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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Upper Canada College’s former boarding house—Toronto

boarding house on Adelaide  1890  pictures-r-2330[1]

A student boarding house that was part of Upper Canada College, when  it was locate on the north side of King Street, is the only building that has survived from the 19th-century campus. Today, its address is 22 Duncan Street, and it is on the southwest corner of Duncan and Adelaide Streets. It was part  of a large complex of structures built for the college. It was erected in 1833, the year prior to York being incorporated as a city and changing its name to Toronto. The above photo depicts the building c. 1890 and is from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-2330.

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The above photo is of the boys’ boarding house at Duncan and Adelaide Streets in 2013. Though the building is in good shape, it has been altered greatly over the years and today there are no chimneys. It was part of the campus of Upper Canada College, founded in 1829 by Sir John Colborne, and 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. It was 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 in the years ahead while it was owned by U.C.C.

After the college relocated to Lonsdale Road, the other college buildings on Russell Square were demolished. The student residence is the sole survivor. It became a factory until being 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.       

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

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

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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 on the 1890 map.

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First floor on the east side of the old student residence on the southwest corner of Duncan and Adelaide Streets.

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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 boys’ boarding house is in the upper left-hand corner of the map. On the map, Simcoe is on the right-hand side and John Street is on the left. On the south side is King Street West. In 1890, 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 extended.

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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.

Map of 22 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8

        The site of the boarding house at 22 Duncan Street.

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

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

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

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/

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 125 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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The lost buildings of St. Patrick’s Market, Toronto

pictures-r-5352[1]

Toronto’s second town market, the St. Patrick’s Market, was preceded by the St. Lawrence Market, founded in 1803, on orders from Governor Peter Hunt. The second market was required as the city was expanding westward and the St. Lawrence Market was too distant for those living to the west of Yonge Street. In response to this need, in 1836, Mr. D’Arcy Boulton donated land from his estate, known as the Grange, to the city on the condition that it be used for a market square in perpetuity. If the land ceased to be used for a market, ownership of the property was to revert to the heirs of D’Arcy Boulton. The property he donated had a ninety-foot frontage on Queen Street, and it extended 123 feet northward. The new market was named St. Patrick’s Market, as it was in the St. Patrick’s Ward, one of the city’s original five wards.

The market opened in 1837, in a small  temporary structure that had sufficient space for only a couple of stalls. Its only merit was that it protected a few shoppers from the worst of the inclement weather. However, because the market building was viewed as temporary, it was not maintained and fell into disrepair. A more suitable building was badly needed. I was unable to discover the year that the first permanent building was erected, but it was likely about 1840, as records state that in 1842, a fire station was located in the St. Patrick’s Market building. It was manned by trained volunteers. Later, the market was renovated to include a police station.

The new building was a frame structure, erected on the northern portion of the donated land. The structure contained a large interior space with stalls, where farmers displayed and sold their produce. It was a two-storey structure, with a centre block that had a triangular pediment above the south facade and a small cupola on the roof. There were one-storey wings on the east and west sides of the centre block. The building was set back from Queen Street, on the north side of the square, to allow space for open-air stalls to be erected in front of it on market days, when farmers from the surrounding areas brought their produce to the city. 

This is the market that is depicted in the watercolour shown above. It was painted in 1845 and is from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-5352. The Anglican Church of St. George the Martyr, on John Street, is visible in the painting, behind the market. The church’s spire was destroyed by fire in 1955. In 1852, the fame building was demolished to erect a white-brick building. Three well-known citizens provided funds for the new market on condition that they were reimbursed from the profits of the enterprise.

Thomas Young, who was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1832, was hired by the city as the architect. The brick market building was constructed between the years 1850 and 1854. To compare it to the frame structure that preceded is difficult as artists tend to romanticize their subjects. This must be taken into consideration when viewing the watercolour to compare the first permanent market structure with the one that followed it. “The History of Toronto and York County—Part IV” (Chapter 32) states that the new brick building had “no pretentions to architectural beauty.” Unfortunately, this was an apt description.

