I believe the Revue is the oldest single screen movie theatre (in Toronto) still in operation.
45 Howard Park, south side just east of Roncesvalles. Caufield’s was soon to absorbed by the City Dairy on Spadina Crescent.
A current view below.
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.
The 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!!
HMV 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.
Despite the high turnover, many details remain intact on the facade.
925 Yonge Street circa 1953. Photo from Eric Arthur’s “Toronto, No Mean City”
“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.”
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 😦
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.
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….
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.
The 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.
St George the Martyr Church can be seen in the distance.
On the map below from 1858 the Market and the dry goods store are both evident.
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.
Photos from the 80’s by Patrick Cummins.
Photo by Patrick Cummins.
Queen West in the early 1980’s as seen through the lens of Patrick Cummins. The north side of Queen east of Augusta.
More on the history of this building here.
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
No one was standing in line to get into any of these shops.
Photo by 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.
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….
A scrap yard.
A view from 2010. The Executive was demolished last year and new condos are going up in it’s place.