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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Union Building on King St.

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The Union Building at 212 King Street West is one of the true architectural treasures of the city. Situated on the northwest corner of Simcoe and King Streets, it is on the site that was at one time owned by Upper Canada College, before the school relocated to the top of Avenue Road. Today, a plaque (shown below) on the east facade of the Union Building commemorates the early history of the site.

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The Union Building was constructed in 1908, as the head office of the Canadian General Electric Company, a manufacturer of various electrical products and appliances. The architectural firm of Darling and Pearson designed the building in the Beaux-Arts style. Frank Darling was one of the architects who designed the old Bank of Montreal building on the northwest corner of Front and Yonge Streets, which today houses the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Union Building contains numerous ornamentations, including classical designs. Its  large rectangular windows are surrounded by white, moulded terra cotta tiles, which are glazed. The tiles remain in excellent condition today. The entrance has a magnificent stone portico, supported by two Doric columns on either side. Against the wall, beneath the porch roof, double sets of Doric pilasters assist in supporting the structure. The cornice contains pressed metal designs and terra cotta ornamentations. The six-storey building has a Mansard roof, which was added in the 1980s. It does not detract from the original appearance of the building, as it appears as if it had always been a part of the structure.

When the Union Building was built, King Street was considered a highly prestigious location. Directly across from the Union Building, on the southwest corner, was the residence of the vice-regal representatives in the Dominion—the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario. Perhaps this explain the rich decorations and the impressive porch on the Union Building.

Today, the structure contains various offices, including the subscription office of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Argonaut Football Club. 

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The large portico on the Union Building and the decorations above the Doric pillars.

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(left) the terra cotta tiles surrounding the windows, and (right) the cornice showing the pressed metal ornamentations and terra cotta tiles with classical designs, including the Greek “egg and dart” as well as “dentils.”

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This photo depicts the 12th York Rangers marching south on Simcoe Street in 1912. The Union Building is visible in the background, on the northwest corner of Simcoe and King Streets. In this year, it does not have the Mansard roof above the sixth floor. The buildings to the south of the Union Building belong to the residence of the governor general. In this year, the buildings were empty, since the vice-regal representative and his family had relocated to a house on St. George St.

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

To view other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

The historic intersection at King and Simcoe Streets, where the Union Building is located

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/torontos-amazing-intersectionking-and-simcoe-streets/

St. Stanislaus Koska RC Church on Denison Avenue, north of Queen West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/torontos-architectural-gemsst-stanislaus-koska-rc-church-at-12-denison-avenue/

The historical St. Mary’s Church at Adelaide and Bathurst Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/torontos-architectural-gemsst-marys-alterations-nearly-completed/

The Bishop’s (St, Michael’s) Palace on Church Street, Toronto

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbishops-palace-on-church-street/

The Ed Mirvish (Pantages, Imperial, Canon) Theatre, a true architectural gem on Toronto’s Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-ed-mirvish-theatre-pantages-imperial-canon/

The Waverly Hotel on Spadina near College Street.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/toronto-architectural-gemsthe-waverly-hotel-484-spadina/

The Art Deco Bank of Commerce building on King Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-of-commerce-cibc-on-king-street/

The Postal Delivery Building, now the Air Canada Centre (ACC)

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-postal-delivery-building-now-the-acc/

The Bellevue Fire Station on College Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/torontos-architectural-gems-bellevue-fire-station/

The Bank of Nova Scotia at King and Bay Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/torontos-architectural-gems-the-bank-of-nova-scotia-at-king-and-bay/

Toronto’s old Sunnyside Beach

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/in-mid-winter-recalling-the-sunshine-of-torontos-sunnyside-beach/

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/a-pictorial-journey-to-sunnyside-beach-of-old-part-one/

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/a-pictorial-journey-to-torontos-old-sunnyside-beach-part-two/

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Runnymede Library

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/torontos-architectural-gems-runnymede-library/

Spadina Avenue – sinful, spicy and diverse

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/sinfully-saucy-and-diversetorontos-spadina-avenue/

The Reading Building, a warehouse loft on Spadina Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-reading-building-on-spadina/

The Darling Building on Spadina Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-darling-building-on-spadina/

The amazing Fashion Building on Spadina Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-amazing-fashion-building-on-spadina/

Toronto’s architectural gems – the Tower Building at Spadina and Adelaide Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/torontos-architectural-gemstower-building-at-spadina-and-adelaide/

