When the King Street Pilot Project began in November 2017, it was hoped that it would serve several purposes. To achieve these goals, left-hand turns of vehicles were restricted, allowing streetcars the preferential right of way in order to reduce transit times for TTC riders. It worked! Ridership increased. Also, by restricting cars, more space was opened for outdoor cafes and pedestrians. It was intended that the improved landscaping, cafes, and open spaces would make King Street a destination in its own right.
I strolled along King Street on Saturday, September 28, 2018. Although there remains controversy about the project, I believe that the hopes for the street have been fulfilled. It is indeed a destination worth visiting. On September 28th, the afternoon was cool, the high temperature of the day being only 15 degrees. However, it was sunny with clear blue skies. Although some of those who visited King Street found it too cool to sit out, many people seemed not to be bothered by the low temperatures. They relaxed in the cafes and patio chairs in the pale autumn sun. The street appeared magnificent as the flowers, shrubs and trees had grown considerably over the summer months. It made me realize how much greener the street might appear if the landscaping were permanent and more trees were planted.
Below are a few pictures of the street on September 28, 2018. They were taken on a Saturday afternoon when the street was not particularly busy.
Gazing west on King Street from Brant Street. The chairs and tables have been removed for the season from Cibo Restaurant’s patio. However, the red geraniums still create a pleasing ambience for those who stroll along the avenue.
Despite the cool air, it was pleasant to sit in a muskoka chairs to read, text, check emails, or simply observe the passing scene.
The view looks east toward Spadina Avenue from near Brant Street.
A restaurant and its cafe on the south side of King Street, across from the Bell Lightbox. A streetcar is reflected in the window of the eatery. The streetcars add animation and colour to the street and people do not seem to be bothered by sitting so close to them.
People relax by the greenery positioned near the sidewalk as a streetcar glides past. Photo taken at King and Peter Streets.
King and John Streets, a great corner to observe the passing scene. In the background is the Bell Lightbox.
People enjoying the sunshine in chairs on the south side of King Street, across from the Royal Alexandra Theatre. The smaller trees were placed as part of the King Street Pilot Project and are labelled as being part of a growing “urban forest.”
To compare these photos with those taken in the street during early-summer of 2018, click on the links below:
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Books by the Author
“ Lost Toronto”—employing detailed archival photographs, this recaptures the city’s lost theatres, sporting venues, bars, restaurants and shops. This richly illustrated book brings some of Toronto’s most remarkable buildings and much-loved venues back to life. From the loss of John Strachan’s Bishop’s Palace in 1890 to the scrapping of the S. S. Cayuga in 1960 and the closure of the HMV Superstore in 2017, these pages cover more than 150 years of the city’s built heritage to reveal a Toronto that once was.
“Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It relates anecdotes and stories by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses. To place an order for this book, published by History Press:
Book also available in most book stores such as Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox and AGO Book Shop. (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)
“Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again” explores 81 theatres. It contains over 125 archival photographs, with interesting anecdotes about these grand old theatres and their fascinating histories. Note: an article on this book was published in Toronto Life Magazine, October 2016 issue.
For a link to the article published by Toronto Life Magazine: torontolife.com/…/photos-old-cinemas-doug–taylor–toronto-local-movie-theatres-of-y…
The book is available at local book stores throughout Toronto or for a link to order this book: https://www.dundurn.com/books/Torontos-Local-Movie-Theatres-Yesteryear
“Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. It contains archival and modern photos that allow readers to compare scenes and discover how they have changed over the decades. Note: a review of this book was published in Spacing Magazine, October 2016. For a link to this review:
For further information on ordering this book, follow the link to Amazon.com here or contact the publisher directly by the link below: