What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Posts tagged “Patrick Cummins

The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles

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



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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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.

3008790149_79380f3e59_oThe 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!!

3008790157_a14713e0e2_bBy February 1988 Fab had taken over the left side and Pizza Pizza the right.

3008790177_8f5acacd35_oBy the spring of 1988 Fab is gone and another clothing store occupies the left storefront.

3008790179_5a99d0e303_oHMV 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.

P1140462And the wheel turns again. HMV is gone and the space is once again for lease.

Despite the high turnover, many details remain intact on the facade.

P1140458 P1140460 P1140465Looking west across Beverley, 1981.

20140904-Queen-Beverley-WestThis building is similar in design to the former Paisley Shop (below) located at 925 Yonge Street and built in 1841. Demolished 1960.

paisley925 Yonge Street circa 1953. Photo from Eric Arthur’s “Toronto, No Mean City”

He writes:

“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.”

Screen shot 2014-12-26 at 5.19.13 PM1960… the end.

Joeseph writes:

 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 😦

Sonymax writes:

 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.

Queen and Spadina 1983


The S/E corner in 1983 before Queen Street was “hip”. It was mostly used book stores and cheap furniture. This photo is by Patrick Cummins.

Parkdale Butcher, Chas Gailer.

1559832_607789515957703_1474315540_nThis photo was labelled Parkdale Butcher. A little research in the City of Toronto Directory, 1913 has  Minnie (the Widow of Chas) and her family located at 1486 Queen Street West.

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Next door at 1484 is the plumbing business of William G.D.Adams. I lived at 1484 Queen West above the store for a number of years in the 1980’s….

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 9.34.12 AMScreen Shot 2014-01-25 at 9.28.14 AM2012

queen+and+macdonnel+1898An early postcard of the entire block looking east.

1484-queen-st-west-1979060Sometime in the late 1970’s when there was a Music School above the shoe store.

4698417046_aa77bba8cd_o Again in the mid 1980’s. This photo by Patrick Cummins.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 10.01.13 AMAnd a more recent shot.

4697792843_0656f0de1c_oFrom Jameson, The butcher shop would have been where the Jeans Store is and the plumber, where BB Shoes is in this photo from the 1980’s.

When I first moved in (1983) the Shoppers drug Store was an old Woolworths (with a lunch counter) but it was gone shortly after. The apartment above the Jeans Store has been empty since the late 1930’s. It’s a complete 2 story apartment with a grand entrance at the top of the stairs. Originally built for the shopkeeper’s family to live in it’s like visiting the Titanic. I used to take people through it on “ghost tours” as I knew the secret entrance. Time stopped here in 1938 or so……

Photo by Patrick Cummins.

Screen Shot 2012-04-04 at 10.16.56 AM Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 10.04.22 AMA couple of current photos.

Queen and John/Then and Now

pictures-r-402The N/E corner of Queen and John as illustrated in 1851. Interesting because two of the buildings survive to this day. The W. H. Brayley dry goods store was the Beverly Tavern for years and if you look closely the small shop to the left (W.H. Smith), is still there and still selling books as a BMV outlet!


I had a good look at the BMV today (including the basement) and realize that the building has at some point been rebuilt on top of the original rubble foundation.

The tower seen is the second version of St. Patrick’s Market

A little research shows that WH Smith did not enter the Canadian market until 1958.

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Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 6.40.34 PMA view of the distinctive roof line from the 1840’s (or so) and the original St Patrick’s Market.

St George the Martyr Church can be seen in the distance.

4664868010_19431b4136_bThe same building (now the famous Beverley Tavern) in the early 1980’s. Photo by Patrick Cummins.Screen+shot+2012-06-03+at+10.42.06+AMThe distinctive roof line can still be identified under the modern facade.

pictures-r-5354St. Patrick’s Market and the tower as seen in the first illustration.

On the map below from 1858 the Market and the dry goods store are both evident.

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Stewart Street/Then and Now



Three versions of the N/W corner of Stewart and Portland through the years.

Some simple cottages followed by some Art Deco apartments and finally a condo.

Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.38.29 AM Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.34.52 AMBelow, the same corner looking north.

Photos from the 80’s by Patrick Cummins.

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Spadina and Baldwin/Then and Now

6974061922_22ddcfe48b_bThe east side of Spadina circa 1982. I used to really like that angled parking…

Photo by Patrick Cummins.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 10.35.07 AM2010.

Roncesvalles and Howard Park/Then and Now

8246238964_b325766b69_bThe N/E corner in the early 1980’s .Photo by Patrick Cummins.

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howard park


More Lost Queen Street West

Queen West in the early 1980’s as seen through the lens of Patrick Cummins. The north side of Queen east of Augusta.

8246218372_16c13afc8d_b 8246253062_b7541498a9_b 8246215506_f81170f93e_b 8246255626_023acc95c8_b

No lattes or frittatas here. If you wanted a coffee you got a regular coffee to go.Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 9.45.32 AM

Cherry and Front/Then and Now

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 The old Canary Restaurant and School on Cherry Street and Front (formerly Palace Street)

More on the history of this building here.

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 It doesn’t look much different now but it will!


An old house on the opposite side of the street circa 1983. It’s hard to imagine that not only was this once a residential neighbourhood but that it was also the centre of the town. The Parliament buildings were a block away and Gooderham and Worts a major employer.

B&W photos by  Patrick Cummins

601384_448545115215478_348444184_n-1The former residential nature of Cherry Street can be seen in this photo, labelled Cherry Street looking north from Mill Street.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.39.55 AMFrom a 1913 map.

Before Queen West Was Hip.

3627356712_d30cf68329_bThe grim reality of Queen West in the early 1980’s. The north side between Beaconsfield and Northcote.

No one was standing in line to get into any of these shops.

Photo by Patrick Cummins.

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Reliable Fish and Chips on Queen East

3584004218_a81e68cff1_b 3647513727_8d794f0cb4_bScreen Shot 2013-02-03 at 9.36.11 AMTop 2 photos courtesy of Patrick Cummins as he continues to document the changing facades of Toronto’s storefronts.

More Lost Queen Street West

3637682370_d4234fd278_bMore from Patrick Cummins.

The north side of Queen just west of University in the early 1980’s. The entire block was demolished with the exception of the Rex Hotel.

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Queen West/Then and Now

3626567855_d214795d9e_b Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 9.47.31 AM

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

 Thank you again to Patrick Cummins for taking the time to document the changing face of the city.

Stewart Street as seen in 1983 with the the Executive Motor Hotel in the background. Downtown was a lot rougher back then….

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

 A scrap yard.

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

A stitch up.

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

A view from 2010. The Executive was demolished last year and new condos are going up in it’s place.

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

The Executive in better days.

Bathurst and Stewart Street/Then and Now

Simcoe and Elgin/Then and Now

4457962015_937b9f974c_bAnother little greasy spoon, The Simcoe Grill that’s gone the way of the Dodo. The N/W corner of Simcoe and Elgin just south of Richmond. Photo by Patrick Cummins.

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