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

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

The Robertson Building at 215 Spadina that houses the Dark Horse Espresso Bar

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/torontos-architectural-gemsrobertson-building-dark-horse-espresso-bar/

An architectural gem – Grossman’s Tavern at Spadina and Cecil Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/architectural-gem-grossmans-tavern-at-377-9-spadina/Historic

History of the house that contains the Paul Magder Fur Shop at 202 Spadina

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

An important historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina and College

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

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/history-of-the-backpackers-hotel-at-king-and-spadina/

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/torontos-hamburger-cornerwhere-is-it-and-why/

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/torontos-architectural-gems-lord-lansdowne-school-on-spadina-cres/

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/

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/

Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina and Queen West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/military-hero-of-war-of-1812-lived-near-mcdonalds-at-queen-and-spadina/

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

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/torontos-architectural-gems-art-deco-bus-terminal-on-bay-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/torontos-draper-street-is-akin-to-a-time-tunnel-into-the-past/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/enjoying-torontos-historic-architectural-gems-queen-streets-black-bull-tavern/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-cast-iron-fence-around-osgoode-hall/

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/listening-to-the-radio-as-a-child-in-the-1940s-the-lone-ranger-the-shadow-etc/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-opening-of-torontos-university-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/122-perish-in-torontos-noronic-disaster-horticultural-building-at-cne-used-as-morgue/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/victoria-square-in-torontos-entertainment-district-is-a-gem/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/visiting-torontos-best-preserved-nineteenth-century-street-willcocks-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-water-maintenance-building-on-richmond-street-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-city-hall-photographed-in-1912/

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/torontos-architectural-gems-in-1912/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Toronto

 

Lament for the demise of the Nicolas Hoare Book Store

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I recently placed a post on this blog about the “Nicolas Hoare Book Store” at 45 Front Street, because this Toronto gem will disappear from the Toronto scene on Monday, April 1, 2013. It has a wonderful place to to browse for books, in an intimate space with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. It will be sorely missed.

In this morning’s Toronto Star (March 29), in the GTA section, there is an excellent article about the sore, written by Joe Fiorito. He laments the loss of the independent book stores in our city, mentioning similar stores that have closed within the last few years—Pages on Queen Street West and Britnell’s on Yonge Street.

The article also mentions the Ben McNally book store at 366 Bay Street, a few doors south of Richmond Street. It is a book store that has survived and worthwhile visiting to purchase books in an atmosphere that is reminiscent of the book shops of yesteryears. 

To see the previous post about the “Nicolas Hoare Book Shop,” follow the link :

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/torontos-sparkling-gemnicolas-hoare-book-shop/

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                      The Nicolas Hoare Book Shop on Front Street

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

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

The historically amazing intersection of King and Simcoe Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/torontos-amazing-intersectionking-and-simcoe-streets/

The historic 1885 bank building at Yonge and Front Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-front-streets/

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/torontos-architectural-gems-art-deco-bus-terminal-on-bay-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/torontos-draper-street-is-akin-to-a-time-tunnel-into-the-past/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/enjoying-torontos-historic-architectural-gems-queen-streets-black-bull-tavern/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-cast-iron-fence-around-osgoode-hall/

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/listening-to-the-radio-as-a-child-in-the-1940s-the-lone-ranger-the-shadow-etc/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-opening-of-torontos-university-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/122-perish-in-torontos-noronic-disaster-horticultural-building-at-cne-used-as-morgue/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/victoria-square-in-torontos-entertainment-district-is-a-gem/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/visiting-torontos-best-preserved-nineteenth-century-street-willcocks-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-water-maintenance-building-on-richmond-street-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-city-hall-photographed-in-1912/

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/torontos-architectural-gems-in-1912/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—St. Mary’s alterations nearly completed

In August of 2012, I placed a post on this blog about St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, located at Bathurst and Adelaide Streets. At the time, it was undergoing extensive alterations. This magnificent structure crowns Adelaide Street West, when gazing westward toward Bathurst. It is a pity that Adelaide is a one-way street going eastbound, as drivers are never able to view the church as its builders intended. It is a historic building, built between the years 1883 to 1889. I consider its tower to be the most beautiful and impressive in the city.

