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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Muzik nightclub—site of CNE’s Crystal Palace

The Muzik nightclub on the grounds of the CNE is where Toronto’s Crystal Palace was once located. This magnificent structure was inspired by the Crystal Palace that opened in Hyde Park in London on May 1, 1851. Its architect was Sir Joseph Paxton, and it was constructed for the Great Exhibition, the first international exhibition ever held to feature manufactured goods. The event was an idea of Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, designed specifically to showcase Britain’s Industrial achievements. The queen officially presided at the opening and during the months ahead, it attracted immense crowds and was considered a grand success.

The Crystal Palace derived its name from its building materials—support frames of cast iron and numerous expansive panes of glass. Its architecture inspired similar structures throughout the world, the most famous being in Dublin and New York. There were also modest versions of the Crystal Palace erected in Ontario—in Kingston, Napanee, Picton and Toronto. The Crystal Palace in Picton was restored in 1997, and is today the only structure of this type that survives in Canada. It now is part of the annual Prince Edward County Fair. 

Crystal_Palace London, Wikipedia.org. [1]

         The Crystal Palace in London, England. Photo from Wikipedia.org.

In Upper Canada (Ontario), agricultural exhibitions commenced in 1846, under the auspices of the Provincial Agricultural Association and Board of Directors of Upper Canada. Toronto was chose as the site in 1848 and 1852. Because of their success and the positive effect on the economy of the host city, Toronto decided to construct a building explicitly for holding such exhibitions. About the year 1855, a design competition was held, the structure’s cost not to exceed 5000 pounds. The winning architects were Fleming and Schreiber. Influenced by London’s Crystal Palace, they designed a structure of glass and cast iron. It was erected on the south side of King Street West, near Shaw Street. Though it was to feature recent agricultural trends, following London’s example it was also to display the latest industrial technology. Thus, they named the new building, The Palace of Industry, although it was commonly referred to as the Crystal Palace.

The Palace of Industry opened in September 1858. Built in the shape of a cross, similar to a cathedral, its entrance was located on the south side, on the right-hand arm (transept) of the cross. In the centre of the cross, there was a sixty-four square-foot open court, two storeys in height, lit by natural light from an enormous skylight. The cast iron for the supporting frame of the structure was manufactured by the St. Lawrence Foundry, the same firm that in 1867 created the cast-iron fence that today surrounds Osgoode Hall at Queen Street West and University Avenue. Toronto’s version of the Crystal Palace contained more cast iron than glass, and remarkably, was built in 90 days.

The Palace of Industry consisted of two storeys, with 20,000 square feet of display space, and an extra 5000 square feet in a gallery.  Large windows dominated the lower portion of the structure, its upper section consisting of a solid domed roof. It was a magnificent building for its day, especially for a city that possessed only about 40,000 people.  

The popularity of agricultural and industrial exhibitions continued to increase, their locations rotating to various locations throughout the province. However, Toronto wanted to be the site of a permanent exhibition, as the city was well aware of the economic impetus it would provide. In 1877, Toronto was again selected as the location, and a highly successful exhibition was held on the King Street West site. The crowds resulted in the city realizing that if it wanted to host a permanent exhibition, the Palace of Industry needed to be expanded.

On King Street. 1858-1879 TRL.  pictures-r-2883[1]   

Water colour of the Palace of Industry on King Street, Toronto c. 1877. Toronto Reference Library Archives r-2883.

King St.  pictures-r-2877[1]

The Crystal Palace on King Street, Toronto. Toronto Public Library Archives, r-2877.

To fulfill Toronto’s ambitions for a permanent exhibition, city council voted to lease 60 acres on the western part of the Garrison Commons. The old exhibition site on King Street was sold to the Massey Manufacturing Company, the money derived from the sale applied to the construction of a new Crystal Palace. The Massey Company constructed an industrial complex on the King Street land, but today, only one of the buildings remains. It was renovated to create a condominium residence, known as the Massey Harris Lofts, at 915 King Street West .

Having acquired a more spacious site, the Palace of Industry on King Street was dismantled and reconstructed on the newly leased grounds. It was situated near the waterfront, a short distance to the northwest of the old Stanley Barracks. The new Crystal Palace, designed by Stewart and Strickland, possessed a third storey, as well as an impressive angled tower and cupola. The added storey doubled the exhibition space to 40,000 square feet. Its architectural design remained in the form of a cross, but the transepts (wings) of the cross were extended, and the top section of the cross lengthened to contain an art gallery. The new and enlarged structure was also referred to as the “Crystal Palace,” although its official name remained the “Palace of Industry.”

The first permanent exhibition opened in Toronto on September 3, 1879. Named the “Industrial Exhibition,” the Palace of Industry was one of the six permanent buildings on the site. None of them survives today, as except for the Industrial Palace, they were all constructed of wood. Relocating to the site beside the lake resulted in increased attendance at the event, since it was better situated for public access; people were able to arrive by rail, steamship and streetcar.    

The Crystal Palace was the most important building at the Industrial Exhibition of 1879 and its importance never diminished. For two and a half decades, it was synonymous with the exhibition and was its main symbol. It was destroyed by fire in 1906, but not every Toronto historian has lamented its passing. Frederick H. Armstrong in his book, “Toronto—The Place of Meeting,” stated that the Crystal Palace “was put out of its misery by the fire in 1906.” Armstrong was not impressed by its architecture, especially the cupola. The photos that follow will allow readers to judge for themselves.

