Toronto’s architectural gems—the old “Silver Snail” comic store at 367 Queen St. W.


The “Silver Snail” comic shop at 367 Queen Street West has departed the scene. Those who remember it might recall its colourful facade, interesting window displays, and west wall decorated with graffiti art. This Second-Empire building was constructed in 1890 for the clothing business of George Adams. The third-floor mansard roof appears somewhat shabby in the above photo, but in the latter days of the 19th century, its rectangular windows with their ornate trim were quite attractive. The brickwork on the west side of the structure indicates that the third floor and mansard roof were added at a later date. The building continued to be altered during the years ahead. In 2012, the windows facing the street, on the second floor, were filled-in with cement blocks and large commercial signage placed across them. However, when the above photo was taken the interior rolled-tin ceiling remained in tact.

The building has now been demolished, only its facade remaining. It is a pity that this building has not survived, but at least its facade will continue to grace the street, after its present building phase has been completed. 


       The Queen Street facade as viewed from the street level in 2012.

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           A colourful window display of the Silver Snail.


                           Another window display (2012).


                    The mansard roof of the Silver Snail building in 2012.


                                         The north and west facades of the building.


Signs in the window in 2012, announcing that the store was relocating. It is to open on Yonge Street, north of Dundas Street.

March 2013

In this photo, the 1890 building has not been demolished, but work on it has already commenced.


This picture was taken in the summer of 2013, when only the facade and a small portion of the building remains.


Artist’s drawing of the building when the complex has been completed. The ground floor of the 1890 clothing store of George Adams will be completely modern However, the second and third floors will appear much as they did in the 19th century.

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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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