The restoration of the church is nearing completion. I have photographed it during the various stages of the work. The scaffolding has now been entirely removed, except on the south facade. The church appears as beautiful today as when it first opened its doors on 17 February 1889. If you have never visited this amazing structure, take the time enter the interior and view the splendid wooden ceiling, which soars 65 feet above the nave. St. Mary’s is an amazing space, where one is able to sit quietly, examine the architecture, or pray.

To view the previous post about St. Mary’s, detailing its history, with historic and modern photographs, follow the link:

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

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The church in the summer of 2012, with scaffolding on the tower and hoarding around the base, obscuring the entrance.

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Church with scaffolding partially removed from the tower, but the east facade remaining covered.

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The church in March of 2013, with all scaffolding removed except from the south side of the structure.

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

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

The historically amazing intersection of King and Simcoe Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/torontos-amazing-intersectionking-and-simcoe-streets/

The historic 1885 bank building at Yonge and Front Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-front-streets/

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/torontos-architectural-gems-art-deco-bus-terminal-on-bay-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/torontos-draper-street-is-akin-to-a-time-tunnel-into-the-past/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/enjoying-torontos-historic-architectural-gems-queen-streets-black-bull-tavern/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-cast-iron-fence-around-osgoode-hall/

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/listening-to-the-radio-as-a-child-in-the-1940s-the-lone-ranger-the-shadow-etc/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-opening-of-torontos-university-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/122-perish-in-torontos-noronic-disaster-horticultural-building-at-cne-used-as-morgue/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/victoria-square-in-torontos-entertainment-district-is-a-gem/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/visiting-torontos-best-preserved-nineteenth-century-street-willcocks-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-water-maintenance-building-on-richmond-street-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-city-hall-photographed-in-1912/

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/torontos-architectural-gems-in-1912/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Toronto

 

Kensington Market Historical Society is inaugurated

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For many decades, the colour and social tapestry of the Kensington Market has been a source of fascination for Torontonians and visitors alike. The above painting is from the collection of the City of Toronto. I saw the painting at the Market Gallery in the St. Lawrence Market many years ago and was charmed by its vibrant colours and interesting composition. Prints of this painting are presently for sale at the Market Gallery.

I have visited the Kensington Market for the past 50 years and have witnessed many changes during the decades. However, when I moved downtown in 2000, I began shopping there daily. I soon began documenting and photographing the evolution of this wonderful district. As a result, I was keenly interested when I discovered that a Kensington Market Historical Society was being created.  I attended its first meeting on March 20, 2013. A sizable crowd gathered at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library at College and Huron Streets. It was a fascinating evening. The choice of guest speakers was inspired, since both of them have written books about the Kensington/Spadina area.  

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The first speaker was Jean Cochrane, whose insight into the Kensington Market was informative and entertaining. Her book, “Kensington” is an authoritative study of the history and development of the Market. I found it particularly helpful when I commenced my own studies of the market. It is a worthwhile book to purchase if you are interested in the Market.

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The second speaker of the evening was Rosemary Donegan, whose book on Spadina Avenue has been a constant source of reference for me as I study the magnificent buildings on this grand avenue. The book is a great addition to the library of those who are interested in the history of Toronto and its neighbourhoods. If the meeting on 20 March was any indication of the quality of the gatherings that the new society will be holding in the future, they will certainly have my support. They intend to hold about four sessions a year, as well as an AGM.

Anyone who is interested in the history of the Kensington Market area is certain to find this society’s gatherings worthwhile. For further information or to join the society, follow the link: Kensington Market Historical Society – Kensington Market Historical …     www.kmhs.ca/

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

To view posts about Kensington Market:

Architecture of the Kensington Market

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-entire-kensington-market/

A Kensington Market gem soon to disappear—Casa Acoreana

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/kensington-market-gem-soon-to-disappear/

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

The historically significant intersection at Yonge and Front Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/torontos-amazing-intersection-at-yonge-and-front-streets/

The historically amazing intersection of King and Simcoe Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/torontos-amazing-intersectionking-and-simcoe-streets/

The historic 1885 bank building at Yonge and Front Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-front-streets/

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/torontos-architectural-gems-art-deco-bus-terminal-on-bay-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/torontos-draper-street-is-akin-to-a-time-tunnel-into-the-past/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/enjoying-torontos-historic-architectural-gems-queen-streets-black-bull-tavern/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-cast-iron-fence-around-osgoode-hall/

