Past & Present – Part 27

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1912/2022 – The Half Way House was a hotel, an apartment and later a store once on the northwest corner of Kingston Rd and Midland Ave. Alexander Thompson built the Georgian two-storey structure in 1847/48 and was originally a resting place for stagecoach passengers between Pickering and Toronto. In 1966, the house was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village
1912/2022 – The Half Way House was a hotel, an apartment and later a store once on the northwest corner of Kingston Rd and Midland Ave. Alexander Thompson built the Georgian two-storey structure in 1847/48 and was originally a resting place for stagecoach passengers between Pickering and Toronto. In 1966, the house was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village (Toronto Public Library R-6556 )

1972/2022 – Looking northeast towards the corner of Spadina Ave and Cecil St, in the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood of Toronto. Notice the building in the background on the right. Built in 1891 for the Church of Christ, it was later the Ostrovtzer Synagogue, then the Chinese Catholic Centre, and today is home to the Cecil Street Community Centre
1972/2022 – Looking northeast towards the corner of Spadina Ave and Cecil St, in the Kensington-Chinatown neighbourhood of Toronto. Notice the building in the background on the right. Built in 1891 for the Church of Christ, it was later the Ostrovtzer Synagogue, then the Chinese Catholic Centre, and today is home to the Cecil Street Community Centre (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 47, Item 3)

Between 1980-90s/2022 – Looking northwest from the Martin Goodman Trail and Coronation Park towards the Princes' Gates and entrance to Exhibition Place at Strachan Ave and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Niagara neighbourhood of Toronto. The Princes' Gates were built in 1927 and designed by architects Chapman & Oxley in the Beaux-Arts style. The gates received heritage status from the city in 1973
Between 1980-90s/2022 – Looking northwest from the Martin Goodman Trail and Coronation Park towards the Princes’ Gates and entrance to Exhibition Place at Strachan Ave and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Niagara neighbourhood of Toronto. The Princes’ Gates were built in 1927 and designed by architects Chapman & Oxley in the Beaux-Arts style. The gates received heritage status from the city in 1973 (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 56, Item 7)

1908/2020 - In front of the south entrance of University College at the University of Toronto. Students are being shown the city by tally-ho
1908/2020 – In front of the south entrance of University College at the University of Toronto. Students are being shown the city by tally-ho (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1587, Series 409, Item 30)

1960s/2022 – Looking southeast towards Queen St W and Bay St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the Bay Theatre, formerly Colonial Theatre once, at 45 Queen St W, which closed in 1965
1960s/2022 – Looking southeast towards Queen St W and Bay St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the Bay Theatre, formerly Colonial Theatre once, at 45 Queen St W, which closed in 1965 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 15, Item ID 16)

1972/2021 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Queen St W and John St, in Toronto's Entertainment District. The building on the corner at 307 Queen St W received heritage status from the city in 2007
1972/2021 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Queen St W and John St, in Toronto’s Entertainment District. The building on the corner at 307 Queen St W received heritage status from the city in 2007 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 41, Item 15)

1970s/2021 – Looking southeast towards the back of the Gooderham Building located at 49 Wellington St E, at Church St and Front St E in the Old Town St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. On the west side of the building, overlooking Berczy Park, is an incredible trompe-l’oeil mural. Painted in 1980 by Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant, the mural looks as if it’s pinned to the building and blowing in the wind. The mural has a three-dimensional appearance, and the faux facade artwork features windows from The Perkins Block located across the street at 41-43 Front St E
1970s/2021 – Looking southeast towards the back of the Gooderham Building located at 49 Wellington St E, at Church St and Front St E in the Old Town St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. On the west side of the building, overlooking Berczy Park, is an incredible trompe-l’oeil mural. Painted in 1980 by Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant, the mural looks as if it’s pinned to the building and blowing in the wind. The mural has a three-dimensional appearance, and the faux facade artwork features windows from The Perkins Block located across the street at 41-43 Front St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1465, File 470, Item 16)

1968/2020 – Looking northwest towards the Gooderham Building located at 49 Wellington St E, at Church St and Front St E, in the Old Town St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. Built in 1892, architect David Roberts Jr designed the five-storey red brick building for the unusually shaped property. One of the most photographed structures in Toronto, it combines modern Gothic and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. The building received heritage status from the city in 1973
1968/2020 – Looking northwest towards the Gooderham Building located at 49 Wellington St E, at Church St and Front St E, in the Old Town St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. Built in 1892, architect David Roberts Jr designed the five-storey red brick building for the unusually shaped property. One of the most photographed structures in Toronto, it combines modern Gothic and Romanesque Revival architectural styles. The building received heritage status from the city in 1973 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 31, Item 1)

2022/1980s - Greenwood Raceway/old Woodbine Racetrack was once located in The Beaches neighbourhood of #Toronto. The vast property was bordered by Woodbine Ave to the east, Lake Shore Blvd E to the south, Coxwell Ave to the west, with Eastern Ave and Queen St E to the north. When present-day Woodbine in Etobicoke opened in 1956, Woodbine Racetrack on Queen St E was renamed “old” Woodbine. In 1963, the Old Woodbine Racetrack was renamed Greenwood. In 1993, the Ontario Jockey Club streamlined their operations and closed Greenwood. The site had been home to horseracing for 119 years. Today, Woodbine Park is the west portion of the former racetrack’s property. It features wetlands, gardens, naturalized meadows and an amphitheatre. The eastern part of the site is residential housing
2022/1980s - Greenwood Raceway/old Woodbine Racetrack was once located in The Beaches neighbourhood of #Toronto. The vast property was bordered by Woodbine Ave to the east, Lake Shore Blvd E to the south, Coxwell Ave to the west, with Eastern Ave and Queen St E to the north. 

When present-day Woodbine in Etobicoke opened in 1956, Woodbine Racetrack on Queen St E was renamed “old” Woodbine. In 1963, the Old Woodbine Racetrack was renamed Greenwood. In 1993, the Ontario Jockey Club streamlined their operations and closed Greenwood. The site had been home to horseracing for 119 years. 

Today, Woodbine Park is the west portion of the former racetrack’s property. It features wetlands, gardens, naturalized meadows and an amphitheatre. The eastern part of the site is residential housing
2022/1980s – Greenwood Raceway/old Woodbine Racetrack was once located in The Beaches neighbourhood of #Toronto. The vast property was bordered by Woodbine Ave to the east, Lake Shore Blvd E to the south, Coxwell Ave to the west, with Eastern Ave and Queen St E to the north.

When present-day Woodbine in Etobicoke opened in 1956, Woodbine Racetrack on Queen St E was renamed “old” Woodbine. In 1963, the Old Woodbine Racetrack was renamed Greenwood. In 1993, the Ontario Jockey Club streamlined their operations and closed Greenwood. The site had been home to horseracing for 119 years.

Today, Woodbine Park is the west portion of the former racetrack’s property. It features wetlands, gardens, naturalized meadows and an amphitheatre. The eastern part of the site is residential housing (Google Maps & City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 384, Item 23)

2022/1955 – The former Fire Hall No 9 is located at 16 Ossington Ave, just north of Queen St W, on the west side, in Toronto's Beaconsfield Village neighbourhood. The fire hall was built in 1878 and decommissioned in the late 1960s. At some point, the wooden top portion of the hose tower which contained the clock was removed. The building is leased from the City of Toronto to St Michael's Unity Health Toronto and provides withdrawal management services
2022/1955 – The former Fire Hall No 9 is located at 16 Ossington Ave, just north of Queen St W, on the west side, in Toronto’s Beaconsfield Village neighbourhood. The fire hall was built in 1878 and decommissioned in the late 1960s. At some point, the wooden top portion of the hose tower which contained the clock was removed. The building is leased from the City of Toronto to St Michael’s Unity Health Toronto and provides withdrawal management services (Toronto Public Library R-6125)

November 18, 1930-2022 - Princess Theatre, originally the Academy of Music, was once located at 167 King St W in the Financial District of Toronto. It stood at the busy downtown intersection of King St W and University Ave, on the south side. The theatre was demolished in 1931 to make way for the University Ave extension south from Queen St W to Front St W. 

Did you know  in the 1890s, before age 5, Toronto-born Gladys Mary Smith made her stage debut in a production of The Silver King at the Princess Theatre? She would become Mary Pickford, the world-famous silent film superstar known as “America’s sweetheart.” Mary owned her own movie palace, the Mary Pickford Theatre, once located at the northwest corner of Queen St W and Spadina Ave
November 18, 1930-2022 – Princess Theatre, originally the Academy of Music, was once located at 167 King St W in the Financial District of Toronto. It stood at the busy downtown intersection of King St W and University Ave, on the south side. The theatre was demolished in 1931 to make way for the University Ave extension south from Queen St W to Front St W.

