What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Queen St West

The Parkdale Theatre/ Then and Now

Parkdale Theatre/ Then and NowParkdale Theatre/ Then and Now
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.
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.



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.
skyline3 1.jpegskyline3 2.jpeg

The Campell House/Then and Now Update

pictures-r-2899The Campell HouseThe Campell House The Campell House

The Campell HouseThe Campbell house in it’s original location at Frederick and Adelaide before the move.
pictures-r-3000 copy
f1231_it1426The house can be seen here on the far right.
The Campell House
On the Move 1972
The Campell House
The Campell House
As it stands today
Campbell House is the oldest remaining house from the original site of the Town of York. Built in 1822 by Judge William Campbell and his wife Hannah, the home was designed for entertaining and comfort, and constructed at a time when the Campbells were socially and economically established and their children had grown to adulthood. The house is one of the few surviving examples of Georgian architecture left in Toronto. The Grange is another excellent example, although it is slightly older than Campbell House. Campbell House is constructed in a style in vogue during the late Georgian era known as Palladian architecture. This style was Italian in origin, and based upon elements of classical Greek and Roman architecture, which emphasized symmetry of features (windows, fireplaces, doors etc.) and grandiose proportions to exhibit wealth.

The Move

Campbell House was originally located on a plot of land 1 ½ kilometres to the southeast of its’ present location at the intersection of what is now Adelaide St. and Frederick St. (where the George Brown School of Hospitality is located today). After Sir William’s death in 1834, the house was willed to his wife, Lady Hannah, for her use. After her death in 1844 the property and contents of the house were auctioned off and the proceeds were distributed amongst their heirs. For most of the 19th century the house was maintained as a private residence. After the turn of the 20th century the building was used by several businesses as office space and as a factory, including a horseshoe nail company and an elevator company, and the house fell into disrepair. The last owners of the property (Coutts-Hallmark Greeting Cards) wanted to demolish the house to extend their parking lot. At this time the house was offered to anyone who could remove it from the property. A professional association of Trial Lawyers known as the Advocates’ Society intervened to save the house, move the building and restore it to its present appearance. The house was moved to its present location at the corner of Queen and University on
Friday, March 31st, 1972.
My father took me downtown that day to see the move.
Blog subscriber Joeseph has sent me some photos of the Campbell house from 1964 before it was moved.
He writes:
I’m sending you some old pics via this email address as it will be easier for me.
I mentioned that I have more old photos but since they are mostly old 35 mm slides I will have to convert them, a few at a time. The 3 B&W photos attached were taken around 1968-69, maybe 1970 with my old Canon TL-QL bought at a pawn-shop in 1968 which was, I believe, located on Jarvis Street…or was it Yonge? 😦  In any case it has been my faithful companion since then but I must shamefully admit that it has been stored away for a number of years, making place for its digital replacement 🙂  Poor fellow, he’s still useable but without his light-meter which died some years ago.
—Central Fire Hall – 1886 ( does it still exist? I have left Toronto many years ago. Lived there between 1957 and 1973.
—William Campbell House located on Duke Street facing Frederick Street.
I worked for the Hallmark Greeting Card Co. between 1957 and 1969 and, for a few months, my working quarters were located in that venerable old house. memories…
Coutts Hallmark Cards-Toronto May 1964 Wm. Campbell House 1822-Adelaide St. Toronto-1970-a Wm. Campbell House 1822-Adelaide St. Toronto-1970Wm. Campbell House - Toronto 1964

Queen and Peter/Then and Now

Queen and Peter/Then and NowThe north side of Queen just west of Peter Street in the 1930’s
Queen and Peter/Then and Now
The stores looked better with the awnings…

Queen and Brock/Then and Now

Queen and Brock/Then and NowHere’s a very nice early shot of Queen West looking west from Brock Avenue in 1916. If you click on the image there are some interesting details. Aside from the lack of cars note the abundance of awnings and horse drawn carts. To the lower right there’s a child’s wagon and half way up on the left a motorcycle is parked. The ornate building on the left is the Parkdale Municipal Offices and was built in 1888. It housed the Parkdale council chamber and office, the Firehall and engine house as well as the Police Station and Jail.
It was demolished in 1931.
Queen and Brock/Then and Now

queen brock mash

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.
queen jameson mash

Queen and Soho/Then and Now

Queen and Soho/Then and Now1913 looking N/E from Peter Street. The Savoy Restaurant (later Peter Pan) is probably the oldest, original restaurant in the city.
Queen and Soho/Then and Now
Today. That’s the Peter Pan restaurant in the foreground.
Queen and Soho/Then and Now
Queen West looking east from Soho in the 1970’s. Back then this strip was occupied
by several used book stores. The Black Bull (1833) is on the left. At the time these were taken it was called the Clifton House.
Queen and Soho/Then and Now

