What's the Future Ever Done for Me?

Posts tagged “Toronto History

Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now

Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and NowLooking east from Dundas across Lansdowne in 1917. The building on the S/E corner is a bank.
For years afterwards it was the Dunlan restaurant and had a wonderful 1940’s stainless counter and several small booths. Scenes from David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch were shot there in 1991.
Below some screen grabs from Naked Lunch. At first it was used  a New York Diner and then later re-dressed as a Moroccan Coffee house.
P1140535 P1140539 P1140543
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
Now it’s Yummy Pizza!
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
A couple of shots inside the long gone Dunlan Diner courtesy of mistagregory.
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
Good times!
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now“Freshen’ your drink hon?”
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and NowA couple of recent photos while under renovation.
Dundas and Lansdowne/Then and Now
It appears that it was a music academy before a restaurant.
These last two photos are by printwithfire.
Here’s another shot looking south on Lansdowne with the Dunlan in the B/G. The grey building on the left was a Hotel.

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

Bassel’s Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Like the Silver Rail at Yonge and Shuter, Bassel’s was another bar on the strip that is sadly missed. Here’s a collection of photos over the years. Originally Bassel’s Lunch it evolved into Bassel’s Restaurant and Tavern and lasted until at least 1977 (the first time I visited).
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardBassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardA postcard from the early 1960’s.

1268716_550427725027216_649875017_o 1271238_547710438632278_1271380879_oSometime in the late 70’s. Nearing the end.
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and GerrardBassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard

One last shot looking south down Yonge in front of the Coronet Theatre from the late 1970’s.
Bassel's Restaurant/Yonge and Gerrard2010.
Screen+shot+2011-04-10+at+11.59.44+AM x-matchbook-toronto-bassals-restaurant-called-lunch-yonge-at-gerrard TORONTO%2B-%2BRESTAURANT%2B-%2BBASSEL%27S%2B-%2BYONGE%2BAT%2BGERRARD%2B-%2BMATCHBOOK matchbook-toronto-bassels-restaurant-yonge-at-gerrard-you-can-be-sure-at-bassels

More Lost Parkdale

The N/E corner of Queen and Macdonell.

The Metropolitan School of Music.


Currently under renovations with rumours that an A & W will be moving in soon..



Photo courtesy PVHS.

Carlaw Hydro Building

Carlaw Avenue. - February 3, 1919The hydro Building on Carlaw when it was new in 1919 (built in 1916). There appears to be a showroom of some sorts.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.18.31 AM2012 with the addition to the south.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.01.38 PMAn interior shot of  their Yonge Street store.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.04.21 PMBelow, some of the interior equipment.

f1231_it0177a f1231_it0162

Lawrence F. has sent some more images.

Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1917 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1922 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1923 Carlaw gerrard hydro shop 1925


Lost Church Street

14774146540_73953dfb64_o.jpgBelow, a current view. Note the “ghost” on the right hand side.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 5.43.39 PM.png

Nick the Parkdale Barber

A photo from the star archives circa 1990. Does anyone remember this guy and where this photo was taken?

There’s a reflected sign in the b/g that reads Parkdale Furs.


I think the detective work by the readers has proven successful. 1606 Queen West appears to be the location.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.01.19 PM.png

The architecture of the store front makes sense and the indication of these two holes on the column line up with the original location of the barber’s pole….

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.01.50 PM.png

The gas valve seems to line up as well.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.08.09 PM.png

Thanks to everyone that commented and helped solve this

Parkdale Mystery.



Dundas and Roncesvalles 1913

Dundas Roncesvalles 1913-Collections Canada[1].jpg

The bank on the right would later be robbed by the Boyd Gang and then used as Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway in the movie “Hairspray”.


Kool Yonge Street/Yonge and Dundas

The east side of Yonge north of Dundas.

Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984Note the billboard below advertising the new Paul McCartney album, “Ram”.Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984 Yonge Street Mall. - August 17, 1971-September 10, 1973 Yonge Street, Carlton Street to Dundas Street. - July, 1970-April 20, 1981Muntz would have been MadMan Muntz the Hi Fi dealer and car builder.


Yonge Street, Dundas Street to Queen Street. - June 23, 1970-July 25, 1984

Yonge Street, Carlton Street to Dundas Street. - July, 1970-April 20, 1981The Muntz store would soon be replaced by a Pinball Arcade and the Tops restaurant by an Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips.

The Derby closed and was replaced by a Mr. Submarine…..

Frank’s Hamburgers was always a busy place.

Eaton Centre north side and interior construction. - May 11, 1977-September 29, 1984arthur-treacher-celebrity-1441974470Actor, Arthur Treacher.

Screen shot 2014-12-30 at 12.01.00 PMSecond City’s spoof on Going Down the Road


image_119_resizeThe Muntz Jet.

Below, the George Barris designed VOX Roadster equipped with a  Muntz 8 track.



Bathurst and Stewart Street

Currently the site of the Thompson Hotel. This was originally the International Harvester Showroom.