On the site, in 1907, the CNE’s Horticultural Building was erected, which is now (2015) rented to the Muzik night club. However, the building is not as close to the water’s edge as the Crystal Palace, as during the years ahead landfill pushed the lake further south.

The name of the Industrial Exhibition was changed in 1912 to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).

1881, TRL. pictures-r-3954[1]

Water colour, the view looking north from Lake Ontario to the grounds of the Industrial Exhibition c. 1880. The Crystal Palace dominates the scene. Archives of the Toronto Public Library, r-3954.

1880  pictures-r-4111[1]

The Crystal Palace beside the lake in 1880. The grounds are surrounded by a wooden fence. Toronto Public Library r-4111

1884, TRL. pictures-r-4107[1]

Toronto’s Crystal Palace in 1882, photo from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-4109.

undated,  f1548_s0393_it17926-1[1]

Undated photo of the Crystal Palace, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1548, S 0393, Item 17926

pictures-r-4102[1]

Undated photo of the Crystal Palace, photo from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-4102

Horticultural building, Exhibition, (Commercial Department) – August 2, 1928

The Horticultural Building at the CNE on August 2, 1928. It was constructed in 1907 on the site of the Crystal Palace that was destroyed by fire. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 2046. 

Wikipedia  HorticultureBuilding[1]

The Horticultural Building at the CNE, photo by Jesse Munroe (ExPlaceLover), from commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File 

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

The publication entitled, “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” was written by the author of this blog. It 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.  

                          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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

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“Queen’s Hotel” featured on Murdoch Mystery series

The Murdock Mystery series features the Queen’s Hotel in many of its episodes. The TV show is one of my favourites, and due to my interest in Toronto’s history, I am fascinated by its fleeting images of the city during the early years of the 20th century. The scenes appear to be computer generated from archival photos and postcards. The black and white photos have been coloured and the images animated by adding carriages, wagons and people. I recognize some of the photos, as I have seen copies of them when researching the history of Toronto. The era in which the mystery series is set was a time of rapid technological expansion. Detective Murdoch is constantly pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge as he attempts to solve the murders that confront him. Perhaps, this partly explains the appeal of the program.

The Queen’s Hotel, which is often mentioned in the various plots, is not an invention of the script writers. For over seventy years, it was Toronto’s finest hostelry. Situated on the north side of Front Street, it was directly across from today’s Union Station. The Royal York Hotel is now located on the site. The first buildings on the property were four brick townhouses, erected about 1838, only a few years after Toronto was incorporated. Captain Thomas Dick, who owned of a lake-steamer passenger and freight business, constructed the townhouses, which he named the Ontario Terraces. They were designed by John G. Howard, who bequeathed the land that is today High Park.

In those years, although the city was a colonial outpost of the British Empire, it was progressing at a prodigious rate, aided by it being the provincial seat of government. The construction of the townhouses were an indication that the town was significantly expanding to the west of Yonge Street.

In 1844, the townhouses were rented to Knox College, a Presbyterian college; it was their founding location in the city. The houses were renovated to create classrooms and administrative offices. The institution occupied the premises until 1856. After Knox College vacated the buildings, Captain Thomas Dick enter into a partnership with Patrick Sword. They renovated the houses to create a single building and opened it under the name Sword’s Hotel.

TRL  Sword's 1855, pictures-r-5135[1]

The four townhouses c. 1856 after they were were renovated into a hotel. Sketch from the collection of the Toronto Public Library r-5135.

Sword managed the business for several years. However, in 1862, Captain Thomas Dick assumed control and renamed it the Queen’s Hotel. Between 1863 and 1869, the buildings were modernized and a three-storey extension added to the north side. The establishment soon became the city’s most elite hostelry and dining establishment, renowned for its furnishings and gourmet cuisine. Its excellent reputation explains why the Murdoch Mystery series often mentions it.

Swords' Hotel, 1855.  pictures-r-5134[1]

Sword’s Hotel after 1863, when the addition on the north side of the premises had been built. Sketch from the collection of the Toronto Public Library r-5134.

The script writers include the Queen’s in episodes of the Murdoch Murder Mystery that feature real historical personages, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, and H. G. Wells. When these fictional personages visit Toronto, they usually reside at “The Queen’s.” In one mystery story, a fictional son of Queen Victoria stayed at the Queen’s, and after a wild late-night tryst in his hotel room, his underwear blew out the window. It was found the next day, several blocks to the north. It was an embarrassment for the prince, but an amusing incident for viewers of the program.

At one time, the Queen’s was the only hotel in Toronto with steam heating. Because the establishment was not far from the third Provincial Legislative Buildings, located at Front and Simcoe Streets, many legislators viewed the hotel as a home away from home. Sir John A. Macdonald held meeting at the Queen’s that were instrumental in leading to confederation in 1867. The future King George V stayed at the Queen’s, as well as several American presidents. Other well-known guests included Grand Duke Alexei of Russia, General Sherman of the Union Army during the American Civil War, Governor General Earl of Dufferin, and the Confederate President—Jefferson Davis.

