What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Parkdale

The Parkdale Theatre/ Then and Now

Parkdale Theatre/ Then and NowParkdale Theatre/ Then and Now
1937
Parkdale Theatre/ Then and Now2010
The Parkdale Theatre on Queen Street West was built by the Allans and opened April 5, 1920 and was very successful thanks to it’s proximity to Sunnyside Amusement park. It finally closed in 1970. A substantial venue with over 1500 seats.
For a short time the box office was used as a Beer Store and more recently the entire space has been divided into several antique stores.
In the 1937 photo the film playing is “Kid Galahad”.
In the 1947 photo the film is “Humoresque”.
Parkdale Theatre/ Then and Now
The lobby from 1947.
Photos-6
2013211-parkdale-theatre-stFor more information on Toronto’s Lost Movie Houses please look for John Sebert’s book“Nabes”.
Photos-7 GLOBE-ARTICLE-ROBBERY-2A brief history of the Parkdale Theatre and it’s reputation can be found here.
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Queen and West Lodge/Then and Now

Queen and West Lodge/Then and NowAn old real estate listing from 1979. 1430 Queen Street West is listed for $83,000 with annual taxes of $1.491.58. Pizza Pizza, John’s Broadloom, a jewellery store and the Skyline Restaurant
Queen and West Lodge/Then and Now
In 2010 the Pizza Pizza is still here with new signage and to the far right
the Skyline is now closed…..

Skyline Restaurant /Parkdale Closing

I’m sad to report that the rumours  are true and that the Skyline Restaurant on Queen West is indeed closing. Sunday Feb 21/2016 will be the last day under the present ownership.

Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleSkyline Restaurant / Parkdale

The Skyline Restaurant in Parkdale is one of my favourite “Diners” in the city.
It has a great neon sign, the interior has lots of period details and it’s kept spotless.
Highly recommended: cheeseburger and onion rings (the best in the city) or
open face roast beef sandwich (Mat’s favourite).
Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleThe new owners have said that they’ll keep the interior intact.
Skyline Restaurant / ParkdaleEven the back room is nice…for a private party.
Lou, the owner was kind enough to give me and old menu as a souvenir.
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Canada’s First Hangman

Canada's First HangmanCanada’s first hangman John Radclive lived here in Parkdale.
I’ve chosen not to identify the actual address.
Canada's First Hangman
Mr. Radclive at work in 1902.
He used the alias of Thomas Ratley for his social life.In an interview with psychologist Rachel MacNair, Radclive described his internal torment:
“Now at night when I lie down,” he said, “I start up with a roar as victim after victim comes up before me. I can see them on the trap, waiting a second before they meet their Maker. They haunt me and taunt me until I am nearly crazy with an unearthly fear.”

Meanwhile, with the financial stability that Radclive’s regular salary gave him, he was able to settle down. In 1893, he moved into a new house in Parkdale, on Sorauren Ave. north of Queen St. W., and later lived around the corner on Fern Ave.

Both are substantial brick houses: the Sorauren Ave. house was appraised at $1,835 in 1895, about two and a half times Radclive’s $700 annual salary as hangman. (It sold last year for $667,000.) The Fern Ave. house, which is smaller, was valued at around $1,000. He had a mortgage on both houses.

After his death, it turned out that Fern Avenue had made its peace with its odd resident over the years. “The little children who weren’t frightened of him just loved him,” one neighbour told theTelegram.

He died in February 1911, at 55, of cirrhosis of the liver in the Fern Ave. house, where he lived with his mother. His wife, who had left him, was in England with two of his children.

His other two children lived in Toronto but, the Telegram explained, they “did not take any particular pride in the profession of their father.”

Shortly before his death, in an interview cited by American psychologist Rachel MacNair, he had hinted at his inner demons:

“Now at night when I lie down,” he said, “I start up with a roar as victim after victim comes up before me. I can see them on the trap, waiting a second before they meet their Maker. They haunt me and taunt me until I am nearly crazy with an unearthly fear.”

Tim Petruk writes:

One of the original stipulations in his contract with the federal government included a clause that might seem odd today, but was apparently the norm for many hangmen of that time around the world — Radcliffe was entitled to the clothes off the backs of the men he executed.