More Lost Parkdale


12376286_988058087930842_8084074467238711044_n[1].jpgphoto-toronto-king-roncesvalles-and-queen-picken-chicken-sign-corner-store-appears-derelict-1964[1].jpgPHOTO - TORONTO - KING QUEEN AND RONCESVALLES - NOTE TAXI STAND - CLOTHING STORE AT CORNER - LOOKING E - 1966.jpg

King and Bathurst/Then and Now

Otto Higel Co. Ltd. Toronto manufacturer of piano and organ supplies. The company was founded in 1896 by Otto Higel (b Silesia, Germany, 1869, d Toronto 2 Jul 1930), who had bought the Toronto piano action and key manufacturing business of F. Koth, for whom he had worked since moving to Canada in 1889. Higel amalgamated in 1901 with Augustus Newell & Co (founded in 1878 as the Newell Organ Reed Co), and the resulting firm – Newell & Higel Co Ltd – manufactured piano actions, keys and hammers, and organ keys, reeds, and reedboards. Higel purchased the firm’s assets in 1904 and restored the name Otto Higel Co Ltd, but also used Canada Piano Action and Key Co Ltd. He achieved his greatest success with the manufacture of player-piano actions, begun in 1906. By 1911 he had added a department for the cutting of perforated piano rolls, labelled Solodont. The company, located at Bathurst and King streets, employed 450 workers in 1912. Player pianos with Higel actions were in use around the world and were in such demand that a second plant was opened in Buffalo, NY, ca 1914, and a third in New York City in 1916. On Higel’s death his son Ralph O. Higel assumed direction of the company, which gradually began making other products, such as cabinets and wooden toys. By 1938 control had passed out of the Higel family, though the name was retained. After 1938 the firm apparently made only kitchen cabinets and appliances, and in 1944 business ceased. The Otto Higel building at Bathurst and King was demolished in 1981.

Author Florence Hayes

Piano factory, northwest corner of Bathurst Street and King Street West. - [ca. 1919] Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.51.13 AM


Catalogue scan provided by:

Terry Rowe: Piano and Clock Repair, Elliot Lake, Ontario

Another view below.

1ace4040280173f334f4f362518c970fScreen shot 2013-08-10 at 7.57.45 AM

Gas Prices 1975


1975 is the first year that gas was sold by the litre in Canada.

14 cents/litre works out to 60 cents/litre in today’s money.

Photo by Boris Spremo, Toronto Star.

Luck Boys

From the Toronto Star, 1971. Photo by Boris Spremo.

Putting together scraps of old bills found in the Black Creek ravine. Mrs. Emily Coggon helps Patrol Sgt. Cyril Barnes and Inspector Tom Cooke while her sons Kirk; 6, and Neil, 5, watch. Kirk is one of the eight children who found the money three months ago, $2,960 in bills from the 1930s. It’s not been claimed, and it’ll be divided among the youngsters. Kirk’s going to buy a bicycle.


$2,976.00 in 1971 would be worth $18,000.00 today!

New City Hall

Before the New City Hall was built (1965), various architectural firms submitted designs  in 1958 as part of  a competition.

The full story of the competition and building New City Hall here.

tspa_0004366f cityhall-a-r5-01Below, a selection of designs that were passed on.

cityhall-bonner-311-427 cityhall-bonner-105-265 cityhall-a-r5-02 cityhall-bonner-107-333 cityhall-a-r5-03 cityhall-panda-581184-41 cityhall-bonner-106-105 cityhall-a-r5-16 cityhall-a-r5-04 cityhall-panda-581184-58 cityhall-bonner-064-399More to follow.

cityhall-bonner-250-501 cityhall-bonner-324-027 cityhall-bonner-006-472 cityhall-bonner-310-381 cityhall-bonner-274-185 cityhall-bonner-311-427 cityhall-a-r5-05 cityhall-a-r5-17 cityhall-panda-581184-63 cityhall-bonner-065-362 cityhall-bonner-130-056 cityhall-bonner-249-269 cityhall-bonner-005-018 cityhall-bonner-309-390 cityhall-bonner-108-044 cityhall-bonner-283-347

Bathurst and Dundas/Then and Now

The N/W corner looking south circa 1930.

pictures-r-5359 Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 11.00.32 AMdundas mash

The E. & C. Gurney Stove Works Factory on King Street West/Then and Now

Here’s another example of a Victorian industrial building that has survived.

pictures-r-6472 The E. & C. Gurney Stove Works Factory

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.44.59 AMimage7Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.49.24 AMThere was another factory in Hamilton, On.

The corner of Catherine and King William.

gurney Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.53.10 AM mcr41art02_fig7 161

The James Robertson Company

pictures-r-6473 The James S. Robertson building located at the S/E corner of King and John Street.

If you look closely at the right hand side you’ll see this old house that is still standing.

Below, a later photo and I would guess the company has relocated.


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.43.35 AM kingwestScreen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.43.07 AM

ndtradecardsr-jamesrobertson1-1Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.52.34 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.53.00 AMA biography on James Robertson here.

The company later built this factory on Spadina Ave which is still standing


Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.05.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.05.02 AM 706robertson 4535

More Lost Parkdale

photo-toronto-king-at-jameson-streetcar-stopped-1967postcard-toronto-sunnyside-bathing-pavion-big-crowd-land-of-maple-leaf-series-tinted-1927 photo-toronto-dundas-near-ritchie-looking-e-toronto-feather-and-down-1965 photo-toronto-king-roncesvalles-and-queen-picken-chicken-sign-corner-store-appears-derelict-1964 photo-toronto-dundas-near-bloor-towers-sign-part-of-dempsters-sign-frans-restaurant-1965 photo-toronto-king-just-below-queen-at-roncesvalles-gordys-restaurant-edgewater-hotel-tamblyn-drug-sign-pcc-stopped-1951 photo-toronto-king-at-queen-and-roncesvalles-ruth-frocks-quaker-state-sign-pcc-and-clrv-1980 photo-toronto-queen-street-at-roncesvalles-looking-e-streetcar-turning-onto-queensway-1977 photo-toronto-roncesvalles-looking-n-from-king-edgewater-hotel-gray-coach-car-turning-onto-king-1965photo-toronto-dundas-and-bloor-note-toastmaster-sign-pizza-delivery-car-secondary-school-under-construction-s-e-corner-yellow-sunday-ttc-stop-puddicombe-motors-1967