The brick market building was erected closer to Queen Street, to the south of the previous market building. Constructed in the Italianate style, it was a two-storey building, its brick walls covered with stucco. Its south facade faced Queen Street. Behind it there was a single-storey extension where the stalls were located. The south facade, where the main entrance was located, was symmetrical in design. The entranceway was surrounded by a Roman archway, the large windows on either side of the doorway topped with similar arches. A bell tower provided a look-out for the fire station within. The tower had an extended cornice at the top, with large modillions (brackets) below it.

1890--pictures-r-5354[1]

The St. Patrick’s Market in 1890, Photo from the Toronto Public Library r- 5354. 

The market building served as a focal point of the district, since the two-storey section contained a room for public meetings on the second floor. The nearby church of St. George the Martyr, to the north of the market, added to the importance of the area to the community. Though the market was never as prominent as the St. Lawrence or St. Andrew’s Markets, it was well attended by those who resided nearby as it had many stalls displaying vegetables, poultry and fish, as well as several butcher shops. Each Christmas, the market overflowed with seasonal treats for people’s festive tables.

However, because it never achieved the popularity of the other two markets of the city, it was not as well maintained. Even after the city purchased land to the north of the market to create St. Patrick’s Square, the market building continued to decline. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire about the year 1912, and replaced with another brick building that still exists on Queen Street West today.

Sources for this post:

urbantoronto.ca—www.landmarksoftoronto.com—“Lost Toronto” by William Dendy”— www.electric canadian.com— “Landmarks of Toronto” by John Ross Robertson.

Map of 238 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z7

   Location of the St. Patrick’s Market at 238 Queen Street West.

1909, drypoint sketch, J. W. Beatty  pictures-r-344[1]

Drypoint sketch created in 1909 of the market, the Church of St. George the Martyr in the background. Sketch by J. W. Beatty, now in the collection of the Toronto Public Library.

                   1910.  I0021910[1]

The St. Patrick’s Market on Queen Street in 1910. The one-story extension behind the taller building is evident. It was where the produce and food stalls were located. The second floor of the two-storey structure, facing Queen Street, contained the large room for public meetings. Photo from the Ontario Archives, 10021910.

                     1913, pictures-r-6840[1]

The market in 1913, photo from the collection of the Toronto Public Library r-6840.

St. Patrick's Market (14)

The market building that replaced the structure destroyed by fire in 1912. This building remains on Queen Street West today, and was designated a Heritage Site in 1975.

St. Patrick's Market (11)

Rear view (north side) of the St. Patrick’s Market in 2014, looking south from the tranquil St. Patrick’s Square. 

St. Patrick's Market (3)

Interior of the market in 2014, the original pine support-beams in evidence. A skylight provides plenteous light for the interior. Since this photo was taken, many of the stalls have been rented, mostly for fast food outlets.

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

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

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

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/

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 125 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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Toronto’s lost armouries on University Avenue

f0124_fl0001_id0064[1]

During the final decades of the 19th century, the Federal Government in Ottawa ordered a number of armouries built across Canada to train and maintain local volunteers and professional militia regiments. At the time, troops in Toronto were being trained in various venues throughout the city, rather than at a centralized facility. When the government ordered an armoury for Toronto, it was to be the largest such facility in Canada. Thomas Fuller, the Minister of Public Works and chief architect for the Government of Canada, was in charge of selecting the site and approving the design.

Toronto’s armoury was to be located on the east side of University Avenue, a short distance north of Queen Street West, and south of today’s Armoury Street. Thomas Fuller chose the solid Romanesque Revival style of architecture as it was suitably militaristic in appearance, similar to the great fortresses of ancient times. The above photo of the armouries is from the Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, Fl0001, Id 0064. The view is of its west facade, on University Avenue.

Built in 1891, the Toronto Armouries officially opened on May 17, 1894. Its inauguration was celebrated by a military tournament featuring different regiments—the Queen’s Own Rifles, 48th Highlanders, Royal Regiment, Royal Dragoons Toronto, and the Governor General’s Body Guard. The building had massively thick walls that were faced with red bricks and bonded with red mortar to create a continuously smooth appearance. Built on a solid foundation of Kingston limestone, the same type of stone was used as trim around the smaller windows and the huge arched windows on the west facade. The trim on the top of the towers, which were mediaeval in appearance, were also detailed with limestone.

