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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Four Seasons Centre (opera house)

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The architecture of Toronto’s Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts is presently attracting the attention of the world as another opera house, similar in design, is soon to open in St. Petersburg’s, Russia, one of the greatest opera centres in all Europe. Both structures were designed by the Toronto firm of Diamond and Schmitt.

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This picture was on the front page of the Toronto Star on Friday, April 26, 2013. It shows the new Mariinsky II opera house in Russia’s St. Petersburg, which will open on 2 May 2013. The new building, seen on the right-hand side in the above picture, cost seven hundred million dollars. Its architects, Diamond and Schmitt, have their offices at 384 Adelaide Street, in the Ellis Building in Toronto. Their premises can be visited during “Doors Open Toronto,” held each year in  May.

At the opening of the new Russian opera centre, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend and the famous conductor and impresario Valery Gergiev will be conducting from the orchestra pit. Similar to its Toronto cousin, the interior of the Russian opera house will be expansively visible from the outside through its massive exterior wall of glass.

St. Petersburg’s original opera house, the Mariinsky Theatre, seen on the left-hand side of the above picture, was built in 1860. It is situated next to the new structure. The two buildings create a blend of the modern and the city’s historic past. Similarly, Toronto’s opera centre is beside the historic Osgoode Hall, the east wing of which dates from 1829. The wrought iron fence surrounding Osgoode Hall was erected in 1867, and is contemporary with the original Martiisky Hall in St. Petersburg. The Russian opera palace has 1800 seats, slightly more than Toronto’s hall, which contains 200 less seats. In both theatres, the seats are arranged in the traditional horseshoe-shaped design. Toronto can only envy the the larger budget of the Russians, which allowed them to  adorn the interior of their structure with honey-coloured onyx. They were also able to allow for more expansive office, storage and rehearsal space. 

The Mariisky complex will be one of the largest cultural centres in the world, occupying an entire city block. Unlike Toronto, the Russian building will serve as the city’s venue for orchestral concerts. In Toronto, our symphony orchestra performs at the Roy Thomson Hall. This allows the auditorium of the Toronto opera house to be slightly smaller and more intimate.

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Architects’ drawing for the Mariisky II Opera House. Photo was obtained from offices of Diamond and Schmitt during “Doors Open Toronto” in 2012. The similarity to the Toronto opera house is readily apparent.

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Architects’ model for the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto

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Architect’s model of the lobby of the Toronto opera centre. Diamond and Schmitt also designed the new opera house in Montreal. The original contract for the Miniisky II in St. Petersburg was given to the Paris architect Dominique Perrault. The project was already under construction when the contract was cancelled. An international contest was held, and although nine other proposals were presented, the Toronto firm’s design was accepted.

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The magnificent lobby and floating staircase of Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the performing arts.

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               The upper section of the auditorium of Toronto’s opera house.

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     The five tiers of seats in the auditorium and the orchestra section on the ground floor.

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        The great wall of natural wood on the east side of the lobby.

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The Toronto opera house, viewed from the tower of the Canada Life building, in May of 2012. The complex occupies an entire city block.

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The opera house, viewed from the northeast corner of University and Queen, the 1867 fence of Osgoode Hall in the foreground.

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The modern Toronto opera house blends with the architecture of its environment. The dark bricks of the facades complement the skyscrapers of its surroundings . In this photo, the enormous glass wall of the west facade of the opera house is covered with screens to protect the interior from the afternoon sun.

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                  View of the south and west facades of the hall.

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The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (photo was taken in May of 2012 after a performance of the Canadian Opera Company).

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

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

Toronto’s first cemetery and monument to those who served in the War of 1812

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/torontos-architectural-gemssculpture-to-soldiers-of-the-war-of-1812/

Toronto’s historic cathedral spires

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/torontos-architectural-gemscathedral-spires/

Toronto’s vanishing 19th-century store fronts.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/torontos-architectural-gems-vanishing-19th-century-store-fronts/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—Maple Leaf Gardens

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                                   Maple Leaf Gardens in April of 2013

For many decades, Maple Leaf Gardens was the city’s great palace of hockey. When it opened in the autumn of 1931, it became the venue for many of the cultural, political, sports, and entertainment events in Toronto. During the 1930s, when the major circuses came to town, they performed in the “Gardens.” During the dismal years of the Second World War, rallies were held under its roof to raise morale and sell War Bonds. Religious denominations held mass services within its walls, and the great entertainers of the times performed in concerts with few empty seats. Rock concerts, wrestlers, and operas have all been showcased in the Gardens.

