Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dundas and Ritchie, Then and Now

This image from 1913 shows Dundas Street West looking West across Ritchie Street.
On the right is the Feather Factory Building (see previous post) and on the left a TTC streetcar is turning south onto Ritchie. Not a car in sight.
Back in 2010 the same view. The Feather Factory has gained an additional 2 floors
while the strip of row houses on the right remains virtually unchanged.

Ritchie Street Then and Now

Ritchie Street off of Roncesvalles looking N/E in 1959

The same view today. The gas station on the corner was converted to
a KFC some years ago and then knocked down to build
the condo, the 5 story Feather Factory building at the end of
the street is also in the process of being converted to condos as well as another
big development on the opposite side of the street.
The Feather Factory Building

The design of the B. F. Harvey Factory involved the work of two Toronto architects. When the original three-storey factory was commissioned in 1910 and built in 1911, manufacturer Benjamin Harvey engaged James Walker, who had received awards for interior and graphic designs. After the Toronto Feather and Down Factory began a long-term occupancy of the site, two floors and a cornice were added according to the plans (1922) of William F. Sparling.

In practice since 1905, Sparling was associated with Samuel Curry during his early career, and gained expertise in designing Classically inspired buildings, including the Toronto Trust and Guarantee Building in the Financial District. Beginning in the late 1920s, he was a partner in the firm of Sparling Martin and Forbes. However, it was during his solo career between 1917 and 1928 that Sparling received his best-known commission for the Masonic Temple (1918) at Yonge Street and Davenport Road. The varied projects that followed included the unexecuted plans for the conversion of Casa Loma into residential apartments.

TTC Garage at Howard Park Then and Now

Here's a TTC bus maintenance garage from June 1928 located on Howard Park
just east of Roncesvalles. Howard Park is named after John Howard who "donated"
High Park to the city in 1873
The same building today. Now surrounded by condos and
broken down cars.

Vintage snow plows on Howard Park with the garage on the left in 1924
John Howard

Queen and Fuller/ Then and Now

The N/W corner of Queen and Fuller in 1935.
Note the delivery bicycle leaning against the telephone pole.
The same intersection today. The Fish and Chip shop is long since gone
but there's still a butcher shop in the same location.
The Cattlemen Meat Market opened in 1965 and is still going
strong today.
My Father who grew up in Parkdale writes:
" That butcher shop was a butcher shop in the 1940s (I think it was called Ontario Meats). When I was 12 to 14 I had a job as a delivery boy for the Red & White grocery store on Roncesvalles between Marion and Pearson. It was a small store and the owner would take orders for meat from his customers and then buy the meat from that butcher on a Saturday. I was sent to pick it up, usually on the store's delivery bicycle. I remember the big snow storm of 1944 when I had to walk there through waste deep snow in many places and haul the box of meat back to Roncesvalles. My memory says I carried it (maybe about 20 pounds?), but perhaps I had a toboggan to pull. I do remember it as a strenuous journey."

Occident Hall/Holiday Tavern/The Big Bop

This is Occident Hall at the South West corner of Queen and Bathurst.
The first recorded work of renowned Toronto Architect E.J. Lennox,
"Builder of Toronto"
Built in 1876 as a Masonic Lodge with shops on the ground level.

During the 60's and up to about 1984 it was known as the Holiday Tavern and helped to give the intersection it's now famous name of "F*ck Face City" as coined by Chris Houston. The Big Bop is about to close and be taken over by Crate and Barrel.
Currently there appears to be some restoration of the facade under way.
As of January 2010 the renovations have started with the
removal of the angel stone cladding and gutting years of
insensitive alterations to the interior. It will be interesting to watch the progress.