Archive for the ‘old buildings’ Category

The recent closure of Queen Street West for streetcar track work provided an opportunity to take a few photos without traffic or parked cars in the way.  Straight documentation and not much more.  But that way, when you next walk Queen West and it’s wall to wall new condo development you can check back here and say, “I remember when”….

two cyclists on queen street west

below: On the northeast corner of Queen West and  Augusta – The Wool House, Drinks & Deli, and One Stop Shop

row of stores on Queen West with construction fence in front

below: Queen and Augusta – Java Hut on one corner and an empty KFC on the northwest.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken on Queen West at Augusta

below: Looking west from Augusta

looking west along Queen Street West from Augusta

below: working on the TTC streetcar tracks just east of Portland

workmen working on the TTC streetcar tracks on Queen West

below: Black and red mural on the outside of Wendys at Denison Ave

cement truck with a workman standing beside it, on Queen West, by a Wendys restaurant in a three storey brick building with a mural in red and black on the outside

below: Queen Street West, north side, at the end of Portland Street.

old building, now stores, on Queen Street West at the top of Portland Street

below: Walking westward away from Portland

woman walking on the sidewalk between store fronts and construction fence, TTC track work being done on Queen West

below: Looking west from Tecumseth and Palmerston

looking west along Queen Street West from Tecumseth and Palmerston

below: Daisies and bees as Queen West approaches Euclid

concrete planter on Queen West painted pink with picture of daisies and bees with words to bee or not to bee

below: at Euclid

two women walking dogs on Queen West at Euclid

a red motorbike is parked in a bike parking lot on the sidewalk, building across the street has street art -- a lot of large white letters that take up almost the whole side of the building

below: Looking back eastward to Euclid

a yellow digger is the middle of Queen Street West removing street car tracks, west of Euclid

below: Reflections of Queen West in the window of John Fluevog shoe store

reflections of street scene in window of John Fluevog shoes on Queen West

below: North side, at Bathurst.  The construction ends and traffic resumes.

Queen Street west, north side looking towards intersection with Bathurst

games and stuffed animals in the window of a toy store - chickens, pig, snake, mice, goat, sheep

I heard from two different sources about a “castle” that was about to be torn down so when I found myself in the neighbourhood, I had to stop by and take a look at it myself.

below: Screenshot from Google street view, dated January 2021. All of the shrubs have been removed and the black fence has been replaced with the same fencing that you see surrounding most construction sites.

screenshot from google maps street view of an old white house

below: The house as it looked in mid-November, east side.  The lower windows are now boarded up as well.

no trespassing sign on old white empty house

Apparently the house sold in 2018 . The previous owner, Max Heiduczek, lived in and worked on the house for more than 40 years.  He bought the property in the 1970s but had to sell when age and health concerns became an issue.

below: Minaret, dome, rooftop terraces, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.

small window in a crumbling building, plaster coming off wall, wood deteriorating along roofline

below: The tower has little blue windows.

crooked turret beside railing around rooftop terrace with stone statue of a woman (greek goddess?) holding an urn

brass remnants from something lying in the grass with dead leaves outside an empty and abandoned house

boarded up window and door on old white abandoned house

no trespassing sign on metal construction fence

lamp post with 5 globe lights, leaning, outside old white house with multiple architectural styles

boarded up window and door on old house, railing around balcony above door has heart shaped openings

below: South side of the house

side view of old white house with red clay tile colour roof, boarded up windows with danger sign

The current owners applied to subdivide the property into pieces.  In August 2021 conditional consent was given by the city for this severance.

 

Starting at King and Berkeley and walking a little bit north and a bit farther west.

below: This wall, at King and Berkeley, used to have a large painting of a black chair on it.  Now it has two boys on the run with an Afghan flag.

tall white building with graffiti of two boys running with Afghan flag

below: It was painted by Mahyar Amiri a few months ago in an effort to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

 white building with graffiti street art of two young boys running. one is carrying an afghan flag, Afghanistan, the other is carrying a tire or similar shaped item, with the words not art written on it

below: In front of the Alumni Theatre on Berkeley Street.

painting on metal street box in front of Alumni theater on Berkeley street, beside laneway with another black and white mural on side of building

below: Also on Berkeley Street, the old Christie Brown stables are now the lower floors of a condo building.

95 Berkeley Street, old brick building that houses Christie Smith bakery stables, now the lower part of a condo development

historic plaque for Christie, Brown and company stables at 95 Berkeley street

“This building was once a stable that housed horses and wagons for one of Canada’s largest biscuit manufacturers. From here, Christie, Brown & Co delivered baked goods prepared at its Adelaide Street factory across Toronto.”
  “Designed by the architectural firm of Sproatt & Rolph, the building’s Beaux-Arts Classical style was popular at the turn of the 20th century for its appearance of stability and grandeur.  With elements such as the contrasting stone trim and arcade windows, it was built to reflect the appearance of the nearby Christie factory.  The state-of-the-art stable included two floors of wagon storage with a purpose-made elevator, stalls in the back for the care of sick horses, and a central horse shower underneath a large skylight. “
“Founded by Scottish-born businessman William Christie (1829-1900), Christie Brown & Co manufactured over 400 types of baked goods at its peak.  In 1928, Nabisco acquired the company. The stable was later used as a garage, seed plant, and film production office.  It is now part of a residential complex. “

below: Christie Brown biscuit factory on Adelaide street in 1902. The building still exists and is part of George Brown College.  It takes up the whole block between George and Frederick streets.

old colour photo of Christie Brown cookie factory on Adelaide street, brick building with windows with curved tops

below: This neighbourhood advertises itself as “Old Town, since 1793”.