About the year 1867, an addition was built on the east side of the hotel. Shortly after, a cupola was added to the roof, above the original townhouses. Captain Dick retired in 1869, and the hotel was then managed by Mark Irish. When Captain Thomas Dick died in 1874, the hotel was sold. Because it was enlarged and its facilities constantly improved, the establishment retained its popularity, even after the larger and more luxurious King Edward Hotel opened in 1903. However, the land where the hotel was situated, directly across from the nation’s largest rail station, continued to increase in value. It was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR). The Queen’s closed in 1927, was demolished, and the Royal York Hotel built on the site.

I read in one source that wood panelling from the bar of the Queen’s was retained and incorporated with the Royal York. I have not been able to substantiate this information. I enquired at the Royal York but was not successful.

1867-  F4456-0-0-0-38

The Queen’s Hotel in 1867, after the wing was added, on the east side of the original townhouses. In this photo, the cupola has not yet been built on the roof. The rooms on the second floor of the east wing (right-hand side of the photo) possessed a scenic view of the lake from the narrow balcony. Landfill has now pushed the waters of the lake quite a distance further south. Ontario Archives, F 4436-0-0-0-38.

1888, F4436-0-0-0-70

The Queen’s Hotel in 1888, after the impressive cupola was added. Horse-drawn streetcar first appeared in Toronto in 1861, and the first electric cars commenced service in 1891. Ontario Archives, F 4436-0-0-0-70

Fonds 1244, Item 7092

View looking east on Front Street in 1907, the Queen’s on the left-hand (north) side of the street. The hording on the south side of the street (right-hand side) hides the ruins of the buildings destroyed in the great fire of 1904. Union Station is on this site today. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 70921.

Fonds 1244, Item 617

The bake house of the Queen’s, 1907-1908, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244. Item 0617.

Fonds 1244, Item 333

The Queen’s in 1908, the facades of the original four townhouses visible in the centre section. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 0333. 

Oct. 15, 1915--f1231_it1108a[1]

The Queen’s on October 15, 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231. Item 1108a.

Fonds 1244, Item 1006

View gazing east on Front Street toward Bay Street in 1927. Union Station, which was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in that year, is on the right-hand side of the photo. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1006.

Fonds 1244, Item 3171

The entrance to the Queen’s on Front Street in 1927, the year the hotel was demolished. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 3171.

                     TRL, an upstairs aprlour, 1927, pictures-r-6678[1]

            An upstairs parlour at the Queen’s. Toronto Public Library r-6678

                   TRL  dining room, 1927,  pictures-r-6683[1]

View of a table in the dining room of the Queen’s. Toronto Public Library r-6683. 

                        TRL.  elevator  1927.  pictures-r-6681[1]

The lift (elevator) at the Queen’s in 1927. Toronto Public Library,r-6681

Map of 100 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

       Site of the Queen’s Hotel, now occupied by the Fairmont Royal York.

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

The publication entitled, “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” was written by the author of this blog. It 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.  

                          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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

 

 

 

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Memories of corner stores in Toronto of old

000013_2

Patoff Grocery on Brock Avenue; to the left of it is Smythe Variety Store. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, S. 1057, Item 7643 

Toronto is often referred to as a “city of villages.” The Greek Village on Danforth Avenue and the city’s three Chinatowns are favourites of many Torontonians. There are two Italian “villages”— one on St. Clair West and another on College Street. The latter is also referred to as Little Portugal as many Portuguese reside in the area. The Korean Village is on Bloor Street near Christie and the Polish Village on Roncesvalles Avenue. There are many other areas within the city that are referred to as villages, as they share a common ethnicity. However, prior to the 1950s, before Toronto became multicultural, the city was also composed of villages, but they were not defined by ethnicity. 

When I was a boy in the 1940s, our street was akin to a village. In this decade, society was not as transitory as today. Most people bought homes only once in a lifetime. They raised their children in them and remained in the same house after their children had grown and departed. Similarly, it was not uncommon for people to be employed for their entire lives by only one company, beginning when they were young and retiring from the same firm. Unlike today, it was rare for people to be suddenly transferred to cities thousands of miles away, and then after a few years, transferred once more. People put down deep roots in their communities, where they knew their neighbours and shared their concerns.

Frequently, teachers in schools educated the children of parents whom they had taught when they were kids. Married women were not allowed to work as teachers; if they married, they were forced to resign. This meant that female teachers did not take time off to have children and raise them, so the staffs of schools changed little from year to year. The community knew the names of the teachers within their local school, so the teachers were sometimes the topic of discussions in the corner stores.

Our street was no exception. Most families had resided there for many years, a few of them for more than a generation. It was ethnically cohesive, as almost everyone traced their ancestry to the British Isles, as did most of Torontonians. There were also quite a few Newfoundlanders in our neighbourhood, who had immigrated to Canada before their native isle joined Canada in 1949. On our street, when a neighbour died, their passing was mourned by everyone. People offered assistance, which often consisted of food, and grieved with the family that had lost a loved one. Similarly, if a neighbour moved away, which was not often, everyone on the street wished them well, helped them move, and shed a tear as they departed. At the end of of World War II in 1945, as the soldiers returned from overseas, each homecoming was a “village” celebration, not a one-family event. The same was true after the Korean Conflict.