The construction of the 13,000 seat arena-style building commenced during the Great Depression, and was completed in just five months. Its architecture departed from those of the previous decade, reflecting a more modernistic design, the facades plain, with straight uncluttered lines. The cornices are unadorned. The interior of the Gardens accommodated an ice rink, a basketball court, and concert venues. In some ways it reflected the austerity of the Depression years, as exposed concrete walls and brickwork were visible in the interior. The massive arched ceiling contained steel trusses, supported by four concrete buttresses that required no other interior supports. This allowed unobstructed views from anywhere within the building. Tall vertical windows inserted into the north and south facades permitted generous light to enter the interior.

The importance of Maple Leaf Gardens has been officially recognized, as today, it is a National Historic site. When the Maple Leaf hockey franchise departed the building, it was renovated to house a gigantic food store as well as a sports venue for Ryerson University.

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Looking east along Carlton Street in 1934, three years after the opening of Maple Leaf Gardens.

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                 A political rally in the Gardens in 1935

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Liberace (left) and Pat Boone (right) in the Gardens in the 1960s.

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Maple Leaf Gardens in the 1970s, the Odeon Carlton Theatre in the background, as well as Eaton’s College Street at the far end of the street. The building on the northeast corner of Carlton and Church Streets is Warner Brothers Pictures.

Note: all the above photos are from the City of Toronto Archives

Personal Memories of the Gardens

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                       Photo, city of Toronto Archives

The first time I was ever in the Gardens was in the early 1940s, when my brother and I attended the circus. It was a spectacle beyond our wildest imagination. Everywhere we gazed there was constant action. We sat in the “blues,” which were great seats. The other thing that I remember was the great mounds of peanut shells we deposited on the floor. The wilder the action on the arena floor, the faster we crushed the peanuts and dropped the shells. The peanuts as much an integral part of the circus as the tigers, elephants and trapeze artists.

gardens in late 1950s

This photo was taken in 1959, from high above the “greys.” I was with a friend, and neither of us had the money to purchase seats. However, for a few bucks we were allowed to stand behind “the greys,” the uppermost section of seats in the Gardens. This picture was taken with my new 35mm Kodak Pony camera, which I had purchased the previous year. The picture was taken before the game began. The players were on the ice, but many of the fans were not yet seated. As teenagers, we thought that the popcorn, hotdogs and Vernors Ginger Ale were gourmet treats. 

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This picture was taken about the same year as the previous photo, and with the same camera. Notice that the sign on the marquee states that on Tuesday nights there was wrestling. At the time, I was working at the BA Oil Building at College and Bay Streets, and some nights after work, a co-worker and I would grab a sandwich and walk over to the Gardens to watch the wrestling. This was in the late-1950s, and the most popular wrestler in Toronto was “Whipper” Billy Watson.

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Today, in the Loblaw’s Store in the Gardens, on the east wall there is a collage made of chairs that were removed from the arena. It is the shape of a Maple Leaf, and of course is blue, the colour of the Leaf hockey team. Already, many people who visit the store have no memories of the great palace of hockey that preceded the Air Canada Centre.

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 great cathedral spires of Toronto

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/torontos-architectural-gemscathedral-spires/

The historic Cameron House on Queen Street West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/torontos-architectural-gemscameron-house-displays-a-new-mural/

Toronto’s vanishing 19th-century store fronts.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/torontos-architectural-gems-vanishing-19th-century-store-fronts/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—cathedral spires

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There is no better time of the year to view Toronto’s magnificent cathedral spires than in early spring, before the foliage obscures them. On a sunny spring day, the towering giants contrast starkly against the cerulean skies and blowing clouds, like sentinels of the approaching season. The spires shown in the above photographs are among the finest in the city, rich in history and intricate in design. Each is a work of art, a credit to the architects of the past who designed them. The above three spires are: St. Michael’s on Bond Street (on the left), Metropolitan United at Queen East in the centre position, and the tower of St. James Cathedral on King Street East on the right-hand side. 

       St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

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The restoration of the great spire of St. Michael’s was finished this year (2013), and it appears as magnificent today as when it was first built in the 19th century. The cathedral was designed by William Thomas, its construction completed between the years 1845 and 1848. Twenty-two years later, the tower and spire were added, the design created by the architectural firm of Gundry and Langley. There is a mystery as to why they were selected for the commission, as Mr. Thomas remained active as an architect when the firm was chosen for the tower. To add to the mystery, Thomas had already drawn up plans for the tower, and they can be viewed today in the collection of the Toronto Reference Library.

The dormer windows, one of which can be seen in the above  photo, were the work of Joseph Connolly, and were added in 1890. To place such windows in a cathedral roof is not common. Although they allow extra light to enter the nave, they interrupt the broad sweep of the roof as designed by William Thomas.