Toronto city street sign for Worts Lane, turquoise banner advertising the fact that this is part of Old Town, since 1793

below: But a lot of it is starting to look shiney and new (what? a new parking lot in downtown Toronto?)

new condos on Richmond Street east, with new staples store and a just paved new parking lot

below: A copy of a late 1890’s lithographic poster advertising bicycles from Fernand Clement & Cie Cycles Paris. The original artist was Jean de Paléologue (1860-1942). This version is a large mural on Worts Lane.

fernand clement and cie mural of woman on a bicycle with large moon, night time scene

below: Mother of God of Prousa Greek Orthodox Church on Richmond East

Mother of God Prousa Greek Orthodox church on Richmond Eat, small simple stucco building with central wood door and small cross on roof peak

below: Old and not so old.  The taller grey building is the Chapter House for the Greek Orthodox church that is immediately to the east.

two adjacent houses on Richmond Street, half of old black house remains, other half has been renovated to three storey building

one way street sign in front of a window of a brick building painted blue

below: Apparently everything ends here on Ontario Street

car parked in front of old brick building on Ontario street, with graffiti words on wall that says all ends here

… and around the corner

an exterior brick wall with some of the bricks covered with rectangular pieces of mirror

blue painted graffiti words on a pale grey brick building that say this is all gonna end badly

below: This street art faces a parking lot between Brigden and Queen East that is now fenced off.  It is one of 4 or 5 paintings along that wall.

old street art that has small shrubs and vines growing over it

below: This is one of the street art pieces on the same wall. The photo was taken in  2012 when the site was accessible and before the vines and shrubs took over.

photo taken in 2012 of street art with iconic red tongue from rolling stones

below: A very large empty building and vacant lot that used to be a car dealership. This is part of a large section of land that has been under redevelopment for at least five years (includes the parking lot in the photos above).

bags of yard waste lie on the sidewalk on Richmond Street on sidewalk by large vacant lot, east of Sherbourne

below: … The original proposal back in February 2016 was three towers of 39, 45 and 39 storeys, on top of two base buildings ranging from 3 to 11 storeys within a site bordered by Queen Street East, Ontario Street, Richmond Street East and McFarrens Lane. That was turned down by the city. Since then there has been various modifications, appeals, and litigation (ongoing?).

a black and a blue metal drum shaped container, barrels, in vacant lot, with large puddle and tall weeds by vacant Downtown collision center building

a chair, outside, litter on ground, vines on wall behind

below: On what was once a Honda dealership there is now an art installation with words…

exterior wall of empty honda dealership, word graffiti that says to win the outergame you must first master the inner game, dr. joe

below: … and pasteups from jumblefacefoto aka Jeremy Lynch

pasteups by jumbleface foto

pasteup collages by Jeremy Lynch, eyes in the center, abstract around

below:  On the same wall: In the line of fire – urban ninja squadron‘s t-bonez takes aim with very heavy firepower.  It looks like spudbomb has already been hit by an arrow and is bentoghoul providing the target?

pasteups on a black wall, an urban ninja squadron with a large missile, a spudbomb and another poster like graffiti by bentoghoul

below: Looking west on Richmond from Brigden Place.  Richmond Street jogs to the right at Jarvis – it doesn’t dead end like it looks in the photo.

looking west on Richmond street from near Sherbourne

below: Looking north on McFarrens Lane to Queen Street

looking north on McFarrens Lane from Richomnd Steet, to the babrber and hairstylist shop on Queen.  Tall apartment building behind that

below: About 1910 this is what the northeast corner of Richmond and Sherbourne Streets looked like.  Not surprisingly, this is all long gone.

old black and white photo from about 1910 of the northeast corner of Richmond and Sherbourne streets

an old car from the 70s parked beside a building, a new TTC streetcar behind

below: From biscuits to hot dogs…. Soloways Hot Dog Factory Outlet, in business since 1927. They sell a wide range of bulk meat, meta products, and plant based meat products both wholesale and to the public.

sign over entrance to Soloways Hot dog factory outlet in nondescript brick building

below: Richmond and George, with the bright red of the George Diner dominating the intersection.

at Richmond and George streets, red building on corner is George's Diner, with large sign that says Delicious Food that Satisfies

below: The windows have been painted.

one of the windows of Georges Diner, a red brick building, painted with a scene of the interior of the restaurant.

below: Old newspaper articles taped to the window.  The top one is a review of the restaurant (with apologies for it being too small/fuzzy to read).   The bottom one has a headline that reads “Don’t be like Dick”.  With an image like that I immediately think of Dick and Jane (yikes, those of us who remember Dick and Jane from our childhoods are dwindling in number!).

old newspaper articles taped to window with coke machine behind it

below: At Richmond and Jarvis, northeast corner

indigenous theme mural on the side of a Petro Canada station at Richmond and Jarvis

below: Mystic Muffin on the southeast corner of Jarvis and Richmond.

mystic muffin, a blue building, on the southeast corner of Richmond and Jarvis

below: Richmond Street bike lanes are now separated from traffic by a low kerb that has been decorated by a number of street artists.  This section is the work of AndreaCataRo aka Andrea Rodriguez

brick building and parking lot behind chainlink fence

red ant painted on a kerb separating bike lanes from traffic

below: Another view of the bike lane barrier, this one at the intersection of Richmond and Berkeley and looking west towards the city center.

Richmond Street east, at Berkeley, with barrier between bike lanes and other traffic

little purple mouse sticker graffiti

two black and white sticker slaps graffiti on a grey metal pole, one is a black rabbit with words why suspect us. and the other is a white abstract drawing on black background

Toronto’s old industrial buildings are disappearing.   So when I saw the tall brick chimneys near St. Clair and the Danforth I had to stop and take a closer look.

brick chimney with CLM painted on it, beside other industrial buildings

CLM stands for Canadian Line Materials, also known as CLM industries.  It was a division of McGraw-Edison Ltd and they manufactured electrical equipment.   One of their contracts was with the Canadian Government to build air raid sirens.  CLM was sold in 1985 and no longer exists.

below: Back in behind, part of the parking lot has been given over to the Scarborough Community Garden.