Similar to a rural village, we knew when we departed the boundaries of our “street-village.” We no longer recognized the people passing on the sidewalk. My family knew almost everyone by name for about a quarter of a mile to the north or south of our house. Only one family on our street owned a car, a black bustle-back 1938 Chevrolet. In the 1940s, everyone walked or boarded a streetcar to go to church or attend a movie theatre. We also walked to the local shops, which were an integral part of our village. Visits to them always entailed meeting neighbours and stopping to chat. When I was a boy, older people greeted me and enquired about my studies at school. I secretly rated adults by the quality of the treats they “shelled-out” on Halloween, or by the amount of the tip they gave me at Christmas time, since I was their paperboy who delivered their daily newspapers.

However, the most important of all the shops were the “corner stores.” We visited them every day, sometimes more than once, as opposed to the churches and theatres that we attended once a week. The “corner stores” varied. They might be a drug store, a variety store, or a grocery store. If you were lucky, your street contained all three, or at least two of these types. Our neighbourhood had a drug store and a grocery store.

Corner stores adjusted their merchandise to accommodate the neighbourhoods. If a grocery store did not sell ice cream, the drug store filled the void. Often, corner stores sold everything except prescriptions, unless it was a drug store. Sometimes, they even stocked items that would normally be found in hardware stores. As a child, I purchased penny candy in them. The endless boxes of sweets were truly a sight to behold, the licorice cigars being my favourite. Today, the only place I know where I am able to see a similar array of candies is in the Kensington Market, at Casa Acoreana, at 297 Augusta Avenue. In this shop, the candies are contained in large bottles. However, there is nothing available for a penny, even the penny now having disappeared into history.

On hot summer days, at the corner drug store, we bought orange Popsicles for 5 cents, or a Melrose ice cream cone that was 6 cents. There were only three flavours of cones—vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. A single serving of a Melrose ice cream was wrapped in white, wax-coated paper that was peeled back to allow it to be inserted into the cone. This allowed the store owner to place the ice cream in the cone without touching it. Using a scoop to form a ball of ice cream and then placing it in a cone had not yet appeared on the scene. Sprinkles on top of cones only appeared after they were scooped from large containers.

My family sometimes purchased a “brick” of ice cream, on a humid summer evening. An ice cream brick was rectangular in shape, similar to a small building brick. Our favourite flavour was Neapolitan (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate), which had a strip of orange in the centre that was similar in texture and taste to an orange Popsicle. Sometimes my dad bought a quart bottle of “Wilson’s Golden Amber Ginger Ale” to make an ice cream float. “Kik Cola” was another favourite soda pop used for this purpose. Sitting on the veranda after dark on a steamy August evening, observing the passing scene on the street, and sipping on an ice cream float or consuming a slice of ice cream cut from a brick, was our definition of heaven.

Our neighbourhood grocery store was where my family purchased our daily needs, though every Saturday my mother went to a small Dominion Store that was a ten-minute walk from our house. Our local grocery store was owned by two brothers, one of whom was the butcher. He never came out from behind the counter during working hours, and some kid started a rumour that the reason was that he did not wear any trousers. Kids giggled whenever they observed him in the store, while trying to determine if the the rumour were true. No child ever solved the mystery.  

The corner store was where my mother purchased butter, sugar, Jell-O powder, and meat. All these items were rationed during the war years, so she handed over government-issued coupons whenever she purchased them. In autumn, outside the store, the rich scent of the purple Concord grapes from Niagara filled the air. They were employed to make jelly to spread on toast on cold winter mornings. Bushels of Ontario sweet corn were stacked alongside baskets of apples, pears, peaches and plums, all adding to the colourful display. My mother bought generous quantities of the fruits to fill her preserving jars. These were stored in our root cellar during the winter months. Similarly, each autumn my father brought home a burlap sack of potatoes and also onions. These were also stored in the root cellar for winter meals. Imported fruits and vegetables were not available in the 1940s and many foods were in short supply because of the war.

The corner store was where the news of the “street-village” was disseminated, along with generous portions of gossip. Not all the comments were kind. It was a decade when divorced women, as well as those who had children out of wedlock, were considered shameful. Neighbours who did not properly sweep the sidewalks in front of their houses or whose laundry on the clothesline did not appear clean, were criticized. Those who did not attend any church or worshipped at a synagogue also received a good share of criticism.

However, corner stores were also where people shared their problems and supported each other. The harsh realities of life were softened by discussing them with neighbours. Health difficulties, problems providing food for the table, loneliness as sons or a husband were overseas, as well as day-to-day stresses were ameliorated by a few words spoken at corner stores.

Politics, soap operas on the radio, Hollywood hairstyles, movie stars, and the current movies at the local theatre, were all discussed. Another favourite of the gossip mills was the antics of a local Romeo or a woman of “loose morals.” Most streets possessed at least one child who spoke about the visits of an “Uncle Harry” on Wednesday nights when their father worked late. The 1940s was a decade when coal, bread and milk were delivered directly to homes, often by horse-drawn wagons. A handsome delivery man elicited many remarks, as well as a few knowing smiles. A child that was better looking than either of his parents was jokingly referred to as another product delivered by the milk or bread man.

News from the war front was usually avoided in the corner shops. Almost every family was touched by the war, as they had a relative, friend or neighbour serving overseas. Discussing the latest battles or casualty reports added to people’s fears. However, though not often discussed, the war remained a concern that lingered beneath the surface of the lives of everyone.

