Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Canary Restaurant/Then and Now

The iconic Canary Restaurant as shot by Bill Wrigley.
The sign has been salvaged and can be found in a warehouse on Wabash Av in Parkdale. Originally built as a school more info can be found below.

The Palace Street School at Front and Cherry Street (1858) is the oldest multi-room school house in Toronto. At the time Cherry Street was called Palace Street and this area was considered "downtown". Fern Street in Parkdale was called Cherry Street.
The red square outlines the original school and the blue outline a later addition known as the Palace Street Hotel.

A well preserved interior classroom window.
The boys entrance.

This view shows the Hotel addition that for many years was known as the Canary Restaurant. These buildings are all owned by the Provincial Government and will be used in the upcoming Pan Am Games.
Looking into the empty hotel a safe can be seen at the back. Legend has it that bootleg whiskey was stored here during prohibition, before being smuggled south of the border. For more detailed information on the Palace Street School click here.

The Canary.
This school on Alice Street, built in 1862, is strikingly similar in design to the Palace School.
Alice Street is no more but it did run east west between Yonge and Terauley (Bay) south of Agnes street (now Dundas).

Friday, January 27, 2012

King and John/Then and Now

The N/E corner of King and John on a snowy day in the early 60's.

The Eclipse Whitewear Building (1903) is significant as one of the earliest warehouses constructed on the former Upper Canada College campus on Russell Square, where the company produced children's and ladies' underwear for over half a century.

Today and not too much has changed.
Looking east along King across John in the late 1970's with the King's Plate Diner on the S/E corner. Breakfast Special...$1.10! Farb's Car Wash is on the N/W corner, now the Bell Lightbox.
A current view.

The Queensway/Then and Now

Another demolished Reliance gas station at the S/W corner of the Queensway and Parklawn in the late 1950's.
A current view.

Fallow Farmhouse

This abandoned/ruined farmhouse is located north of the city on Leslie. Once clad in brick this is all that remains.

A hundred and fifty years worth of paint on a simple door casing.

Abandoned Farmhouses/Toronto Outskirts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Evolution of The Hollywood Tavern/House of Lancaster

The Hollywood Tavern on the Queensway as it appeared in the late 1950's. I can't say for certain but I suspect it was a somewhat elegant establishment along the lines of the Copacabana, the el Mocambo and even the Cabana Room at the Spadina Hotel.
A supper club where people would go for dinner and dancing as the sign below suggests.
The side entrance.
The Queensway looking west w/ The Hollywood to the left.
It received a makeover in the 60's and became more of a bar.
Another angle. We went here in the late 70's when it was a Disco and then later when it was a club with bands. We saw Twitch play here and maybe B.B. Gabor...
It's newest incarnation as the House of Lancaster....

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Queensway/Then and Now

Back in 1957 this was a nice little strip mall on the north side of the Queensway west of Royal York.
Now a little sad....

The Queensway/Then and Now

The Queensway/Then and Now

Richmond Street/Then and Now

The south side of Richmond when it was a two way street looking east towards Sheppard in the early 1920's.

York and Richmond/Then and Now

I believe this is the S/W corner of York and Richmond 1916.
The south side of Richmond west of York.
Looking west from York.
A current view form the same vantage point.

Bishop's Block Returns/Adelaide and Simcoe/Then and Now

Dismantled for condo construction, the facade of the Bishop's Block is being re constituted. A small portion was visible through the scaffold this past weekend.
Bishop's Block on the N/E corner of Adelaide and Simcoe circa 1890. Built in 1833.
According to Patricia McHugh in her excellent book "Toronto Architecture-A City Guide"
"These two brick and stucco row houses are Toronto's oldest example of the genre. though now sadly bereft of their three original sisters and most of their Georgian dignity as well. Joseph Bishop was a butcher who built these houses for speculation."
Bishop's Block some time in the late 1960's when it operated as the Pretzel Bell Tavern.
1983. Photo by Patrick Cummins.
The remaining houses of the block shortly before demolition.
Sadly, since the book was written, the remaining two houses were torn down last year to make way for more condos. The developers are supposed to re-build the original facades and incorporate them into the new structure.
The city did conduct an extensive archeological dig at the site.
Details can be found here.
The resurrected facade has now been revealed.
The front.
When demolition started I was lucky enough to spot this old hand painted sign (Harv's Hang Inn) that had been covered up for years and managed to liberate it...
Bishop's Block as seen in 1856.