“The fact was he used to make as much money selling the clothes of the person he hanged as he did for the hangings,” Brawn said.

Radcliffe — sometimes spelled “Radclive” — also liked to sell lengths of rope as souvenirs as he travelled the country performing executions.

The problem was, the rope used in the hangings themselves was never passed on to the hangmen.

Brawn said Radcliffe was once caught in a B.C. hardware store by a local sheriff. The hangman was buying extra rope.

“Then he’d sell them as ‘the piece of rope that hanged so-and-so,’” he said.

Radcliffe was British, but lived in Toronto. Brawn said he worked on the side as a waiter at a yacht club in his hometown, but was fired when a customer recognized him from his other line of work.

At the time of Radcliffe’s death, it was reported he had hanged upwards of 150 people.


Queen and Jameson / Then and Now

Queen and Jameson / Then and NowQueen and Jameson looking south in the late 1930’s.
Queen and Jameson / Then and Now
Again, a few years later in 1950. Some of the trees have disappeared and the street has been widened to accommodate the increased post-war traffic. The house on the right is slowly
being incorporated into the Toronto Dominion Bank building.
Queen and Jameson / Then and Now
Today the intersection is an absolute mess. Thanks to our city planners this is now one of the most confusing intersections in the city for both drivers and pedestrians alike.
All of the houses on Jameson have been replaced by apartment buildings and as an access point to the Gardiner Expressway it’s a heavily travelled route.
Queen and Jameson / Then and Now
The apartment building to the left, The Connaught with the portico removed.
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King and Jameson/ Then and Now

King and Jameson/ Then and NowFrom King Street looking north up Jameson Avenue in the late 1930’s.
King and Jameson/ Then and Now
The same view in 2010.
King and Jameson/ Then and Now
From King Street looking south down Jameson towards the lake.
King and Jameson/ Then and Now
The same view in 2010. All of those houses are long gone….

King and Cowan/Then and Now

King and Cowan/Then and NowLooking east on King across Cowan Avenue in 1903.
King and Cowan/Then and Now
Today.

Parkdale Twins

Parkdale TwinsThis house on Sorauren has a twin….
Parkdale Twins
….on Macdonnel. Except the plan for this one is reversed.

Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now

Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now

The Odeon Theatre in Parkdale was located on the south side of Queen at Fuller Av. These photos were supplied by Eric Veillette, author of this blog: Silent Toronto and definetely worth a visit. This theatre is not to be confused with an earlier Odeon which was located across the street and a little further west.

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Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now

Closed and for sale at $125,000 some time in the 1960’s.

Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now

For sale again.
Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now

This was taken in 1976 by one of my neighbours. At the time it appears to called the Regal and was demolished shortly thereafter.

Odeon Parkdale/Then and Now
By 2010 the theatre is long gone and has been replaced by a Shoppers Drug Mart.
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Parkdale/Then and Now

Parkdale/Then and NowA very nice postcard from 1910 looking east along Queen from O’Hara Avenue.
Parkdale/Then and Now
Skip ahead 100 years and a lot of changes, although the north side of the street is relatively intact. the bank has been replaced by a Dollarama and of course too many cars on the road.

Parkdale Odeon/ Now and Then

Parkdale Odeon/ Now and ThenI’ve lived in the neighbourhood for the past 25 years and had always suspected that this small grocery store was a former movie theatre. A little research on the City’s archive turned up this photo.
Parkdale Odeon/ Now and Then
The Odeon Theatre 1919

The movie or Photo Play showing is Cecile B. DeMille’s “Don’t Change Your Husband”.

Released in 1919 and starring Gloria Swanson.
Parkdale Odeon/ Now and Then
Another view with the Odeon in the foreground looking east towards Fuller Ave.

Fern Avenue School Then and Now

Fern Avenue School Then and NowFern Avenue Public School was built in 1894.
My Father attended this school in the early 1940’s.
Photo courtesy of Chuckman’s Postcard Collection
Fern Avenue School Then and Now
The school as it stands today. The west tower and cupola are gone as well as
the central chimney and much of the ornamental decoration.
Fern Avenue School Then and Now

Fern Avenue Then and Now

Fern Avenue Then and NowA shot of Fern Avenue looking east towards the School on the left. The year is
unknown but note the absence of parked cars on the street.
These houses were all quite new when this photograph was taken
Photo courtesy of Chuckman’s Postcard Collection.
Fern Avenue Then and Now
The trees have grown and so have the cars.