The church was built in the Neo-Gothic style, the architectural lines reaching upward toward the heavens. The inspiration for the tower was derived from the Gothic cathedrals of 14th-century England. The spire of St. Michael’s is an amazing structure and certainly qualifies as one of the city’s finest.

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     St. Michael’s Cathedral in 1925 (Photo, City of Toronto Archives)

                          Metropolitan United Church

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When the original Metropolitan Church was built on McGill Square in 1872, it was known as the “Cathedral of Methodism.” In 1925, the congregation joined with several other Protestant denominations to form the United Church of Canada. The church was destroyed by a disastrous fire in January of 1928, but fortunately, the tower survived. It was designed by Henry Langley, of the firm of Gundry and Langley, who also designed the tower and spire of St. Michael’s Cathedral. When the new church was built to replace the one ravaged by fire, the new design by John Gibb Morton, removed the over-sized pinnacles on the top of the tower. 

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This photo from the City of Toronto archives shows the church in 1920. As the photo was taken prior to the 1928 fire, the enormous pinnacles on the top of the tower can be seen. In the background is St. Michael’s Cathedral.

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                      The tower of Metropolitan United in July of 2012

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                 The Metropolitan United Church in summer of 2012

                            St. James Cathedral

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St. James Cathedral on King Street East was built between the years 1850 and 1853. It replaced an earlier structure destroyed by fire in 1849. The tower was not added to the church until 1874. Its designer was Henry Langley, who was at the time a partner in the firm of Langley, Langley and Burke. It soars 306 feet into the air, and in the days of sailing ships on the Great Lakes, it served as a beacon for vessels entering the harbour. When built, it was the tallest spire in Canada, and the second tallest in North America, only New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral surpassing it in height.

Constructed of yellow bricks, it is in the Neo-Gothic style. It is said that it resembles York Cathedral in England, but after having seen this cathedral, I personally see little resemblance. However, it remains as one of the truly great towers in Toronto.

1850, Arthur Eric Book

This photo is from Arthur Eric’s book, “No Mean City.” It depicts St. James in 1850, the year the new church was completed after the great fire that swept King St. There is no spire on the tower.

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This 1890s photo from the City of Toronto Archives clearly shows how the spire of St. James once dominated its neighbourhood. It towered over the cupola on the St. Lawrence Hall, visible in the picture, slightly to the right of the tower of St. James.

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            St. James Cathedral and tower in 1903 (City of Toronto Archives)

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Painting of St. James tower—”Shadows, on a June evening in 1993.” (Acrylic on canvas, 18” by 24”)

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                                  St. James, spring of 2012

 

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

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

The historic Cameron House on Queen Street West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/torontos-architectural-gemscameron-house-displays-a-new-mural/

Toronto’s vanishing 19th-century store front.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/torontos-architectural-gems-vanishing-19th-century-store-fronts/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—sculpture to soldiers of the War of 1812

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There is an historic green space south of King Street West, between Portland Avenue and Bathurst Street that is today nestled among modern high-rise condominiums. This small park was the location of Toronto’s first cemetery, carved out of the wilderness by the troops of Governor Simcoe to bury his 18-month-old daughter Katherine.  It is estimated that from the time of its inception in 1794, until the final interment in 1863, about four hundred bodies were placed within the grounds. Although it was originally a garrison cemetery, civilians from the town of York were also buried there. After 1807, however, many were placed in the churchyard of St. James Anglican Church on King Street East. With the closing of the First Garrison Burying Ground, another garrison cemetery was created to the northwest of Fort York, on Dufferin Street, near the present-day Canadian National Exhibition grounds.

Within the cemetery south of King Street is the remains of one of the soldiers who died in the Battle of York in 1813. Below is a list of a few of the others who were interred in this old burial ground. The names were gathered by John Ross Robertson during his visits to the cemetery in the 1870s. They were recorded in his book “Landmarks of Toronto, Volume 1.”

Christopher Robinson, died 1798, father of John Ross Robertson.

Benjamin Hallowell, a relative of Chief Justice Elmsley, died Thursday, March 28, 1799, age 75.

John Edward Sharps, infant son of J. E. and M Sharps, died at 9 months on August 8, 1813.

Captain McNeal killed in the Battle of York, 1813, during the American invasion of Toronto.

Charlotte, wife of John Armitage, died April 8, 1819.

John Saumariez Colbourne, died May 1, 1826, three-year-old son of Sir John Colbourne.

Mackay John Scobie, died August 26, 1834, age 18, and his brother Kenneth Scobie, age 25, died in 1834. Their father was Captain John Scobie of the 93rd Highlanders.

