Early Morning on Toronto’s Wild Queen Street West

25 Jun

Nothing is so earthly sweet as the divine decadence of Toronto’s Queen Street West. Many Torontonians are familiar with the street when it is crowded with people enjoying the spring sunshine and the bouquet of marijuana is wafting in the balmy air. Others enjoy the street more on a steamy summer night, when the display of flesh is entrances the eye as much as the thumping music assaults the ear. However, not as many know the street in early morning, when it resembles a movie set where the actors and film crew have not yet arrived for the day’s activities. The pictures below were taken early on a June morning.



Queen Street east of Spadina, the Noble Block on the left-hand side of the photo.


The corner northeast corner of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue. (The old 1902 Bank of Hamilton Building)


The Black Bull Tavern, at Queen and Soho streets, was  established in 1822 as a modest wood-frame two-storey building. The Mansard roof was added in 1861, and the tavern was bricked over in 1910.



The Nobel Block – the nine shops, three-storeys in height, were constructed in 1888. The bricks of these buildings are pale pink in colour. The two buildings with orange-brown brick were built several years later.



Coffee shop at Queen and John streets, located in the building that in 1890 housed the bakery of John Tasker.



Industrial Gothic building at southeast corner of John and Queen streets. Its construction began in 1914.


                            Queen Street West, looking east toward University Avenue


                     Queen Street West, looking east toward University Avenue


                       Queen Street West looking east toward Spadina Avenue


The three shops with the Mansard roofs were built in 1890. In that year they housed a confectionary store, a grocery store, and a locksmith.


Gazing south on York Street from Queen Street West. The east facade of the opera house is on the left.


Looking north on University Avenue from Queen Street West. The Boer War Memorial dominates the empty street.



                    Gazing east on Queen Street West toward the Old City Hall


For further information on these buildings, and a self-guided walking tour of Queen Street West, between Spadina and University avenues, see the book The Villages Within, available on and Chapters/Indigo.


The book entitled Arse Over Teakettle is a story of a family in Toronto coping with the turmoil of the Second World War.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Toronto


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: