Past & Present – Part 29

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2022/1937 - Esquire Theatre, originally Lyndhurst Theatre, was once located at 2290 Bloor St W, east of Durie St on the north side in Toronto's Bloor West Village. On the marquee, "Cafe Metropole," starring Tyrone Power and Loretta Young, and "Let's Get Married," starring Ida Lupino, were playing and, both released in 1937. Today the building is home to retail space
2022/1937 – Esquire Theatre, originally Lyndhurst Theatre, was once located at 2290 Bloor St W, east of Durie St on the north side in Toronto’s Bloor West Village. On the marquee, “Cafe Metropole,” starring Tyrone Power and Loretta Young, and “Let’s Get Married,” starring Ida Lupino, were playing and, both released in 1937. Today the building is home to retail space (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 1149)

1981/2022 – Looking northwest toward the World's Biggest Bookstore, once located at 20 Edward St, west of Yonge St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. In 1979, co-founder of Coles Books, Jack Cole, purchased the building that had previously been Olympia Bowling. The following year, the World's Biggest Bookstore opened with a four-day carnival. Throughout its three levels were about 1.5 million books. The landmark bookstore attracted locals and tourists for many years before closing in 2014. The building was torn down and replaced with the present-day mixed-use structure
1981/2022 – Looking northwest toward the World’s Biggest Bookstore, once located at 20 Edward St, west of Yonge St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. In 1979, co-founder of Coles Books, Jack Cole, purchased the building that had previously been Olympia Bowling. The following year, the World’s Biggest Bookstore opened with a four-day carnival. Throughout its three levels were about 1.5 million books. The landmark bookstore attracted locals and tourists for many years before closing in 2014. The building was torn down and replaced with the present-day mixed-use structure (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 10, Item 3)

1952/2023 - Looking south on Yonge St from Alexander St towards College St and Carlton St. Notice on the right the tower that was once part of the former Yonge Street Fire Hall No. 3, later part of St Charles Tavern. Today the restored tower is part of Halo Residences on Yonge Condo development. The archive photo shows a portion of the former Hotel Torontonian on the left
1952/2023 – Looking south on Yonge St from Alexander St towards College St and Carlton St. Notice on the right the tower that was once part of the former Yonge Street Fire Hall No. 3, later part of St Charles Tavern. Today the restored tower is part of Halo Residences on Yonge Condo development. The archive photo shows a portion of the former Hotel Torontonian on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Series 574, File 85, ID 491063)

1929/2022 - Looking southwest along Bloor St W from Avenue Rd in the University of Toronto – St George Campus and The Annex areas of Toronto. Notice the Royal Ontario Museum in both photos on the left
1929/2022 – Looking southwest along Bloor St W from Avenue Rd in the University of Toronto – St George Campus and The Annex areas of Toronto. Notice the Royal Ontario Museum in both photos on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 6777)

Between 1985-87/2022 – Looking southeast from Yonge St just north of Queen St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. In the archive photo, from left to right, notice the domed Toronto Dominion Bank, The Colonial Tavern, the Canadian Bank of Commerce (today the entrance to Massey Tower), the JF Brown Building/Heintzman Hall and the Elgin Theatre, which is today known as the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre
Between 1985-87/2022 – Looking southeast from Yonge St just north of Queen St in the Downtown Yonge area of Toronto. In the archive photo, from left to right, notice the domed Toronto Dominion Bank, The Colonial Tavern, the Canadian Bank of Commerce (today the entrance to Massey Tower), the JF Brown Building/Heintzman Hall and the Elgin Theatre, which is today known as the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre (City of Toronto Archives, Series 1465, File 428, Item 20)

1972/2022 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Spadina Ave and Harbord St, in the Harbord Village neighbourhood of Toronto. Built in 1890, the Harry Armstrong and Dr Gilbert Gordon houses at 644-646 Spadina Ave were designed in Queen Anne style. The buildings received heritage status from the city in 2006. Notice the Knox Presbyterian Church tower in the background
1972/2022 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Spadina Ave and Harbord St, in the Harbord Village neighbourhood of Toronto. Built in 1890, the Harry Armstrong and Dr Gilbert Gordon houses at 644-646 Spadina Ave were designed in Queen Anne style. The buildings received heritage status from the city in 2006. Notice the Knox Presbyterian Church tower in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 55, Item 20)

2023/1953 – Looking southeast toward the intersection of Queen St W and King St W in Little Tibet, part of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood
2023/1953 – Looking southeast toward the intersection of Queen St W and King St W in Little Tibet, part of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood (Toronto Public Library R-896)

2021/2023 – Looking northeast towards the former Palace Arms Hotel and Palace Tavern at 950 King St W and Strachan Ave, in the King West Village of Toronto. Built in 1890, architect Frederick Henry Herbert designed the building in the Romanesque Revival style. The building received heritage status from the city in 1984. There are plans to incorporate the building’s historic façade into a mixed-use development
2021/2023 – Looking northeast towards the former Palace Arms Hotel and Palace Tavern at 950 King St W and Strachan Ave, in the King West Village of Toronto. Built in 1890, architect Frederick Henry Herbert designed the building in the Romanesque Revival style. The building received heritage status from the city in 1984. There are plans to incorporate the building’s historic façade into a mixed-use development

1953/2022 – Looking northeast towards the former Postal Station F at the corner of Yonge St and Charles St E, straddling the Bay-Cloverhill and Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Built in 1905 and designed by architect David Ewart, the building received heritage status in 1973. Today, it's home to commercial space. Notice the mural at 20 Charles St E by German artist Justus Becker
1953/2022 – Looking northeast towards the former Postal Station F at the corner of Yonge St and Charles St E, straddling the Bay-Cloverhill and Church-Wellesley neighbourhoods of Toronto. Built in 1905 and designed by architect David Ewart, the building received heritage status in 1973. Today, it’s home to commercial space. Notice the mural at 20 Charles St E by German artist Justus Becker (Toronto Public Library R-1178)

1952/2023 - The Lambton House is located at 4066 Old Dundas St in Toronto's Lambton and Warren Park neighbourhoods. It's tucked away on the east side of the Humber River, south of Dundas St W and west of Scarlett Rd. First listed in the 1860/61 assessment roll, the Victorian-style structure was once a stagecoach inn and tavern.

It was later known as Lambton Hotel, then the Lambton Tavern. The tavern closed in the 1980s when the property was sold for apartment development. However, through negotiations, the City of York (now part of the City of Toronto) acquired the heritage-designated building. Since then, the former inn has been restored, and today is a museum operated by Heritage York
1952/2023 – The Lambton House is located at 4066 Old Dundas St in Toronto’s Lambton and Warren Park neighbourhoods. It’s tucked away on the east side of the Humber River, south of Dundas St W and west of Scarlett Rd. First listed in the 1860/61 assessment roll, the Victorian-style structure was once a stagecoach inn and tavern.

It was later known as Lambton Hotel, then the Lambton Tavern. The tavern closed in the 1980s when the property was sold for apartment development. However, through negotiations, the City of York (now part of the City of Toronto) acquired the heritage-designated building. Since then, the former inn has been restored, and today is a museum operated by Heritage York (Toronto Public Library S1-1077B)

December 1969/2023 - Looking towards the northeast corner of Adelaide St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The Georgian-style structure was built circa 1830 to 1840 for butcher and landlord John Bishop and was initially part of five brick townhouses. It was later a boarding house and various hotels, and from 1965 until the 1980s, it became home to the Pretzel Bell Tavern. From 2009 to 2011, the site was redeveloped, and the building, known as the Bishop’s Block, was dismantled and carefully restored to appear as it did before a 1910 renovation. Today the 3-storey, heritage-designated building is the Soho House Toronto, a members-only club
December 1969/2023 – Looking towards the northeast corner of Adelaide St W and Simcoe St in downtown Toronto. The Georgian-style structure was built circa 1830 to 1840 for butcher and landlord John Bishop and was initially part of five brick townhouses. It was later a boarding house and various hotels, and from 1965 until the 1980s, it became home to the Pretzel Bell Tavern. From 2009 to 2011, the site was redeveloped, and the building, known as the Bishop’s Block, was dismantled and carefully restored to appear as it did before a 1910 renovation. Today the 3-storey, heritage-designated building is the Soho House Toronto, a members-only club (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 2, ID 49)

1961/2023 – The "Face-Off" mural by Canadian artist Ronald Satok was originally located inside the entrance of the former Hockey Hall of Fame/Canada's Sports Hall of Fame at Toronto's Exhibition Place. The Exhibition Halls of Fame building was torn down in 2006 to make way for the soccer stadium; however, the entrance and mural have been preserved at Gate 5 of BMO Field
1961/2023 – The “Face-Off” mural by Canadian artist Ronald Satok was originally located inside the entrance of the former Hockey Hall of Fame/Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. The Exhibition Halls of Fame building was torn down in 2006 to make way for the soccer stadium; however, the entrance and mural have been preserved at Gate 5 of BMO Field (Courtesy of the Canadian National Exhibition Association Archives)

2023/Between 1889 and 1895 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Adelaide St E and Church St, in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the Court Chambers at 69-79 Adelaide St E, which had offices for judges, lawyers, real estate and other businesses. The building, later known as St James Chambers, stood at the corner until the mid-1930s. The present-day building is home to a city shelter
2023/Between 1889 and 1895 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Adelaide St E and Church St, in the St Lawrence neighbourhood of Toronto. The archive photo shows the Court Chambers at 69-79 Adelaide St E, which had offices for judges, lawyers, real estate and other businesses. The building, later known as St James Chambers, stood at the corner until the mid-1930s. The present-day building is home to a city shelter (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1478, Item 8)

September 13, 1913/2022 – Looking west towards the Palm House in Allan Gardens at 160 Gerrard St E in Toronto’s Garden District. Built in 1910, the Victorian-style conservatory was designed by architect Robert McCallum. The Palm House was listed on the city’s inaugural Inventory of Heritage Properties in 1973
September 13, 1913/2022 – Looking west towards the Palm House in Allan Gardens at 160 Gerrard St E in Toronto’s Garden District. Built in 1910, the Victorian-style conservatory was designed by architect Robert McCallum. The Palm House was listed on the city’s inaugural Inventory of Heritage Properties in 1973 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 372, Sub Series 52, Item 101)

1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Bay St and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. The large building in the background of the archive photo was an Eaton's warehouse
1972/2022 – Looking southeast towards the corner of Bay St and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. The large building in the background of the archive photo was an Eaton’s warehouse (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 76, Item 18)

May 3, 1940/2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bay St and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows, from left to right, A Good Hotel (behind the TTC streetcar), Belvedere Restaurant, Times Square Sporting Goods and Chaply's Barber Shop. Also, notice Clayton's Department Store billboard, whose store was located at 230 Yonge St. Today, the southwest corner of Bay St and Dundas St W is home to a mixed-use tower
May 3, 1940/2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bay St and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows, from left to right, A Good Hotel (behind the TTC streetcar), Belvedere Restaurant, Times Square Sporting Goods and Chaply’s Barber Shop. Also, notice Clayton’s Department Store billboard, whose store was located at 230 Yonge St. Today, the southwest corner of Bay St and Dundas St W is home to a mixed-use tower (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 1, Item 1534)

2021/April 2023 - Ed's Warehouse was once located on the northeast corner of King St W and Ed Mirvish Way (Duncan St) in Toronto's Entertainment District. In early 2023, the building that housed Ed's Warehouse was torn down. The site is being prepared for the construction of a 73-storey mixed-use tower. The 2023 photo shows the entire length of the west side of the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Also, notice the “Atwell Fleming Printing Co Printers and Bookbinders” ghost sign on the heritage building at 11 Duncan St on the left
2021/April 2023 – Ed’s Warehouse was once located on the northeast corner of King St W and Ed Mirvish Way (Duncan St) in Toronto’s Entertainment District. In early 2023, the building that housed Ed’s Warehouse was torn down. The site is being prepared for the construction of a 73-storey mixed-use tower. The 2023 photo shows the entire length of the west side of the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Also, notice the “Atwell Fleming Printing Co Printers and Bookbinders” ghost sign on the heritage building at 11 Duncan St on the left

Circa 1954/2023 – Looking southwest along Bay St between Gerrard St W and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. Notice in the distance the Toronto Coach Terminal at Edward St and the McKnight Building next to the terminal. The sign on the back corner of the streetcar says: "HURRY KILLS! walk… drive… CAREFULLY!"
Circa 1954/2023 – Looking southwest along Bay St between Gerrard St W and Dundas St W in downtown Toronto. Notice in the distance the Toronto Coach Terminal at Edward St and the McKnight Building next to the terminal. The sign on the back corner of the streetcar says: “HURRY KILLS! walk… drive… CAREFULLY!” (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 381, File 319, Item 12641-10)

June 10, 1931/2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bay St and Edward St in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows an open-air motor coach terminal that was once located on the corner just before the construction of the Toronto Coach Terminal. Notice in both photos the McKnight Building on the left
June 10, 1931/2023 – Looking southwest towards the corner of Bay St and Edward St in downtown Toronto. The archive photo shows an open-air motor coach terminal that was once located on the corner just before the construction of the Toronto Coach Terminal. Notice in both photos the McKnight Building on the left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 8615)