If people wished to discuss conflict with a fierce opponent, a recent argument with a cantankerous mother-in-law sufficed. She did not seem quite so bad after a few jokes about her dentures or new girdle. A bit of laughter healed many wounds and kept the demons of war at bay. The mundane topics at the corner store, along with those that were humorous and tragic, reflected the daily life of the community. I do believe that texting in the modern era fulfills the same role. The personal touch is missing as there is no visual contact, and Skype is not a particularly good substitute.

After World War II ended, a flood of immigrants and refugees arrived in Toronto. Neighbourhoods began to change as many Torontonians fled to the suburbs. Immigrants purchased their homes in the older neighbourhoods. Multi-cultural Toronto was on the horizon, with its influx of new customs and different foods. Life in Toronto became more transient. Immigrants did not stay in the older areas for long. As they prospered, they too relocated. The village feeling of neighbourhoods diminished, although ethnic enclaves continued many of the traditions of Toronto of old. 

I miss the Toronto of old. Social media and smart phones have replaced conversations in cafes, restaurants and neighbourhoods. However, I believe that the city is now far more exciting, thanks in part to the immigrants who have made Toronto their home.   

Fonds 1266, Item 18008

      A corner drug store, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266. Item 18008.

Davenport and Dupont, 1930  f1231_it2080[1]

Corner store at Davenport and Dupont Street, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 2080.

View of variety store at the north-west corner of Ontario and Dundas Street East – May 13, 1977

Store at Dundas and Ontario Streets, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, Fl. 0009, Item 0025.

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

The publication entitled, “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” was written by the author of this blog. It 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.  

                          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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

 

 

    

 

Tags: , , ,

Toronto’s CNE Grandstand and Baseball Stadium

pict0081[1]

The CNE Grandstand in 1956, taken with Kodachrome film with my 35mm Kodak Pony camera from the top of the Ferris Wheel on the midway.

Toronto’s CNE Stadium creates different memories for different people, depending on whether a person remembers it as a baseball stadium, or as a grandstand where Canada’s most spectacular stage shows were held. When the CNE Grandstand performances ended in 1968, it was an indications that the annual fair was no longer the most important late-summer event in Toronto. The CNE continues to attract over a million visitors annually, more than any other fair in Canada, including the Calgary Stampede. However, its prominence in the life of the city has greatly diminished. Canada’s Wonderland, Rogers Stadium and the Ripley Aquarium are a few of the entertainment venues that now compete with the CNE.

Today, it is difficult to conceive of a world without the internet—Facebook, Twitter and blogging. When I was a boy, smart phones were confined to science fiction where the comic-book hero Dick Tracy sported a 2-way wrist-radio that allowed him to transmit messages. Now, the technology is a reality. However, the CNE commenced long before the era of the internet, at a time when agricultural and industrial fairs were important to disseminate information about the latest horticultural trends and technological advancements.

During the 19th century, fairs were held at various locations throughout the province, Toronto hosting them several times. In April 1878, on land on the north side of King Street West, near Shaw Street, a highly successful one was held, attracting over 100,000 people. It inspired Toronto’s City Council to seek a site for a permanent fair, to be held annually. In 1878, the city leased the western portion of the Garrison Reserve, to the southwest of Fort York. On March 11, 1879, the Provincial Legislature passed “An Act to Incorporate the Industrial Exhibition Association of Toronto,” to allow the city to incorporate a fair.

The first “Industrial Exhibition” opened on September 3, 1879, for one week, the price of admission 25 cents. There were 23 buildings, one of them a grandstand containing 5000 seats. During the next few years, it hosted various events, including horse races, sports, fireworks, livestock judging, and stage shows. The fair was so successful that in 1892, the grandstand was rebuilt and expanded, doubling its capacity to 10,000 seats. The same year, the fair grounds became the first in the world to be electrified, making it possible for the grandstand stage shows to be larger and more extravagant. Another advantage was that they could be held after sunset.

In 1906, the grandstand burnt to the ground.

Fonds 1244, Item 12    

Ruins of the grandstand in November 1906, following the disastrous fire. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item, 0012.

Aug. 9, 1928,  f1231_it1253[1]

The Grandstand that replaced the one that was destroyed by fire in 1906. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 1253.

Fonds 1244, Item 1399

Auto race in the grandstand in 1926, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1399.

The architect G. W. Guinlock designed a new stadium for the Industrial Exhibition, which opened in 1907 with a capacity of 16,400 seats. Guinlock also designed the Government Building (now Mediaeval Times), Horticultural Building, Music Building, and the Fire Hall and Police Station. In 1912, the name of the fair was changed to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). During the ensuing years, many of the grandstand stage shows were historical pageants—the “Burning of Rome-Nero,” “Empire Triumphant,” “Dance of the Squaws,” Siege of Lucknow (India) and “The Durbar of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.” The last historical stage show was “Britannia,” performed in 1941. For almost four decades, the grandstand remained the focal point of the CNE, until it burnt in 1946.

The architects Marani and Morris were hired to design another grandstand, the general contractor being Pigott Construction. It contained 20,600 seats. Facing south, it was 800 feet in length, the height of its roof soaring to 75 feet. As well as stage performances, it featured stock car racing, auto polo, rodeos, track and field events, circuses, concerts, and military extravaganzas such as “The Scottish World Tattoo. However, the most spectacular events were the grandstand shows, the largest ever held in Canada. Over 1500 stage performers were involved for a single performance, as well as a large orchestra. 

