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Monthly Archives: September 2012

The vanished underground men’s washroom at Queen and Spadina

I previously placed a post on this blog about the men’s underground washroom from the early years of the nineteenth century.  Since that post, I located two more photographs of this washroom. They were in a book entitled “Spadina Avenue,” by Rosemary Donegan, with a fascinating introduction by Rick Salutin.

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This photo was taken c. 1900, and looks south on Spadina from Queen Street. The man in the picture is descending the stairs to the underground facility, which is in the centre of the street. The streetcar tracks are to the right of the man. St. Margaret’s Anglican Church is visible on the east side of Spadina. The church building remains today, but a large addition across the front of it hides it from view. The view a post on St. Margaret’s Church, follow the link : https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/vanished-church-on-torontos-spadina-ave-is-rediscovered/

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In the picture above, the small signs above the toilet doors read, “Please do not use closets as urinal.” I suppose that is one way to ensure that men did not pee on the toilet seats. The photo is from c. 1900, and shows the interior of the underground washroom. When the washroom entrance was covered over and the facilities abandoned, the fixtures etc. remain buried beneath the street.

To view the original post about the underground washroom.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/construction-at-queen-and-spadina-in-july-of-2012-uncovers-an-old-washroom-from-the-1920s/

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Links to other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Links to posts about Toronto’s movie houses—past and present.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                           cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[1]

                To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Toronto, Toronto history

 

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Toronto’s old movie theatres–the Garden Theatre on College St.

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The Garden Theatre at 290 College Street as it appeared in the early decades of the 20th century, when it possessed a roof garden. The covering over the garden space is evident in the photo. On the second floor there are two French balconies, creating an elegant facade. There was no large canopy over the entrance. The theatre was on the north side of College Street, a short distance west of Spadina. This Photo is from the City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 71.

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The site of the old Garden Theatre, as it appeared during the summer of 2013. The structure that covered the roof garden has long since been removed.  The French balconies have been altered to create windows. The facade is no longer elegant.

The Garden Theatre was among the first of the city’s movie houses. It has a long story. Plans were submitted to the City of Toronto for the site at 290 College in March 1915, proposing that two shops be combined into a single space to house Leon Brick’s Amusement Arcade. The plans were approved and a roof top garden, designed by J. H. Stanford, was built on top of the structure. In 1916, the premises changed hands and was converted into the Garden Theatre, but the roof garden was retained. The open-air space contained chairs and tables, arranged for patrons to enjoy refreshments. The theatre below the roof garden contained 538 seats, 481 leatherette seats in the auditorium, and another 57 wooden seats in the small balcony. The theatre possessed no air-conditioning, but had fans and vents to circulate the air.

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The above photo shows the theatre’s rooftop garden. It is not known when it was removed from the theatre.

In 1936, Kaplan and Sprachman were hired to renovate the theatre. The women’s washrooms were placed behind the ticket booth, the men’s facilities located in the basement. The floor of the auditorium was changed from wood to concrete, and the seating arrangement was altered. The side aisles were removed and a wider centre aisle installed. This allowed for larger, more comfortable seats. The B and F Theatre chain assumed control of the theatre in the same year.

In 1942, the theatre was purchased by Morris and Sam Rittenberg. They renovated it, employing the designer Jay English, and renamed it Cinema Lumiere . 

In 1950, the Garden Billiard Academy opened on the second floor. In this year, next door, to the west of the theatre was the Melody Restaurant, at the rear of it the Frosty Ice Cream Company. Patrons were able to view a film and enjoy a coffee and sandwich after the movie, and in hot weather, purchase a cooling treat. In 1960, the billiard academy was renovated and renamed the New Garden Billiard Academy. Reservations to reserve a table could be made by dialling WA 2-9136. However, by that year the eatery next door was called the Budapest Restaurant, as the demographics of the neighbourhood were changing, the area becoming more multi-cultural. 

In 1967, the theatre closed and the premises became the home of the Central Billiard Academy. The billiard academy closed in 1972, and during the years ahead, the premises were leased for other commercial enterprises. 