Circa 1954/2023 – Looking northwest along Bay St towards the former Toronto Coach Terminal at the corner of Edward St. In the archive photograph, notice the large sign out front that says "BUS TERMINAL." The interurban bus terminal was in use from 1931 until 2021
Circa 1954/2023 – Looking northwest along Bay St towards the former Toronto Coach Terminal at the corner of Edward St. In the archive photograph, notice the large sign out front that says “BUS TERMINAL.” The interurban bus terminal was in use from 1931 until 2021 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1128, Series 381, File 319, Item 12641-12)

2023/1922 - The Brockton Hotel was once located at 1543-1553 Dundas St W and Sheridan Ave on the southeast corner in Toronto’s Brockton Village neighbourhood. The Toronto City Directory has the hotel first listed in 1890 as the Brockton Club House. It later became known as the Brockton Hotel and also operated as a drinking establishment. In the archive photo, notice the Brockton Café on the right and the “For Sale” sign on the hotel. The building was demolished after 1978. Today, the site is home to a low-rise, mixed-use building. The Dundas West Mural in the present-day photo at 1547 Dundas St W was created by artist Jose Ortega in 2013
2023/1922 – The Brockton Hotel was once located at 1543-1553 Dundas St W and Sheridan Ave on the southeast corner in Toronto’s Brockton Village neighbourhood. The Toronto City Directory has the hotel first listed in 1890 as the Brockton Club House. It later became known as the Brockton Hotel and also operated as a drinking establishment. In the archive photo, notice the Brockton Café on the right and the “For Sale” sign on the hotel. The building was demolished after 1978. Today, the site is home to a low-rise, mixed-use building. The Dundas West Mural in the present-day photo at 1547 Dundas St W was created by artist Jose Ortega in 2013 (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 42)

March 18, 1936/2023 – Looking northwest towards Queen's Wharf Lighthouse, also known as "Little Red," located between Fleet St and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. The TTC streetcar Fleet Loop encircles the lighthouse in both photos. In the background of the archive photo, notice Fort York Armoury at 660 Fleet St on the right and the Princes' Gates on the far left
March 18, 1936/2023 – Looking northwest towards Queen’s Wharf Lighthouse, also known as “Little Red,” located between Fleet St and Lake Shore Blvd W in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood of Toronto. The TTC streetcar Fleet Loop encircles the lighthouse in both photos. In the background of the archive photo, notice Fort York Armoury at 660 Fleet St on the right and the Princes’ Gates on the far left (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 11281)

1972/2023 – Looking towards the southeast corner of Adelaide St E and Sherbourne St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The two attached Georgian-style residences at the corner were built in 1842 for Paul Bishop, a blacksmith and landlord whose shop stood across the street. The archive photo shows the house was later extended and home to the Canadian Pulverizer Co. The house received heritage status from the city in 1989 and has since been restored to its original size
1972/2023 – Looking towards the southeast corner of Adelaide St E and Sherbourne St, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The two attached Georgian-style residences at the corner were built in 1842 for Paul Bishop, a blacksmith and landlord whose shop stood across the street. The archive photo shows the house was later extended and home to the Canadian Pulverizer Co. The house received heritage status from the city in 1989 and has since been restored to its original size (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 2032, Series 841, File 8, Item 2)

1955/2021 – Looking northwest toward the corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave in the Yorkdale and Glen Park neighbourhoods of Toronto. The Conroy Hotel was once just north of the Shell gas station
1955/2021 – Looking northwest toward the corner of Dufferin St and Lawrence Ave in the Yorkdale and Glen Park neighbourhoods of Toronto. The Conroy Hotel was once just north of the Shell gas station (City of Toronto Archives, Series 65, File 148, Item 21)

Circa 1885/2022 – The Paul Bishop House is located at 363-365 Adelaide St E and Sherbourne St, on the southeast corner, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The two attached Georgian-style homes were built in 1842 for Paul Bishop, a blacksmith and landlord with a shop that once stood across the street. The house received heritage status from the city in 1989
Circa 1885/2022 – The Paul Bishop House is located at 363-365 Adelaide St E and Sherbourne St, on the southeast corner, in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The two attached Georgian-style homes were built in 1842 for Paul Bishop, a blacksmith and landlord with a shop that once stood across the street. The house received heritage status from the city in 1989 (Toronto Public Library R-2640)

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