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Monthly Archives: April 2013

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

 

Toronto’s architectural gems—cenotaph at Old City Hall

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The cenotaph at the Old City Hall is not usually considered an architectural gem as it is a monument. However, it should be consider as such as similar to other heritage structures throughout the city, it required an architect, architectural drawings and building materials. For almost 90 years, it has graced the head of Bay Street in front of the Old City Hall. Each November 11th, it is the focal point of Toronto’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.
In Toronto, prior to the First World War, Remembrance Day services were usually held at the monument at University Avenue and Queen Street, to honour those who died in the Boer War. After the First World War, it was decided that a new cenotaph should be constructed in front of the Old City Hall.
The Ontario Association of Architects declared an open competition for designs. William M. Ferguson won the contract. A Scotsman by birth, he had immigrated to Canada and joined the architectural firm of John Lyle, who had designed the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Ferguson was also one of the architects of the city’s Toronto General Hospital on College Street. He later joined the prestigious firm of Darling and Pearson, the firm that designed the old Bank of Montreal Building at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets. It now houses the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ferguson died on April 18, 1956.
For the Toronto cenotaph, Ferguson worked with Thomas Pomphrey. At first, they decided to create a smaller version of the great cenotaph near the intersection of Whitehall and Downing in London, England. Its creator had been Sir. Edwin Luyton, and it was constructed in 1919 from Portland stone.
However, in Toronto the architects changed their plans and created a cenotaph about the same size as the one in London. Toronto’s was created with granite from the Canadian shield. The cornerstone was laid on 24 July 1924 by Earl Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces during the First World War. The first memorial service at the cenotaph was held on November 11, 1925, at which Governor General Byng laid the memorial wreath. The names of the battles listed on the sides of the monument were extended in the years ahead to include those of the Second World War and the Korean Conflict.
I am grateful to the information placed on the internet by Richard Fiennes-Clinton. It can be accessed at : Toronto Then and Now: # 34 ~ Toronto Remembers, Then and Now

            s0071_it4293[1]  May 13, 1926

The cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall in May of 1926, the year after it was dedicated. 

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The war memorial in London England (left) and the cenotaph at the Old City Hall in Toronto (right). The similarity is readily evident. The photo of the London memorial is from Wikimedia Commons.

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View of the Old City Hall in 1901, prior to the building of the cenotaph.

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          The Old City Hall in 1925, the year the new cenotaph was dedicated.

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The plaque on the north side of the cenotaph to commemorate the dedication of the monument.

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The stone to commemorative the laying of the cornerstone by Earl Haig in 1924.

                         Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 41 - Miscellaneous photographs

The wreath that was laid by Earl Haig at the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of the cenotaph on 24 July 1924.

f1257_s1057_it2903[1] Eisenhauer and Saunders, 1946

General Dwight Eisenhower and Mayor Saunders at the cenotaph in 1946.

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                 Decorative carvings on the base of the Toronto cenotaph

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                            Symbolic carvings on the cenotaph

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View of the south facade of the cenotaph in March of 2013, the Old City Hall in the background.

Note: historic photos are from the collection of the City of Toronto Archives.

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

For more information about the topics explored on this blog:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/tayloronhistory-comcheck-it-out/

Books by the Blog’s Author

Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” 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 by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

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

   To place an order for this book, published by History Press:

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

Book also available in most book stores such as Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox and AGO Book Shop. It can also be ordered by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

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Another book on theatres, published by Dundurn Press, is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It explores 81 theatres and contains over 125 archival photographs, with interesting anecdotes about these grand old theatres and their fascinating histories. Note: an article on this book was published in Toronto Life Magazine, October 2016 issue.