Margaret Ryan, wife of William Ryan of the Canadian Rifles, died 1835.

Lieutenant Zachariah Mudge, private secretary to Sir John Colbourne (Lord Seaton), committed suicide by placing a gun to his chest. He died at age 31 on June 10,1831.

Barbara Mary, daughter of Reverend J. Hudson, died July 17, 1831.

Archibald Currie of Glasgow, Scotland. (Robertson stated that the stone was too corroded to decipher any other details.)

Final burial in the Garrison Cemetery was Private James McQuarrick in 1863.

An interesting notation claims that Captain Battersby, a British soldier, when ordered back to Britain following the War of 1812, shot the two horses that he loved dearly and buried them in the cemetery, rather than part with them by selling them to someone else. Thankfully, he did not plan a similar fate for the friends he loved that he was leaving behind in York.

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The park and many of the tombstones have now been stored. The tombstones were placed in a row, creating a memorial to those who died during the pioneer days of York. In 1902, it was decided that a memorial should be placed in the park to honour those who lost their lives defending Upper Canada during the War of 1812 (1812-1815). The ceremony to unveil the memorial was held on July 1, 1902 as a part of the Dominion Day (Canada Day) celebrations. It honours the memory of the regiments that served in the conflict. The names of the battlefields are listed on plaques attached to the monument. Funds for the monument were provided by veterans of the British Army and Navy.

In 1906 a sculpture of the torso of a veteran was added to the crown of the monument. The sculpture depicts a balding soldier, glancing upward, a weary expression on his face. He is attired in a military uniform, which displays his war medals, and in his right hand is his hat. His left arm has no hand, a casualty of battle. Katherine Hale, in her book “Toronto, Romance of a Great City,” states: . . . the soldier has an unusual face—strong, rapt and dedicated.

The statue was created by Walter Allward, who also cast the figures at the base of the Boer War Memorial at University Avenue and Queen Street West, across from today’s opera house. In addition, Allward designed the Canadian war memorial on the Douri plain at Vimy Ridge.

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Walter Allward’s monument in Victoria Memorial Square. The base on which the sculpture rests is similar in design to the one at Queenston Heights to commemorate the deeds of Laura Secord, a heroine of the War of 1812.

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The sculpture of an old veteran on the monument. He is gazing upward, his hat in his right hand, a sad countenance on his face, as if remembering the friends he lost in battle.

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Today, rows of blocks delineate the boundaries of the old cemetery 

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     Victoria Memorial Square on October 13, 1913 (City of Toronto Archives)

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This is the tombstone of Zachariah Mudge, placed in the row of stones when Victoria Memorial Square was restored. Lieutenant Mudge served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and was the private secretary to Major General Sir John Colbourne, Lieutenant Governor of the Province. Mudge died on 10th of June, 1831, of a self-inflicted musket ball in the chest. No one ever determined the reason for his suicide.

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

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

Toronto’s vanishing 19th-century store fronts.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/torontos-architectural-gems-vanishing-19th-century-store-fronts/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Toronto

 

Scott Massey’s amazing art installation in Brookfield Place

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Art and architecture were gracefully combined in the amazing display in Brookfield Place during April of 2013. The great vaulted ceiling, with its modern Gothic-like arches, was created by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and the art installation was the work of Vancouver-based artist Scott Massey. Entitled “Enclosed Field,” the commissioned work was designed specifically for Calarava’s great atrium. An explanation that was posted near the exhibition stated that the work was, “rooted in Massey’s exploration of the natural world through cultural and technological means.” The display consists of approximately 3000 anodized aluminum rods, each standing 48 inches high. It is as if a wheat field is growing under the high vaulted ceiling of Brookfield Place.

Massey was inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s series of paintings, “The Wheat Field.” In Van Gough’ work, the ever-changing light and colour of the wheat fields was captured on canvas. Massey has attempted to portray a similar effect, employing iodized rods. The sign beside the work states, “The smooth, gold surface of the iodized rods, with their polished dome tips, mirrors the changing light’s many moods. Depending on the time of day or the weather outside, the colouration of the rods may shift from pale metallic to an intense vibrant gold.”

I thoroughly enjoyed viewing this installation, as did the many others who stopped to admire the work and take pictures. I saw it on a an unusually dull and blustery day, so common during April of 2013. I regret that I did not have an opportunity to photograph the art work when it was sunny. Despite this, the art brought sunshine to my soul as I departed Brookfield Place to journey to the St. Lawrence Market, where the colourful arrays of food added to the pleasure I always receive from exploring the city.

               

One of Van Gogh’s paintings in the series of the Wheat Fields. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

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                                 The iodized rods in Massey’s creation

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               The floor of Brookfield Place during the art display

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Massey’s art work under the vaulted ceiling of Brookfield Place

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

To view a post about another art installation in Brookfield Place, exhibited during March of 2013

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/torontos-architectural-gems-brookfield-place/

To view posts about Toronto’s graffiti art scene:

Toronto graffiti murals amid the winter snows

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/graffiti-murals-in-toronto-amid-the-winter-snow-2012/

Uber5000 painting a building in Graffiti Alley

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/uber5000-has-new-graffiti-art-in-mcdougall-lane/

New commissioned mural by Uber5000 at 74 Denison Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/new-graffiti-mural-by-uber5000-on-dennison-avenue/

New mural on McCaul Street has traces of Diego Rivera

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/new-mccaul-st-mural-has-traces-of-diego-rivera/

Black and white graffiti in Kensington Market is unique

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/new-black-and-white-graffiti-art-in-kensington-market-is-unique/

McDougall Lane has a new graffiti display (Nov. 2012)

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/mcdougall-alley-has-a-new-display-of-graffiti-art/

The graffiti-decorated “hug-me-tree” on Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/queen-street-wests-graffiti-adorned-hug-me-tree/

Graffiti in a laneway amid the colours of autumn

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/graffiti-amid-autumn-in-the-city/

A mural in the Kensington Market, with tongue-in-cheek humour:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/clever-humorous-graffiti-in-the-kensington-market/

July of 2011, a post about the abstract expressionists.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/abstract-expressionist-masters-at-the-ago-waste-of-time-or-meaningful/

August of 2012, comparing the work of the graffiti artist Uber5000 to the abstract expressionists.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/in-graffiti-alley-torontos-artists-put-to-shame-new-york-abstract-expressionists/

A Torontonian’s view of Mexican graffiti art and graffiti

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/a-torontonian-viewing-mexican-graffiti-and-graffiti-art/

 

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

Toronto’s vanishing 19th-century store fronts.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/torontos-architectural-gems-vanishing-19th-century-store-fronts/

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/

 

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—Cameron House on Queen Street West

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                             Cameron House in the summer of 2012

The Cameron House at 408 Queen West, on the corner at Cameron Street, is considered a veritable institutions in Toronto, an integral part of the Queen West scene. The pub and music venue is inside a red-brick 19th-century building that was cleaned and restored several years ago. The gigantic ornamental ants, so familiar to those who visit the pub or simply stroll along Queen Street, still crawl over the facades of the building. The lounge at the front of the building is bustling with activity most nights, as musical performers and visual artists entertain those who pack the room. There is also a back room that presents cabaret-style theatre. It is a cozy space that in in the past has been one of the venues for the “Summerworks Festival.” I have attended several productions there and appreciated the intimacy of the space, as I was in such close proximity to the actors. When departing the theatre, I was amazed at the number of patrons that crowded the front room, enjoying the music while engaging in animated conversations.   

The Cameron has been associated with many well-known artists, including the Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Jane Biberry, Fifth Column, and the Golden Dogs. For artists who were in the early stages of their career, the Cameron House sometimes provided free accommodation in exchange for the artists performing in the pub.

Today, it is difficult to imagine Queen Street when the building housing today’s Cameron House was constructed in 1880.  It was the eastern portion of a pair of attached structures, and in 1880, the other half of the building remained under construction. The land to the immediate west of the buildings was a vacant field. In 1881, Angus Cameron moved into 408 Queen and opened a dry goods store. The other half of the building remained unoccupied. Cameron lived above the shop. His mother lived around the corner, in one of the houses on Cameron Street, which now bears the family name.

About the year 1888, the shop became the “Ryan and Sullivan Tailor Shop.” In 1890, the store was vacant, but the following year, E. Hodd moved in and opened a “furnishings shop.” In 1895, the structure became the “John Burns Hotel.” In 1896, it became the “Cameron House.”

My information is based on the Toronto Directories at the Toronto Reference Library.

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The above photos is of the south facade of the Cameron House. It was taken on 17 April 2013. A new mural has been painted on its south facade. The southeast corner at the top of the building, on the fourth floor, has a distinctive rounded faux-tower. The ornamental termites are visible on the facade.

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This is the mural that was on the south facade of the Cameron House in the summer of 2012.

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The new mural on the Cameron House. It is signed in the upper right-hand corner, “Abrams.” Photo taken April 17, 2013.

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Close-up view of one of the 10 giant ants on the facade of the Cameron House. These sculptures are the work of the artist Napoleon Brousseau (www.napob.com), who was commissioned to create them in 1984. They were originally red in colour, but were changed to white on 2009 for Nuit Blanche.

