RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2013

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

DSCN0505

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 Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com.

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

Doug Taylor    

DSCN0503

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

DSCN1661

                        Map showing the location of my booth (table).

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/torontos-architectural-gems1860s-houses-on-elm-streetbarbarians-steak-house/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/torontos-architectural-gemshughes-terrace-on-king-st-w/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-runnymede-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-dundas-streets/

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave. 

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-ellis-building-on-adelaide-near-spadina/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-heintzman-building-on-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/torontos-architectural-gems242-yonge-st-south-of-dundas/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-original-toronto-public-reference-library/

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-commodore-building-315-317-adelaide-st/

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-graphic-arts-building-on-richmond-st/

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-victory-building-at-80-adelaide-street-west/

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-concourse-building-on-adelaide-st/

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-bank-of-commerce-at-197-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/torontos-architectural-gemstraders-bank-on-yonge-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/torontos-lost-architectural-gemsthe-old-union-station/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/torontos-architectural-gemshistoric-st-andrews-on-king-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/torontos-architectural-gemsrow-houses-on-glasgow-st/

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-at-queen-west-and-simcoe-streets/

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/

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

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s old movie houses—the Coronet (Savoy) on Yonge at Gerrard

800px-Coronet_Theatre_Yonge_and_Gerrard_Streets_1979_Toronto[1]

The Coronet Theatre on the northeast corner of Gerrard and Yonge Streets in 1979. Double bill included—“Oh God” with George Burns, John Denver and Donald Pleasance, as well as “Turn You Every Which Way but Loose” with Clint Eastwood. (Photo, City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, Fl. 310, It. 2 )

The Coronet Theatre at 399 Yonge Street was originally named “The Savoy. When it opened on 15 February in 1951, it was considered an ultra-modern addition to the Biltmore Chain. The architect was S. Devore of Toronto. The first film screened at the theatre was a double bill—“Mr. Universe, starring Bert Lahr and Robert Alda, as well as “Tough Assignment” with Don Barry and Steve Brody. Because it competed with larger and more prominent theatres such as the Imperial and Loew’s Downtown, it screened two feature films, and later three, for the price of one ticket. The larger theatres on the the strip showed first-run films so only offered one feature. 

In 1963, the Odeon chain leased the theatre and changed its name to the Coronet. In 1978, the theatre was seized by the Sheriff of York County; it is assumed that this was for non-payment of either taxes or rent. Real estate prices were high on Yonge Street, and it was reported that mortgage payments on the building were $20,000 per month. The 700-seat theatre was sold and it became a no-frills theatre, showing five movies for the admission price of $3.50. The films commenced showing at noon. The movies were often violent, but fortunately there were few reports of problems with customers. However, during the showing of a Led Zeppelin film, the projector broke down and there was almost a riot. The police were called, but not before a young girl at the candy counter yelled, “Shaddap and sid-down.” In 1980, the theatre had a 3-D fest.

It was said that during the latter days of the theatre, patrons brought in pizza, chicken, beer, liquor and even a few pets. Just to clarify, the pets were not part of the menu.

In 1983, the theatre was sold for over a million dollars and the building was converted into a mini-mall for jewellers. This necessitated gutting the building. The walls were retained, but windows added on the second floor. There were 58 booths for jewellers in the space that had once been the auditorium.  Above them, were 20 offices for gemologists and diamond setters.

The shell of the building remains today, a reminder of the theatre that it once contained.

!948  AO 2273

The Savoy Theatre in the early 1950s, before it was renamed the Coronet Theatre. The main feature on the marquee is “Federal Man,” released in 1950. The second feature is “The Three Godfathers,” starring John Wayne, which was released in 1948. It is a western directed by John Ford.

DSCN0119

The interior of the Coronet (photo from the Archives of Ontario, AO2274)

DSCN0118

The Coronet when it was the Jewellery Exchange (photo City of Toronto Archives)

large[1]  Coronet-Savoy

Looking east along Gerrard Street, across Yonge St., when the subway was under construction in 1952. One of the films playing was “Rawhide,” with Tyrone Power. The construction reduced the foot-traffic on Yonge Street, creating a loss in attendance at all the movie houses on the street. The marquee of the theatre in the above photo, then still named the Savoy, is on the northeast corner of the intersection. On the southeast corner was Basil’s Restaurant. (Photo, City of Toronto Archives, Series 0574, S. 054, fl. 1082, id491033)

Bassil's Lunch, Yonge at Gerrard

Basel’s at Yonge and Gerrard in March of 1952. Yonge Street is covered with wood planking due to the subway construction below the street. I can still recall the Club Sandwiches at this restaurant. (City of Toronto archives, TTC  Collection, Series 1278, File 115)

DSCN8276

The building that housed the Coronet Theatre in 2013. The marquee remains as a reminder that the building was at one time a theatre.

