Friday, April 29, 2011

Chinatown Duplex

This duplex on Huron Street north of Sullivan retains much of it's original charm and detail.
Similar to the old house on Peter Street seen here.

Remuddling/A Tale of Two Houses

These two houses are just off of Davenport near Symington. The top one remains quite original while it's reversed twin below has been modified substantially with unpleasant results.

Yonge and Edward/Then and Now

The S/W corner of Yonge and Edward from 1929. Note the painted sign for Sunflower Wallpapers.
2011 and nothing remains.

Broadview and Gerrard/Then and Now

The south side of Gerrard east of Broadview as it was in 1960. I don't know what the Palladium was....It appears to be an old bank.

Adelaide West/Then and Now

Another block of worker's cottages that are no longer there. this photo is from 1937.

Bay Street/Then

A nice shot of Bay Street looking north towards old City Hall in the late 1940's. The Ticker Tape Coffee Shop and Soda Bar looks like the kind of place I'd frequent..

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Bloor Street Viaduct/A Lesson in Forward Thinking.

Designed by Edmund W. Burke and built between 1913-1918, the Bloor Viaduct is a good lesson in urban planning and forward thinking. Despite the fact that the building of Toronto's subway would not happen for another forty years the planners anticipated it's arrival and included a lower deck despite protests over the additional costs.
It was designed to facilitate mass transit; its upper deck accommodated trams and cars, while both the Don Valley phase and the Rosedale Valley phase included a lower deck for rail transport, controversial at the time because of its high additional cost. The bridge's designer and the commissioner of public works R.C. Harris were able to have their way, and the lower deck eventually proved to save millions of dollars when the TTC's Bloor-Danforth subway, opened in 1966, was able to use the Don Valley phase with no major structural changes to cross the Don River Valley.
The original plans.
Under construction 1915.
Opening day, October 18, 1918.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lois Lane/Politically Incorrect

Lois Lane # 57/1965
Lois and Lana have been scheming to convince a baby Superman to marry them only to realize that he's a different Superman from a parallel world. They watch on the monitor as the parallel Superman marries both of them....
Also see Lois lane as a black woman
in "I Am Curious (Black)"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Linus Vintage Style Bicycle

Linus Bicycles have introduced a new retro city bike called the Gaston, a Path Racer
similar to the Pashley Guv'nor but 1/4 the price.
The Guv'nor by Pashley.
Here's a link to a previous post about the Path Racer.
I haven't had much of a chance to ride the Gaston (other than the ride home after purchase) but I'm very pleased with it so far. I just need to add a Brooks Saddle and I'll be all set to go.
The Gaston was purchased at Bikes on Wheels in Kensington and has been upgraded with a Brooks B67 saddle from West Side Cycle on Roncesvalles and a carrying rack from Canadian Tire.
A small tool bag has recently been added.
Simulated leather tool bag from Electra.
A great source for real 1960's vintage bicycle parts:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vintage iPods

Back in the 60's this was your personal listening device and helped you stay informed and connected. A small sampling of vintage transistor radios for sale on Ebay.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Black Squirrel

Last summer a neighbour brought over a little orphaned squirrel that I
took care of for a couple of weeks until he was strong enough to make it
on his own. He still comes around on occasion. This is some
footage I shot. Music by the Lettermen, "Hurts So Bad" 1968.

Parkdale Art Deco Apartments

A nice example of Art Deco architecture in Parkdale.
The Everglades Apartments on Tyndall Ave.
A good example of a low rise apartment complex with some excellent period design details.

Old House(s) on Dufferin

I don't know anything about this old house on Dufferin just north of King but I'm sure it has an interesting story.....
It's currently getting a makeover.

Farr House/John Cornell House/Queen West Update

I've decided to re post this piece due to a chance encounter with someone also interested in Toronto's history who has generously contributed some old photographs.
905 Queen Street West, this is from a 1991 report by the Conservation Review Board:
The property located at 905 Queen Street West is recommended for designation for architectural and historical reasons. The house was constructed in 1847 for John Farr, who established the Farr Brewery on the adjacent site in 1819. While the business was sold in 1858, the house was occupied by Farr's daughter, Mary E. Farr, until 1905. The buildings at 899 and 905 Queen Street West are operated as a community centre by the Polish National Union.

The John Cornell House
899 Queen West as it was in it's final days.
 An early watercolour of the house and the brewery to the east.
The smame corner in 2010.

There was another house immediately to the east that mysteriously burned to the ground shortly after the report was issued making room for the condos that now occupy the site.
This poloroid of the house was taken by Andrew Dziedziola who was kind enough to share it with me (and you).
Again, from the 1991 report:
The John Cornell House

The house is located on the south side of Queen Street, facing toward the park, former site of Trinity College. It is set fairly close to the street and approximately 5’ above the sidewalk.
The exterior is rough cast plaster over wood lath, 1” boards and undressed stud framing. The rear wing appeared to have pre-dated - or been added to - the late Gothic Revival main house. This section was reported to be older. At the north west junction, the exterior stucco of the rear section and adjacent house wall had fallen away. Both walls were constructed of stucco over wood lath nailed to wood studs. On the rear wing, the lath was hand split undressed wood nailed horizontally with square hand wrought nails to the wood boards. The main house had sawn lath nailed at 45 degrees to the wall studs.
The above indicated that the rear section probably pre-dated the 1870s main house, but by only 10 to 20 years.
The house appears to be quite original, inside and out. The bell shaped roof of the front porch, the heavy wood window and door trim, the "french doors" from the front parlour to porch are all original. The interior base board, trim and stair are all original and even the interior room divisions have been little altered, allowing the original room forms to be easily assessed. Much of the upper floor rooms show serious water damage and the roof and roof boards are in very poor condition.
Another poloroid from Andrew Dziedziola of the backyard looking towards Queen.
Another image of the two houses from the 1980's supplied by Andrew Dziedziola.
A somewhat current view.

He was also able to supply a copy of the original report prepared by the Toronto Historical Board in 1990.

You can see on this plan just how big the properties were for these two houses and why the condo developers were so keen to get their hands on them.
905 Queen is the Farr House and 899 is the Cornell house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

King Kong 1968

A great painted cover from Gold Key's Giant Classic King Kong published in 1968.

Yonge and Richmond/Then and Now

The N/E corner of Yonge and Richmond sometime in the mid 1960's.
The Confederation Life Building was built in 1892.
Another view.
A period postcard from Chuckman's Collection.
Another view.
An early view looking north up Yonge towards Richmond.
This is Pearl Street in St. Catherines showing another Seaboard Loans branch as well as a Woolworth's and Diana Sweets.
A menu from Diana Sweets, circa 1953.