and I would think this postcard is close to the same age.

      September 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm

  2. Bruce Chown

    The viaduct was designed by Edmund Burke and built for a total cost of $2.5 million ($34.3 million today). The lower deck was designed for trains, a wise move as it turned out when the Bloor-Danforth subway followed that route in the 1960s. Commissioner of Public Works R. C. Harris is to be commended for his foresight and tenacity in including this lower level in the design and construction. I’m sure he had to struggle with the politicians of the day, but it saved the citizens (and taxpayers) of Toronto many millions in later years.

    September 15, 2014 at 12:19 am

  3. I will be posting this in pvhs.info with links back to you. Thank you for thinking of Parkdale. Jack

    September 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

  4. Greg, I re-posted this at http://pvhs.info/?p=4988 Thank you very much.

    September 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

  5. I always feel that the tops of the concrete pillars have “niches” or spots that it looks like statues or something would go. Were there ever supposed to be further additions to the Viaduct, or am I just seeing things?

    September 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    • It’s possible. I know that the project cost a lot more than was originally budgeted.Estimated at $759,000 in 1910, it went to CDN$2.5 million in 1913; its final cost was CDN$2,480,349.05 ($34.3 million in 2014 dollars.

      September 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

  6. Bruce Chown

    Greg, I was looking again at those trusses in the factory and on the bridge. It would be interesting to know how they were transported from the factory on Sorauren to the bridge site – both the route and the means of transport. They are massive.

    September 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

  7. I suspect that they were pre-fabbed at the factory. disassembled and then transported by rail to the site. I’m sure there was a railroad siding from the end of Wabash into the factory.
    The line runs up the Don Valley.

    November 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

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