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

Links to other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

Links to posts about Toronto’s movie houses—past and present.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

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

                To place an order for this book:

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

      Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

 

 

 

Tags: ,

The north building at the St. Lawrence Market in autumn of 2013

DSCN1554

It has been many years since I have been to the St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday morning. I usually prefer to visit it during the week, when it is less crowded. However, this year I could not resist going to the market in mid-September as it is the only day in the week when the north building is attended by the farmers. Though it was crowded, the throngs added to the colourful carnival-like atmosphere. It was wonderful! It was easy to understand why National Geographic rated the St. Lawrence Market as the world’s best.

I have already placed a post on this blog that details the history of the market (follow the links below to view these posts). Suffice to say that it is one of the oldest markets in Canada, having been established by Governor Peter Hunter in 1803. Although the buildings and the vender areas surrounding them have changed over the years, there has been a market on the site ever since. At its inception, it was the heart of the old town of York, and today it remains a centre of attraction for those who wish to purchased fresh produce from the farmers in Toronto’s hinterland. The best time to visit is in late-summer and early fall, when the harvest from the fields and orchards line the tables inside the north and south buildings, spilling over into the stands and kiosks surrounding them.

It is particularly appropriate to examine the north building of the market at this time, as it is to be demolished and replaced with another structure. This will be the third building on the site that I will have seen. The architect’s plans for the replacement building appear attractive, drawing for it shown at the end of this post.

PICT0019

This was the scene in the 1970s when the north market building, directly south of the St. Lawrence Hall, was being constructed (photo, City of Toronto Archives).

DSCN1582

This is the 1970s north market building in September of 2013. The view looks toward the northwest corner of Jarvis and Front streets.

DSCN1545   DSCN1544

Venders along the east side of the north building of the St. Lawrence Market on a Saturday morning.

DSCN1548   DSCN1551

            Produce for sale outside the east side of the north building.

DSCN1559

                 The stand selling honey  in the interior of the north building.

DSCN1560

Interior of the north building, looking north toward the the stage that is used for concerts, guest speakers and singers.

DSCN1564

           The bounty of the harvest in a stall in the north market building.

DSCN1577

The south facade of the soon to be demolished north building of the St. Lawrence market in September of 2013.

DSCN1567

An artist’s drawing of the west facade of the building that is to replace the 1970’s north market building. The east side is where Market Lane is located.

DSCN1566

Artist’s view of the interior of the new north building for the St. Lawrence Market. The glass skylight and windows on the north wall will permit a view of the historic St. Lawrence hall of 1849. These drawings are on display near the north wall of the present-day north building. There have been recent reports that these plans may be reduced in scale to cut costs. It will be interesting to see what will eventually be developed on the site. 

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

Links to previous posts about the St. Lawrence Market and the St. Lawrence Hall.

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 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/

Xmas in the St. Lawrence Market in 2012

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/xmas-at-the-historic-st-lawrence-market-in-1921-and-in-2012/

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

Church of the Holy Trinity beside the Eaton Centre, Toronto

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/torontos-architectural-gemschurch-of-the-holy-trinity-beside-eaton-centre/

The building on the corner of Duncan and Adelaide streets, built in 1833, that was once the residence for students of Upper Canada College.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-1833-structure-at-duncan-and-adelaide/

The 1860s houses at 7-9 Elm Street that today house Barbarian’s Steak House.

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/torontos-architectural-gems1860s-houses-on-elm-streetbarbarians-steak-house/

The building on the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge that was a branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-dundas-streets/

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave. 

