Toronto in the “good old summer time” usually included a trip to the Toronto Islands. On a hot summer day when I was a child, my mother, brother and I often boarded a ferry to cross the harbour to spend a day beside the cool water of the lake. My mother always chose a place at the water’s edge, a short distance to the east of the Centre Island ferry dock. After my father finished work, he joined us and we all had supper on a picnic table under the shade of the leafy willows. Potato salad, green salad, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and cooked ham were our usual fare. My brother and I always pleaded to delay our departure until the “next” ferry. We rarely succeeded, but they were glorious days!
View of the Toronto skyline from the small beach where I paddled in the water as a child. The painting was completed in 1989, the skyline having changed greatly in the ensuing years. Acrylic, 16” by 20,” on stretched canvas.
Returning from Centre Island on a hot July evening in 1994. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 8” by 10”. Collection of V. Eggertson.
A summer day in the Kensington Market, on Baldwin Street, in 1982. The Seven Seas Fish Company no longer exists. When I was a child, the market contained chickens in wire cages and wooden crates where long-necked geese poked out their heads. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 8” by 10.”
View gazing west along Dundas Street from Huron Street in 1979. The church in the distance, on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina is where the Dragon City Mall is now located. The Garden Place Restaurant served the best chicken and shrimp lo mein that I have ever tasted. Painting is 24” by 36” on stretched canvas.
Poplar trees and shadows on a July evening in 1998, on Eglinton Flats near Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue West. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 8” by 10.”
View gazing south on the nature trail on the east bank of the Humber River in 1990, a short distance north of the bridge on Eglinton Avenue. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20”.
A jungle of wild flowers in the Humber Valley in 1998. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 18” by 24.”
Humber Valley in 1989, gazing toward the west bank, a short distance north of Eglinton Avenue. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 11” by 14.”
My boyhood home at 535 Lauder Avenue, as it appeared in the 1940s. Lauder Avenue is north of Rogers Road and west of Oakwood Avenue. Our house is to the left of the grocery store. Painted in 1992, acrylic on stretched canvas, 12” by 16.”
The “Cayuga” in the 1940s, steaming through the Eastern Gap on its way across Lake Ontario to Port Dalhousie. This painting was created from archival photos. At least once during the summer, my family went across the lake on the ship. Painted in 1991, acrylic on stretched canvas, 18” by 24.”
Cottages on the south side of Ward’s Island. I spent a July day in 1992 over at the Islands and returned on the ferry with the completed painting, acrylic on stretched canvas, 8” by 10.”
Two boys fishing in the Humber River in 1999. View is from the east bank, north of the bridge on Eglinton Avenue. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
Taking advantage of the long evenings during the first week of July in 1993, I sat in the park to the east of St. James Cathedral and painted the view before me. The bandstand in the park created the foreground. The details on the tower were completed the following day. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
View from Harbourfront in 1981, acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
View of Woodbine Beach in 1994, acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
View of the St. Lawrence Hall from Front Street in 1983, acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
View of St. James Cathedral in 1993, from the alley between King East and Front Streets. Acrylic on stretched canvas, 16” by 20.”
Gazing south on Spadina Avenue, south of Dundas Street in 1989. Acrylic on Stretched canvas, 18” by 24.”
View gazing west along King Street from Spadina Avenue in 2005. The Backpackers’ Hotel is the building painted blue. The building is now (2015) being restored and will reopened at prestigious office spaces, with a restaurant on the ground floor. Acrylic on Masonite, 20” by 24.”
View gazing west on Bloor Street at Runnymede Road in the Bloor West Village on July 1, 1994.
Gazing east along Queen Street West from Spadina Avenue in 2001, acrylic on stretched canvas, 8” by 10.”
Gazing south on McCaul Street from near Dundas Street in 2006, acrylic on Masonite, 16” by 20.”
View of the southeast corner of Spadina and Queen West in 2011, acrylic on stretched canvas, 20” by 24.”
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To view previous blogs about movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern
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 relates anecdotes and stories of the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.
To place an order for this book:
Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Store and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791
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), the Photodrome, 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)