For a link to the article published by |Toronto Life Magazine: torontolife.com/…/photos-old-cinemas-dougtaylortoronto-local-movie-theatres-of-y…

The book is available at local book stores throughout Toronto or for a link to order this book: https://www.dundurn.com/books/Torontos-Local-Movie-Theatres-Yesteryear

                        Toronto: Then and Now®

Another publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. It contains archival and modern photos that allow readers to compare scenes and discover how they have changed over the decades. Note: a review of this book was published in Spacing Magazine, October 2016. For a link to this review:

spacing.ca/toronto/2016/09/02/reading-list-toronto-then-and-now/

For further information on ordering this book, follow the link to Amazon.com  here  or contact the publisher directly by the link below:

http://www.ipgbook.com/toronto–then-and-now—products-9781910904077.php?page_id=21

 

 

 

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Toronto’s architectural gems—the old Cayuga

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It is rare that a ship is ever referred to as an architectural treasure, but I believe that the old Cayuga, which sailed from Toronto harbour each summer for many decades, perhaps qualifies for this distinction.  Similar to a building, its required a designer and a myriad of craftsmen to complete its construction. The painting shown above depicts the vessel steaming through the Eastern Gap on a July morning as it commenced its voyage across Lake Ontario to Port Dalhousie.

Launched on 3 March 1906, the Cayuga’s maiden voyage was in 1907. It was named after one of the tribes of the Six Nations Confederacy. The SS Cayuga was capable of carrying nineteen hundred passengers. Twin screws propelled it, which were considered a marvel in their day. Most ships, including the Toronto Island ferries, employed side-paddles for propulsion, which generated far less speed.

During the sailing season, the ship was an integral part of the life of Toronto as it was the main method of journeying to the Niagara Region.  Below its decks, it transported cars, trucks and cargo. During the closing weeks of summer and early autumn, the ship brought fruits and vegetables from the Niagara region to the markets of Toronto. Most Torontonians considered their summer incomplete if a voyage on the Cayuga were not included. During the years the ship was in service, it carried over 15 million passengers across the lake. Perhaps the most famous of them was the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VIII, who crossed from Toronto to Queenston in 1927.

Fonds 1244, Item 259A

The ship sailed from the wharf at the foot of York Street. Tickets for the SS Cayuga were purchased from the office of Canadian National Steamers. In the 1940s, fares were one dollar for adults and fifty cents for children, the war taxes being extra. The ship departed at 9:15 a.m. for a two-hour crossing to Port Dalhousie. The crowds brought along bicycles, picnic baskets, and sometimes yapping dogs. The ship’s polished oak rails and gleaming decks were a sight to behold. When the ship sailed out of harbour, it dwarfed any Toronto Island ferry that it passed.

On the outside decks were long, rows of wooden benches to accommodate passengers. On the out-going voyage, the best seats were on the port side, where the early-morning sun dispelled the chill in the air, and later, when the day warmed, the overhanging the deck above protected passengers from the heat. The port side also provided a panoramic view of the city’s skyline as the ship sailed across the Toronto harbour toward the eastern gap. In the 1940s, the massive Royal York Hotel, the towering Bank of Commerce, and the clock tower of the Old City Hall at the top of Bay Street, and the spire of St. James Cathedral, all reached high into the summer sky, no other buildings able to rival their soaring heights.

After sailing through the eastern gap, the ship entered the open waters of Lake Ontario and the captain set a southwest course. In the lounge inside the ship, there were more wooden benches. The ship also boasted a dining room and a dance floor that rivalled those of the finest hotels in Toronto. At the stern section of the lounge was a snack bar, where the crew sold coffee, tea, soda pop, and hot dogs. A sign indicated that the Cayuga was a “dry ship,” as wine, beer, and alcoholic drinks were not available. However, there were always a few men with bulges in their back pockets , not caused by overly thick wallets. Some passengers frowned upon the behaviour of  these unsavoury characters, certain that they were carrying hip flasks. The ship was not as “dry” as the sign in the lounge indicated.