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-ellis-building-on-adelaide-near-spadina/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-heintzman-building-on-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/torontos-architectural-gems242-yonge-st-south-of-dundas/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-original-toronto-public-reference-library/

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-commodore-building-315-317-adelaide-st/

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-graphic-arts-building-on-richmond-st/

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-victory-building-at-80-adelaide-street-west/

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-concourse-building-on-adelaide-st/

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-bank-of-commerce-at-197-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/torontos-architectural-gemstraders-bank-on-yonge-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/torontos-lost-architectural-gemsthe-old-union-station/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/torontos-architectural-gemshistoric-st-andrews-on-king-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/torontos-architectural-gemsrow-houses-on-glasgow-st/

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-at-queen-west-and-simcoe-streets/

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 Mcdonald’s 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/

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 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/

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/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s old movie theatres—the Nortown at Bathurst and Eglinton

Series 1278, Filw 108, AO 2132   in 1948

The Nortown Theatre in 1948.  Photo City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 108, OA 2132. The film “Sitting Pretty” starred Robert Young, Maureen O’Hara and Clifton Webb. This highly successful film led to the “Mr. Belvedere” series of movies.

The Nortown Theatre at 875 Eglinton Avenue West, was located a few doors west of Bathurst Street. When it opened its doors on 17 March 1948, it was considered one of the most ultra-modern theatres of its day. Built for Famous Players Corporation, its construction was personally supervised by Jules Wolfe, supervisor of theatres for the company. It was operated on a “first-run-and-date policy”, which booked the latest films at the earliest date they were available.  The architect for the Nortown was A. G. Facey of Toronto, who also designed the University Theatre on Bloor Street West. Although the Nortown was less impressive than the University, it had a stylish contemporary exterior, with large stainless steel windows on both the ground level and the second floor. The window on the first-floor level, which covers a third of the exterior of the first floor, was slanted to provide an excellent view of the interior lobby area, where there were built-in seats that were deep red in colour. It was a “classy” theatre venue, meant to appeal to the up-scale Forest Hill District where it was located. In John Sebert’s book, “The Nabes,” he referred to it as  a “high-end Nabe.” (The term “Nabe” refers to a neighbourhood theatre.”) 

The floor of the orchestra section was of concrete, dye having been added to the cement to colour it Venetian red. Because of the pigment, it never required painting. The auditorium contained 958 push upholstered  seats, spaced wide apart for maximum comfort. There was no balcony, but the last ten rows were the smoking section. In 1972, though still screening movies, the building was put up for sale. It was advertised as 30,882.5 square feet, and the asking price was $890,000. It was eventually purchased and was demolished in 1974. A mini-plaza was erected on the site. 

My memories of the theatre include seeing the 1951 Film “The African Queen,” directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn,” as well as “With A Song in my heart—the Jane Jane Froman Story” in 1952. Both movies remain vividly in the mind today, and continue to be favourites when they appear on TCM.

Sources, The City of Toronto Archives.

AO 2133  1948

Interior of the Nortown Theatre in 1948. (Photo, City of Toronto Archives AO 2133)

Series 1278, File 108,  AO 2131,  in 1948

Lounge area of the Nortown in 1948, Photo from City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 108, AO 2131.

Series 1278, File 108, AO 2131   in 1948

Futuristic lobby area o the Nortown in 1948, the year the year the theatre opened. Series 1278, File 108, AO 2131

Series 1278, File 108

The Nortown , viewed from the northwest corner of Bathurst and Eglinton West, with a parking lot on the east side of the theatre.

Series 1278, File 108  Nortown   2

Real estate photo when the theatre was for sale in 1972. Photo is from the City of Toronto Archives.

Series 1278, File 108

The site where the Nortown was located, a mini-plaza now located there. Photo from City of Toronto Archives.

f1257_s1057_it6544[1] Bath. and Eglinton

Photo, City of Toronto Archives, Series 1257, S. 1057, It. 6544

This photo looks toward the northeast corner of Bathurst and Eglinton in the late-1940s, around the time the Nortown Theatre was built. On the southeast corner is a vacant lot, in it a small wooden structure that has a porch on it with pillars. The brick building to the east of the lot, (behind the wooden structure) with the large billboard on its west side, is Crosstown Pharmacy. I worked there in the early 1950s as a delivery boy. The owner of the pharmacy was Ed Greene, the brother of Lorne Greene, the famous actor who was star of the TV show “Bonanza”. He had been a star at the Stratford Festival. On the north side of Eglinton, on the ground floor of the most westerly (left-hand) apartment buildings is a small shop that was Milton’s Pharmacy. 

