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Evocative Images of Lost Toronto

Ha, nice story about breaking in during demolition. That would have been late-'80s or early-'90s, no? Such a pity, too, about Fire Pit. It was like Harvey's, but better quality. Apparently there's still one outlet in Mississauga.
Yes, Willow was good for the cheap double-bill. We saw quite a few films there as a family in the '80s, among them Stand by Me and The Purple Rose of Cairo.
Here's a pic of the Willow from what must be 1981 (I can just make out Eye of the Needle on the marquee). She sure wasn't all that pretty a movie palace.
willowShow.jpeg



Yep, and Willy Wonderful, Hy and Zel's (still a few of these hanging in), and of course the bigger guys like Eaton's, Simpsons, et al.

The Willow was replaced by the Yonge Norton Centre. Q107 had their offices and studios there for quite a while after moving from Yonge and Bloor. They had a funny station commercial that played off the Honeymooners show. "Norton? Where the hell is Norton" or something like that to indicate how far in the boonies they had moved.
 
Bargain Harold's, Family Fair, Towers.

Miracle Mart (the department store version) and Savette were both at Town and Country Mall (now Centrepoint) back in the late 60's. And there was an Eatons Bargain store at Yonge and Doncaster back then as well. Its a car dealership today. One of the car dealerships that moved from Yonge and Finch when the subway brought high density development to the area. And how about Consumers Distributing at Newtonbrooke Plaza or the Canadian Tire and Red Barn on Yonge south of Finch. The Canadian Tire later moved to Town and Country. And back in those day the Bay had yet to be built at Town and County. That was added in the 70's.
 
The original Fire Pit moved when they demolished the block for the Empress Centre. It moved a few blocks north (where the St. Louis' is today) where it lasted for a while. But I think the owners changed and the food wasn't as good so I stopped going. Instead I started going to John Anderson's across the street (where Duca is today).

And IIRC there's still a John Anderson in Mississauga (at Dundas + Erindale Station)
 
1996 02 Woolworth Bldg Demolition 2.jpg


After finally locating and scanning this photo, here's a view of the old Woolworth Building at Bay & Adelaide being demolished. This was taken from the Canada Trust/TD building at Yonge & Adelaide about February 1996. It opened up a nice view of the Permanent Building which lasted until Trump went up.
 

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Why would they have demolished the Woolworth building if there was no imminent development planned?

Wal-Mart moved out to their new Canadian HQ in Mississauga. I presume that Woolworth/Woolco owned the building and then Wal-Mart sold it off. Parking lot revenue on a vacant lot was probably more profitable than keeping an old virtually unleasable building there, especially since the first floor was the old Woolworth's store, which had "The Bargain Shop!" as its last tenant. Anyone have any more information on happenings at this property at the time? I don't remember any building proposal signs on it, as the development market was still pretty comatose from the recession.
 
An interesting aerial view of Leaside in 1929 (looking S/E).

During WWII the Leaside Aerodrome was constructed here (1917). Some of the Hangers are visible, left-centre.
The Durant Motor Company plant can be seen at the S/E corner of Laird Drive and Wicksteed Ave.
Durant left in 1933 and the site became the Canada Wire and Cable facility.
At top is the racetrack at Thorncliffe Park which closed in 1952.
And the Leaside Bridge (built 1927) is immediately beside the race track.

View attachment 44254


Interesting how Sutherland is such a prominent street in that photo. The route to Sunnybrook Farm.
 
An interesting aerial view of Leaside in 1929 (looking S/E).

During WWII the Leaside Aerodrome was constructed here (1917). Some of the Hangers are visible, left-centre.
The Durant Motor Company plant can be seen at the S/E corner of Laird Drive and Wicksteed Ave.
Durant left in 1933 and the site became the Canada Wire and Cable facility.
At top is the racetrack at Thorncliffe Park which closed in 1952.
And the Leaside Bridge (built 1927) is immediately beside the race track.

View attachment 44254

Here are two views inside that Durant Motor Co. plant (1931)

from Story of Leaside-1931-by Town Council 2.jpg


from Story of Leaside-1931-by Town Council 3.jpg
 

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An interesting aerial view of Leaside in 1929 (looking S/E).

The Durant Motor Company plant can be seen at the S/E corner of Laird Drive and Wicksteed Ave.
Durant left in 1933 and the site became the Canada Wire and Cable facility.

View attachment 44254

Now in the same building is grocery store Longo's
 
Now in the same building is grocery store Longo's

It's my understanding that all of the old Durant Motors and Canada Wire & Cable buildings were demolished for the new Leaside SmartCentre.

aerial Leaside SmartCentre 2011- former site of CW&C.jpg
 

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