1950s, CNE archives  ad68fb7f-1f51-43c2-aa3b-ecd2a6f1f526[1] 

View of the north facade of the CNE Grandstand in the 1950s. Photo, CNE Archives

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Miss Toronto Beauty Pageant in 1951 in the CNE Stadium, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Item 1696.

2011713-qe2-es-1959-f1257_s1057_it4989[1] 

Queen Elizabeth in the CNE Grandstand in 1957, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, S1057, Item 4989.

RCMP Musical Ride, 1950s  f1257_s1057_it5746[1]

The RCMP Musical Ride at the CNE Grandstand in the 1950s, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, S 1057, Item 574.

The 1950s and 1960s were the golden age of the CNE Grandstand shows. Shorty after the new grandstand was completed, Leon Leonidoff was hired to produce the shows. He had trained in Canada and after relocating to New York, had a successful career producing  performances at the Radio City Music Hall. Employing his connections, he brought the famous “Rockettes” to the grandstand. He also booked famous American stars, along with their supporting casts, costumes and sets. Almost everything was American. In 1948, he hired the famous and outrageous comedy team—Olsen and Johnson. Many citizens of “Toronto the Good” considered them outrageous, complaining that their jokes were crude. The objections voiced about the comedians created so much free publicity that the grandstand was packed every night. The comedy duo continued at the Ex until 1951.

However, many felt that the grandstand shows should feature more Canadian talent and Jack Arthur was hired to fulfill this mandate. American stars continued to be employed as drawing cards, but the remainder of the casts were Canadian. As well, costumes were supplied locally, by Malabar Limited, and the stage sets were all constructed in Toronto. Jack Arthur’s wife, Midge, trained a group of dancers to replace the “Rockettes.” They were named the “Canadettes,” and were advertised as “the longest line of show girls in the world.” Alan and Blanche Lund, a famous Canadian dance team, created the choreography and the immensely talented Howard Cable took over the musical arrangements. Hugh Hand was the mastermind behind the wondrous fireworks displays.

The grandstand shows became spectacles that showcased Canadian talent, featuring Canadian themes. In 1955, Marilyn Bell  appeared on the stage, as that year she had successfully swam the English Channel. In 1959, the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway was the theme. In other shows, Max Ferguson portrayed his self-created character “ old Rawhide.” Celia Frank danced with the National Ballet. Concerts included the opera star Teresa Stratas, and Wally Koster, a star of the TV show, “Cross Canada Hit Parade” performed.

Hollywood stars that appeared during the golden years of the CNE Grandstand shows included Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Roy Rogers, Dale Evens, Bill Cosby and Danny Kaye. Jack Arthur was also responsible for the creation of an enormous moveable stage, at a cost of $500,000. Jack Arthur retired in 1967, and the last great stage show was in 1968. Its theme was “Sea to Sea—The Iron Miracle,” written by Don Herron.

As the dawn of the 1970s approached, the grandstand shows were no more. However, those who attended them will never forget their grandeur.

DSCN0636  

This photo of a performance at the CNE Grandstand was taken in 1956. It is another photo that was taken in Kodachrome film with my 35mm Kodak Pony camera.

However, the CNE Grandstand’s fame did not end with the termination of its stage shows. In 1959, the seating capacity was expanded by constructing a south stand and a new section of seats. The facility now possessed 12,472 more seats, and it became the home field for the Toronto Argonauts football team. In 1962, the Grey Cup was held in Toronto, with Hamilton and Winnipeg the participating teams. The conditions on the field were so foggy that it could not be verified that the final touchdown was converted, and the the Tiger-Cats lost the game by a single point. The game became known as the “Fog Bowl.” 

In 1975, construction commenced to reconfigure the stadium to accommodate baseball games, the seating capacity now 54,254. In 1976, Toronto received a major league baseball franchise in the East Division of the American League. The team was named the Toronto Blue Jays. They played their first game in the CNE Stadium on April 7, 1977, against the Chicago White Sox. Toronto won the game, the score being 9-5.

However, because the stadium was located close to the lake, weather conditions were unpredictable. Also, there was a desire for a multipurpose stadium. As a result, construction on a new stadium, with a retractable roof, commenced in 1986. The final game played at the CNE was on May 28, 1989, and the Blue Jays moved into the Sky Dome on June 5, 1989. Their first season under the dome was not particularly successful, attracting only 1.7 million fans. However, the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series in 1992 and 1993.

In 1999, the seats at the CNE Stadium were sold and the structure was stripped of anything that might be recycled, only the concrete and steel girders remaining. Explosives were employed to implode the CNE Stadium. A half century of entertainment history ended.

Note. I am grateful for the information contained in: “Once Upon a Century – 100 Year History of the Ex,” by John Robinson, published in 1978 by J. H. Robinson Publishing Limited.

20101011-exhibition-stadium1980s[1] 

CNE Stadium in the 1980s at the height of its popularity as a baseball venue. Ontario Place is visible in the background.

 

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

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 by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                          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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

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Before the Toronto “Blue Jays” there was . . .

f0124_fl0015_id00121_thumb2

Maple Leaf Stadium at Bathurst and Fleet Streets, photo from The City of Toronto Archives, F0124, fl0015, id0012.

Prior to the ascendency of the Blue Jays baseball team to soaring heights of popularity during the 2015 season, Toronto already had a long history of being an avid baseball town. The city’s first baseball stadium was built in 1886, in Sunlight Park, located south of Queen Street East, between Broadview and the Don River. Constructed entirely of wood, at a cost of $7000, it was four storeys in height. The Toronto’s Maple Leaf team was part of the International League (minor league). The cost of admission to Sunlight Stadium was 25 cents. The map below shows its location.