Many days I pedalled my bike past the Nortown Theatre and gazed at the theatre marquee to see which film was featured.

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

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

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

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

                 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 .

 

Tags:

Toronto’s architectural gems—Church of the Holy Trinity beside Eaton Centre

DSCN8344

The Church of the Holy Trinity, located in Trinity Square in downtown Toronto, is located on the west side of the busy Eaton Centre.  However, when it was built in 1847, Henry Scadding, author of “Toronto of Old” (published in 1873), stated that just ten years prior to the opening of the church, the land to the south of the church was “fields,” and to the north of the church were swamps and dense forest. It was referred to as Macaulay’s Fields. In those years, Louisa Street, to the south of the church, was called Jeremy Street, named after a member of the Macaulay family.

The history of the Church of the Holy Trinity commenced when Bishop Strachan, who is today buried in St. James Cathedral on King Street East, received a donation of 5000 pounds sterling to build and maintain a church in Toronto. Conditions were attached to the funds—it was to be named the Church of the Holy Trinity, the pews were to be  forever free, and the pews were not to be designated to a specific person. The terms also stipulated that 3000 pounds were to be spent on the building and 2000 pounds on investments.

In 1898, it was revealed that the donor was Mrs. Lambert Swale of Settle, in Yorkshire. It was said that she donated the money after visiting Toronto and being dismayed at exclusive pew-holding system at St. James Cathedral. On her return to England, she arranged for the money to be sent to build the Church of the Holy Trinity. During the years ahead, Mrs. Swale continued to support the church. The following is a quote is from Eric Arthur’s book, “Toronto—No mean City.”  “She provided silver sacramental plate for public use and smaller service for private ministrations, a large supply of fair linen, a covering of Genoa velvet for the altar, and surplice for the clergy.”

Bishop Strachan hired Henry Bower Lane as the architect of Holy Trinity. He had designed a section of Osgoode Hall, as well as Little Trinity Church on King Street East. Henry Bower Lane had been a pupil of Sir Charles Barry, the designer of the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. When Holy Trinity was consecrated on October 27, 1847, the Bishop invited poor families of the Church of England faith to make the new church their spiritual home. This was not an attempt to restrict the parishioners to those of humble means, but rather to fulfill the terms attached to the donation. It was the first church in Toronto to have free pews. At the time, most churches charged pew rental fees. The cost of a pew at St. James Cathedral was prohibitive for those lacking a sizeable income.

In 1849, a fire swept along King Street that severely damaged the church of St. James. As a result, many of the parishioners from Holy Trinity and St. James worshipped together at Holy Trinity, including Lord Elgin. This ended in 1850, when the new St. James was consecrated.

Because the pews in Holy Trinity were free, the church had no reliable source of income. Bishop Strachan appointed his young chaplain, Henry Scadding, who was employed as a classics master at Upper Canada College, to be the church’s “Incumbent,” with no salary. He remained its rector until 1875. He died in 1901.

The land to build the church was donated by John Simcoe Macaulay. It was constructed in the Gothic style, the interior of the church in the cruciform plan, the altar visible regardless of where parishioners were seated. The structure’s facades were of yellow bricks from the Don Valley brickyards, and timbers were cut from the nearby forests. Its main entrance faced west, with an impressive Gothic doorway and a large window above it. Two towers were built on the northwest and southwest corners of the west facade. The slates for the roof arrived in Canada as ballast in sailing ships.

From the mid 1800s, Holy Trinity was known as a church associated with the “Catholic Revival” in the Church of England, which sought inspiration from the Medieval days. It was viewed by some as a purer faith, as it applied more formality to the services than other churches. However, this was coupled with a  keen sense of social responsibility. This approach was intensified when the Rev. John Frank became rector in the 1930s.  It was he who introduced the pageant of the “Christmas Story,” a tradition that continues to this day. When the $200,000,000 Eaton Centre was built it encompassed 15 acres. An attempt was made to demolish the church and include the land within the Centre. The congregation fought back and the Eaton Centre was forced to build around the structure, thus preserving this historic church and two other building.

The church is today well recognized for its outreach program, which ministers to the needs of people in the inner city. It is a unique congregation with roots in Toronto’s past, but well aware of the people’s needs today.