Scarborough Community Garden, raised boxes for growing vegetables, lots of produce, in parking lot of industrial building, church across the street with solar panels in the shape of a cross

below: In the above photo you can see the solar panels on the roof of the Scarborough Church of God that is across the street from the old CLM buildings.  Construction of the church began in 1958 and it was dedicated in March 1960 as the Scarborough Junction United Church.  The blue sign indicates that this is also the home of the Scarborough Grace Harvest Church (Korean).

A frame brick building with brown roof, Scarborough Church of God. Solar panels on the roof in the shape of a cross

below: Side windows on the church

coloured and textured windows of a church

below: A reminder of how diverse Toronto is – Workers rights in many languages

poster on utility pole advertising workers action centre, and new employee rights, in many languages

below: “Known as best psychic and spiritual healer in Toronto”

poster advertising Indian psychic

below: Arsenio’s Kitchen has chicken and rice for $5.99

metal barrels beneath two signs. one advertising chicken and rice for 5 dollars and 99 cents. The other sign says space for lease in a strip mall plaza

below: Fuel stop – gas for the car and a roti for you

Gulf service station at Kennedy and St. Clair. Gas at 1.43 a litre, also butter chicken roti fast food with roti of the week sign

Just to the west, Kennedy Road crosses both St. Clair and Danforth and forms a small triangle.  Immediately south of the Danforth, Kennedy goes over the railway tracks.

below: The view east from Kennedy, looking towards Scarborough GO station.

railway tracks, looking east from Kennedy Road towards Scarborough GO station

below: The view west from the bridge

houses on Raleigh and Glasgow Avenuesview west from Kennedy Road bridge over railway tracks near Danforth,

below: A bit of country in the city.

backyard in Scarborough with a barn shaped shed and a small coop for chickens or pigeons

below: An elephant hiding in the bushes.  Any idea of what flag that might be? Trinidad and Tobago?

graffiti painting of an elephant head on a wood fence, behind some bushes, behind a brick house with a black and red flag

below: Anime-like on a bridge railing.

black and white drawing pasteup graffiti on a black metal railing of a bridge

below: Standing on the platform at Scarborough GO station and looking east.  Here the tracks split – the GO train line to Kennedy and Agincourt stations (and beyond) splits to the left and heads northward.  The other tracks are the main CNR line as well as eastward GO line to Eglinton GO station

looking east from Scarbourgh GO station, tracks,

As I walked, it soon became apparent that there were a lot of commercial buildings now sitting empty. It’s becoming a bit repetitive but once again I found myself in an area that is about to undergo some profound changes.

below: An empty building waiting for demolition.

blue and white city of toronto development notice on an empty auto parts store

Scarborough Junction redevelopment plans involve a 26 acre plot of land adjacent to Scarborough GO station – what has become known as the Scarborough Junction Masterplan.

below: Drawing of the Masterplan. It covers a large chunk of the triangle created by the CNR tracks, Kennedy Road to the west, and St. Clair to the north. It will create about 6620 residential units in 17 buildings with the tallest tower being 48 storeys high. The CLM building is on this site (blocks C & G?). (image source: Urban Toronto).

drawing of plan for Scarborough Junction Masterplan redevelopment at Kennedy and St. Clair, from Urban Toronto,

below: View from the Scarborough GO station.   At the moment, most of the land along the northwest side of the tracks is unused.

behind a broken chainlink fence is a parking lot of an abandoned business, overgrown,

white house, now a commecrial business on St. Clair Ave with a blue and white development notice in front

below: Outdoor seating arrangement

old car seat sitting outside of Sultan Auto Service, closed garage doors

cars parked in front of empty abandoned auto store, with blank black electric sign

exterior of Spee and Dee Auto Service with garage doors covered with photos of cars in the interior of the garage

three piles of old tires blocking the driveway entrance to a light industrial site

below: Truck for sale

a white pick up truck parked behind a black sign with an arrow pointing left

older brick house turned into a business, beside Carmen and Frank's Collision centre

graffiti on the side of a one storey brick building

white car parked in front of white building, Cordi Signs, one light blue door and no windows

below: On the southwest corner of Kennedy and St. Clair is a small plaza from the 1960s.

sign at the corner of Kennedy and St. Clair, stip mall plaza, sign is for Wimpys Diner, Greek Cuisine and East West Pest control

old Canadian flag in the back window of a pick up truck

below: Another empty building behind a fence – Some clothes in cases all that remains of what was once a thrift store (and probably something else before that). There is a weathered sign suggesting a condo development but I haven’t been able to find anything about it (or I missed something).

side of empty building with condo sales advert, also four display cases with clothes that are no longer held up properly

small plaza from the 1960s with Yaffa restaurant, now emppty, Roti Lady restaurant, and another empty store front. Chainlink fence around part of it

empty Yaffa Restaurant and old thrift shop. brick building with a sign that says Fresh coffee,

billboard by fenced in lot, for sale, gas station site available, Kennedy Road street sign

below: One corner that is in no danger of being redeveloped is the northwest corner of St. Clair and Kennedy. This is Pinehills Cemetery.

adornments by a tombstone in Pnehills cemetery, red flowers, a small metal bike old fashioned style, a cross, and a photo of a man, and a small white candle holder lantern

It’s heart warming to see that people care enough about those who have passed away that they find ways to celebrate that person in creative ways.  Insert jokes here about how we’ll all be dead before the Maple Leafs win a Stanley Cup.

objects left by a tombstone, Maple Leafs sign, and their bear mascot figurine about 8 inches high, pink flowers, and a small white cross with words on it

flat ground level memorial in a cemetery with three cigarettes and 2 small Canadian flags

below: Looking through a store window in the Distillery District towards the intersection Parliament & Mill.

