Photo from the City of Toronto Archives
The above pictures was taken in 1924, and looks north on Spadina Avenue from a short distance south of Queen Street. Similar to today, the streetcar tracks are on their own right-of-way in the centre of the avenue. It is a pity that they were removed, as it was very expensive to restore them decades later. The elm trees seen in the photo were chopped down to provide more space for automobiles. On the left-hand side of the photo, close to the streetcar tracks, you will see a man standing beside a small fenced-off area. The fence surrounds the stairs that lead to a washroom that is below ground level.
This photo shows a close-up view of the stairs leading to the below-ground washroom.
This photo is of the same scene, taken during the streetcar track construction during July of 2012. This morning I asked the workers if they had found any evidence of the entranceway to the subterranean washroom. They replied that they were unaware of its existence, and said that they likely had not dug to a sufficient depth to reveal it. It is likely that they were digging slightly to the east of the washroom steps, as evidenced by the archival photo. Perhaps some excavation in the future might uncover the public amenity. It never ceased to amaze me how remnants of Toronto’s past reappear in the modern era.
I have spent much of my adult life researching Toronto. Exploring the city’s history is the main purpose of my blog. Despite the traffic jams and daily congestion, I find Toronto an exciting and vibrant city in which to live. I enjoy exploring its past through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/
They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:
There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx
Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx
The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx
The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx
Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/
Authors can be contacted at: [email protected]