Macaulay estate, 1845  pictures-r-5646[1]

Map of what is today Trinity Square in 1845. It was a section of the estate of The Hon. John Simcoe Macaulay, part of Park Lot #9, granted to him by Lieu. Governor Simcoe in 1797. The property was referred to as Macaulay’s Fields. The map shows the large house that he named Teraulay, a grand residence, even though he referred to as his” country cottage.” The map includes the  gardens that included an orchard, a poultry house, and wood shed. The map shows that a carriageway connected the house with Yonge Street, to the east. Jeremy Street was later renamed Louisa Street, and it has disappeared from the city scene. The eastern part of it was absorbed into the Eaton Centre. Teraulay Street became Bay Street. Macaulay Fields became Trinity Square after the Church of the Holy Trinity was erected.

Teraulay Town, on the southwest corner of the map, eventually were essentially slums. They were demolished to allow the construction of the City Hall that opened in 1899. It is today the Old City Hall. Toronto Public Library, r-5646.

1850  pictures-r-538[1]

Sketch of the interior of Holy Trinity in 1850. Toronto Public Library, r-538.

1868  pictures-r-505[2]

       Church of the Holy Trinity in 1868. Toronto Public Library, r- 505.

1875.  pictures-r-469[1]

The camera is pointed west from near Yonge Street, in 1875. The street was formerly the carriageway that connected Macaulay’s house (Teraulay) with Yonge Street. Church of the Holy Trinity is in Trinity Square, and on the right-hand side of the photo is the parsonage, residence of the minister of the church. Toronto Public Library, r- 469.

1884  pictures-r-504[1]

The Church of the Holy Trinity in 1884. Toronto Public Library, r- 504.

1908.  constrc. of warehouses in frgr.  pictures-r-461[1]

View of the south facade of Holy Trinity in 1908. In the foreground  workers are beginning the construction of an Eaton’s warehouse. Toronto Public Library r 1461. 

1913  pictures-r-536[1]

            Holy Trinity in 1913. Toronto Public Library r 536.

         1936, looking east to Yonge pictures-r-5724[1]

View looking east on the carriageway that connects Trinity Square with Yonge Street in 1936. The building in the foreground is the rectory and to the east of is is Scadding House, the home of Dr. Henry Scadding, when it was on its original location. To build the Eaton centre, Scadding House. the house was moved 150 feet to the west. Toronto Archives r 5724.

         1972. tspa_0110944f[1]

View of Trinity Square in 1972, before construction of the Eaton Centre. The view looks east towards Yonge Street, where the marquee of the Imperial Theatre (now the Ed Mirvish) is visible. Behind the church is the Parochial (Sunday School) Building and the Rectory. The large Eaton warehouse is to the south (right-hand) side of the image. Toronto Public Library, tspa 0110944. 

1975, look west from Queen near Louisa  Tor. Ref. 977-51-1[2]

This dramatic watercolour was painted in 1975, the view looking northwest from Queen Street West, near Louisa Street. It depicts the construction site for the Eaton Centre. Scadding House is on its present-day site, having been relocated 150 feet west from its original location. To the right of the church is the parochial buildings. The Eaton warehouses are in the background. Toronto Public Library, 977-51-1.

1987.  tspa_0110945f[1]

Trinity Square in 1987, the Eaton Centre having been completed in 1979. It is to the right (east) of the church. Behind the church the roof of Scadding House is visible, and the rectory can be seen to the left of the church. To west of the church (left-hand side) is the immense parking garage of the Eaton Centre. Toronto Public Library, tspa 0110945.

                   1987.  tspa_0110949f[1]

The restored Scadding House in 1987, the rectory visible in the background. The Eaton Centre is to the immediate east of the house. Toronto Public Library, tspa 0110949.

DSCN8289  DSCN8290

Facade of the Church, with its Gothic facade and twin towers in 2013.

DSCN8347      DSCN8346

The Gothic doorway on the west side (left), and the stained-glass window above it (right).

DSCN8336  DSCN8293

                        Gothic window from the interior.

DSCN8334

                                  Ceiling of the church in 2013.

DSCN8337

              Interior view of the Church of the Holy Trinity in 2013.

DSCN8344

The church today remains a quiet sanctuary in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Sources of In formation: Pamphlet provided to visitors to the Church of the Holy Trinity, Eric Arthur’s book, “Toronto—No Mean City,” University of Toronto press, published 1964, Henry Scadding, “Toronto of Old.” Oxford University Press, published 1873 and Frederick H. Armstrong, “Toronto,” Produced in cooperation with the Toronto Historical Society, 1983.