Queen Street Subway/Then and Now

Queen Street Subway/Then and NowQueen Street Subway/Then and NowThe cornerstone.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowFrom the overpass looking at the s/w corner of Queen and Dufferin 1898.

Queen Street Subway/Then and NowThe building of the Queen Street Subway (underpass) was a major undertaking for the town of Parkdale in January of 1884. The level crossing at Dufferin Street was proving to be a major hurdle for access and trade. Queen and Dufferin were re-graded several feet below street level and the existing buildings shored up. Over time as these structures were demolished the recovered land was also altered. The construction costs at the time totalled over $20,000.

Queen Street Subway/Then and NowQueen Street Subway/Then and NowLooking east.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowQueen Street Subway/Then and NowLooking south/east.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowLooking at the north side of Queen and east towards the subway.
The Gladstone Hotel can be seen in the distance.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowThe same view in 2010
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowThe S/W corner of Queen and Dufferin 1897.Queen Street Subway/Then and NowToday.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowStill under construction.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowLooking west from the foot of Gladstone Ave towards the recently completed subway in 1896Queen Street Subway/Then and NowThe same view today
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowQueen Street Subway/Then and Now
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowFrom Queen looking south down Dufferin during construction.
Queen Street Subway/Then and NowQueen Street Subway/Then and NowDufferin looking north.
2010.

Sorauren and Fern/Then and Now

Sorauren and Fern/Then and NowAnother listing from May 1979. A corner store on the N/W corner of Sorauren and Fern listed for $59,000 with taxes of $708. What do you think this property would cost today?
The Royal Bank inflation Calculator says that $59,000.00 in 1979 is equal to $187,839.00 today.
Neighbours tell me there was a Barbershop in the back as well.
The City Directory from 1913 has the front listed as a taxidermist.
Sorauren and Fern/Then and Now
In 2010 the store is gone and the ground floor is an apartment.

Lost Parkdale


This map shows the area of South Parkdale that was obliterated in 1956. Lost streets include:
Lorne Ave., Rose Ave., Prospect Ave., Iroquois, Mississagua and Fort Rouille as well as the lower parts of Dowling, Jameson and Dunn.

This arial photo from the late 1950’s shows how much of Parkdale was destroyed to make way for the Gardiner Expressway. My Grandparents had a house on Dunn just south of the train tracks that was demolished.

King and Dufferin/ Then and Now

King and Dufferin/ Then and NowLooking north up Dufferin from King Street in 1949.
King and Dufferin/ Then and Now
The same view in 2010.

Sorauren Park / Then and Now

Sorauren Park / Then

Before the park, this site was occupied by a TTC maintenence depot. For a short time in the late 1980’s it was used a film studio. Captain Power was shot here.
Both Sorauren and Roncesvalles are Spanish names.
Colonel Walter O’Hara, one of the earliest land owners in Parkdale fought in the
Battle of Sorauren at the Roncesvalles Pass in Spain
during the War of 1812. He named the streets as a tribute.
Sorauren Park / Then
The site today.

The Revue Cinema/ Then and Now

The Revue Cinema/ Then and Now

The Revue 2010.
The Revue Cinema/ Then and Now
The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles in 1935.
The Revue Cinema/ Then and Now
The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles was built in 1911 and had the distinction of being
the longest running theatre with it’s original facade. That was until the supports gave way
and the entire canopy crashed to the sidewalk a couple of winters ago.
The Revue continues to operate as a single screen theatre and as such still an enjoyable place to go.

 


Queen and MacDonnel/Then and Now

Queen and MacDonnel/Then and NowAn early postcard of Queen Street looking east from MacDonnel.
This photo could be as early as 1893 the year the Queen line
was converted to electricity.
Queen and MacDonnel/Then and Now
The same view today. It’s too bad that the awnings are all gone.
Stores on the north side are on the “sunny side of
the street”. For a number of years I lived in the building with the red spire roof.
Queen and MacDonnel/Then and Now