Garden, pre-1936 Tor. Ref. L

              The auditorium as it appeared pre-1936, with side aisles.

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This undated photo from the City of Toronto Archives shows the interior of the theatre after 1936. The side aisles have been removed, and a wider centre aisle added.

Oct. 1965,   $49,000

It is likely that this photo was taken in 1967, as the theatre had closed but the New Garden Billiard Academy remained on the premises, and possibly occupied the entire building. By the end of the year, the Central Billiard Academy occupied the site. The photo is a real estate picture, as the building for sale for $49,000. There was no roof garden, but the French balconies on the second floor remained. The theatre canopy that remains today can be seen.

290 College 5   290 College 3

The site of the old Garden Theatre on College Street, and its canopy in August 2013.

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous blogs about other movie houses of Toronto—old and new

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Book published in 2014 about Toronto’s old movie theatres, which explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

“Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen”

                           cid_6E1BDA0D-74B3-4810-AB4C-AC5CC5C0[2]

To place and order for this book, either in electronic or hard copy format, follow the link below.

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502

        Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), the Photodrome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sinfully saucy and diverse–Toronto’s Spadina Avenue

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Spadina Avenue in 1906 (left) and today (right). Both pictures look north on Spadina toward Dundas St.

At one time, Spadina Avenue was a prestigious residential street where many of the well-heeled families of the city dwelt, alongside others who were quite so well off. It also contained three churches, all of which had large congregations. Today, the staid street of old has developed into one of the most interesting and diverse streets in Toronto. On a hot summer evening, some might say that the street is deliciously sinful. Its colourful neon signs and bustling activity create an atmosphere that is reminiscent of Hong Kong.

Beginning at Harbour Front by the lake, Spadina Avenue extends northward through several blocks where 1920s Art Deco warehouses dominate the scene. North of Queen Street, it becomes the main avenue of the Spadina’s China Town. After crossing College Street, it divides and circles around the old Knox College (now a U of T building) and proceeds up to Davenport Road. Here, the street changes direction at the base of the steep incline where Casa Loma is located. 

Throughout its journey through the city, the avenue rarely fails to enchant and entertain. Some historians state that architecturally, Spadina has never lived up to its potential. It’s true that for such a wide and impressive street, it has few outstanding buildings, but its array of nineteenth-century structures with their exotic markets and restaurants are wondrous to behold. To stroll its length is to relive the past of our city and view how Toronto’s old buildings have been recycled to suit the needs of the modern era.

A Brief History of Spadina Avenue

The creator of the wide avenue that today we call Spadina was Dr. William Warren Baldwin. The land where Spadina Avenue now exists was not owned by Baldwin, but by his wife Phoebe and his sister-in-law, Marie Willcocks (nee Baldwin). The sisters had inherited the land from their cousin, Elizabeth Russell, sister of Peter Russell. However, it was Baldwin, in his capacity as adviser to the two women that the idea for a grand avenue on the property was born. Henry Scadding, in his book “Toronto of Old,” published in 1873, stated that the width of the roadway was to be 160 feet throughout its mile-and-a-half course. However, it was actually 132 feet. 

William Warren Baldwin was born in 1775 at Knockmore near Cork in Ireland. He was the oldest son of Robert Baldwin, a farm manager. Young Baldwin received an M.D. degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1796, and set up his practice in Ireland. In 1798 he and his family immigrated to Canada, arriving on 13 July 1799, at age 24, and settled in York (Toronto). In 1803, he married Phoebe Willcocks, whose father, William Willcocks, was a first cousin of the wealthy land-owner Peter Russell. As previously stated, Baldwin’s wife was was one of the inheritors of the lands of Peter Russell.