A grand staircase led from the lounge to the deck below. Halfway down there was  a landing where the staircase divided, one side extending to the left and the other to the right. At the bottom, on the left, passenger walking toward the stern could peer through an open door that looked down into the engine room. They were able to watch the throbbing monster engines that powered the ship. Heat, steam, noise, and the odour of diesel oil were infused into the air. It was an awesome sight. Originally, the ship had been powered by coal, but it was eventually converted to oil.

The “Gents” room was another sight that was impressive, especially to younger boys. White basins sparkled in the morning light that shone through the portholes, which possessed gleaming brass fittings.  The huge, ivory-white urinals were so deep that many a young lad felt in danger of falling in, and that if someone pulled on the brass handle, they might be flushed into the lake. The urinals were the equal of those in the basement of the Eaton’s store. Some lads wondered why such massive structures were necessary, thinking that they might be more suitable for a horse with a kidney problem.

If the weather cooperated, there was nothing so glorious as leaning on a rail of the Cayuga’s deck, gazing out over the water. If it were a sunny summer day, the sight was amazing—smooth waters and azure skies, with distant puffs of clouds hovering near the horizon. On such days, the lake resembled an enormous pond, the dazzling sunlight reflecting from its glassy surface. Within a half hour of the ship’s departure, the heat of the sun forced those who had earlier stood at the rails, to retreat to the recessed areas under the shade of the decks. There, they were able to sit in comfort and enjoy the view.

When the ship  finally arrived at Port Dalhousie, the crew tossed the thick hawser ropes to the men on the dock, who attached them to the bollards. In warm weather, the ship was greeted by young boys who had gathered at the dock to watch the ship arrive. After they had moored the vessel to the wharf, they dived into the water to retrieve coins thrown by the passengers. This ritual occurred again when the ship embarked on its return voyage to Toronto. 

Sadly, the mighty Cayuga was unable to attract sufficient passengers after people acquired automobiles and were able to motor to the Niagara Region, rather than sail across the lake. It went to the scrapyard in 1960. However, when built, it was an engineering marvel, in its way a rival to the grand buildings that were erected in the same decade in which it was launched. I believe that it qualifies as one of Toronto’s lost architectural gems.

The above information is from the book, “Arse Over Teakettle,” a novel about a boy coming of age during the Second World War. For a link to this book:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/arse-over-teakettle/

26

People  onboard the Cayuga to sail across the lake to Port Dalhousie in the 1940s. On evening dance cruises, the ship featured well-known orchestra, such as the Harry Bedlington’s Orchestra. Between sets, recorded music played the latest recording hits of entertainers such as the Andrew Sisters, Woody Herman, Cab Calloway, and Ellis McLintock.

Fonds 1244, Item 259B

The Cayuga in Toronto  harbour, returning from a voyage from Niagara. The Royal York Hotel dominates the skyline. The roof of the Great Hall in Union Station is also visible. Photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

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A postcard from the collection of the Niagara Historical Society Museum in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ship is entering the Niagara River, the American shoreline in the background. The words written across the card by the sender are indeed appropriate.

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This postcard, also from the collection of the Niagara Historical Society Museum, depicts the Cayuga departing from Queenston. It is sailing northward toward the mouth of the Niagara River. In the background is the town of Queenston, and on the hill, in the top left corner of the photo, is the Brock Monument. 

troops disembarking 1st WW for Niagara camp

Another postcard from the same collection noted above. It shows the Cayuga at the dock at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Today, this area is included within Queen’s Royal Park. In the photo, troops have disembarked from the ship to proceed toward the military camp located on the north side of the town. In the background is Old Fort Niagara, on the American side of the river.

camp grounds, Nia-on-Lake  Aug. 1907

This postcard, from the Niagara Historical Society Museum, shows the military camp in 1907. Most of the site of the camp remains today as open space. The expansive field located beside the Shaw Festival’s Festival Theatre, was at one time a part of this campground.