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

               DSCN2207_thumb9_thumb2_thumb4  

“ Lost Toronto”—employing detailed archival photographs, this recaptures the city’s lost theatres, sporting venues, bars, restaurants and shops. This richly illustrated book brings some of Toronto’s most remarkable buildings and much-loved venues back to life. From the loss of John Strachan’s Bishop’s Palace in 1890 to the scrapping of the S. S. Cayuga in 1960 and the closure of the HMV Superstore in 2017, these pages cover more than 150 years of the city’s built heritage to reveal a Toronto that once was.

 

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

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. 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)

 

                  image_thumb6_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb[3]

“Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again” explores 81 theatres. It 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®

“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

 

 

Tags:

Toronto’s architectural gems—the structure from 1833 at Duncan and Adelaide

DSCN1441

Recently, I noticed an historic plaque that I had never seen before, on a building at 22 Duncan Street, on the southwest corner of Duncan and Adelaide streets. I was surprised to discover that the building was erected in 1833. It is one of the few structures that has survived from the early days of the town of York. It was part  of a small complex of structures built on the site. It dates from the year prior to York being incorporated as a city and changing its name to Toronto.

Though the building is in good shape, it has been altered greatly over the years. Today, it is difficult to imagine how it would have appeared when it was constructed in 1833 as a student residence for the boys who attended Upper Canada College. The school, founded in 1829 by Sir John Colbourne, was located on a large tract of land known as Russell Square. The square was bounded on the north by Adelaide Street, on the south by King Street West, on the east by Simcoe, and the west by John Street. The school remained on this site between the years 1831 and 1891. They eventually relocated to a site at 200 Lonsdale Road, at the top of Avenue Road, which at that time was in the Toronto suburb of Deer Park.

The old student residence from 1833 was designed in the Georgian style, with a symmetrical east facade and plain lines. The only ornamentation was the brick patterns on the corners of the building. The cornice of today is completely unadorned, though it has likely been changed several times since the building was originally constructed.  The student residence was altered in 1856 by the prestigious architectural firm of  Cumberland and Stone, and was altered several more times while it was owned by U.C.C. After the college ceased to function as a private school and moved to Lonsdale Road, the other buildings on Russell Square  were demolished. The student residence is the sole survivor. It became a factory until being was renovated in 1953 to be used for commercial purposes. For the past few years, the building has been vacant. An historical plaque was placed on the structure in 1986, and was the main source of information for this post. 

DSCN1440 

The symmetrical east facade of the student residence at 22 Duncan Street. The ornamental brickwork on the corners of the building and the simple cornice are visible. 

DSCN1439   DSCN1445

View of the cornice and the brickwork patterns on the northeast corner of the building.

DSCN1443   DSCN1444

Entrance on the east facade at 22 Duncan Street (left), and one of the large rectangular windows on the east facade (right) , with the large stone sill beneath it. When the building was a student residence, there was a large porch structure over the entranceway. It is visible in the 1890 map.

DSCN1446

First floor of the old student residence on the southwest corner of Duncan and Adelaide streets.

1884--

Map from the Goad’s Atlas of 1890 in the City of Toronto Archives. It depicts Russell Square, where the buildings of Upper Canada College were located. The student residences are in the upper left-hand side of the map. This map shows the land between Simcoe and John streets, on the north side of King West. Duncan Street had not yet been extended south from Adelaide Street. The dotted-line extending north-south from the top of the map, to the left of the centre of the square, is where Duncan Street would eventually be cut through.

DSCN1451

The place of the map where the word “house” appears is the building that is today 22 Duncan Street. Notice that there is an extended porch on the east side of the building, in the top right-hand corner of the map. The porch has been removed, perhaps when Duncan Street was extended south from Adelaide Street.

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/torontos-architectural-gems1860s-houses-on-elm-streetbarbarians-steak-house/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/torontos-architectural-gemshughes-terrace-on-king-st-w/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-runnymede-theatre-on-bloor-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-building-at-yonge-and-dundas-streets/

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave. 