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/listening-to-the-radio-as-a-child-in-the-1940s-the-lone-ranger-the-shadow-etc/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-opening-of-torontos-university-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/122-perish-in-torontos-noronic-disaster-horticultural-building-at-cne-used-as-morgue/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/victoria-square-in-torontos-entertainment-district-is-a-gem/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/visiting-torontos-best-preserved-nineteenth-century-street-willcocks-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-water-maintenance-building-on-richmond-street-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-city-hall-photographed-in-1912/

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/torontos-architectural-gems-in-1912/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s amazing intersection at Yonge and Front Streets

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Standing at the intersection of Yonge and Front Streets today, it is difficult to imagine that at one time it was beside the shoreline of the Lake Ontario. Gazing south from the intersection, the gentle slope of Yonge Street, south of Front Street, indicates where the embankment was in the early days of the 19th century. At that time, the town of York was to the west of the intersection, nestled around the eastern end of the harbour. However, as the city expanded westward, the land around Yonge and Front was absorbed into the town. Later in the century, landfill was dumped into the harbour, pushing the shoreline of the lake further south. Railway tracks were constructed on a portion of this reclaimed land. The tracks remain there today, but a bridge has been built where they cross over Yonge Street.

The above photo, taken in March of 2013, shows the four corners of the intersection. On the northwest corner is the old 1885 Bank of Montreal that now houses the Hockey Hall of Fame. On the northeast corner, at 33 Yonge Street, is an office building of glass and steel. On the southwest corner is the impressive Dominion Public Building, constructed in 1930. On the southeast corner is the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. When it opened its doors as a theatre on 1 October 1960, it was named the O’Keefe Centre. Today the L-Tower condo is being constructed on part of the land that was once owned by the theatre.

           Fonds 1244, Item 589 

The above photo of the intersection was taken in 1916. On the southeast corner (bottom right of the photo), the roof of the Consolidated Rubber Company can be seen. It was taken over by the Dominion Rubber Company. On the northeast corner is the Board of Trade Building, with its impressive turret. On the southwest corner be seen a corner the rooftop of the old Customs House. On the northwest corner is the old Bank of Montreal Building, which is the only structure that remains today from this 1916 photo.

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The old Bank of Montreal building that was in the 1916 photo, as it appears in 2013.

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This photo, taken around the year 1900. It shows the southeast corner of the intersection, where the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is now located.  The building in the picture had previously been the terminal of the Great Western Railway, which was converted into a wholesale fruit market. On the right-hand side of the building is Yonge Street, where it slopes gently toward the lake.

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This photo from the City of Toronto Archives looks north on Yonge Street in 1912.  It was taken from the roof of the Customs House, on the southwest corner of the intersection. There is a partial view of the Canadian Consolidated Rubber Company, on the southeast corner of the intersection. It was demolished, and the site is presently occupied by the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Gazing north up Yonge Street is a tall building, at 67 Yonge. It is the 15-story Trader’s Bank Building, constructed in 1906. It still  exists today, but cannot be seen from Front Street because of the tall buildings surrounding it. On the northeast corner is the Board of Trade building.

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This photo, taken in 1959 or 1960, shows the southeast corner where the O’Keefe Centre is under construction. The theatre is now named the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The large 5-storey brick building to the east of the theatre was demolished to provide a site for the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts. To the east of this building are the Front Street warehouses that still exist there today. A corner of the old Bank of Montreal building is on the left of the photo.

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This 1959-60 photo also shows the O’Keefe Centre (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts) under construction on the southeast corner of Yonge and Front, where the railway terminal that was converted into a wholesale fruit market once stood. The Dominion Public Building is opposite it, on the southwest corner. The northeast corner is a parking lot, and the northwest corner contains the old Bank of Montreal building.

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View looking west along Front Street in 2013, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in the foreground. The L-Tower Condo is under construction behind the Centre, to the south of it.

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This is the Dominion Public Building of the southwest corner of the intersection in March of 2013. It was constructed in 1930.

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This building was on the corner where the Dominion Public Building is now is located. The photo was taken In 1908, and shows the old Customs House. One of the previous  photograph in this post, which looked north up Yonge Street in 1912, was taken from the roof of this building. It was demolished in 1919, to create a site for the Dominion Public Building, although its construction did not begin for several years. In the interim, it remained a vacant lot.