Distillery District lighting store, looking through their windows, with reflections, a person walking past, horizontal lines, yellow and red desk lamps, an oval lamp hanging from the ceiling

below: Photography exhibit “Looks Like Us” hanging on the fence around David Crombie Park. The exhibit was produced and presented by Jamii in partnership with The Journal.

photograph of a protest in Istanbul Turkey taken by Serra Akcan, mounted on a chainlink fence beside a park

below:: Photo by Serra Akcan, Istanbul

below: Looking northeast at Parliament and Adelaide

new condo construction on the northeast corner of Parliament and Adelaide

below: Parliament and Queen Street East

northeast corner of Adelaide and Queen East

below: Queen Street East

new TTC streetcar travels westbound on Queen Street East past old brick storefronts, historic buildings, The Bullger Burger snad Steak, Convenience and Supermarket, 2 people waiting to get on streetcar,

below: Embedded in the sidewalk, a memorial to those who died in the fire at the Rupert Hotel.

Plaque in the sidewalk describing the Rupert Hotel fire of 1989 when a rooming house burned down, killing 8 people“Rupert Hotel Fire – On December 23rd 1989 a fire roared through the Rupert House Hotel, a licensed rooming house on this site.  Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters and several tenants, ten people died in the blaze, making it one of the worst fires in the history of Toronto.  The tragedy sparked action by municipal organizations to improve the conditions in rooming houses throughout Toronto.  This plaque was dedicated by the City and the Rupert Coalition in a special ceremony on May 18, 1993 in memory of the ten who died: Donna Marie Cann, Stanley Blake Dancy, Edward Finnigan, Vernon Stone, Vincent Joseph Clarke, David Donald Didow, John Thomas Flint, Ralph Orel Stone, Victor Paul Whyte. ” (more…)

The other day, later in the afternoon, I was driving along the Lakeshore when I noticed that perfect lighting on the south side of the Keating Channel.  I’ve done blog posts about the Port Lands development but I hadn’t looked at it from the other side.  A quick change of plans – a parking spot nearby and a walk along the Lakeshore.  This is some of what I saw that day.

below: At the bottom of Cherry Street

Cherry street railway building

below: At the corner of Cherry and Lakeshore.

old concrete silos as seen from Lakeshire and Cherrt, with Gardiner Expressway above

below: Along the Lakeshore, looking south towards Port Lands at Cherry.

yellow fire hydrant in front, guard rails along the side of Lakeshore Blvd, with Lafarge silos in the background

below: The Gardiner curves slightly northward as it aligns with the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd takes a wider turn and comes out from under the Gardiner for a few brief moments before slipping back under as both roads parallel the channel.

Gardiner Expressway curves to the left

below:  On the south side of Lakeshore, there is no sidewalk here but the grassy area is wide enough…..

shadow on the grass beside the Lakeshore

below:  Walking here offers a different view of the Port Lands.  The “smokestack” on the right is the old Hearn Generating station.

Keating Channel, looking east

below: Some of the buildings that remain on Villiers Street.

looking across the Keating Channel to a low rise building, square dock juts into the channel

old buildings still remaing on Villies Street as seen from across the Keating Channel

below: Panorama of Keating Channel being developed, 1916, before there was much on the Port Lands and  Cherry Street was just a one lane dirt road.

panorama - 1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo, also Port Lands before they were developed

below: Keating Channel, 1916

1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo
The original plan for the diversion of the Don River called for a more curved mouth of the river before it joined the Keating Channel.  But the British American Oil Company who owned the land fought that idea.  Instead, the 90 degree turn that still exists today was built to avoid crossing B/A property.

below: A few years after the channel was upgraded (1934)…  From vacant land to a forest of BA oil tanks. There are railway tracks along the edge of the channel.  From Wikipedia: “In 1908, with 8 shareholders, B/A built Canada’s third refinery on 3 acres on the eastern waterfront in Toronto. The company refined imported crude oil and its main product was kerosene; a then-useless by-product was gasoline, which was dumped into a swamp.”

photo of Keating Street

Photo by Arthur Beales. Toronto Port Authority Archives, PC 1/1/10769. Found at Wikimedia Common

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below: BA refinery with the Don River on the right, 1931.  There were still storage tanks here in the 1960s when the city was building the Gardiner Expressway.

1931 photograph, vintage, black and white, of British American oil refinery just north of the Keating Channel and just west of the Don River,

Photo source: Library and Archives Canada, online

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below: This rusty “fence” isn’t going to hold anyone or anything back.  I had visions of tumbling into the icy channel if I went near it.  I think that just looking at it made it wobble.

old rusty metal barrier between the Keating Channel and the road, with some weeds and gravel

below: There are still places to tie up your boat

a large metal piece beside keating channel, for tying off boats who want to park there,

below: A big tap? It’s attached to a pipeline but is it functional?  (It doesn’t look like it).  There is a lot of infrastructure buried under the Lakeshore, sewer lines, water mains, electricals, etc., but this looks like a piece of history.  Pleased correct me if I’m wrong!  Also – if you plan to explore here, there are stretches where the only option is to walk right beside the road.

old rusty large valve for a pipeline, beside Lakeshore Blvd,

below: Likewise, the box structure is probably there to protect the rest – but what are they?  Valves of some kind?

old metal pieces of hardware, pipes and valves?, rusty, beside the Keating channel

lone building onthe other side of the water, surrounded by construction at ground level.  boarded up, two storey building

construction in the background, blue digger, vacant land, and the Keating channel in the foreground, ducks in the water

below: Looking north to Canary District and West Don Lands development.  The oil tanks are long gone.