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-ellis-building-on-adelaide-near-spadina/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-heintzman-building-on-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/torontos-architectural-gems242-yonge-st-south-of-dundas/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-original-toronto-public-reference-library/

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-commodore-building-315-317-adelaide-st/

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-graphic-arts-building-on-richmond-st/

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-victory-building-at-80-adelaide-street-west/

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-concourse-building-on-adelaide-st/

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-old-bank-of-commerce-at-197-yonge-street/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/torontos-architectural-gemstraders-bank-on-yonge-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/torontos-lost-architectural-gemsthe-old-union-station/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/torontos-architectural-gemshistoric-st-andrews-on-king-st/

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/torontos-architectural-gemsrow-houses-on-glasgow-st/

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/torontos-architectural-gemsthe-bank-at-queen-west-and-simcoe-streets/

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/

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/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Toronto

 

Toronto’s old movie houses—the Radio City Theatre

Series 1278, File 139 DSCN1324

The Radio City Theatre at 1454 Bathurst streets c. 1942. (Photo from City of Toronto Archives from the collection of the Ontario Archives, AO 2172)

The Radio City Theatre was located on the west side of Bathurst Street, a short distance south of St. Clair Avenue West. The theatre holds many memories for me. When I was about five years old, a neighbour took my friends and me to the Radio City Theatre. We travelled on the Vaughan bus. The cash fare was 3 cents for kids, but tickets were cheaper—10 for 25 cents. We were very excited about the trip, as we were to see the Walt Disney animated film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” (produced in 1937).  This was about the year 1943, at the height of the Second World War. I was too young to fully understand the impact of the dreadful news from the Europe, and the fear created by the constant casualty reports in the newspapers. However, I understood the terror when Snow White bit into the poisoned apple and fell into a deep sleep. Perhaps some adults viewed the arrival of the prince, who rescued Snow White, as symbolic of the relief that the end of the war would eventually deliver.

I did not attend the Radio City Theatre again until I was a few years older. I was about ten years of age when my parents finally allowed my brother and me to attend theatres that were not within walking distance of our home. Unaccompanied, one of the first theatres we visited was the Radio City. We boarded the Vaughan bus from its northern terminal at Vaughan and Oakwood and travelled to the Radio City Theatre. The bus fare was 3 cents. For the return journey, we boarded the Vaughan bus at the loop beside the south side of the theatre. When my brother and I were able to attend the Radio City unaccompanied by an adult, we felt very grown-up. We were convinced that it would not be long before we would need razors.

The Radio City opened in December of 1936, named after the more famous venue in New York City. Toronto’s mini-version showed movies and also featured live theatre. It contained 833 plush seats that were “self-raising.” These were seats that automatically raised when a patron stood to allow another patron to enter or depart from the aisle. The theatre contained two aisles, but no balcony. The rent paid by shops on either side of the entranceway provided extra income for the owners of the theatre. The theatre was purchased by the B&F chain in 1941, so it eventually became a sister theatre to the nearby Vaughan Theatre (built in 1947). The candy bar of the Radio City was added in June of 1951, designed by Jay English.

The satirical revue “Spring Thaw” was held at the Radio City in 1958 and 1959. The revue was a tradition in Toronto for many years, having been performed in various theatres, including the Royal Alexandra and the Odeon Fairlawn. “Spring Thaw” was revived in 1980 at the Crest Theatre, which today is named the Regent.

As theatre attendance dwindled during the 1950s, the Radio City became less and less profitable. However, the theatre continued to operate until 1975, when it finally closed and the building was demolished.

Radio City OA 2174

Lobby of the Radio City Theatre, photo from Ontario Archives (AO 2174)

rear of Radio City OA 2173

The rear view of the Radio City , gazing east from Vaughan Road, south of St. Clair Avenue. This picture shows the size of the theatre’s auditorium and its parking lot. The houses in the background of the photo are on the east side of Bathurst Street, facing west toward the theatre.  A small section of the bus loop for the Vaughan bus is visible on the right-hand side of the theatre. This photo from the Ontario Archives (AO 2173) was likely taken in the late-1930s, judging by the cars.

                          Radio City 1961

            A poster for a live show on stage at the theatre in 1961.

site of Radio City

The site of the Radio City, after the theatre was demolished. Photo from the City of Toronto Archives, likely taken in the 1980s. 

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

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

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/links-to-toronto-old-movie-housestayloronhistory-com/

To view links to other posts placed on this blog about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/links-to-historic-architecture-of-torontotayloronhistory-com/

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

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

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 .