What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

A Tale of Two Stores/Queen and Beverley

 The documentation of these two old wood framed stores on Queen is by Patrick Cummins (Black and white)

I don’t know the exact age of them but would guess they both date back to 1830-1840.

3008790149_79380f3e59_oThe N/W corner of Queen and Beverley in 1983. This simple wood frame building is probably one of the oldest stores on Queen West and is occupied by a furniture store, a used clothing store (Fab) and a small Pizza Pizza outlet. Note the sagging roof and crooked windows.

Pizza slices 2 $1.25!!

3008790157_a14713e0e2_bBy February 1988 Fab had taken over the left side and Pizza Pizza the right.

3008790177_8f5acacd35_oBy the spring of 1988 Fab is gone and another clothing store occupies the left storefront.

3008790179_5a99d0e303_oHMV soon took over the building and did some major structural work with an addition to the rear but still retained the facade and much of the wood details. Thanks to Patrick Cummins for documenting the transitions.

P1140462And the wheel turns again. HMV is gone and the space is once again for lease.

Despite the high turnover, many details remain intact on the facade.

P1140458 P1140460 P1140465Looking west across Beverley, 1981.

20140904-Queen-Beverley-WestThis building is similar in design to the former Paisley Shop (below) located at 925 Yonge Street and built in 1841. Demolished 1960.

paisley925 Yonge Street circa 1953. Photo from Eric Arthur’s “Toronto, No Mean City”

He writes:

“It would be hard to imagine shop that offered a more genuine invitation to the customer than did the Paisley Shop. When the photograph was taken the delicacy of the window detail and the cast iron columns at the entrance were matched by the elegance of the old silver and glass on display within. The 20th century has produced nothing to equal it in Toronto.”

Screen shot 2014-12-26 at 5.19.13 PM1960… the end.

Joeseph writes:

 Superb! Great story about part of Toronto’s past, hoping that the old structures will not be torn down like so many others. I feel that it is imperative that the city retains a wide selection of these venerable old buildings. Otherwise, the city may look like many other ‘modernized’ big cities with a concentration of giant blocks of cold steel and glass.
On the other hand, so many people are already walking the streets with their head bowed and their eyes glued to their electronic gadget totally ignoring some of the old and magnificent architecture so pleasing to the eyes!
As my brother would often say: ”on arrête pas le progrès” = ”one does not stop progress”. Sorry for the literal translation 😦

Sonymax writes:

 I knew one of the two partners who ran Fab. Like me he had grown up in Ottawa and we met as fellow painters in OCA. I bought a few very cool retro bowling shirts at Fab back in the day. Years later I found myself working on a movie of the week with the other former partner, who had moved into the film sets/props world. Seeing these pictures now I realize how run-down Queen West was back in the day – and I never realized that the building which had been home to Fab was also going to play host to an HMV! The mind boggles. The strip had changed so much by the end of the 80s I found I didn’t recognize it anymore; I didn’t care for what it had become, what had been erased in the process.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s