Canary district development from the Lakeshore, looking north,

below: Looking up from Lakeshore, under both the Gardiner and the ramp from the DVP

view from the Lakeshore looking up to the Gardiner Expressway and the underside of the ramp from the Don Valley Parkway to the Gardiner, 3 levels of concrete pillars and roadway.

below: Looking west from Don Roadway along the Keating Channel to the new Cherry Street bridge.

view from the Don Roadway back to the new Cherry Street bridge, looking west, with the Gardiner to the right, Keating channel with thin layer of ice on it, docks and a few buildings on the Port Lands side of the channel

below: Intersection of Lakeshore and Don Roadway.

at the intersection of Don Roadway and Lakeshore Blvd, traffic cones and a blue sign that says sidewalk closed ahead

below: Two metal transmission towers standing side by side.  Geometrical, straight lines, yet lace-like.

two tall metal hydro poles with lots of blue sky, power plant in the distance, and looking very small

below: From the Don Roadway, northbound and homeward

street art on the concrete bents holding up the ramp from D V P to Gardiner Expressway, walking path beside, with a man walking his dog,

close up of part of electrical station equipment, with water tower in the background with word Ponds written on it

chain link fence with a design woven into it with different colours, artwork, shrubbery with no leaves (winter time), billboard on an expressway in the background

 Yonge, Eglinton, Avenue, Chaplin.

Some habits die hard and some rules aren’t meant to be broken including the unwritten rule that a photowalk begins at a coffee shop.  Was it the best. coffee. ever.?  I’m not sure.  It was good; it would have been even better if I’d been able to drink it inside!  Also good is the fact that there are independent coffee shops that are still open and I hope that they survive (and thrive?) until the summer.

sign on sidewalk advertising a coffee shop that says best coffee ever also mulled wine

below: Long north up Yonge Street from Lola (L O L A Lola), towards Eglinton.  Back to Midtown.

looking northup Yonge Street, from Lola Rd., towards Eglinton Avenue

below: Yonge and Manor Road, looking northeast.  One of the remaining Midtown buildings that date from the original development about 100 years ago.   In 2016/2017 a massive list of buildings in this area was put forward as considerations for “Main Street Block” heritage designation including this one at 2075 Yonge at the corner of Manor Road East.   In the resulting report, mention is made of “the three-storey scale, the glazed commercial storefronts with apartments in the upper floors, and the elaborate Tudor Revival styling typical of those dating to the interwar era in North Toronto.”  I haven’t done any more research to determine if any of these buildings were actually added to the heritage register.

at the corner of YOnge and Manor Road, looking north east

below: Northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton.  Still mired in Crosstown construction.

intersection of Yonge and Eglinton

below: Walking west on Eglinton through a maze of cones and detours.

Eglinton Ave west sidewalk through Crosstown construction, lots of orange and black cones, pedestrian detour signs

below: Looking back towards Yonge and Eglinton.

Eglinton Ave west sidewalk through Crosstown construction, barriers on both sides, narrow, tall buildings at Yonge and Eglinton in the background

below: Consulting.

behind that metal bars of a construction barrier, workmen are consulting a paper

below: Part of the pedestrian detour on the north side of Eglinton takes you through Eglinton Park. This photo is from May 2020 so you can’t see the ice and snow that was there a few days ago!

Pedestrian detour for crosstown subway and l r t construction, orange sign with arrow pointing right, leading pedestrians through the park

below: View of the city, looking east towards Yonge Street from Eglinton Park (May 2020)

view of city skyline from Eglinton Park - looking east towards Yonge & Eglinton. Tennis courts in the foreground

below: Decorated hoardings at Eglinton Park.

green plywood hoardings around Crosstown construction, with artwork on them, painted designs on wood

below:  Rendered drawing of the future Avenue Road Crosstown station.

picture on green hoardings, an image of what Avenue Road subway station is going to look like when its finished

below: Avenue Road Crosstown station as it is now.

metal support beams for construction of new Avenue Road subway station, Crosstown
below: What it looked like in early May last year. Not much change is there?  I was disappointed to see how Eglinton Avenue looks just the same as it has for years.  At the surface it appears that there has been no progress. I’d love to be able to see what was/is happening down below as I know that the work didn’t stop for Covid.

Photo from May 2020, construction of Avenue Road subway station

red octagonal stop sign that now says stop racism

below: No running, no diving. Sigh. Although it makes sense that there’s no diving in the shallow end, it’s just another reminder that this has been a year of “no”.

outdoor waterslide at an outdoor pool closed for the winter, sign that says no running, no diving

below: One of the many architectural styles on Avenue Road

square residence on Avenue Road, two storey, duplex or fourplex, snow,

three older houses on Avenue Road, winter time

below: Chaplin Crescent views

houses in winter, large tree, with tall condos in the background.

below: And back to Yonge Street –  For lease, a former Starbucks at Yonge and Davisville.  This is one of 25 locations in Toronto that closed at the beginning of February and one of the approximately 300 closed across Canada.   This was always a busy place but maybe it was dependent on commuter traffic as it is by the Davisville subway station.  The list of 25 closed Starbucks’ is heavy on mall locations and those on the heavy commuter routes.

 

Starbucks, now closed, in an older building at Yonge and Davisville, for lease sign iin the window

The building started its life in 1894 as J.J. Davis’ general store and post office built on land owned by John Davis ­— the same Davis that gave the name to the tiny community of Davisville.  When I was researching the building, I found the following three photos.  First, J.J. Davis Store, ca 1900.  Home of the Davisville Post Office 1894-1913.

J.J. Davis Store, about 1900

below: The same corner, 1951.  Note the old bus on Davisville (and all the people waiting to get on it!).   The Chaplin Groceteria is now the Fresh Buy Market but the building is almost exactly the same 50+ years later.  The hydro lines have been buried since 1951.

photo of the northeast corner of Yonge and Davisville, back when there was a flower shop on the corner

below: I have been trying to reconcile the information that I found online:

  1.  The J.J. Davis Store was built in 1894,
  2. The first post office was in Davis’s store,
  3. John Davis died in 1891.