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The east facade of the Cameron House on Cameron Street. (Photo July 2012). It can be seen that at some point, an extension was added to the rear of the original structure to enlarge the capacity of the hotel.

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

To view previous blogs about movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern

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 relates anecdotes and stories of the author and others 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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Store and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791

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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Graffiti art painted over by graffiti

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This graffiti art shown above was painted by Uber5000 in 2012 on a building that faces Rush Lane, better known as Graffiti Alley. It is an east-west alley located between Augusta Avenue and Bathurst Street, south of Queen Street West. Uber5000 is a talented young artist from Nova Scotia, who has been commissioned to paint murals on many buildings in the downtown area. His murals are always lively, free-flowing and exceptionally colourful. Marine creatures and a cartoon-like chicken egg with wings, are often found in his murals. He also paints in realism, and these works can be viewed on his web site.

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These faces are to the left of the picture shown above, and are part of the same mural.

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This is another section of the same mural, showing the chicken-like cartoon character with wings. Small fish are also part of this mural.

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I noticed recently that the Uber5000 mural has been painted over with graffiti. It is a pity that the previous work on the wall was not respected. This is unfortunately the way of the graffiti scene.

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

To view posts about the Toronto graffiti scene:

Toronto graffiti murals amid the winter snows

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/graffiti-murals-in-toronto-amid-the-winter-snow-2012/

Uber5000 painting a building in Graffiti Alley

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/uber5000-has-new-graffiti-art-in-mcdougall-lane/

New commissioned mural by Uber5000 at 74 Denison Avenue

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/new-graffiti-mural-by-uber5000-on-dennison-avenue/

New mural on McCaul Street has traces of Diego Rivera

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/new-mccaul-st-mural-has-traces-of-diego-rivera/

Black and white graffiti in Kensington Market is unique

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/new-black-and-white-graffiti-art-in-kensington-market-is-unique/

McDougall Lane has a new graffiti display (Nov. 2012)

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/mcdougall-alley-has-a-new-display-of-graffiti-art/

The graffiti-decorated “hug-me-tree” on Queen Street West.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/queen-street-wests-graffiti-adorned-hug-me-tree/

Graffiti in a laneway amid the colours of autumn

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/graffiti-amid-autumn-in-the-city/

A mural in the Kensington Market, with tongue-in-cheek humour:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/clever-humorous-graffiti-in-the-kensington-market/

July of 2011, a post about the abstract expressionists.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/abstract-expressionist-masters-at-the-ago-waste-of-time-or-meaningful/

August of 2012, comparing the work of the graffiti artist Uber5000 to the abstract expressionists.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/in-graffiti-alley-torontos-artists-put-to-shame-new-york-abstract-expressionists/

A Torontonian’s view of Mexican graffiti art and graffiti

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/a-torontonian-viewing-mexican-graffiti-and-graffiti-art/

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems— vanishing 19th-century store fronts

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Until a few years ago, the delightful facade of this small shop at 320 Queen Street West had survived from the latter days of the 19th century. The plate glass windows and the leaded glass panels above them, as well as the cast-iron window fames, hearkened to a time when the shops on Queen West were patronized mainly by those who lived within walking distance. In the modern era, people frequent the street from all over the city.  They enjoy the unusual shops, perhaps one of the reasons being that some of them are quaint and unusual. However, because of the rising rents on trendy Queen  West, many  merchants have been unable to survive and the small individually-owned stores are disappearing. Each time one changes hands, the new owners often modernize the store fronts. The shop pictured above was one of them.

Those who occupied the premises after “Twinkle Toes,” demolished the historic store front and replaced it with one that was more modern. This store did not last long, and was soon replaced by another occupant, who interestingly, attempted to recreate the appearance of an old-fashioned shop as the company had been established in 1895. A store front that appeared to belong to the previous century was advantageous for marketing. Pity that the “real thing” was destroyed before this company rented the premises.

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             The present-day occupiers of 320 Queen Street West.

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Another shop that possesses a store front that has survived for over a hundred years is at 463 Queen Street, a short distance west of Spadina. It was vacant when I photographed it. It was formerly a shop that specialized in “once-loved” (second hand) clothes. It too has its original cast iron frames around the windows and leaded panes of glass above them. Because the shop was unoccupied, I feared that the store front might be demolished when it was rented again. This was why I photographed it in detail.

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The shop is one of several stores in a three-story building, each store possessing an apartment above it.

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The detailing on this store front is exquisite. The trim has dentils, the modillion containing a stylized fig leaf and scrolls. The bright red paint enhances the silver-coloured trim.