Niagara Historical Soc. Museum

The Cayuga at the wharf at Niagara-on-the-Lake, cargo ready to be loaded. This card is from the collection of the Niagara Historical Society Museum.

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.  

                      cid_E474E4F9-11FC-42C9-AAAD-1B66D852[2]

   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 Photodome, 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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What happens if we replace the Gardiner Expressway

I recently examined a newsletter issued by the office of MP Olivia Chow. In it were photos illustrating how other cities have tackled the problem of removing expressways that cut through their urban spaces. In Toronto, the controversy about whether or not to tear down the Gardiner is currently being debated. By July, the councillors must make a decision. No matter what they decide, it will be extremely costly and certain to be disruptive.

I personally hope that city council will look to the future. If we are to spend billions, would it not be better to create something that will not need to be replaced in the future? Our city can no longer handle the increased automobile traffic that occurs each year.

The following pictures show how other cities have handled the same problem that Toronto now faces.

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These photographs from Waqcku “commons.wikimedia.org” (top) and www.oregonlive.com,” (bottom) reveal how Seattle removed the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which was in such poor shape that many drivers refused to drive on it. Our Gardiner is nearly in the same condition. The Viaduct also cut Seattle off from its waterfront.  A  portion of the new route is above ground and the remainder in a tunnel. This is how our waterfront might appear if the Gardiner were removed. The Seattle solution might work well in Toronto. However, Seattle had the financial support of both the state and federal governments.

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I have seen the results of the way San Francisco handled the problem of removing an elevated expressway. These photos by Eddie Baruela (left) and Scott David Burgess (right) reveal the spectacular differences.  However, the city only had to pay for the removal of the expressway, since other levels of government paid the remainder of the costs.

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These photos from the Cheonggyecheong Museum (left) and Longzijun (flickr photostream) (right) show how Seoul removed an expressway and discovered a buried river. The photo on the left resembles our Gardiner Expressway and the Lakeshore Road.

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In Madrid, the expressway disappeared into a tunnel (right-hand photo), and the riverbank was restored to its former glory. The expressway had cut off the river from the city. The left photo is from Espormadrid (Imageshack) and the right photo from www.madrid.es.

I am grateful to the newsletter distributed by Olivia Chow for the photos and information contained in this post. The newsletter had the title “Get Toronto Moving.” It added to my understanding of the possibilities open to us if the Gardiner is demolished.

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

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

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/

Toronto’s Old City Hall at Bay and Queen Streets

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

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s movie theatres—the Scotiabank Cineplex

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                                The Scotiabank Theatre Toronto (Cineplex) in 2012

The Scotiabank Theatre Toronto was originally named the Paramount Theatre. Its name was changed to the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto in a deal that created the customer loyalty programs of Cineplex and Scotiabank. The theatre’s modern architecture is perhaps jarring to the eye when first viewed, but it is an impressive structure that dominates the scene like no other building in the area. At night, its neon lights, similar to the grand marquees of theatres of old, such as the Imperial and Loew’s Downtown, shine into the night and illuminate the busy street below.

The theatre occupies only the top section of the building where it is located. The theatre’s lobby is ultra-modern, its design incorporating glass, steel and neon lights, whereas in older theatres, ornate plaster trim, stone carvings and decorative marble were employed. The escalator that leads to the second-floor level, where the auditoriums are located, may not be as grand as the entrance staircase in the Ed Mirvish Theatre (the old Imperial), but its immense height creates the feeling that you are entering a place of importance.

At the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, the experience begins the moment you enter the building. Modern sculptures and art hang from the ceiling of the lower lobby, adding to the appeal of the vast space. The upper lobby has a modern-style chandelier and numerous mirrors that reflect daylight from the myriad of large windows facing John Street.