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This is the northeast corner of the intersection in March of 2013, showing the modern office building at 33 Yonge Street, with its glass facades.

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This magnificent Romanesque building, is the Board of Trade Building, erected in 1892, on the northeast corner of the intersection. The structure possesses a curved front and a roof with a conical tower. It had a structural steel skeleton, its facade of stone and brick. An international contest was held for its design, the New York City firm of Messrs. James and James being the winner. It was demolished in 1958, and for a few years was a parking lot. It is where the modern structure with the glass facades exists today.

It is amazing that a building with such architectural excellence was demolished, especially considering the quality of the structure that replaced it.

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This photo was taken in 1926, gazing north up Yonge Street. The gentle slope of the old shoreline is clearly visible. It would be interesting to know why the young lad is hopping on the running board of the automobile on the right.

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This is the Dominion Public Building in April of 1934, four years after it was officially opened. It is on the southwest corner of the intersection, where the Customs House was once located. The photo is from the TTC Collection, from the City of Toronto Archives. It was taken to reveal the “chaos” that double-parking was causing on Front Street. Judging by the amount of traffic that is visible, the “chaos” seems rather quaint today.

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The Dominion Public Building in March of 2013, the street partially closed to traffic due to construction.

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Gazing north up Yonge Street from the south side of Front Street in 2013. It is difficult to visualize the intersection in the past. Thankfully at least one structure remains from the 19th century. Its future seems secure as it houses the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Note: all historic photos in the post are from the City of Toronto Archives

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.  

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                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 loses a sparkling gem—the Nicolas Hoare Book Shop

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The Nicolas Hoare Book Shop at 45 Front Street is due to close on April 1, 2013. It is sad that this independent book seller, which specialized in British books, will disappear forever from the retail scene. The first  Nicolas Hoare shop opened in Montreal in 1971, but soon had a shops in Ottawa and Toronto. The store on Front Street was located within a commercial building that was erected in 1872. This historic block of shops, designed by the architect W. S. Strickland, was constructed when the city was emerging from the recession years of the 1870s. Its richly ornamented facade is of cast iron, and it reflects the optimism and financial confidence that was developing in Toronto in this decade. Today, the building is an officially designated Heritage Property. It is a pity that the book shop cannot be similarly designated and protected from disappearing. 

Two years ago I visited a book shop in Porto, Portugal. It was reputed to be the oldest book shop in Europe. It is a tourist attraction, visited by people from all over the world. Its array of books, displayed on hand-carved wooden shelves, are contained in a heritage building, the shop considered a valuable part of the city’s history. It is a pity that Toronto does not similarly value its book stores.  Stores that are part of a large chain of shops do not possess the the same mood and friendly atmosphere as those that are  independent. 

If you are in the vicinity of Front and Jarvis Streets, and have never visited the Nicolas Hoare Book Store, take a few moments to step inside. It is akin to entering a shop such as those that our parents knew and loved. The staff are extremely helpful in assisting you to find a book that you may wish to purchase.

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The shop is warm and inviting. The brick walls, attractive shelves, and natural wood floor adding to the splendour of the interior. 

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             The paintings on the walls add to the home-like atmosphere.

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  One of the canvases is by Edwin Holgate, a member of the Group of Seven.

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It is difficult to imagine a cosier place to browse through a book to decide if one wishes to purchase it.

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                    Sadly, some of the shelves are now empty.

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This is the view when gazing out the window of the Nicolas Hoare Book Shop at the Gooderham Building, located at the corner of Front, Church, and Wellington Streets

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The wonderful cast iron facade of the 1872 commercial building that contains the Nicolas Hoare Book Shop

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               Sign in the entrance to the book shop, March 22, 2013.