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The trim on the shop (containing dentils) and a close-up view of the leaded glass panes above the plate glass window.

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The trim on the cornice of the building and the charming bay windows of the apartments above the shops can be seen in the above photograph. The week after I photographed the shop, I discovered that my fears about the front of the store being demolished were unfounded. The shop is to become a hamburger outlet, “Priest’s Burger,”and they appear to be preserving the store front. With the arrival of another hamburger restaurant near the corner of Queen and Spadina, there is now a hamburger outlet near all four corner of the intersection. I previously placed a post on this blog about the hamburger outlets near Queen and Spadina. For a link to this post :

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

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This is the shop at 463 Queen West, after being repainted for an outlet of “The Burger’s Priest.” (April 17th 2013) 

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Another store front that recently captured my attention is contained in the building that today houses a branch of the CIBC. Along the west facade of the building there are small shops. For a link to the history of this building on the northeast corner of Spadina and Queen Street, follow the link :

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

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This is the CIBC building as it appeared during the early days of the 20th century. There were many shops, each with an awning, along the west facade facing on Spadina Avenue. I recently photographed the shop at the north end of the building (far left-hand side of the photo).

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It is another shop that has retained its facade from yesteryear. However, the reason that I noticed this particular shop was because on the left-hand side of the entrance is a small mural that was painted by Uber5000, who is probably the best graffiti artists in Toronto right now.

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This is the mural on the left-hand side of the entranceway. It was created Uber5000, who also painted the enormous murals that adorn two facades of a multi-storey building in a laneway near Queen and Bathurst Streets.

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Murals by Uber5000 in the laneway east of Bathurst, between Richmond and Queen Streets. Rick Mercer often employs this laneway as background when he gives his “rants” about various issues. For a link to this post:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/view-the-alley-where-rick-mercer-gives-his-rants/

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 cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/torontos-architectural-gemscenotaph-at-old-city-hall/

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King East and Church Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/torontos-architectural-gemsmetropolitan-cathedral/

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 Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-union-building-on-king-st/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—the bank at Queen West and Simcoe Streets

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This photo of the CIBC on the northwest corner of Simcoe and Queen Street West was taken on August 23, 1931. On the west side of the bank is a parking lot. Today, the lot is much larger as several of the shops to the west of the parking lot were demolished to create more parking space. Photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

The impressive building was completed in 1930, a year after the great Wall Street crash. However, the designs for it were created prior to the economic crisis, its restrained but rich architecture a testament to the prosperous decade of the 1920s.  It was constructed on the site of the Harris Hotel, an unpretentious hostelry that was demolished to provide a site for the bank. The classical proportions and basic design of the bank resemble a Greek temple. It possesses classical ornamentations and two large Doric columns on either side of the entrance. The north façade, facing Queen Street, and the west side are constructed of limestone. The west facade and the rear of the building are of yellow bricks, with limestone quoins on the northwest corner.

This bank was built in an era in which architecture was employed to convey a pre-determined image to the public. In this case, it was to imply that the institution within was solid, trustworthy, and a safe place to deposit your savings or transact business.

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The bank as it appears today, showing the cornice trim at the top and designs above the entrance.

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Cornice of the building and the ornamentations above the doorway. The latter contain the Greek key design as well as ornate medallions.

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The Doric columns on either side of the entrance of the bank.

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The yellow-brick, west facade of the bank. The parking lot to the west of the bank is soon to become the site of a condominium. The cornice at the top of the building is of copper, with designs on the north side jutting up at either end and in the central position.

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The north and east facades of the bank, both faced with limestone.

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 cenotaph at Old City Hall

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/torontos-architectural-gemscenotaph-at-old-city-hall/

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King east and Church Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/torontos-architectural-gemsmetropolitan-cathedral/

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 Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-union-building-on-king-st/

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/

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Toronto

 

Cineplex Cinemas at Dundas-Yonge Streets.

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The Cineplex Cinemas at Yonge-Dundas are contained within the large complex at 10 Dundas Street East, located on the northeast corner of the intersection at Yonge and Dundas Streets. When I first examined this building, I thought that I was gazing at an enormous electronic billboard rather than architecture. Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star once referred to it as “horrorarchitecture.”

The structure’s gaudy, scattered  array of signs almost obliterate the building’s facades. It has an L-configuration, as it wraps around pre-existing structures, conforming to the shape imposed by the curve of Dundas Street. The building overlooks the Yonge-Dundas Square, one of the main squares of the city. This open space is becoming increasingly appreciated by Torontonians and tourists alike. In summer, people delight in sitting in the chairs that the city provides, under the shade of an umbrella and read a newspaper, text, or check e-mails, while enjoying a cup of coffee. 

