This week in Then and Now we go back 65 years to what was then the Township of North York, in the area that we call North York City Centre now. An April, 1955 view looking south on Yonge Street from Ellerslie Avenue showed what was still a sleepy suburb traversed by poorly paved roads. Willowdale was being built out with single-family homes at the time, and surrounding land to the north and west was still largely agricultural.

Looking south on Yonge from north of Ellerslie Ave, 1955, public domain image via oldto.sidewalklabs.com

In the six and a half decades since, urban development has swallowed up the area and North York has been incorporated into the City of Toronto. Returning to a similar vantage point mere metres to the south in April, 2020, and the landmarks of the township's main street have been replaced by a corridor of condominium and office towers that stretch from south of Sheppard to north of Finch. The 2010s brought a lot of growth to this area, including the most prominent towers in this view, the 2019-completed Beacon Condos at centre, and the 2014-completed Gibson Square Condominiums just in just behind Beacon. While already quite built out, the area in this view will grow even denser in the near future, with the recently started construction site of Ellie Condos visible in the right foreground. This complex will bring Kirkor Architects-designed condominium and office towers with respective heights of 31 and 10 storeys to site. 

Looking south on Yonge from north of Ellerslie Ave, 2020, image by Edward Skira

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