Toronto’s architectural gems-Bellevue Fire Station on College St.


                         Bellevue Fire Station at 132 Bellevue Avenue

The original Bellevue Fire Station, constructed in 1875, was a two-storey structure with one bay for a fire wagon. The eight-storey tower, added in 1899, possessed a lookout at the top, where firefighters scanned the surrounding streets in search of fires. The tower was also where the fire hoses were hung to dry. In 1911, the station received the first motorized fire engine in the city of Toronto.  It replaced the horse-drawn wagons that had previously been in use. In 1922, another bay was added to the station.

In 1972, while the men were out fighting a fire, an arsonist set fire to the station. When it was rebuilt, a third bay was added. The clock in the tower was severely damaged in the fire, so was replaced with a replica. Originally the station was # 8, but is now # 315.


The rebuilt tower of the fire station, constructed to resemble as closely as possible, the former tower.

f1244_it2424[1] view eat on College, from tower, 1908

View from the Bellevue Fire Station Tower in 1908, looking  west along College Street. The first church tower visible on the right-hand (north) side of College is where a condo exists today, but the tower of the old College Street Presbyterian Church, built in 1885, remains today on the northwest corner of Bathurst and College. The three-storey school, in the upper right-hand corner of the photo is the old KIng Edward Public School on Bathurst Street.


The King Edward Public School on Bathurst Street. This building has since been demolished and replaced by a modern structure.


f1244_it10059[1] 1911

View from the tower, c.1911, looking southeast. The clock tower of the Old City Hall is visible on the horizon. In the left-hand bottom corner of the photo is the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, on the southeast corner of College and Bellevue.  The tower of St. James Cathedral on KIng Street East is also visible on the distant horizon.


The Belleview Fire Station in 1952, prior to the fire, the view looking west along College Street. The marquee of the old Bellevue Theatre is visible on the right. It became the Lux Burlesque Theatre.


      A pre-1911 photo of the original fire station and a horses-drawn fire wagon.


                The horse-drawn fire wagon racing away from the station 


Horse-drawn equipment in the old fire station. In the centre of the photo is the pole to allow the firemen to slide down from the second floor.


The pole in the station today that allows the firepersons to drop from the second storey


The fire engine in the station of today, during Doors Open Toronto.


            The 1875 section of the fire station as it appears today.

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To view other posts about Toronto’s past and its historic buildings:

The Bank of Nova Scotia building at Bay and King Streets

The Art Moderne Postal Delivery Building, now part of the Air Canada Centre (ACC)

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

Toronto’s Draper Street, a time-tunnel into the 19th century

The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West at York Street

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

The opening of the University Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bay St.

122 persons perish in the Noronic Disaster on Toronto’s waterfront in 1949

Historic Victoria Memorial Square where Toronto’s first cemetery was located, now hidden amid the Entertainment District

Visiting one of Toronto’s best preserved 19th-century streets-Willcocks Avenue

The 1930s Water Maintenance Building on Brant Street, north of St. Andrew’s Park

Toronto’s architectural gems-photos of the Old City from a book published by the city in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems – the bank on the northeast corner of Queen West and Spadina

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets


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One thought on “Toronto’s architectural gems-Bellevue Fire Station on College St.

  1. Amazing info about Toronto I grew up on Borden st. I remember the Bellevue Cinema.The neighborhood friends and I would watch Double Feature films. In the early 80s.I went to the new King Eddy school.down the street.A lot of good memories.The area in the 70s and Early 80s was Mostly Portuguese Italian Jewish and Mungy cakes slang for Anglo. Great area still with the market down the street.We would play ball hockey right in front of my house at 102 Borden.Until the sun went down in the fall.I was torn between the Leafs and the Canadiens. Loved McDonald and Lafleur.

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