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                          The Yonge-Dundas Square in summer of 2013

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The above photo depicts 10 Dundas Street East under construction. The building was officially opened on 28 March 2000.  The L-shape configuration is evident. This photo and the one below are from Wikimedia Commons. 

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View of the structure from the southwest corner of the intersection. It shows the building prior to all the signage being attached to its facade. However, the purpose of this post is to examine the theatre complex that is inside the building at 10 Dundas Street East.

I recently included a post on this blog about the Scotiabank Toronto Cinemas (Cineplex) at John and Richmond Streets (a link to this post is provided below). The Scotiabank Toronto Cinemas are also inside a modern building that at first glance may have limited appeal for many. However, the structure’s architecture does not detract from the magnificent theatres within.

This is also true of the movie theatre inside the complex at Yonge and Dundas. In some ways, the cinemas are as impressive as the grand movie theatres of the 1940s and 1950s. 

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The theatre is no longer the AMC as it has been purchased by Cineplex Entertainment. This photo was taken in April of 2013, and the sign had not yet been changed. The entrance to the complex at 10 Dundas Street East is below the sign for the movie theatre. 

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When this photo was taken, the box office for the theatres was on the ground floor. This was changed, and patrons now proceed up to the fourth level on the escalators to gain entrance to the theatres.

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This is the view as you exit the escalator and approach the lower lobby. It is an expansive space, decorated with subdued neon lighting and sweeping curves of metal and glass.

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This is another view looking toward the lobby on the first level of the theatre.

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The spacious lobby is ultra-modern. Similar to the theatres of yesteryears, it attempts to create the feeling that your entertainment experience begins the moment you enter the theatre. Personally, I believe that it succeeds.

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This is a view of the lower lobby, the candy bar located at the far end. 

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The candy bar attractively displays a wide assortment of goodies. It is a vast improvement over the theatre candy bars of yesteryears.

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This escalator on the left leads to the upper level, where there is another lobby, candy bar, and auditoriums 15 to 22.

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                                  View of the upper lobby

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View of the Dundas Square complex from the northwest corner of Dundas Square, in 2012.

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

To view previous post about a modern Toronto movie house

The Scotiabank Toronto (Cineplex) in the architecturally modern building at John and Richmond Streets

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-modern-scotiabank-theatre/

To view posts about Toronto’s movie houses of yesteryears

Toronto’s first movie screening and first movie theatre

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/torontos-first-movie-screening-and-first-movie-theatre/

The Biltmore Theatre on Yonge, north of Dundas

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/torontos-old-movie-housesthe-biltmore-theatre/

The Ed Mirvish Theatre, formerly the Pantages and the Imperial

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

The Rio Theatre on Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/torontos-old-movie-housesthe-rio-on-yonge-street/

The old Downtown Theatre on Yonge near Dundas

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/torontos-lost-movie-theatresthe-downtown-theatre-on-yonge-st-south-of-dundas/

The old Orpheum Theatre on Queen Street West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/torontos-old-movie-theatres-the-orpheum-on-queen-st-w/

The Bellevue Theatre that became the Lux Burlesque Theatre

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/the-bellevue-theatre-lux-burlesque-theatre-on-college-street/

Old movie houses of Toronto

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/old-movie-houses-of-toronto/

Attending the movies during Toronto’s golden age of cinema

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/attending-the-movies-in-toronto-during-the-golden-age-of-cinema/

The Odeon Carlton theatre on Carlton St., east of Yonge St.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/colour-photo-of-the-odeon-carlton-in-1956-a-marilyn-monroe-film-playing/

2011/07/02/colour-photo-of-the-odeon-carlton-in-1956-a-marilyn-monroe-film-playing/https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/

The Victory burlesque and movie theatre on Spadina at Dundas:

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

The Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre on Bay St. near Queen

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/sheas-hippodrome-theatre-where-the-nathan-phillips-square-exists-today/

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/photographs-from-the-1950s-of-sheas-hippodrome-theatre-located-on-the-site-of-torontos-new-city-hall/

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/old-movie-houses-of-toronto-fond-memories-of-sheas-hippodrome/

Attending a matinee in the old movie houses of Toronto during the “golden age of cinema”

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/attending-a-movie-matinee-in-toronto-during-the-golden-age-of-cinema/

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

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

Archival photos of the Imperial and Downtown Theatres on Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/archival-photos-of-torontos-old-theatres-give-reality-to-historical-novel/

The Elgin/Winter/Garden Theatres on Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-elgin-winter-garden-theatres/

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Toronto