In the interior of the armouries was a great  drill hall measuring 280’ by 125’, with a ceiling that soared 72’ above the floor. The drill hall was sometimes used to host banquets and automobile, trade, and fashion shows. Included were offices for military staff, mess halls (dining areas), classrooms, and kit rooms (storage). In the basement there was a rifle range and a  bowling alley to provide recreation for the men.    

The Toronto armouries served as a training facility for troops that fought in the Boer War (1899-1902), the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean Conflict. The Boer War was when Canadian troops first fought on foreign soil. During World War 11, because of the proximity of the armouries to Osgoode Hall, judges in the courtrooms complained that the gun salutes rattled the windows of their courtrooms causing them to fear for their safety.

However, by the 1950s, high-rise buildings increasingly dominated University Avenue. Despite efforts to preserve the armouries, the need for space to expand the law courts at Osgoode Hall was given priority. On the site today there are provincial courthouses and a historic plaque stating, “On this site stood the University Avenue Armouries, the home of famous Toronto Regiments of the Canadian Army and centre of Militia activities in Toronto from 1891 until it was demolished in 1963.”

The military activities were transferred from the University Avenue facility to the new armouries on Fleet Street, a short distance to the southwest of Fort York.

                    Map

              Site of the demolished Toronto Armouries.

Ont. Ar. c. 1890  I0001795[1]

Toronto Armouries c. 1890, University Avenue in the foreground. Photo from the Ontario Archives, 10001795.

TRL.  1893  pictures-r-5511[1]

Sketch of the Toronto Armouries dated 1893, from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-5511.

postcard 1909, Gov. of Canada   v3_c1_s05_ss05_01[1]

   Postcard dated 1909, from the collection of the Government of Canada.

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The Toronto Armouries after 1900, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1568, Item 0220.

Fonds 1244, Item 52

Auto show in the drill hall of the armouries in 1912, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 0052.

Fonds 1244, Item 50A

The north facade of the armouries in 1913, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 0050a. 

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Crowds at the armouries in 1914, as troops depart for overseas. The view looks south on University Avenue. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 7666b.

dinner for returned troops, 1914-18 pictures-r-5769[1]

A banquet held in the drill hall in 1918, for the veterans of World War 1, photo from the Toronto Public Library r-5769.

TRL  1931  pictures-r-5518[1]

View of the west and south facades of the armouries in 1931, Toronto Public Library collections r-5518.

Ont. Ar. 1938  I0004015[1]

Aerial view of the west and south facades of the armouries in 1938, Photo from the Ontario Archives, 10004015. 

Series 372, Subseries 58 - Road and street condition photographs

View gazing north at the west side of University Avenue in 1913, across from the armouries. Toronto Archives S0372, Item 0248.

new armouries, 1934  f1231_it0593[1]

The new armouries on Fleet Street in 191. This building replaced the University Avenue facility. Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 0593.

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                         The armouries on Fleet Street in May 2013.

Sources for this post:

torontoplaques.com — urbantoronto.ca – torontohistory.net –“A Toronto Album 2: Glimpses of the City That Was” by Mike Fily – “Lost Toronto” by William Dendy.”

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

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

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

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/

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 125 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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The lost Trinity College of Trinity Bellwoods Park—Toronto

1890, - pictures-r-6198[1]

Most people who stroll spacious Trinity Bellwoods Park, its southern boundary on the north side of Queen Street West, would have difficulty imaging the impressive buildings that once existed on these grounds in the 19th century. One of Toronto’s most impressive educational campuses, Trinity College, was originally located inside the present-day park. The above photo is from the collection of the Toronto Public Library, r-6198, and is dated 1890.

Trinity College’s predecessor was King’s College, founded in 1827, under the control of the  Anglican Church. In 1847, the Reform Government of Robert Baldwin legislated that King’s College was henceforth to be secular. John Strachan strenuously objected to this change, as he wanted Trinity to remain officially under the auspices of his faith, similar to Oxford and Cambridge in England. As a result, he founded Trinity College in 1851, by a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria.