Then I found the photo below.  It was taken in 1981 and is of a building, Host Rent a Car, at the corner of Yonge & Imperial (one block north of Yonge & Davisville).   The library notes: “In the 1870s, this was the site of T. G. Crown’s Grocery, Flour and Feed Store and the first Post Office in Davisville.” Davisville Village Walk, North Toronto Historical Society, 1984, p. 5.    Therefore, two stores (that still exist) and two “first” post offices … and a mix-up somewhere.

  I like the fact the T.G. Crown’s store was on Imperial street!

old black and white picture, 1981, of host rent a car shop at Imperial and Yonge, in Toronto, old two storey house

The above three black and white photos are online, from the Toronto Public Library

seating and snow outside the backdoor of a white house with a green roof

With many thanks to Karen for accompanying me.  Sorry, no photo – totally forgot…. We’ll have to make good on our vow to walk again!

I first started walking the streets with a camera sometime in 2011.   At that time Instagram was still a baby; the photo sharing platform of choice at the time was flickr.  Flickr still exists but there are many more choices now.  Back in the day there was a Toronto flickr group that had meetups once a month.  The meetup, there’s another concept that has exploded with the internet.  There are now meetup groups for any photography genre that tickles your fancy.  Ten years ago, you met through flickr and that is how I found Toronto Photo Walks. They walk (or walked pre-COVID) on alternate Saturdays, rain or shine, somewhere in the city.   My first walk with them was February 2012, almost exactly 9 years ago.   If you check their website, you”ll see that COVID-19 has played havoc with their group and there haven’t been any walks for a year now.  I miss my phellow photogs so the other day I walked with one and this is where we ended up.

 

below: If you’ve been in the Distillery District this winter (or any of the past few winters), you might recognize this cheerful fellow.

tall fake snowman with a red and white striped scarf, in the distillery district

below: At Mill and Trinity, the omnipresent blue and white Notice sign.  Apparently a developer has applied to build a 31 storey building (on top of the existing old brick structure) with 392 hotel rooms.  I wonder if they are happy that they didn’t just finish this a year ago?  Ontario hotel occupancy rate hit a low of 15.3% in April 2020 and had barely started to recover when the second lockdown hit.  As an aside – if you like stats, you’ll like the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport research pages!

blue and white city of toronto development notice in front of old brick building in distillery district

below: One industry that is booming is the film business.  Often you can see movie trucks at the corner of Mill and Cherry.  This land is owned by the province and is awaiting an affordable housing development of some sort.

movie film crew trucks on the corner of Cherry and Mill streets

two people buying coffee and muffins from a food truck in a lot with many other white trucks

below: The old Foundry site, actually a group of heritage buildings at the former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue that are more than 100 years old.

glass windows of the old foundry building

The problem?  It sits on provincially owned land.  The province can pull stunts like changing the zoning without city approval (or knowledge).  It can turn one foundry building into 3 towers of max 141m high  (30 storeys is approx. 100m so 141 m is TALL!).  One of them has to be rental apartments but can’t have parking – there’s to be a commercial parking structure instead.  Hey let’s build affordable housing by making them pay for parking!  Here is the government website with the proof – Ontario Regulation 595/20

bench on sidewalk in front of old foundry building

Fast forward to late January.  Demolition of the foundry begins with no warning to the neighbourhood.  There is a rezoning order but no actual plans drawn up or developer named.  As far we know, the province still owns the land but refuses to say exactly the plan is because, well, probably because there is no plan or because the province is selling out to a developer.  Name your poison.   The province just says “affordable housing” and we’re supposed to go oooh and ahhh.

old foundry building behind hoardings, new condo in the background

Just around the corner (on Mill Street) three towers of 761 rental units are being built at the moment (no photo, it’s all behind hoardings so far).

machinery in front of old foundry building that demolition was started on, and then stopped

below: Heritage Toronto plaque, 2012, Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd., Manufacturing Complex

plaque at former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue

These four buildings were once part of a larger Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd. complex. By 1913, the company had constructed its first building, 169 Eastern Ave. on this site. As a manufacturer of railway equipment, rolling stock, and foundry and machinery supplies, Dominion Wheel & Foundries expanded with the growth of the nearby railway companies. By the 1940s, the buildings stretched from this location to Cherry Street, replacing two former residential streets. The firm’s remaining warehouse (#169)m foundry building (#153, built 1951), office building (#171, built 1930), and machine shop (#185, built about 1935) are now among the few remaining reminders of the extensive impact the railway industry had on this area.

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Anyhow, lots of protest, lots of noise.  Demolition was halted.  An Ontario Divisional Court justice temporarily stopped the province from demolishing the heritage buildings.

4 hand drawn posters protesting the demolition of the old foundry building

below: Just behind the Foundry, an almost completed condo.

new condo in Canary district almost finished construction,

below: Workers remove the protective layer from the mirror-like panels on the underside of the overhang (see yellow area near the bottom of the condo in the above photo).  This feature parallels the mirrors on the “ceiling” of Underpass Park which is close by.

workmen working on a lift, working on mirrored exterior overhanging roof on a new condo

flat bed truck carrying machinery, and little red car on street, man holding slow stop sign by construction site , man on sidewalk walking two small dogs

below: Poster paste up graffiti at Underpass Park (you can see the new condo I mentioned above in the upper right corner).  Good advice whether you take it literally or as a metaphor.

poster graffiti on a piller in Underpass Park, poetry on it

black marker scrawl graffiti on a concrete post, drawing of man's face and head with words about smoking

below: Looking northwest at the corner of King and Sumach

corner of kIng and Sumach, looking northwest, Central Auto mechanic on the corner

below: A few metres further west along King.  Traffic passes under Richmond and Adelaide streets.

