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Thread: Heritage Toronto Mondays

  1. #16
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:

    City of Toronto Archives

    DR. MOORHOUSE HOME

    The home of Dr. Moorhouse at Dundas and Spadina reminds us of a time when Spadina Avenue was a picturesque residential street. Spadina was laid out by doctor, lawyer, and judge William Warren Baldwin who owned an estate above the ridge at Davenport Road called Spadina. He laid out Spadina Avenue in the early 1800’s once commenting: “I have cut an avenue through the woods all the way so that we can see the vessels passing up and down the bay.” The street’s original double width of 132 feet set it apart from most other streets in Toronto, a character that largely remains today.

    Dr. Moorhouse built his home on the northeast corner of Dundas and Spadina in the 1880's when it was lined with other estates, churches, and market gardens. It was three storeys high, designed in an eclectic style, dwarfing surrounding buildings. At that time, there was a Chesnut tree promenade on Spadina that gave the street an air of elegance and sophistication. The promenade later vanished in the 1920’s. Dr. Moorhouse lived in the home for more than two decades during a time of great transition on Spadina when industrial buildings were being built. Also, the area became home to Jewish immigrants who lived and worked in the area, erecting synagogues, businesses, and theatres. As a sign of the changing times, Moorhouse’s home was demolished and replaced with the Standard Theatre, called one of the finest Yiddish theatres in North America. Opening in 1921, it was designed by Benjamin Brown and renamed the Strand in the 1930's. It later became a popular burlesque theatre known as the Victory and subsequently a Chinese language theatre in the 1970's. Today, the once residential character of Spadina Avenue lined with estates has nearly vanished, but the area's later incarnation as a home for Jewish immigrants survives with the presence of many of the community's former structures. The Standard Theatre survives as the home for several businesses.

    Sources
    http://www.lostrivers.ca/points/spadinaave.htm
    http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.0...dn6c780ufqhjq3
    Spadina Avenue by Rosemary Donegan.
    Palaces of the Night by John Lindsay
    Spadina: A Story of Old Toronto by Austin Seton Thompson
    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2...ndfile-838.pdf



  2. #17
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:

    City of Toronto Archives

    SHEA’S HIPPODROME

    Shea’s Hippodrome was one of the greatest vaudeville theatres ever built in Canada. It was the brainchild of Ontario-born Jerry and Michael Shea, famous theatre owners and builders who moved to Buffalo New York and gained notoriety for designing spectacular theatres. In Toronto, prior to Shea’s Hippodrome, they built Shea’s Yonge Street and Shea’s Victoria. The new Shea’s would eclipse them both. Interestingly, the term Hippodrome, the Greek word for a horse racing stadium, eventually came to be used for large entertainment venues around the world. Located north of Queen Street, on Terauley Street (today Bay Street), Shea’s Hippodrome was designed by Rochester New York firm L H. Lempert featuring a grand exterior with glass and copper domes that were illuminated at night. The front fašade was finished in a decorative white brick design topped with the words Shea’s Hippodrome that could be seen from a distance. In the centre of the fašade was a copper marquee that advertised the acts for the night. When Shea’s Hippodrome opened in April of 1914, it became not only the largest theatre in Canada but also one of the largest vaudeville theatres worldwide. In fact, the “Hipp” as it was known, was considered one of the big four vaudeville theatres in North America. As such, it featured some of the world’s greatest acts including Etobicoke’s very own O’Connor Sisters who once remarked that Shea’s Hippodrome was their favoured theatre in the country. American actor Red Skelton who became a world famous comedian appeared at Shea’s in the mid 1930’s and once remarked “I really got started in a big way when I went to Shea’s in Toronto.” Inside was an elaborate auditorium with seats for some 3200 people. There were 12 grand opera boxes, an orchestra pit, decorative plaster mouldings on the ceiling and walls, and hundreds of lights that illuminated the space. Although initially built as a vaudeville theatre, Shea’s, like many of its contemporaries, had to adapt to rapidly developing technologies in film including sound and technicolour. In addition to musical acts, theatre, acting, song and dance, Shea’s featured films such as The Ten Commandments. Shea’s Hippodrome was demolished in the late 1950’s to make way for the development of New City Hall.


