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.
The 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!!
HMV 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.
Despite the high turnover, many details remain intact on the facade.
925 Yonge Street circa 1953. Photo from Eric Arthur’s “Toronto, No Mean City”
“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.”
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 😦
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.