Monday, May 3, 2010

Sterling Avenue /Then and Now

From Dundas Street looking north, November 1923.
This building on Sterling Avenue is one of my favourites. It was opened in 1919 by the Northern Aluminum Company and was Canada’s tallest building until the Royal York Hotel opened downtown 1929. In fact, I believe it was the tallest building in the British Empire. It actually had one the first elevators in the country, and the only manufacturing facility to have one at the time. Later on it became the Aluminum Company of Canada and then Alcan over the years. It was a continuous sheet casting facility that was employed in making products for the automotive industry. Tower automotives largest client was Daimler Chrysler before closing its doors in 2006 and auctioning off everything in May 2007.

Queen and Jameson / Then and Now

Queen and Jameson looking south in the late 1930's.
Again, a few years later in 1950. Some of the trees have disappeared and the street has been widened to accommodate the increased post-war traffic. The house on the right is slowly
being incorporated into the Toronto Dominion Bank building.
Today the intersection is an absolute mess. Thanks to our city planners this is now one of the most confusing intersections in the city for both drivers and pedestrians alike.
All of the houses on Jameson have been replaced by apartment buildings and as an access point to the Gardiner Expressway it's a heavily travelled route.
The apartment building to the left, The Connaught with the portico removed.

Toronto's Oldest House

John Cox Cottage, at 469 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, is the oldest known house in the city still used as a residence (and is unmarked for this reason) and still resides on its original site. The first stage was completed no later than 1807 — making it, arguably, the third oldest structure remaining in the city . It is older than both the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, and the various barracks in Fort York.

Built originally out of square cut logs (as is Scadding Cabin), it over looks what is now Riverdale Park and is aligned in the traditional strict east–west orientation, making it appear somewhat twisted to the north of the Toronto street grid, which was built successively around it. This true east-west orientation allows for the maximum use of daylight hours, to minimize the use of the expensive artificial lighting options of the period.

At present, the south wall and half of the east–west walls remain concealed original log, while the northern parts where altered during a very early Victorian renovation. The original log is still exposed in a rear bathroom.

The original attic and cedar roof survived under the later Victorian roof.