    Sources
    Palaces of the Night, Canada’s Grand Theatres by John Lindsay
    The development and nature of vaudeville in Toronto: from 1899 to 1915 by Gerald Lenton


  3. #18
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:

    City of Toronto Archives

    WICKHAM LODGE

    Seen here is the front verandah that belonged to a once sprawling estate, originally known as Wickham Lodge. Built in the 1840s, this elegant villa was the home of James Buchanan Macaulay, a prominent figure in Toronto society who took on several careers including militia officer, judge, lawyer and politician. Named after a small village in England where Macaulay's relatives lived, Wickham Lodge was located on a 10 acre parcel of land south of today's College Street, in between Yonge and Teraulay Street (now Bay). The two storey brick home featuring an elegant porch was designed in the Regency style, a trend that was in vogue in Ontario largely from 1820-1860.

    After Macaulay passed away in 1859, the home remained in family hands until 1869 when it was sold to The Bishop Strachan School, one of the oldest day and boarding schools for girls in Toronto, founded in the 1860's. Wykeham Hall, as it was then known, underwent renovations to become the new home of the The Bishop Strachan School for the Higher Education of Young Ladies in 1870. This new property was considered much more spacious and picturesque than the previous location of the school on Front, then viewed as a rapidly industrializing street. Wykeham Hall, by contrast, was surrounded by violets, wild strawberries, maple trees, and a pine forest on the Yonge Street side of the property.

    Over time, Wykeham Hall greatly expanded including the addition of a third storey, upper balconies, a chapel, and an expanded verandah. However, despite these modifications, Bishop Strachan decided to build a new school north of Avenue Road and St. Clair, opening in 1915. At that time, Macaulay's old home became the Central Military Convalescent Hospital that treated injured veterans of the First World War, who are seen posing for this 1916 photo. Following the War, the building became the College Street Armouries but before long it was torn down to make way for a new department store, Eaton's College Street that survives today as a multipurpose complex, recognized for its historical and architectural significance.

    Sources

    http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.0...p?&id_nbr=4038
    The Estates of Old Toronto, p. 21
    http://bss.on.ca/story/history/
    http://www.bss.on.ca/thelink/print.php?id=99
    Toronto: 100 Years of Grandeur. p.104-107
    OntarioArchitecture.com: Regency Architecture



  4. #19
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.


    This week's photo:

    North York Historical Society

    JACOB STONG HOUSE

    Located on the grounds of York University’s Keele Campus stands an old home built for pioneers Jacob and Sarah Stong. Jacob Stong was a noted livestock judge, Justice of the Peace, and member of the York Pioneer Historical Society. He was born in 1821, the son of Daniel Stong who had large property holdings in York County. In 1816 Daniel began farming in Lot 25 that extended from what is today Keele to Jane streets along the south side of Steeles Avenue West.

    In 1854, Jacob took over the east portion of Lot 25, and constructed a 2 1/2 storey house on the south side of Steeles, west of Keele around 1860. His picturesque home is now recognized as an important heritage structure in North York. It features patterned brickwork, a steeply pitched gable roof, and a principal entrance that includes glass sidelights and transom. Also noted for its historical significance is a barn that Stong built near the house. Seen in this photo are unidentified people sitting stoically on the front verandah sporting the fashions of the day.

    The Jacob Stong House and barn remained in the hands of the Stong family until 1951. Then, in the early 1960’s, York University acquired more than 400 acres of farmland at Steeles and Keele Streets as the proposed new site of the Keele Campus of York University. Among the historic buildings incorporated into the campus was the Jacob Stong House and barn. They were restored and left in their original location, and have been used for a variety of purposes over the years including serving as a studio facility for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

    Stong College at York University was named in honour of the illustrious Stong family who were among the most noted settlers of the Keele and Steeles area.


    Sources

    http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/gazette/pas...98/current.htm
    http://www.toronto.ca/involved/statu...l_121809_2.htm


    Last edited by interchange42; 2010-Aug-09 at 12:08.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by interchange42 View Post
    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:

    City of Toronto Archives

    WICKHAM LODGE

    Seen here is the front verandah that belonged to a once sprawling estate, originally known as Wickham Lodge. Built in the 1840s, this elegant villa was the home of James Buchanan Macaulay, a prominent figure in Toronto society who took on several careers including militia officer, judge, lawyer and politician. Named after a small village in England where Macaulay's relatives lived, Wickham Lodge was located on a 10 acre parcel of land south of today's College Street, in between Yonge and Teraulay Street (now Bay). The two storey brick home featuring an elegant porch was designed in the Regency style, a trend that was in vogue in Ontario largely from 1820-1860.