The numerous auditoriums in the theatre contain stadium seating, a feature that is a vast improvement over the theatres of old. The seats are comfortable, with cup holders on the armrests to place drinks. In the old days, commercials were rare in theatres. Today, to avoid the endless advertising, some people enter a theatre about twenty or twenty-five minutes after the listed starting time of the film. However, theatres today still employ free gifts to entice people to attend. No dinnerware or autographed photos of movie stars are offered. A person now answers trivia questions on an app on a cell phone. The prize is pizza, a new twist on an old technique.

The Scotiabank Theatre Toronto is also one of the most popular venues during TIFF. Each year, thousands of people attend the Scotiabank’s many auditoriums to view films.

 

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The above photos of the Imperial are from the 1970s (City of Toronto Archives).

The left-hand photo shows the Yonge Street entrance to the old Pantages Theatre, which was renamed the Imperial, and is now the Ed Mirvish Theatre. The right-hand photo depicts the impressive marquee of the same theatre. Although the theatre no longer screens movies, its grandeur can still be experienced when attending the live theatre productions of David Mirvish.

The Scotiabank Cineplex Theatre at Richmond and John Streets.

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                  The Scotiabank Theatre on a hot July evening in 2012.

Until recently, I have been guilty of ignoring the architecture and the interiors of our modern theatres. However, when I began photographing them, I was amazed to discover that many have lobbies, architecture, and entrances that in their way are as impressive as the theatres of yesteryear. They are modern in design, and though not appreciated by some, a few of them are quite spectacular. The multi-screen Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre at 259 Richmond Street West, built in 1999, is one of them.

It was originally the Paramount Theatre, but was renamed the Scotiabank in a deal that combined customer loyalty programs between Scotiabank and Cineplex.  There were five of these theatres, located in various cities, most of them originally built by Paramount. The Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto has modernistic architecture that is perhaps jarring to the eye when first viewed, but it is an impressive structure. It dominates the scene like no other building in the area. At night, its neon lights, similar to the grand marquees of theatres such as the Imperial of old, shine into the night, illuminating the street.

Similar to theatres in earlier decades, the Scotiabank Theatre shares the building where it is located with other tenants.

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The lobby is ultra-modern, containing glass, steel and neon lights. In older theatres, ornate plaster trim, stone carvings, and decorative marble were employed to decorate lobbies. 

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This photo shows the escalator and stairs that lead to the second-floor level where the auditoriums are located. It may not be as grand as the entrance staircase in the Ed Mirvish Theatre (the former Imperial), but its immense height creates the feeling that you are entering a place of importance. Similar to previous decades, the lobby and entrance add to the occasion. In my opinion, viewing a film on TV or a small electronic device can never reproduce this experience, which begins the moment you enter the theatre.

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Modern sculptures that hang from the ceiling, add to the appeal of the vast lower lobby of the Scotiabank Theatre. 

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The upper lobby has an enormous modern-style chandelier and numerous mirrors that reflect daylight from the wall of windows facing John Street.

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The large windows on John Street. The upper lobby of the Scotiabank is behind these windows, on the top level of the building 

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The numerous auditoriums in the theatre contain stadium seating, a feature that is a vast improvement over the theatres of old. The seats are comfortable and there are holders on the armrests to place your drinks. However, theatres-goers are now subjected to advertising. In the old days, commercials were rare, though I remember one for Chiquita Bananas, in which Carmen Miranda sang the jingle. I still remember her enormous hat with its array of fruit on it.

Similar to the 1940s and 1950s, theatres today still employ free gifts to entice people to attend. There are no more dinnerware or autographed photos of movie stars. Now a person answers trivia questions on an app on a cell phone. The prize is a pizza. A new twist on an old technique.

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The exit from the theatre auditoriums to the upper lobby is indeed impressive.

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The east facade of the Scotiabank Cineplex Theatre on John Street in July of 2012. 

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                The entrance to the Scotiabank Theatre on Richmond Street West.

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

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/torontos-old-movie-theatrestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to posts about Toronto’s Heritage Buildings

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/ 

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog.

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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 .

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Toronto