Toronto’s Seventh Post Office, located at 10 Toronto Street, remains as impressive today as when it was built between the years 1851 and 1853. The architects were Cumberland and Ridout, who also designed St. James Cathedral on King Street East and the old Normal School on Gould Street. Only the facade of the Normal School remains today as the building was demolished. However, the main entrance to it was preserved and now is an entranceway to the campus of Ryerson University.
The Toronto Seventh Post Office, in the Neo-Classical style, cost $16,000 to construct. When completed in 1853, the second floor was rented as office space and was considered one of the most eagerly-sought locations in the city. This remains true today, as the formal symmetrical design of the facade creates an aura of dignity and prestige. The narrow porch attached to the front of the building is supported by four ionic stone columns. On either side of the columns are square-shaped Doric pillars. The cornice is exceedingly plain, but atop it is the royal coat of arms of Great Britain—prominently displaying the lion and the unicorn.
The building was an active post office until 1873, when it was occupied by government offices. In 1937, it was sold to the Bank of Canada, and later was purchased by the Argus Corporation.
The royal coat of arms of Great Britain atop the old Toronto Seventh Post office.
View of the top of one of the Iconic columns that support the portico on the front of the building.
The impressive entrance to the old post office. Above the doorway is a fan-shaped transom window that allows light to enter the interior. The hand-carved ornamentations surrounding the doorway add to the grandness of the entrance. The Ionic columns frame the door, and in the stonework above the door is a row of dentils.
View of the transom window above the door and the intricate carvings around the entranceway.
The rear of the post office, with its rounded corners. The shape accommodated the curved carriageway that surrounded the building in the 19th century, when horse-drawn wagons delivered the mail to the premises.
The rear entrance of the post office.
The south facade of the former post office and the laneway beside it (photo taken August 2013).
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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.
To place an order for this book:
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)