Blogger of “Toronto’s architectural gems” attends “Word on the Street”—2013.


For over a year now I have been placing posts on this blog to stimulate interest in the history of Toronto and its architectural heritage. I realize that promoting the history of Toronto will never be an immensely popular blog, but anything that assists in preserving the city’s past, I consider worthwhile. Creating this blog was a natural for me, since for several decades I have enjoyed researching Toronto’s history. When I retired, I began to write novels that employ Toronto as a background. I have now published four such books and a fifth will be available on e-readers and in late October (2013).

The subject of my new book is the sinking of the “Empress of Ireland,” in May of 1914, in the St. Lawrence River. More passengers perished in this maritime tragedy than on the “Titanic.” However, few Canadians have ever heard of it. The 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking will be next year, in 2014. There will be a CBC special about it, as well as many other commemorative events. My book, “When the Trumpet Sounds,” is a novel based on an actual family that suffered through the disaster. I hope that it will add to an understanding of this important event in Canadian history.

In 2014, I also hope to have ready a book entitled “Toronto’s Golden Age of the Silver Screen.” It will contain numerous photos and memoirs of the the city’s old movies houses. For those who remember the neighbourhood theatres and those great movie palaces on Yonge Street, the book will be a trip down memory lane. The photo of the interiors of these theatres may cause people to recall the many hours they sat within these wonderful venues of entertainment. I have already placed many posts about the theatres on this blog.

This is the first year that I have become involved with the “Word on the Street” book fair, which is held annually. This year it will be on Sunday, September 22nd. The streets around Queen’s Park will be closed to facilitate the largest outdoor book fair in North America. It usually attracted about a quarter of a million visitors. It will be open from 10 am until 6 pm.

My small booth (table) is number 162, on the east side of Queen’s Park Circle, adjacent to Wellesley Street (see map below). If you are attending the event, please stop by and say hello. The four books that I have published will be available at reduced prices, especially for “Word on the Street.” Three of the books are available on Kobo or other e-readers, or can be ordered through Chapters/Indigo or

I hope I get a chance to chat with a few other people who are interested in the history of our city.

Doug Taylor    


             The above three novels will be available at “Word on the Street.”


                        Map showing the location of my booth (table).

To view the Home Page for this blog:

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

The 1860s Georgian-style houses at 7-9 Elm Street, now the site of Barberian’s Steak House

Hughes Terrace, a row of four building on King Street West, across from TIFF

The Runnymede Theatre that is now a book store in the Bloor West Village.

The building on the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge that was once a bank

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave.

The Heintzman Building on Yonge Street, next to the Elgin Theatre

The tall narrow building at 242 Yonge Street, south of Dundas

Toronto’s first Reference Library at College and St. George Streets.

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

The Traders Bank on Yonge Street—the city’s second skyscraper

Toronto’s old Union Station on Front Street, built in 1884

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe Streets.

The row houses on Glasgow Street, near Spadina and College Streets

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

The cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King East and Church Streets

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

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

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

The Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

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

The Waverly Hotel on Spadina near College Street.

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

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

The Bellevue Fire Station on College Street

The Bank of Nova Scotia at King and Bay Streets

Toronto’s old Sunnyside Beach

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Runnymede Library

Spadina Avenue – sinful, spicy and diverse

The Reading Building, a warehouse loft on Spadina Avenue

The Darling Building on Spadina Avenue

The amazing Fashion Building on Spadina Avenue

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

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

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

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

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

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

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

The Victory Burlesque Theatre at Dundas and Spadina

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

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

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

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


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

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

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

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

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

A study of Osgoode Hall

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

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

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

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

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

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

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

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

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

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