Queen and Cowan/Then and Now

When the original Parkdale Council Hall was demolished in 1931 a modern police station was built on the site. A few photos documenting the progress.
No longer a police station the building is now used as an artist’s co-op, Gallery 1313.
Queen and Cowan/Then and NowQueen and Cowan/Then and NowQueen and Cowan/Then and Now Queen and Cowan/Then and NowQueen and Cowan/Then and Now

From behind looking north to Queen during construction.

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.32.16 AMThe buildings still stand but have lost most of their decoration.

Queen and Cowan/Then and Now Queen and Cowan/Then and Now

Queen and Portland/Then and Now

Queen and Portland/Then and NowThe north side of Queen West in 1958. Haba’s Grill looks like the kind of place I would go to.
This was very much a Hungarian and polish neighbourhood back then.
Queen and Portland/Then and Now
In 2010 the Epicure has taken Haba’s place on the strip

Queen and Manning/Then and Now

Queen and Manning/Then and NowLooking north up Manning at Queen, 1900.
Oddly the windows down the side appear to have been bricked in already.
Not much to say about this one….Although I do like the awning.
Queen and Manning/Then and Now

Demolished Queen Street West

Demolished Queen Street WestAs I mentioned in an earlier post, all of the south side of Queen between Bay and University was demolished after the construction of New City Hall in 1966. Here are some photos.

Click on any image for a better look.
Demolished Queen Street West
South side of Queen looking east from York Street in 1926 or so.
Demolished Queen Street West

Demolished Queen Street WestDemolished Queen Street WestLooking west towards University in 1953

Demolished Queen Street West

The S/W corner of Queen and York in 1953.
Demolished Queen Street West
The present site of the new Opera House.
Demolished Queen Street West
Looking east from Bay with the old Lyric Theatre.
Demolished Queen Street West
The Alexandra Hotel was located on the N/W corner of Queen and Elizabeth Street.
Demolished to make way for Toronto’s new City Hall.

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.


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.
odeon 2 mash

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.

Roncesvalles North of Queen/ Then and Now

Roncesvalles North of Queen/ Then and NowLooking north from Queen up the west side of Roncesvalles in 1924.
The Building on the left hand side is supposed to be one of the oldest in the neighbourhood and
may have been built as an inn when this was an artery into the city. It would have been a good place to spend the night before the final leg downtown.
Roncesvalles North of Queen/ Then and Now
The same view in 2010, the old inn remains and the Dominion tire store/garage has been replaced with a medical services building.
Roncesvalles North of Queen/ Then and Now
Roncesvalles North of Queen/ Then and Now

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.

Queen and Spadina/ Then and Now

Queen and Spadina/ Then and NowHere’s a shot looking south east on Spadina across Queen Street taken in 1920 or so. The Church, St. Margarets was converted into a factory in the late 1910’s.
Queen and Spadina/ Then and Now
2010, the church is still here with a new Art Deco facade and has been re-purposed as a clothing store. A look down the alley reveals the old church windows, and remnants of the bell tower.
Queen and Spadina/ Then and Now
Queen and Spadina/ Then and NowAn earlier photo with St Margaret’s on the left and in the foreground the entrance to the public washrooms that were located in the centre median.
It must have been a comfort to know back then that despite not having a cell phone, Blackberry or I-Pod that you could still be confident that there was a public washroom available should the need arise. Sometimes you have to go.
queen spadidan mash

Queen and Gladstone/Then and Now

Queen and Gladstone/Then and NowLooking north on Gladstone from Queen in 1949 before the road was widened.
Queen and Gladstone/Then and Now
1951 after the roadwork looking past the old Gladstone Hotel.
Queen and Gladstone/Then and Now
A current view.

Queen and Gladstone/Then and Now

Queen and Gladstone/Then and NowLooking east along Queen Street from Gladstone in September of 1916.
Queen and Gladstone/Then and Now
queen glad mashSomewhere in between….

Queen and Peter /Then and Now

Queen and Peter /Then and NowWhen I was going to art school back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Queen West was still pretty
rough. There were a lot of used furniture stores and used book stores.
Compare these two photographs separated by 50 years.
Barney’s was still there as late as the mid 90’s.
People and styles come and go but the buildings remain…..
Queen and Peter /Then and Now