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Toronto’s architectural gems—the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen St. West

12 Oct

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The northwest corner of Yonge and Queen Street West, looking west from Queen Street East. Photo taken in July 2013.

The northwest corner of Queen West and Yonge Street is slated to be redeveloped, and in 2013 plans were submitted for a 65-story condominium tower to be built above the building on the site. In 2018, a new plan greatly altered the scope of the project. It called for a two-storey glass addition to be placed on top of the historic 19th-century building.

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Architect’s 2018 drawing of the new plans for the historic structure. Photo taken in 2019 from posted on the hording on the site.

Fortunately, in both plans, the facade of the historic structure was slated to be preserved. The building has already been partially destroyed by the demands of modern commercialism, but it appears that future development will respect the architectural integrity of the structure. The addition of the two-storey glass structure will not visually obliterate the historic part of the building, as the 65-storey condominium would have done.  

The first Toronto Directory that lists a building on the location was in 1895. On the 1899 Goad’s Atlas maps in the City of Toronto Archives, its postal address is shown as #160 Yonge Street, where Mr. P. Jameson, a merchant operated a clothing store. In that year, the Eaton’s Store surrounded the site. On the map of 1910, the address of the corner building was listed as #180 Yonge Street. The address today is 218 Yonge Street.

In 1910, the “S. H. Knox and Company—Toys,” occupied the site. In 1913, F. W. Woolworth’s became the tenant. They remained on the premises until the 1960s.

After the glass structure has been added to the site, the developer has chosen the postal address #2 Queen Street West.

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The intersection of Yonge and Queen in 1935. The Woolworth’s Store is on the northwest (left-hand side) of the photo. City of Toronto Archives, Series 1278, File 100.

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This undated photo from the City of Toronto Archives is likely from the 1960s. The Christmas lights can be seen on Yonge Street. The Eaton’s Store wraps around the Woolworth’s store. The floors above Woolworth’s are covered with metal siding, destroying the architectural beauty of the original structure. 

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Rounded corner of the building on the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen West. The cornice has a row of dentils (teeth-like designs).

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View of the intersection, gazing west along Queen Street West from Queen Street East (July, 2013).

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Painting, acrylic on stretched canvas, gazing north on Yonge Street from south side of Queen Street, Xmas Eve, 1945.

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                Site of the former Woolworth’s store during the summer of 2013.

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 Author

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“ Lost Toronto”—employing detailed archival photographs, this recaptures the city’s lost theatres, sporting venues, bars, restaurants and shops. The 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.

 

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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 personally 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. (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2) and may also be purchased on Amazon.com.

 

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“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

 

 

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One response to “Toronto’s architectural gems—the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen St. West

  1. Mark Longridge

    July 2, 2015 at 1:49 am

    If the Woolworth building was right across the street from the Bank of Montreal (173 Yonge) then the address of 180 Yonge would make a lot more sense (at least as a reference point). How could Woolworth’s be 218 Yonge?

     

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