What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Grim Toronto

Some of you will remember how truly grim downtown was in the late 70’s early 80’s…there wasn’t much going . Below the S/w/ corner of King and John. The building on the corner (now a Second Cup) was practically abandoned and people (not me) would sneak in through the back fire escape and shoot heroin and fu*k around.


The building has a long history. It was built for S. W. Johnson, a druggist, who operated his shop on the premises until 1896, when another druggist, George Gibbard bought the business. During the years ahead, the premises was home to many different restaurants, including that of Mrs. Ryan Kate and James Mallan, who operated a New York-style eatery. The building was also at one time the offices of Cullen-May Richardson, an engineering firm. In the 1939, it housed the Union Trading Company.

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Stewart Street across form the Thompson Hotel.


The Paddock on Queen Street.



2 responses

  1. Joe

    How I love those old buildings 🙂 But are they gone now? I’ve been away from Toronto for so long now and I don’t get a chance to explore those old areas too often.
    I would have painted the front in trompe-l’oeil but it seems that the chap is doing the real thing?

    January 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm

  2. skeets

    There used to be a great boozecan on the upper floors of that building on the s/w corner in the early eighties.

    January 11, 2016 at 4:59 pm

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