Did you know in the 1890s, before age 5, Toronto-born Gladys Mary Smith made her stage debut in a production of The Silver King at the Princess Theatre? She would become Mary Pickford, the world-famous silent film superstar known as “America’s sweetheart.” Mary owned her own movie palace, the Mary Pickford Theatre, once located at the northwest corner of Queen St W and Spadina Ave (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 621)

1930/2022 – Looking east on King St W, from just west of Simcoe St in Toronto's Entertainment District. In the archive photo, notice the entrance of the Canadian General Electric Company Building on the left, the former Toronto Star Building in the centre-left background, the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building (during construction) in the centre-right background, and St Andrew's Church on the right. The Toronto Star Building was built in 1929 and demolished in 1972
1930/2022 – Looking east on King St W, from just west of Simcoe St in Toronto’s Entertainment District. In the archive photo, notice the entrance of the Canadian General Electric Company Building on the left, the former Toronto Star Building in the centre-left background, the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building (during construction) in the centre-right background, and St Andrew’s Church on the right. The Toronto Star Building was built in 1929 and demolished in 1972 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 7365)

1915/2021 - Looking east along Bloor St W towards Perth Ave in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood of Toronto. In the 1915 archive photo, cars and a horse-drawn wagon are waiting for a northbound train to pass. Ten years later, the railway underpass was constructed over Bloor St W to help the flow of traffic and for pedestrian safety. This stretch of the rail line was later abandoned, and since 2009, it has been a part of the car-free multi-use trail called the West Toronto Railpath, where the present-day photo was taken from. Notice the homes on the east side of Perth Ave are in both photos
1915/2021 – Looking east along Bloor St W towards Perth Ave in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood of Toronto. In the 1915 archive photo, cars and a horse-drawn wagon are waiting for a northbound train to pass. Ten years later, the railway underpass was constructed over Bloor St W to help the flow of traffic and for pedestrian safety. This stretch of the rail line was later abandoned, and since 2009, it has been a part of the car-free multi-use trail called the West Toronto Railpath, where the present-day photo was taken from. Notice the homes on the east side of Perth Ave are in both photos (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1155)

2022/1936 – The Uptown Theatre was once located at ‪764 Yonge St‬, just south of Bloor St W in downtown Toronto. When the 2,800-seat theatre opened in 1920, it featured movies and vaudeville performances. In 1969, the theatre was converted from a single-screen to a 5-screen venue. Three auditoriums were accessible from Yonge St, while the other two at the Uptown Backstage were accessed from Balumto St. The theatres closed in 2003. Today, only the entrance of the Uptown Theatre exists. It received heritage status in 2016 and is currently a Rogers store. Where most of the theatre stood, it's now The Uptown Residences, a 48-storey condo
2022/1936 – The Uptown Theatre was once located at ‪764 Yonge St‬, just south of Bloor St W in downtown Toronto. When the 2,800-seat theatre opened in 1920, it featured movies and vaudeville performances. In 1969, the theatre was converted from a single-screen to a 5-screen venue. Three auditoriums were accessible from Yonge St, while the other two at the Uptown Backstage were accessed from Balumto St. The theatres closed in 2003. Today, only the entrance of the Uptown Theatre exists. It received heritage status in 2016 and is currently a Rogers store. Where most of the theatre stood, it’s now The Uptown Residences, a 48-storey condo (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 163)

1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Front St E and George St, in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The corner was once home to The Diner and James Gillanders Co (custom woodworkers). Today a mixed-used building stands on the site. Dancer and choreographer Erik Bruhn lived in the building while Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada from 1983 to 1986. 

The heritage building in the archive photo with the Ferro Machinery sign still stands today. Built in 1868, it was originally the Toronto Packing House
1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Front St E and George St, in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The corner was once home to The Diner and James Gillanders Co (custom woodworkers). Today a mixed-used building stands on the site. Dancer and choreographer Erik Bruhn lived in the building while Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada from 1983 to 1986.