In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the portion of Spadina south of Queen Street was named Brock Street, after Sir Isaac Brock, killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Baldwin became a political reformer and served in the Legislative Assembly from 1828-30, and was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1843. He died in 1844. It is interesting that though Governor Simcoe is highly honoured throughout the city, having a holiday and street named after him, as well as a statue at Queen’s Park, Baldwin is relatively forgotten, though his name does grace Baldwin Street, a north-west avenue located two blocks north of Dundas St. West. It is the main east-west avenue in the Kensington Market, containing several fish markets, bakeries, a cheese shop, and a high-end meat market.

Today, the Spadina Avenue that Baldwin created has many Asian and fusion restaurants that are enjoyed by the residents from all over the city.

Viewing Spadina from its beginning at the lake, north to Bloor  Street.

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Looking north from the bottom (south end) of Spadina Avenue toward Front St. in 1925 (Photo from the City of Toronto Archives). Visible is the old bridge over the railway tracks.

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                                             The same scene in 2012

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The south end of Spadina in 2012 (left), and looking north from the same spot in 1910 (right).

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Looking south on Spadina toward the lake in 1927, from south of Front Street. The new bridge over the railway tracks is under construction. Eventually, the roadway was raised to cross over the new bridge. Historic photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

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From Front Street north to Queen St. West, the Art Deco buildings from the 1920s dominate the street. Today, they have been recycled as offices, restaurants, and retail stores.

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The corner of Queen and Spadina is one of the most vibrant intersections in the city. Night and day, the area hums with activity. North of Queen Street, the character of Spadina changes. The art work in the centre of the avenue alerts visitors and Torontonians alike that they are entering one of Toronto’s three China Towns.

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North of Queen Street, the street signs are bilingual and Asian art decorates the centre of the roadway.

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Restaurants from various Asian countries are housed in the nineteenth-century commercial buildings. 

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Between Dundas and College Streets, three avenues lead westward into the Kensington Market – St. Andrew’s, Nassau, and Baldwin Streets. The “cat on the chair” is a piece of art located on the northwest corner of Spadina and St. Andrew’s Street.

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In the section of Spadina between Queen and Dundas Streets, trendy coffee houses and cafes are located in the old warehouse buildings. Dark Horse Cafe (left) and Strada II.IV.1 (right-hand photo) at 241 Spadina are among the most popular.

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Bargain shirts as well as rare spices and herbs are available in the sidewalk stands

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North of College Street, the tower of the old Knox College, now a University of Toronto Building, dominates the street. Spadina divides at this point and circles around the nineteenth-century building. The name of the street now changes to Spadina Crescent, and Knox College’s postal address is #1 Spadina Crescent.

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On the west side of Spadina Crescent (left photo) is Lord Lansdowne School, and on the east side is the building that was originally the City Dairy (right photo), which became Borden’s Dairy, and is now occupied by the U of T.

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This artwork in the middle of the roadway that commemorates the old City Dairy.

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North of Spadina Circle, the west side of the street is flanked by nineteenth-century Romanesque homes (left photo), and on the east side, U of T buildings (right-hand photo)dominate the street. 

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The wonderful Asian restaurants, the exotic fruits in the sidewalk displays, and the ornate nineteenth-century architecture – Spadina has it all.

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

To view previous posts about movie houses of Toronto—old and new

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its heritage buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                           cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[1]

                To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

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Toronto’s wild flowers that today have mostly disappeared from the city scene

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Dandelions growing beside a roadway in Toronto. It is one of the few wild flowers that remain prolific. 

In decades past, many streets in Toronto, even in the downtown core, possessed vacant building lots where wild flowers grew in abundance among the bushes and across the open fields. Children employed these spaces, playing games, building bush-forts, and engaging in a baseball game. Children considered the lots secluded, private places where they escaped the prying eyes of adults. Many of the lots contained wild raspberry bushes and crab-apple trees. Eventually, these lots disappeared as Toronto grew and they built homes on them. Today, the architectural styles of these in-fill homes identify them as being later additions to the streetscape.