    After Macaulay passed away in 1859, the home remained in family hands until 1869 when it was sold to The Bishop Strachan School, one of the oldest day and boarding schools for girls in Toronto, founded in the 1860's. Wykeham Hall, as it was then known, underwent renovations to become the new home of the The Bishop Strachan School for the Higher Education of Young Ladies in 1870. This new property was considered much more spacious and picturesque than the previous location of the school on Front, then viewed as a rapidly industrializing street. Wykeham Hall, by contrast, was surrounded by violets, wild strawberries, maple trees, and a pine forest on the Yonge Street side of the property.

    Over time, Wykeham Hall greatly expanded including the addition of a third storey, upper balconies, a chapel, and an expanded verandah. However, despite these modifications, Bishop Strachan decided to build a new school north of Avenue Road and St. Clair, opening in 1915. At that time, Macaulay's old home became the Central Military Convalescent Hospital that treated injured veterans of the First World War, who are seen posing for this 1916 photo. Following the War, the building became the College Street Armouries but before long it was torn down to make way for a new department store, Eaton's College Street that survives today as a multipurpose complex, recognized for its historical and architectural significance.

    Sources

    http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.0...p?&id_nbr=4038
    The Estates of Old Toronto, p. 21
    http://bss.on.ca/story/history/
    http://www.bss.on.ca/thelink/print.php?id=99
    Toronto: 100 Years of Grandeur. p.104-107
    OntarioArchitecture.com: Regency Architecture



    A photo and caption from the Toronto Star Archives prior to its demolition:



    Original caption: Historic Block to be wrecked. Above are photographs which show the buildings to be wrecked in the block bounded by Yonge, College, Bay and Buchanan Sts. Tenders for the wrecking have been called for by the owners, the T. Eaton Co., and these close at noon today. The pictures are of: . . . a birdseye view of the whole parcel, showing the College St. armouries, formerly Bishop Strachan school, and before that Wykeham Lodge, the residence of Lady J. B. Macaulay. . . Last Published: 7/11/1928

  6. #21
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.


    This week's photo:



    WARRIORS' DAY PARADE at the CNE

    During the Great War (1914 -1918), Canadian men and women participated in the war effort, both overseas and on the homefront. Patriotism ran high across the country and in Toronto's many neighbourhoods. Earlscourt located at St. Clair and Dufferin was reported to have the greatest proportion of men fighting in the war than any other area in Canada. This was partly due to recent immigration from British Isles. The hard working immigrants living there were still loyal to the Crown, despite having left for a better life in Canada.

    In Earlscourt, it was reported that the Hughes school district had among the largest per capita enlistments in the country. Several organizations located in Earlscourt were formed to aid in the war effort including the Earlscourt Trench Comforts League and the Independent Women Workers Association of Earlscourt. During the war, residents of Earlscourt were known to gather each year at the Royal George Theatre to pay their respects to residents of Earlscourt who had fallen during the war. In 1917, it was recorded that on one block in this community, there were 24 widows.

    The extraordinary contribution to the war effort by residents of Earlscourt was honoured by a visit of the Prince of Wales in August 1919. During his tour of Toronto, the Prince made a special visit to the area, paying respects to fallen soldiers at Prospect Cemetery on St. Clair Avenue. After planting a tree there, a local councillor told the Prince that: “Earlscourt has earned for itself an undying name for patriotism and loyalty to the Mother Country during the recent war, by having sent more soldiers to the world conflict than any other section of Canada, compared to its area.”

    As soon as the war was over, commemorative events took place across the country. Seen in this 1920 photo are mothers of soldiers from Earlscourt. Looking seriously at the camera, these women sit quietly in the motor car, as participants of the veterans' parade. By the following year, this annual parade became a central feature of the Canadian National Exhibition's newly named Warriors' Day. Starting in 1927, the Warriors' Day Parade has entered through the Princes' Gates honouring war veterans, and the more than 100,000 people who died in the Boer War, First World War and Second World Wars, and Korean War and peacekeeping missions.