The heritage building in the archive photo with the Ferro Machinery sign still stands today. Built in 1868, it was originally the Toronto Packing House (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 20, Item 14)

1907/1961/2023 – The Arlington Hotel was once located at the northwest corner of King St W and John St in the Entertainment District/Wellington Place neighbourhoods of Toronto. The hotel was built in 1889, and the Toronto City Directory has the hotel last recorded in 1932. The site of the former hotel was later home to a parking lot and Farb's Car Wash. Today, the block is home to TIFF Bell Lightbox and condo residences
1907/1961/2023 – The Arlington Hotel was once located at the northwest corner of King St W and John St in the Entertainment District/Wellington Place neighbourhoods of Toronto. The hotel was built in 1889, and the Toronto City Directory has the hotel last recorded in 1932. The site of the former hotel was later home to a parking lot and Farb’s Car Wash. Today, the block is home to TIFF Bell Lightbox and condo residences (Toronto Public Library PCR-2144 & City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 24)

1950s/2022 - Looking east from Yonge St along Bloor St E, in the Yorkville/Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the former Towne Cinema and previous St Andrew’s United Church in the distance on the right
1950s/2022 – Looking east from Yonge St along Bloor St E, in the Yorkville/Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the former Towne Cinema and previous St Andrew’s United Church in the distance on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 381, File 123, Item 8231-4)

1930-35/2023 - Looking southeast from Yonge St along Bloor St E, in the Yorkville/Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the previous Royal Bank of Canada building on the left, and St Andrew’s United Church in the distance on the right
1930-35/2023 – Looking southeast from Yonge St along Bloor St E, in the Yorkville/Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Notice in the archive photo the previous Royal Bank of Canada building on the left, and St Andrew’s United Church in the distance on the right (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 4235)

1955/2022 – The Variety Hotel, previously Osgoode House and Hotel Aberdeen Café, was once located at 112-114 Queen St W at Chestnut St (the two streets once intersected) on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto. The hotel and block were demolished to make way for Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto City Hall
1955/2022 – The Variety Hotel, previously Osgoode House and Hotel Aberdeen Café, was once located at 112-114 Queen St W at Chestnut St (the two streets once intersected) on the northeast corner in downtown Toronto. The hotel and block were demolished to make way for Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto City Hall (Toronto Public Library R-3611)

Circa 1945/2021 – Looking southeast on Bay St, just south of Bloor St W in the Bay-Cloverhill neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the Babloor Hotel once stood just south of Bloor St W
Circa 1945/2021 – Looking southeast on Bay St, just south of Bloor St W in the Bay-Cloverhill neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the Babloor Hotel once stood just south of Bloor St W (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, Item 516)

1983-89/2022 – Looking northwest towards the corner of Bloor St W and Bellair St, in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. From the Toronto City Directory listing, the archive photo shows the Physicians & Surgeons Building. The present-day mixed-used tower replaced the building
1983-89/2022 – Looking northwest towards the corner of Bloor St W and Bellair St, in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. From the Toronto City Directory listing, the archive photo shows the Physicians & Surgeons Building. The present-day mixed-used tower replaced the building (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 515, Item 15)

June 1953/2022 – Looking northeast towards the corner of University Ave and Edward St in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows the former First Baptist Church, once at 495 University Ave. The church was demolished in 1956, and today a mixed-used building stands on the site
June 1953/2022 – Looking northeast towards the corner of University Ave and Edward St in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows the former First Baptist Church, once at 495 University Ave. The church was demolished in 1956, and today a mixed-used building stands on the site (Toronto Public Library R-3539)

1972/2021 – Looking towards the southwest corner of Adelaide St E and Princess St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows The Crow Bar Lunch once occupied the storefront. Adelaide St E between Jarvis St and Parliament St was once known as Duke St
1972/2021 – Looking towards the southwest corner of Adelaide St E and Princess St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows The Crow Bar Lunch once occupied the storefront. Adelaide St E between Jarvis St and Parliament St was once known as Duke St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 38, Item 7)

1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Bay St and Grosvenor St, in the Bay-Cloverhill neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows McAinsh Books once occupied the storefront in the previous building. Today a mixed-used tower stands on the site
1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Bay St and Grosvenor St, in the Bay-Cloverhill neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows McAinsh Books once occupied the storefront in the previous building. Today a mixed-used tower stands on the site (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 59, Item 15)

1972/2023 – Looking north towards the intersection of Adelaide St E and Princess St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the former industrial/commercial building that once stood there. Today a mixed-used building stands on the site. Adelaide St E between Jarvis St and Parliament St was once known as Duke St
1972/2023 – Looking north towards the intersection of Adelaide St E and Princess St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the former industrial/commercial building that once stood there. Today a mixed-used building stands on the site. Adelaide St E between Jarvis St and Parliament St was once known as Duke St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 38, Item 8)

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