TTC streetcar on King as it goes under the Richmond Street overpass from the Don Valley Parkway

below:  Looking northwest from Sackville Park.

looking west through Sackville Park, to city buildings behind, snow on ground

below: ghost sign

ghost sign that says groceries, under a cracking layer of concrete, on a wall with a couple of windows

below: Waiting for the streetcar.

King street 504 TTC streetcar, person sitting onrailing and waiting for streetcar

man making a delivery , a box, on a bike, KIng street,

below: Architectural detail on a corner of St. Lawrence Hall.   That’s quite the expression on the poor fellow’s face.  The harrowed look of someone who has spent too much time in lockdown?

small relief sculpture high on a wall of the St. Lawrence Hall

below: In contrast, this guy looks like he’s having a great time!

a small dog is looking out the open window of a black car

Did you ever think that we’d still be mired in this pandemic a year later?

below: A reminder that this pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses –  sign on a window, “Dear Customers”

sign in a restaurant window

Dear customers, We have decided to close this weekend to re-assess for the future…

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below: Lining up to buy groceries, masked and keeping distanced.

people lined up waiting to get into No Frill grocery store, keeping the 2 metres apart

On a storefront window, something positive: hearts for the things we love – “my dog”, “mac & cheese”, “movie popcorn”, etc.

pink post it notes with words, beside big pink heart, in the window of a store, notes all say what people love

below: Pam Lostracco artwork on hoardings.

painted hoardings of a couple sitting on a bench, a child on a bike, some Canada geese, by Pam , around a construction site

workmen by the entrance to a construction site, with concrete mixer backed into the site

below: View of the CN Tower from Lower Sherbourne, just north of Lakeshore/Gardiner and immediately south of Hydro One’s Esplanade Transformer Station.  Unfortunately, that is not a public path; it is behind a locked gate.

graffiti on the wall around the hydro substation, lots electrical stuff, with CN Tower and downtown buildings in the background

below: Chairs in the median.

two chairs in the median on the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner at Lower Sherbourne

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking west towards downtown.

looking west on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne, construction,

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking east towards the old Victory Soya Mills Silos.  They were built for Canadian Breweries’ soya bean processing plant in 1944.  Ten years later the site was sold to Proctor and Gamble who renamed them the Victory Soya Mills Silos.   One last change of ownership occurred in 1980 when Central Soya Mills purchased them.   They have been empty since 1991.  Other buildings on the site have been demolished but the silos remain, now a heritage building but surrounded by a large vacant lot.

looking east on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne with old concrete silos in the distance, lots of orange and black traffic cones in the middle of the street in the foreground

below: The mill with its three silos before it closed in the early 1990s.  The silo that still stands is the one in the back, not the two closest to the water.   In this picture, you are looking southeast; the Port Lands are in the background and the Cherry Street bridge is on the left at the very edge.  There isn’t much traffic on the Gardiner Expressway!

old colour photograph of Victory Soya Mills with Port Lands behind

below: Sugar Beach

sugar beach with pink umbrellas, looking northwest to the city, new glass highrise beside redpath sugar

black and white sticker graffiti on a pole

sticker graffiti on a pole

My thanks to Vicki for walking with me that day.  We’ve walked many miles together in the past but I don’t think that we’ve ever walked alone (maybe?)

reflections in a window downtown

below: As an aside, after walking with Vicki, I looped back around to my car.  This construction site is on Adelaide where the brick facade of the old building is being preserved.   More to explore another day!

construction site, Adelaide street, new condo building, but with retention of the old facade

poster on the outside of a store, blue wall, picture of a tree and words that say Love your hood, Birchcliff village

Birch Cliff, where one of the predominant themes is birch trees.

mural of birch tree trunks

Such as this mural on the side of the public school.

Birch cliff public school, a two storey red brick building, with a large mural of birch trees on one exterior wall

The other theme in this stretch of Kingston Road seems to be the blue and white Toronto notice of development signs and the consequent empty buildings.

Lenmore Court, an older brick apartment complex, with a blue and white Toronto notice of development sign on it

banner, density has to make sense, protest agains Atlree developers and their plan to redevelop Lenmore Court

two posters on a wood utility pole, protesting redevelopments in the neighbourhood

small mural of birch trees beside Scarborough bluffs, on outside wall beside a window with a protest sign in it. Poretesting redevelopment of parts of Kingston Road with buildings that are too big, too tall, too wide

three empty storefronts at 1557, 1559 Kingston Road, two storey buildings in shades of grey

three old two storey brick storefronts, one is Cheers restaurant painted bright red, the other is Barbers by Nature

beside a new condo building, older smaller buildings on Kingston Road, Lakeview Tavern,

looking across the street to Majestic Auto service and Fallingbrook garage, two businesses that share a building

side entrance and car door of Fallingbrook garage, mechanic, service entrance, now with a development notice sign on it

The old….

three storey red brick apartment buildings with large trees in front, one apartment has red curtains

… and the new. This is the only building that is close to being finished.   If the drawings on the development signs are to be believed, there will be several more in the neighbourhood just like it in a couple of years time.

six or 7 storey new condo development in birch cliff

below: Kingston Road is quite close to Lake Ontario. At this point the only thing between the road and the water is the grounds and golf course of The Toronto Hunt Club, a private members only club.

trees, in winter time, with snow on the ground, with Lake Ontario in the distance, Scarboruogh Hunt Club grounds

below: On the side of Legion 13 on Kingston Road is this large mural.  Painted in memory of Max Silverstein, by John Hood with help from Alexandra Hood and Asif Khan, 1991. Restored in 2010 by Blinc Studios.  It’s also part of the Heritage Trail murals, a Mural Routes project.

large mural on the side of Legion 13 building on Kingston Road, parade of soldiers

Plaque beside the mural says: “Scarborough Rifle Company marching to the Niagara Frontier, June 1, 1866. In 1862 the Scarborough Rifle Company was organized with headquarters in a school at Eglinton Avenue near Markham Road. It was the first of several militia companies formed in York County. The company was rushed to the Niagara frontier three times in 1865 and 1866 to defend Canada against the Fenians. The Scarborough Rifle Company later became No. 1 Company in the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the forerunner of Queen’s York Rangers.”