    Sources

    http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/englis...ray/index.aspx
    http://waynecook.com/atoronto.html
    St. Clair West in Pictures by Nancy Byers and Barbara Myrvold.
    http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/p...ng_our_bit.pdf



  7. #22
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:


    QUEEN'S VISIT

    During the summer of 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited Canada for a 9 day tour that included a visit to Toronto. 51 years earlier, the Queen came to Toronto as part of an historic 45 day tour of Canada, in 1959. The Queen has visited Canada on more than 20 occasions, but by 1959, the Queen had only passed through Toronto on a few occasions, first when she was a Princess. In 1959, the Queen was just 33, mother of then two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
    The fashionable young Queen and her Prince arrived in Gander, Newfoundland on June 18th, 1959. During their extensive tour, the royal couple visited all provinces, several of the Great Lakes, as well as the United States. Having seen several cities already, the Queen and Prince Philip arrived in Toronto via the Royal Yacht Britannia on Monday, June 29th 1959.
    Inside Toronto harbour, the royal couple were welcomed with a 21 gun salute, ceremoniously decorated lake and ocean liners, and the thundering cheers of sailors. During their 2 day tour of Toronto, the couple had a busy schedule of events including a ceremony at City Hall (today's Old City Hall), dinner at Royal York Hotel, visit to O'Keefe Centre (today the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts), and a visit to the 100th running of the Queen's Plate. Here, the Queen and Prince Philip are seen waving to crowds as they travel along Bay Street.
    The royal couple departed Toronto's Malton airport on Tuesday, June 30th 1959 for their next stop: Ottawa. Eventually the tour wrapped up in Halifax, and the Queen and Prince Philip left the country on August 1st, 1959.

    Sources

    http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/fr-rf/visit-eng.cfm
    http://www.crht.ca/LibraryShelf/The1959Tour.html
    Toronto Star Newspaper, Friday, June 19, 2010, Monday June 29th, Tuesday, June 30th



  8. #23
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    HERITAGE TORONTO AND THE TORONTO HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION HOSTS MAYORAL DEBATE

    Public forum to discuss the state of heritage on August 30th

    On Monday, August 30th, Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Historical Association will host a public mayoral debate at St. Lawrence Hall to discuss the state of heritage in Toronto in 2010. The debate will be moderated by former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, and Adjunct Professor of City Planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, Paul Bedford.

    Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Historical Association have run a series of community consultations throughout the city which will result in a report of what Torontonians see as significant issues relating to heritage preservation. The information collected through the consultations and public input will be used to develop a heritage report card, with key issues being raised at the debate. The report card will also be accessible to the public and media in the fall.

    Issues raised so far at the consulations include a lack of: staff resources and funding that the City provides toward heritage conservation; understanding and education of our decision makers and senior levels of municipal and provincial government on the heritage designation process and; sufficient tools, such as strong protective statements in the City's Official Plan that will ensure heritage conservation is caught early in the development process.

    Candidates that have been confirmed for the event include Rocco Achampong, Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman and Sarah Thomson.

    The debate will take place on Monday, August 30th at 7:00pm at St Lawrence Hall, 3rd floor in the Great Hall at 157 King Street East (at Jarvis).

    The debate and report has been made possible through the support of the McLean Foundation and the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Charitable Foundation.

    UrbanToronto encourages you to attend the debate as the evening promises to be very interesting, and important for the future of our city. After the debate, (about 9 PM) join us at Betty's at 240 King Street East for a little decrompression, and to meet some of your fellow UrbanToronto members. We look forward to seeing many of you there!


  9. #24
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    ^ I'll be there - for at least half of the abovementioned activities, anyway!

    PS
    RE: UrbanToronto partnering with Heritage Toronto - nice fit indeed!
    BTW, you haven't come across any ancient street signs pics by any chance, have you??

  10. #25
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:



    THE AVENUE THEATRE

    There was a time when neighbourhood movie theatres were prevalent in communities across Toronto. However, these small local movie houses began disappearing, in part due to the advent of television and as a result of the opening of new, large multiplex theatres in the 1970's. Today only a few “nabes” remain in Toronto.