                        Map

In 1887, the team relocated to a new stadium at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands. The first ball flew across home plate in May of that year. Admission was now 50 cents, which included the return ferry fare across the bay. The stadium at Hanlan’s burnt twice, in 1903 and again in 1909. When it reopened in 1910, it contained 17,000 seats. The legendary Babe Ruth hit the first home run of his professional career in the stadium on September 5, 1914, the ball landing in Toronto Harbour. Attendance at games eventually dropped due to the inconvenience of travelling across the harbour, especially on stormy days during early autumn and spring. The Toronto team departed Hanlan’s Point for the mainland after the 1925 season. The map below shows the location of the Hanlan’s Point Stadium.

                                  Map

The new Maple Leaf Stadium was on Fleet Street, at the foot of Bathurst Street, on a site created by landfill. The team president, Lol Solman, who was also the owner of the team, arranged the financing of the stadium by raising $300,000. Its architects were Chapman and Oxley, who also designed the Princes’ Gates and the Government Building at the CNE, where Mediaeval Times is now located. Maple Leaf Stadium was a steel structure with solid concrete floors, containing 23,000 seats. By the time the structure was completed, the cost had risen to $750,000. It was soon nicknamed “The Fleet Street Flats.” The map below depicts the approximate location of the stadium.

Map of Bathurst St & Fleet St, Toronto, ON M5V 1A5

On opening day, Wednesday April 28, 1926, a prize was offered to the person whose estimate was the closest to the actual number of fans that attended. Mayor Thomas Foster was to unfurl the Union Jack and former Mayor Tommy Church was to throw the first pitch. However, it had rained the previous night and as there was no sunshine on the day of the game to dry the field, the game was cancelled. The field was too soggy.   

The game was played the next day, with 12,871 fans in attendance. The “Queen’s Own Rifles” were present to play “God Save the King.” Mayor Foster threw the first pitch to former Mayor Tommy Church. The game that had been cancelled on April 28th because of rain was held on May 1st, as part of a double-header.

During the 1950s, several times the attendance at Maple Leaf Stadium attracted more people than any of the major league stadiums of the day. In 1959, I attended an evening game and won a “Trans Canada Airline” shoulder-bag. This was prior to the airline changing its name to Air Canada.

Jack Cook Kent purchased the team in 1951. By this year, the stadium was in poor condition, as though it was owned by the Harbour Commission, its the upkeep was the financial responsibility of the team’s owner. Cook spent $57,000 renovating the stadium, and during the next few years, by employing many various promotional techniques and improving the team, the Maple Leafs prospered. However, attendance dropped during the early-1960s, and Cook sold the team in 1964, the price reputed to be a mere $50,000. The new owners struggled, but to no avail as fans were discontented with the minor league, preferring a major league team. The Maple Leafs were sold to an American investor in 1968, who moved the team to Louisville Kentucky, where they became the Louisville Colonels.    

Maple Leaf Stadium was now without a team and was demolished in 1968, the same year the team departed Toronto.

      f1231_it04651_thumb18

Maple Leaf Stadium on March 5, 1929, three years after it opened. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1251, Item 0465.

f1244_it72971-after-1929_thumb

Aerial view of the stadium c. 1929. The Lakeshore Boulevard and Bathurst Street are visible. There was no Gardiner Expressway. The Tip Top Tailor Building is in the lower right-hand corner. Photo from Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244. Item 7297

2011713-maple-leaf-stadium-context-f[1]

View of Maple Leaf Stadium from old Fort York in June 1934. This was the year that Fort York opened after being restored as Toronto’s centennial project. The building containing the Tip Top Tailor factory and showroom is to the left (east) of the stadium. It is now a condo. Photo Toronto Archives, Fonds 1251, Item 0602.

2011713-maple-leaf-stadium-1937-f125[1]

Maple Leaf Stadium in 1937, photo Toronto Archives Fonds 1257, S 1057, Item 0950.

1926-Fonds-1266-It.-7683--1_thumb4

     Maple Leaf Stadium, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7683.

f1257_s1057_it08671_thumb1

View of stadium from the field. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, s. 1057, Item 0867.

site-of-demolished-stadioum-1960s_th

Site of the site in 1968, after the stadium was demolished. The airport on the Islands is visible in the background, and the Gardiner Expressway in the foreground. The Tip Top Tailor Building is prominent. Toronto Archives, Series 1465, Fl.0240, Item 0092.

I am grateful for the information for this post to torontoist. com, blogto.com,  and torontohistory.net

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

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 by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  

                          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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

Tags: , ,

Toronto’s Maple Leaf Baseball Stadium

f0124_fl0015_id0012[1]

Maple Leaf Stadium at Bathurst and Fleet Streets, photo from The City of Toronto Archives, F0124, fl0015, id0012.

The popularity of the Blue Jays baseball team is rivalled only by the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club, especially after the Jay’s success during the 2015 season. However, Toronto has always been an avid baseball town. The city opened its first official baseball stadium in 1886. Named The Toronto Baseball Grounds, it was located south of Queen Street East, between Broadview and the Don River. Constructed entirely of wood, at a cost of $7000, it was four storeys in height. The Toronto’s Maple Leaf team was part of the International League (minor league). The cost of admission to the games was 25 cents.