I remember that as a child, when the snows of winter had passed and the vacant lots were dry of mud, it was not long before the dandelions pushed their yellow flowers skyward to greet the spring sunshine. In the weeks ahead, their seeds spread across manicured lawns and people began digging the nuisance weeds from the front lawn and backyard gardens. It is a pity that the dandelion is considered a weed, by definition a plant that grows where it is not wanted. Dandelions certainly fit this description. Even today, they are everywhere. However, the dandelion plant actually has attractive flowers.

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A group of dandelions blooming under the sun beside a fence a fence on Queen’s Quay    

Many of the other native wild flowers that were common to the vacant lots throughout Toronto have not fared as well as the dandelions. To capture the following pictures I spent many days combing the city for those few places where the plants still bloom. One of the best spots was the grassy areas beside the railways tracks in the east-waterfront, on the Martin-Goodman Trail. As this area is developed, they too will disappear.

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                  Chicory plant                                           Wild rose

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                        Buttercups                               Queen Anne’s Lace

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                 Clover                                                  Goldenrod

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                 Cinquefoil                                            Toadflax

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              Purple cow vetch                                    wild daisy

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               Birdsfoot trefoil                                       Wild phlox

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Burrs plant – remember how they attached to socks and wool clothing ? 

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Best of all, I remember the monarch butterflies and the hordes of grasshoppers that frequented the vacant city lots in autumn. Grasshoppers have disappeared from the city scene, but I photographed the butterflies on Nassau Street, west of Spadina Avenue.

For other posts about Toronto’s architectural history and happenings throughout the city, follow the links:

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An historic building that has disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/a-historic-building-that-disappeared-from-the-northeast-corner-spadina-and-college/

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The historic Farr House on Queen Street West, opposite Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gems-the-farr-house-at-905-queen-street-west/

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Houses on Richmond Street, west of John Street, which have since been demolished.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/homes-from-1870s-on-richmond-street-disappear-forever-in-july-of-2012/

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The historic importance of the site of the McDonald’s at the northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/mcdonalds-at-queen-and-spadina-on-an-historic-site/

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The history of the southwest corner of Spadina and Dundas Street where the China Mall is located.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/torontos-heritage-the-southwest-corner-of-queen-and-spadina/

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St. Mary’s Church at Adelaide and Bathurst Streets being uncovered from scaffolding for renovations.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gemsst-marys-roman-catholic-church/

For other post about Toronto and its history and architecture.

 Home Page https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Toronto

 

A historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner Spadina and College

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The northeast corner of Spadina and College Streets, during the summer of 2012.

The yellow-brick Art Deco building in the above photo was at one time the site of the Broadway Tabernacle Church, one of the largest congregations in Toronto.

NE College and Spadina, Broadway Tabernacle 1905

The impressive Broadway Tabernacle that once occupied the northeast corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street. The photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

1890s  

This photo from the City of Toronto Archives looks north on Spadina toward College Street. The tower of the Broadway Tabernacle Church is on the right-hand (east) side of the street. The building that once occupied by Knox College, is at the north end of the street.

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This photo, taken in May of 1927, looks south on Spadina toward College Street. Broadway Tabernacle is on the left and the Waverley Hotel on the right.

The congregation of the Broadway Tabernacle Church originally met in a small wood-frame building at the northeast corner of Spadina and Dundas. At that time it was named the Spadina Avenue Methodist Church. The size of congregation increased and in 1872 they purchased a larger piece of land and moved the old church on rollers to their new location on the northeast corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street. On their former site, a theatre was constructed – the Victory – that in the decades ahead became a burlesque and movie house. The building still stands today but is no longer a theatre.

The Broadway Tabernacle demolished their old wood church at College and Spadina in 1879 and constructed on the same site a large brick structure that held 900 people. In 1887, they required more space so hired the famous Toronto architect E. J. Lennox to build an even larger building. Lennox was the architect who in the years ahead, designed the Old City Hall, and like this civic building, for the new church, he chose the Romanesque Revival style. It was indeed an imposing structure.

During the 1920s the surrounding area changed greatly as Eastern Europeans, mainly Jewish, located in the district. Church attendance declined and the church eventually closed. It was demolished in 1930.