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below: A smaller mural on the right hand side of the above one features portraits of two men, Captain Norris and Lieutenant Taber, soldiers in the Fenian Raids of 1866.

mural on side of Legion 13 building, two portraits in oval frames, Norris and Taber, Fenian Raids history

below: Another Heritage Trail  mural – “Mitchells General Store” by Phil Irish, 1998.  Mitchells store was one of the first businesses established in the Birch Cliff area.  The same store is mentioned in another Scarborough history mural just a bit north on Warden Avenue (see Scarborough Bells)

a mural on the side of a building, inside an old fashioned store with a man behind the counter and a woman shopper

yellow metal bucket hanging from a tree with evergreens and a red ribbon, also three gold christmas balls hanging with the bucket

below: An elaborate home for the birds with a tiny outpost below.

a large white bird house with a red windmill on it, behind a wrought iron fence, and a for rent sign on the fence

below: Ready for social distancing when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

an old beige arm chair, with snow it, outside beside industrial garbage bins

Molson Canadian flag outside a bar, also muskoka chairs and a carved wood bear, a Canadian flag too.

below: Buster’s ready to play

carved wooden bear, Buster, with Canada flag hockey shirt on, holding a hockey stick,

below: This guy needs a beer

posters and signs on the door of a bar

below: Looking in a window – framed pictures, old records, a trunk and a tripod.

looking in the window of a junk vintage store, framed pictures on the wall, a shelf of old records, a trunk, and other stuff

windows and entrance of Sharons Variety store on Kingston Road

below: A Beckers store, you don’t have to be that old to remember Beckers do you?  The original Beckers Milk Company was founded in 1957; they had five convenience stores that were open 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.  By 2006 when the company was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, there were 500 stores.  Most were converted to Macs convenience stores stores.  In 2013 the Beckers label was brought back and apparently there are now 45 Beckers stores.

row of two storey brick storefronts including a Beckers store with a birch tree mural on it

an old gas station that is now a used car dealership, with many cars parked outside in the snow

cars parked outside in the snow at a used car lot

below: St. Nicholas Anglican church, opened 1917.

St Nicholas church, red brick, no steeple, but a pointed roof

old two story brown brick building on Kingston Road

red wall, exterior of Fashion Sushi

below: An idea for a future walk!

Warden street sign, with traffic signals, also a sign pointing south to the Waterfront Trail

Howdy!

little metal character made of found objects and rusty metal, hat, fishing net, overalls,

There are rumours of a vaccine being available but at the rate at which people are being inoculated, we’re going to be living this socially distanced life for a few (many?) more months.  To help alleviate the feelings of isolation without jeopardizing anyone’s health, I have started walking with friends in their neighbourhoods.  My previous post, about Glendon College, was the result of a walk that I took with my mother and it was that afternoon that I decided to make a point of walking with friends more often.  The result of the first of these walks, near South Kingsway & Bloor, is what you see here.

yeard decorations of two small metal bikes, one blue and one yellow, in front of a house with Christmas wreath on the door and other Christmas greenery decorations too

stret of houses and large trees across from Rennie Park, single family homes, residential area, large trees, winter, no leaves, some snow on the ground.

bench in park, snow on ground, large tree, lots of long shadows,

a melting snowman with a blue and black plaid cloth around it, looks a bit like a large bid witha sharp curved beak

below: Rules of the rink for these Covid-19 times.

outdoor skating rink at Rennie Park, winter, with two signs regrding the rules for outdoor rinks during covid times, a few people are skating

outdoor skating rinkm some people getting ready to skate, enclosed rink for hockey etc with more natural rink beside it

child in red pants and blue winter coat pulling a sled across a park, houses and trees behind it

looking down a hill towards a park with a playground, backyards and houses beyond that. orange snow fence, railings of the stairs going down the hill

two adjacent two storey houses with lots of white statues and fountains in the front yards

white statues in front of a house

A little house!

older smaller house beside a larger newer one

older light grey stucco house on lot with grass and large trees

chainlink fence beside a path through the woods in early winter, no leaves on trees, some snow on the trail

below: Be careful where you walk!

wooden bridge over creek, ground at end of bridge has been flooded, hill onthe other side of the bridge with aprtment buildings (low rise) on top

below: Evidence of beaver activity!

beside a pond, thin layer of ice on the water, dead leaves on the ground, some medium sized tree trunks, one that a beaver has tried to take down

below: The muddy path beside Catfish Pond

path beside a pond that is muddy, boards placed on top of mud to make it passable

below: Morningside High Park Presbyterian church, built 1917.

front entrance and steeple of Morningside High Park, a stone church built in the Gothic style in 1917

below: In the distance, highrises near Bloor West and Keele

street curving downhill towards park, city skyline ion the background, a house or two beside the road

small white house behind a large pine tree and between two larger houses, on a small hill with stairs leading up to it

below: High Park

below: The very north end of Grenadier Pond.  Work is underway to remove invasive species of plants from this part of High Park and replace them with native vegetation.

a man is going down a long set of stairs towards a park, winter time,

and back up the stairs to Bloor West

older small apartment building from the 1920s, brick,with white wood trim and balconies

With thanks to Alice for being my tour guide.

a woman taking pictures in the woods, winter