Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by Mustapha, Jun 17, 2008.
King St. E., south side, east of present Victoria St.
Google street view
I found this photo during a google search, the interesting thing is the building built into the bridge abutment. Does anyone know anything about this building? The after photo shows that it's till there and looking pretty much intact.
I don't know about the building, but semi-related: that section of Bloor from the Value Village until Symington is teeerrriiibbblleeeee.
Looks like a pre-existing building that was given a "basement entrance" in the process of grade separation.
I agree that the street in the Depression era looks in much better shape than now. I don't live near the area but what I always find striking about older buildings is the level of decoration that went into even the industrial building seen in the photos, window frames and cornices for example. The apartment buildings are typical of the '70s and '80s, plain boxes that would even bore a communist architect.
Back to the building in question. In a city that has torn down buildings to widen Dundas St. or completely demolished a neighbourhood for the Gardner, why was this building kept? Why was a door and windows put in the abutment when, if a basement was there, a wall could of sufficed? The windows themselves are interesting, they are too high to be viewed through from the street and probably as well from the inside. Could this be an Icehouse?
Is this before the before?
The streetcar service gap between Lansdowne Avenue and Dundas Street West would not be completed until August 25, 1925.
View attachment 98011
Interesting page from Arcade Guide and Record of 1884
View attachment 98012
Yes it's the same location but I don't think it's the same building but the "before before" photo does give me an idea. The utility poles on the right I believe are telephone, these poles are now missing from the 1932 photo, so perhaps the mystery entrance is one to a sub-exchange vault? Or could it be for a electrical transformer vault? Either could make sense, you would need some ventilation for cooling but not be easily accessible for people to enter = an explanation for the windows up high. Getting closer with Google street view to the today view shows a metal door and possible metal plates in the windows, which would be needed for a transformer vault.
The building was owned by Meredith, Simmons & Company which produced industrial adhesives on that site, an activity that needs quite a bit of power. So maybe this is the transformer vault that serviced the building or the area.
Anyone know someone at THEC or Bell that could look into this?
Rather than buy the business the property negotiator for the City said to Greenaways "We are putting in an underpass so you won't have access out the front main floor any more. We'll give you a basement entrance to the new sidewalk and you can still ship your Flour, Feed and Potatoes out the rear."
Yes Rusty, that seems like a logical scenario.
And I agree that Greenaway's is the same building as in the previous photos (Meredith).
I think I got to the bottom of this little mystery hole in the wall. The building was a storage warehouse owned by the CNR that had a basement. When CNR and the city pulled their money together to build an underpass CNR just added an extra bit to the job to put in the access to the basement. I found this notice on another website:
(from The Toronto Globe, 7March 1930, as seen on www.cnr-in-ontario.com)
With a little supposition I think that CNR made the entrance for themselves and then later sold off the building as surplus.
Is the "Meredith" building and the "Greenaways" building? I see some differences between the two that would suggest that they are not but perhaps the first could have been renovated to the second. The fascias between the two are different as well as one being a peaked roof and the other flat.
North-east corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, 1919
The whole block is today's location of St. Michael's Hospital and will soon include an additional Patient Care Tower.
Anna, it just amazes me what you can come up with, and so quickly! Well done.
It's a shame all the lost wrought iron work, both on roof tops and fence around properties. A lost art.