    The Avenue Theatre was built near the corner of Eglinton and Avenue road, one of several theatres that once operated in the Forest Hill area. It was anchored at Eglinton Avenue and Braemar, across the street from The Eglinton, a renowned art deco theatre that survives today as a venue for social and corporate events. Built in 1937, The Avenue was a much simpler structure, featuring the traditional marquee lettering. It was one of many independent theatres in Toronto that competed against larger companies including Famous Players, Odeon, and the 20th Century chain.

    In this 1939 photograph, people are seen waiting to see the highly successful film, Victoria the Great. Young Victoria was portrayed by Anna Neagle, an acclaimed British born stage and screen actress, who delighted visitors by making an appearance at The Avenue when the film was running that year. Standing outside are several members of the Toronto Black Watch Association, a branch that still operates today as part of the oldest highland regiment in Canada.

    The Avenue was eventually swallowed up by Famous Players but never gained the same prominence of other neighbourhood theatres. Not unlike dozens of its contemporaries, the Avenue disappeared, and today the site is home to a modern structure.

    Sources:

    http://www.32elvismovies.com/?m=200811
    imdb.com
    The Nabes: Toronto's wonderful neighbourhood movie houses. P. 30
    http://www.blackwatchcanada.com/inde...mid=32&lang=fr



  11. Default

    Excellent thread. I look forward to future weekly installments.
    To an Urban Toronto!

  12. #27
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to both Gary Switzer of MOD Developements and Maya Bilbao for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:



    THE O'KEEFE CENTRE

    Located on the southeast corner of Front and Yonge Streets, the O'Keefe Centre opened in 1960. Years in the making, the O'keefe was designed as a multi-use performance venue that catered to ballet, dance, opera and many artistic performers. Its single theatre, seating 3250 people made it the largest theatre in Toronto when it opened.

    The O'Keefe Centre was designed by a team of architects including renowned firm, Page and Steele and Toronto architect Earle C. Morgan. Located in what was then an old warehouse district, the theatre with its distinctive canopy stood out with its bold modern design in the international style. The International style came into prominence in Toronto in the 1950's and was characterized by simple, clean lines and a less is more philosophy of design.

    The O'Keefe opened in October 1st 1960 to a star studded list of attendees including prime ministers and heads of state. That night, the stage opened with a performance of Camelot featuring Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Robert Goulet. Over the years top performers graced the stage, the likes of Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Jack Benny, Elton John and K.D. Lang.

    The O'Keefe Centre was renamed the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts in 1996 and later the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in 2007. In 2008, the Sony Centre closed to for a redevelopment of the site, led by American architect, Daniel Libeskind. The new complex will incorporate the theatre as well as a 49 storey residential space known as the “L Tower”. The redevelopment is scheduled to reopen on October 1st 2010 on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the O'Keefe Centre.

    Sources:

    http://canadianencyclopedia.ca/index...=U1ARTU0002619
    http://sonycentre.ca/
    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2...file-12492.pdf



  13. Default

    The O'Keefe Centre is often attributed to Peter Dickinson. But I've heard that he didn't have anything to do with it. Is that true?

  14. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by junctionist View Post
    The O'Keefe Centre is often attributed to Peter Dickinson. But I've heard that he didn't have anything to do with it. Is that true?
    As it says in the designation report from the City:

    "The O’Keefe Centre is associated with the practice of the leading Toronto architects,
    interior decorators, landscape designers and artists of the period. Toronto architect Earle
    C. Morgan prepared the plans in association with the architectural practice of Page and
    Steele and its chief designer, Peter Dickinson. "
    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2...file-12492.pdf


    Could be that Morgan was simply the architect of record, but definitely the "oral history" of Toronto architecture attributes the design of O'Keefe Centre to Dickinson.

  15. #30
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    UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

    Many thanks to Derek Boles for putting together the photos and research.

    This week's photo:

    City of Toronto Archives

    TORONTO WHOLESALE FRUIT MARKET

    The structure was built in 1866 as the Toronto terminal for the Great Western Railway. When the GWR was taken over by the Grand Trunk in 1882, it became a freight depot. Sometime in the early 20th century, probably about 1904, the building was transformed into Toronto's wholesale fruit market. Long lines of refrigerator cars carrying fruit from Florida and California were often seen unloading along the Esplanade. This view probably dates from the 1930s and the building burned down on May 17, 1952. After the fire, the site became a parking lot and the O'Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts opened here on October 1, 1960.



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