A few years earlier, fortuitously, Strachan had purchased 20 acres of land from Miss Janet Cameron of Gore Vale, an estate located on the west bank of a branch of Garrison Creek. The estate had been named after Francis Gore, the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, between 1806 and 1817.  Strachan planned to construct the first official building of Trinity College on the property he had bought, close to Queen Street, to the south of the mansion on the Gore Vale estate. He selected as architect Kivas Tully, who designed a campus with the buildings grouped around a quadrangle. The structures were in the Gothic Revival style, which was highly popular in the 19th century, especially for buildings associated with churches or sacred institutions. Since John Strachan considered Trinity College as an extension of the Anglican Church, he deemed the Gothic Revival style to be symbolically appropriate.

Trinity’s first building was erected on a grassy knoll, a short distance north of Queen Street. The structure was surrounded by mature trees and approached by a broad avenue that connected it to Queen Street. People who strolled along the street, if they gazed northward, were able to admire the picturesque building, with its ornate bell tower and fancy turrets that were topped with pinnacles. The facades of the structure were constructed of white bricks, trimmed with Ohio limestone. It opened in 1852, its cost being 8000 pounds. The expense was enormous for this decade, reflecting the high quality of the materials. However, because of the vast amount that was spent, there were insufficient funds to erect a chapel. As a result, a temporary chapel was constructed on the second floor of the main building, in space that had been originally intended for a library.

In 1873, Frank Darling was the architect assigned to expand Trinity College. In October 1877, Convocation Hall was completed, situated immediately north of Tully’s main building. It was employed for graduation ceremonies, assorted academic ceremonies, social functions, and college examinations. In 1882, because of a generous donation to the college, construction commenced on a chapel, located in front of the east wing of the main building that Kivas Tully had designed. It was joined to the east wing by a single-storey enclosed corridor. The chapel, designed by Frank Darling, was consecrated on October 19, 1884. The space the chapel had formerly occupied in the main building was renovated to become the college’s library, as originally intended.

Between the years 1889 and 1890, Frank Darling designed a new west wing that contained student residences, facilities to teach chemistry, and physics laboratories. In !894, he designed another east wing. Both structures were in the Modern Gothic style. With the completion of the new wings, operating funds and money for further expansion became increasingly difficult. As a result, Trinity College explored the possibilities of a federation with the University of Toronto, the latter institution financed by the government. An agreement was finally signed on November 18, 1903.

In  1912, the City of Toronto purchased the 32-acre site where Trinity College was located. In 1925, Trinity College relocated to the campus of the University of Toronto. Some of the buildings on the former site were renovated to accommodate other purposes, but the structures suffered from lack of proper maintenance. In 1929, a fire caused extensive damage to them. However, the buildings survived until 1956, when they were all demolished except for St. Hilda’s College. It became a community centre and survives to this day.

The site of the demolished buildings of Trinity College is today named Trinity Bellwoods Park. The most visible reminder of the former campus of Trinity College is the impressive gateway on Queen Street, erected in 1905-1906, designed by Frank Darling. In the modern era, they provide the main entrance to the spacious park.   

Note: the author is grateful to William Dendy’s book, “Lost Toronto” for some of the information in this post.  

1856, from Queen St, north side  f1498_it0011[1]

     View of the south and west facades of Trinity College from Queen Street in 1856.

1867  - I0005302[1]

View of the buildings of Trinity College from the southwest in 1867, photo from the Ontario Archives, 1005302.

1909, pictures-r-6175[1]

Wrap-around view from the southwest of the south and west facades in 1909, photo from the Toronto Public Library r-6175.

Jan. 3, 1928 - f1231_it1033[1]

South facade of Trinity College in January 1928, Toronto Archives F1231, Item 1033 

Feb. 3, 1928-from north side    f1231_it0999[1]

The north side of Trinity College looking south on February 3, 1928, photo from the Toronto Archives, F1251, Item 0999. 

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The gates of Trinity College on Queen Street West in 1916, the tower of the main building visible in the background. Toronto Archives, F1244, Item 1561. 

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Trinity College gates designed  by Frank Darling, erect between 1905 and 1906, photo taken in 2012.

image

                 The gates from inside, viewed from the east side in May 2013. 

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Looking north from Queen Street to the site where Trinity College was located in the 19th and early-20th centuries. Photo taken in May 2012.

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

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

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

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/

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[2]

   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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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Toronto