What's the Future Ever Done for Me?


The Bus Station

A nice shot of the interior of the bus station on Bay.



Lost Queen Street West

A selection of photos of Queen West before it was hip. Used book stores, Open Kitchen Grills and a whole lot of stuff long gone….



Very Optimistic!


Lost Roncesvalles


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Creepy But Fun…

Lost Parkdale, S.S. Kresge’s



The Kresge’s on Roncesvalles, just north of Fern remained in business until 1994.

I was in there a couple of times and don’t remember if there was a lunch counter.  It’s now a bank, but the Art Deco Vitrolite is still somewhat intact behind the new sign.

My neighbour, Terry T. who has lived in Parkdale most of his life says the lunch counter was indeed there until the end.


A typical lunch counter. This one’s form the Kresge’s in the Junction that closed about the same time. No kale and quinoa salad on the menu here.



Bike Show Today!

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Coming Soon!

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Anatomy of a House

My old house in Parkdale was in need of a serious face lift. Despite having spent considerable time and money 18 years ago, the porch and facade had deteriorated to the point of embarrassment.


The decorative medallions had rotted and given the squirrels and birds a chance to get in..

It was a wildlife condo with no maintenance fees.

The first step was the porch and columns which had also rotted.


My friend Dan, a carpenter came over to help. We jacked up one side and pulled the column. My original intention was to replace the wooden bases and clean/patch the columns. However, once removed I found the base was infested with carpenter ants and the column itself in need of considerable work.


I called Roman Columns in Mimico and he had brand new fibreglass replacements in stock for $275.00 each!


Dan and I replaced both of them in about 3 hours (I painted them the night before).

Next we stripped the deck  off the porch and made any repairs to the base.



Next up was the medallions and trim up top.

A different Dan came over and we set up the scaffold.


I removed the rotted inserts and years of debris that the animals had left behind including a mummified squirrel…


I originally thought we could cut new pieces by hand out of marine grade plywood but it was obvious that this was beyond both of our capabilities.

A quick call to John K. (a film carpenter with a CNC machine) solved this problem.

His company in Mimico, Motion Designs.

He came to the house, picked up the plywood and returned the next day with new panels,

designed by John, cut by the computer.



These were primed/painted and installed the next day.

A heavy duty wire screen (painted black) was attached to the back of each piece. I had previously used a lighter gauge screen door mesh which wasn’t as strong.

ALWAYS use a harness when working on a scaffold!


And there you have it, as good as new.

There’s still painting details to finish up.

Below is what the house looked like in 1998.


P.S. A mixture of Borax, sugar, honey and boiling water has proved a good deterrent to the ants.

P.P.S. I buried the mummified squirrel.



One last detail was to trim out the column bases.

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.


Cool Cars Around Town

A 1958 Buick Limited Roadmaster spotted on Wellington near Niagara this morning.

A lot of time and money has been spent on this one and it shows.

Original price on this one was $5,125 when new or $44,000.00 in today’s money

One recently sold for $129,000.00 US.


I think the “pod” on the driver’s side dash is an automatic headlight dimmer.


More Lost Parkdale

This sign for Freddi’s Clothes for Men can still be seen in the alley off of Lansdowne.

Not sure how long Freddie’s was in business but I bought some vests there in the 90’s…

“Just Around the “C”.


Harry’s Char Broiled is No More

Parkdale lost the Skyline Diner last month (although resurrected) and last week Harry’s Char Broiled at King and Springhurst closed after 48 years in business.


The full story can be found here.

August 17th, 1964

The Beatles were here…


The Market Gallery at the St. Lawrence Market currently has an exhibit about the Beatles visits (3 times) to Toronto.

2016 Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show!

Save the date!


A Short History of America by Robert Crumb

Pretty Sharp in Parkdale

It’s comforting to know that some things don’t change.

The sharpening truck still makes its way through the streets of Parkdale with his tell-tale ringing bell.

He sharpened the blade on my lawn mower today.


The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles

I believe the Revue is the oldest single screen movie  theatre (in Toronto) still in operation.



Back in the early 80’s I was a driver/deliveryman for Shinerizing Fur Cleaning and Storage.

The plant was up an alley off of King seen in the photo below.


Cauldfield’s Dairy/Parkdale


45 Howard Park, south side just east of Roncesvalles. Caufield’s was soon to absorbed by the City Dairy on Spadina Crescent.

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A current view below.

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