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The four-storey building with its Art Deco trim that now occupies the site of the Broadway Tabernacle Church

To view the Home Page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

Links to other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Links to posts about Toronto’s movie houses—past and present.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                           cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[1]

                To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

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Chic new Spadina Avenue cafe-“Strada II.IV.I”- is open

I recently placed a post on this blog about the new cafe/restaurant that was due to open in the Consolidated Glass Building at 241 Spadina Avenue. As I walked past the site today (25 Sept. 2012), I noticed that it was open.

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The Consolidated Glass Building at 241 Spadina, built in 1910, and the sign for “Stada II.IV.I,” the new cafe/restaurant.

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Though the space in the building is enormous, it is divided into cozy sections, the exposed brick and pine beams adding warmth to the space. The historic prints on the rear wall reinforce the fact that you are dining or enjoying a coffee in a place with an historic past.

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All pastries are baked on the premises and the coffee is freshly ground and brewed.

Because I live in the area, I consider this cafe a great addition to the neighbourhood. The manager informed me that they will be serving lunches by the end of this week (the last week of September 2012) and that a full dinner menu will be offered by mid-October. I am particularly interested in this cafe as it is a good example of an old “brick and beam” warehouse being recycled for modern use. When you visit the restaurant, gaze up at the ceiling to see the quality of the wood planks. Though they are over a century old, they look as if they came from the lumber mill last week. The careful restoration work on this building is amazing.

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The restoration of the intricate terracotta tiles on the exterior of the building are well worth examining.

To view the original post about the history of the Consolidated Glass Building:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-building-at-235-spadina-ave/

To view other posts about the historic buildings on Spadina Avenue:

The Victory Burlesque Theatre at Dundas and Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/the-sinful-victory-burlesque-theatre-at-dundas-and-spadina/

The Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/torontos-heritage-the-southwest-corner-of-queen-and-spadina/

Buildings on the west side of Spadina a short distance north of Queen Street.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/torontos-architectural-historyspadina-north-of-queen-kings-court/

History of the site of the Mcdonalds on northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/mcdonalds-at-queen-and-spadina-on-an-historic-site/

The site of the Paul Magder shop at 202 Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-paul-magder-fur-shop-at-202-spadina-avenue/

A former mansion at 235 Spadina that is now almost hidden from view.

ttps://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/torontos-architectural-gems-is-this-one-a-joke/

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-balfour-building-at-spadina-and-adelaide/

To View the Home page for this blog: https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Toronto

 

Two new shops to open in the Kensington Market

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          The Global Cheese Shop on Kensington Avenue in the Kensington Avenue

Kensington is an ever-changing scene. For many months now, renovations have been in progress at the Global Cheese Shop on Kensington Avenue. This week (September 2012) I passed by the shop and chatted with one of the workmen. He informed me that within a few weeks, the store will once again be serving customers. The wonderful and vast varieties of cheeses will again be available to those who shop at the Kensington Market.

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The interior of the Global Cheese Shop as it is readied to open again to the public after many months of renovations 

Another recent change in the Market in the last few months is the opening of Sanagan’s Meat Locker on Baldwin Street. The previous location of this store was further west on the same street, where the meat market Max and Son had been located for several decades.

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                  Sanagan’s Meat Locker on Baldwin Street near Kensington Avenue.

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The previous location of Sanagan’s Meat Locker at 206 Baldwin Street (left). The old sign in the upper left-hand corner from Max and Son Meat Market remains visible. The right-hand picture is the same shop in September of 2012, as the shop undergoes renovations. 

I previously published a post lamenting the loss of the European Meat Store that was a fixture on Baldwin Street for so many years. To view this post follow the link:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/kensingtons-european-meat-market-is-truly-gone/

To view a post on the opening of the Sanagan’s Meat Market on Baldwin Street.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/new-meat-market-opens-in-kensingtonsanagans-meat-locker/

A history of the Kensington Market and scenes of the Market in winter

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/kensington-market-blanketed-in-winters-white/

To view the Home Page for this blog: tps://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Toronto