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

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

The historic 1885 bank building at Yonge and Front Streets, a short distance from the Nicolas Hoare Book Shop

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-front-streets/

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/torontos-architectural-gems-art-deco-bus-terminal-on-bay-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/the-old-dominion-bank-buildingnow-a-condo-hotel-at-one-king-st-west/

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/exploring-torontos-architectural-gemsthe-canada-life-building/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-glimpse-at-the-interior-of-campbell-house-at-university-avenue-and-queen-street/

A study of Osgoode Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-osgoode-hall/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/torontos-first-city-hall-now-a-part-of-the-st-lawrence-market/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/torontos-draper-street-is-akin-to-a-time-tunnel-into-the-past/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/enjoying-torontos-historic-architectural-gems-queen-streets-black-bull-tavern/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-cast-iron-fence-around-osgoode-hall/

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/listening-to-the-radio-as-a-child-in-the-1940s-the-lone-ranger-the-shadow-etc/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-opening-of-torontos-university-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/122-perish-in-torontos-noronic-disaster-horticultural-building-at-cne-used-as-morgue/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/victoria-square-in-torontos-entertainment-district-is-a-gem/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/visiting-torontos-best-preserved-nineteenth-century-street-willcocks-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-water-maintenance-building-on-richmond-street-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-city-hall-photographed-in-1912/

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/torontos-architectural-gems-in-1912/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/torontos-architectural-gemsbank-at-spadina-and-queen-west/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/photos-of-the-surroundings-of-the-st-lawrence-market-and-cn-tower-in-1977/

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-the-st-lawrence-hall/

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/memories-of-torontos-streetcars-of-yesteryear/

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-history-and-beauty-of-trinity-bellwood-park/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/remember-the-toronto-island-ferries-the-bluebell-primroseand-trillium/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/enjoying-torontos-architectural-gems-old-city-hall/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—the bank building at Yonge and Front Streets

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The former Bank of Montreal building at Yonge and Front Streets is one of the most impressive bank structures ever constructed in Toronto. Built between the years 1885 and 1886, it was designed by the architects Frank Darling and S. G. Curry. Mr. Darling’s offices were located on Leader lane, which today is located on the east side of the King Edward Hotel. Mr. Darling attracted some of the brightest young architects of the decade to his Toronto firm. In 1876, Darling and Curry also designed the Romanesque-style Victoria Sick Children’s Hospital at College and Elizabeth Streets. It the now occupied by the Canadian Blood Services. The present-day hospital is presently located on University Avenue.

The 1880s was a period of great prosperity in Canada, the nation having finally emerged from the economic depression of the previous decade. No place in the country displayed more optimism than Toronto, as its factories boomed and trade increased. The Bank of Montreal at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets reflected that spirit.

The bank was designed as the head office of the Bank of Montreal in Toronto. Its Beaux Arts style is ornately extravagant, its facades displaying ostentatious stonework. It has large rectangular plate glass windows, the columns between the windows rich with wall carvings. The overall design of the bank is an attempt to project a prosperous and secure image. The sculptures were created by Holbrook and Mollington. The cornice contains dentils, a classical design from ancient Greece, commonly found in 19th-century structures throughout the city. The east and south facades have Greek-style pediments.

When the interior banking hall was built, it was said to be the finest in the Dominion. Its enormous 45-foot height has a great dome crowned with stained glass windows that soar impressively above the banking hall. When it was a functioning bank, the west wing of the building contained the manager’s office, a boardroom, and a private apartment. This bank remained the head office of the Bank of Montreal until 1949, but even after the head office was relocated, it remained its most important branch until the mid-1980s. The building has been preserved as today it houses a portion of the collection of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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This was the first Bank of Montreal that was first erected on the northwest corner of Yonge and Front Streets, in 1845. It was demolished to construct the new bank in 1885. Photo is from Arthur Eric’s book, “No Mean City.”

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Yonge and Front Streets looking north up Yonge near the end of the 19th Century. The 1885 Bank of Montreal is on the left-hand side of the photo.

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The Bank of Montreal c. 1900. Photo, City of Toronto Archives. This picture shows the west wing of the building where the private apartment was located.

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The banking hall when the building functioned as a working bank. Photo is from Eric Arthur’s book, “No Mean City.” It was likely taken during the 1950s.

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                      The bank in March of 2013

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                Stone carvings on the facades of the bank building

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Stone carving of an elderly man on the south facade of the old Bank of Montreal

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Door of the west wing that allowed access to the private apartment. The door surround is richly ornamented.

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Main entrance to the building, with its rich wood panelling.  The original doors were removed when the entranceway was modernized.

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                                     The dome above the banking hall.

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Stained glass in the dome (left) and a close-up of the centre piece of the glass dome (right)

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             Banking hall in 2013, containing the displays of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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The old bank building on 18 June 1993, when it was converted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Photo is from the museum’s display. 

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.  

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                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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