The last sporting event held in the park was in 1913, a football (soccer) match. The park was later known as Sunlight Park, named after the Sunlight Soap factory built by Lever Brothers in 1900-1901. After the stadium was demolished, the land was redeveloped for other commercial purposes. 

                        Map

The above map shows the area where The Toronto Baseball Grounds were located. The red arrow points to where the historic plaque is now located.

In 1897, the team relocated to a new wooden stadium at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands. The first ball flew across home plate in May of that year. Admission was now 50 cents, which included the return ferry fare across the bay. The stadium at Hanlan’s burnt twice, in 1903 and again in 1909. When it reopened in 1910, it was a concrete structure that contained 18,000 seats. The legendary Babe Ruth hit the first home run of his professional career in the stadium on September 5, 1914, the ball landing in Toronto Harbour. Attendance at games eventually dropped due to the inconvenience of travelling across the harbour, especially on stormy days during early autumn and spring. The Toronto team departed Hanlan’s Point for the mainland after the 1925 season. The map below shows the location of the Hanlan’s Point Stadium.

                                  Map

The new Maple Leaf Stadium was on Fleet Street, at the foot of Bathurst Street, on a site created by landfill. The team president, Lol Solman, who was also the owner of the team, arranged the financing of the stadium by raising $300,000. Its architects were Chapman and Oxley, who also designed the Princes’ Gates and the Government Building at the CNE, where Mediaeval Times is now located. Maple Leaf Stadium was a steel structure with solid concrete floors, containing 23,000 seats. By the time the structure was completed, the cost had risen to $750,000. It was soon nicknamed “The Fleet Street Flats.” The map below depicts the approximate location of the stadium.

Map of Bathurst St & Fleet St, Toronto, ON M5V 1A5

On opening day, Wednesday April 28, 1926, a prize was offered to the person whose estimate was the closest to the actual number of fans that attended. Mayor Thomas Foster was to unfurl the Union Jack and former Mayor Tommy Church was to throw the first pitch. However, it had rained the previous night and as there was no sunshine on the day of the game to dry the field, the game was cancelled. The field was too soggy.   

The game was played the next day, with 12,871 fans in attendance. The “Queen’s Own Rifles” were present to play “God Save the King.” Mayor Foster threw the first pitch to former Mayor Tommy Church. The game that had been cancelled on April 28th because of rain was held on May 1st, as part of a double-header.

During the 1950s, several times the attendance at Maple Leaf Stadium attracted more people than any of the major league stadiums of the day. In 1959, I attended an evening game and won a “Trans Canada Airline” shoulder-bag. This was prior to the airline changing its name to Air Canada.

Jack Cook Kent purchased the team in 1951. By this year, the stadium was in poor condition, as though it was owned by the Harbour Commission, its the upkeep was the financial responsibility of the team’s owner. Cook spent $57,000 renovating the stadium, and during the next few years, by employing many various promotional techniques and improving the team, the Maple Leafs prospered. However, attendance dropped during the early-1960s, and Cook sold the team in 1964, the price reputed to be a mere $50,000. The new owners struggled, but to no avail as fans were discontented with the minor league, preferring a major league team. The Maple Leafs were sold to an American investor in 1968, who moved the team to Louisville Kentucky, where they became the Louisville Colonels.    

Maple Leaf Stadium was now without a team and was demolished in 1968, the same year the team departed Toronto.

      f1231_it0465[1]

Maple Leaf Stadium on March 5, 1929, three years after it opened. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1251, Item 0465.

f1244_it7297[1] after 1929

Aerial view of the stadium c. 1929. The Lakeshore Boulevard and Bathurst Street are visible. There was no Gardiner Expressway. The Tip Top Tailor Building is in the lower right-hand corner. Photo from Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244. Item 7297

2011713-maple-leaf-stadium-context-f1231_it0602[1]

View of Maple Leaf Stadium from old Fort York in June 1934. This was the year that Fort York opened after being restored as Toronto’s centennial project. The building containing the Tip Top Tailor factory and showroom is to the left (east) of the stadium. It is now a condo. Photo Toronto Archives, Fonds 1251, Item 0602.

2011713-maple-leaf-stadium-1937-f1257_s1057_it0850[1]

Maple Leaf Stadium in 1937, photo Toronto Archives Fonds 1257, S 1057, Item 0950.

Fonds 1266, Item 7683

     Maple Leaf Stadium, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 7683.

f1257_s1057_it0867[1]

View of stadium from the field. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, s. 1057, Item 0867.

site of demolished stadioum, 1960s

Site of the site in 1968, after the stadium was demolished. The airport on the Islands is visible in the background, and the Gardiner Expressway in the foreground. The Tip Top Tailor Building is prominent. Toronto Archives, Series 1465, Fl.0240, Item 0092.

I am grateful for the information for this post to torontoist. com, blogto.com,  and torontohistory.net

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

A link to view previous posts about the movie houses of Toronto—historic and modern.

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

A link to view posts that explore Toronto’s Heritage Buildings:

https://tayloronhistory.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/canadas-cultural-scenetorontos-architectural-heritage/

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 by the author and others 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 .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)

Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s old movie theatres will be released in the spring of 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 130 archival photographs.

A second publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will also be released in the spring of 2016. 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,