Friday, March 30, 2012

Sorauren and Fern/Then and Now

Another listing from May 1979. A corner store on the N/W corner of Sorauren and Fern listed for $53,000 with taxes of $708. What do you think this property would cost today?
The Inflation Calculator says that it SHOULD cost $166,414.51 to buy in 2012.
It's actually closer to $900,00.00 in today's market.
In 2010 the store is gone and the ground floor is an apartment.
This clip from the 1912 City Directory has George Boadway, barber, listed and I know from talking to long time neighbours that there was a barbershop at the back for years.

Red Barn Burgers/Then and Now

Red Barn was an American chain with restaurants here in Toronto as well. This remaining building (now a Mr. Sub) is on Dundas east of the 427. I remember a rumour (probably disinformation from the competition) that they had been "caught" selling horse meat in their burgers...
A quick search of the internet revels that this rumour is well spread.
From Wikipedia:

The Red Barn restaurant was a fast-food restaurant chain that was founded in 1961 in Springfield, OH by Don Six, Martin Levine and Jim Kirsch. In 1963, the small chain was purchased by Richard O. Kearns, and the offices moved briefly to Dayton, OH, followed by a move in August 1964 to Fort Lauderdale, FL. In the late 1960s Servomation bought the company followed by Motel 6 in the late 1970s. The new owners ceased advertising for the chain and the franchise leases were allowed to expire with the last of the leases expiring around 1986. At its peak, Red Barn had 300-400 restaurants in 19 states as well as outlets in Southern Ontario, elsewhere in Canada, and in Australia.[1]

Following the shutdown of operations, most of the Red Barn buildings were converted for other uses. A few of the chain restaurants were renamed "The Farm" in various states and continued serving the same menu items that were available when they were under their Red Barn franchise.

A vintage television commercial:

There is some discussion that these puppets were created by Jim Henson but I've found nothing to substantiate this claim.

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. This entire block from Roncesvalles to Dundas is scheduled to fall in the next year for another massive condo complex.

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

Queen and Jameson / Then and Now

Queen and Jameson looking south in the late 1930's, when it was a quiet tree lined street.
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.

Sorauren and Pearson/Then and Now

Another corner store in Parkdale listed for $58,00 in May of 1979. Note the phone booth outside. There're not too many public phones left now that everyone has a cellphone.

This building has also been converted into a private residence.
Using the Bank of Canada's Inflation Calculator, the current price of this house SHOULD be $185,000.00.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Robert Simpson House on Bloor and St. Paul's

The original rendering.
Designed by Edmund Burke for Robert Simpson.
The finished product.
The replacement....

Mr. Simpson's store still stands at Queen and Yonge, now the Bay.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bay and Walton/Then and Now

Looking north on Bay from Walton in the mid 1950's withe the Art Moderne Herman's Furs building on the left.
My father has this to say:
I looked at your Lost Toronto blog just now and saw the Bay and Walton photos. The first one brought back some memories.
The second car in the approaching queue is a 1949 Austin A40 Devon. The A40 was our first car. I don't think the one in your picture is it because the left headlight is missing and the licence plate is askew (not my car!).
I was in my second last year at U of T (1954) and your mother was working at Connaught Labs nearby. We were engaged and she decided we should have a car. I could drive and had my licence, but she couldn't and never did learn. She had saved most of her meagre salary for over a year and had a grand total of $400. We went shopping with her dad and bought the A40. Although it was in relatively good condition, Austins were not very well built. It was a 4-cylinder (40 HP) with a manual gearshift - 0 to 60 took 32 seconds! But we had a lot of fun in that car - several trips to Ottawa and all around Toronto and the "Golden Horseshoe". One winter trip to Ottawa is particularly memorable - there and back with the heater not working. That was uncomfortable.
We kept the Austin for a few years (until we had saved our $1,000 down payment for a small house in Scarborough) and then in 1957, I think, traded it in for a used 1956 VW Beetle. I can't say it was any more reliable, but I enjoyed driving it (even though the heater was virtually useless in the Toronto winter until it had been driven for 30 to 40 minutes). Traction in snow with the rear engine was great and I could snake around all the stranded American cars that had spun out. Ah, the simple joys of youth.
A contemporary view.
The original blueprints courtesy of Urban Toronto.
For more info on Art Moderne please visit:
An Art Moderne Cafe on Route 66 in Missouri.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1887 City Directory Advertisements

Queen and Soho/Then and Now

315 Queen Street (now 367) as it appeared in 1878, W.J. Burroughes Plumbing
As it appears today, The Silver Snail.
The full story can be found here on Urban Toronto.
An advert from the 1887 City Directory.
Was W.J. related to F.C. Burroughes who opened his furniture store on Queen West in 1907?The answer according to Right Here in Niagara is yes, they were brothers.There was also a Burroughes Furniture store in Niagara Falls Ontario, pictured below.

Edward and Elizabeth and Bay/Then and Now

This is a re-post but deserves a second look. It's amazing how much quality work was accomplished in a short time back in the 1930's. People were eager to work and projects were completed on time with a high level of craftsmanship.
The Empire State Building in new York was built in just over a year......
The S/E corner of Edward and Elizabeth Streets looking towards Bay in the Summer of 1931 prior to construction of the new Bus Terminal.
Looking west along Elizabeth from Bay.
Although the Terminal had not yet been built the site was still being used to ferry passengers.
Note the diner in the background. Even in the 1930's people wanted a "Quick Lunch"
Looking south down Bay.
An artists rendering of the new terminal.
Coming soon! The sign says it will be ready in three months!Two weeks later ....Completed on time! No wonder everyone wanted a "Quick Lunch", they had to get back to work!
As it looks today.
Some shots of the Art Deco interior when it was new.
The Grand Staircase.
The ticket kiosks.
The first bus to depart from the new terminal.
It's a testament to the men and women that worked on the new terminal that it was built on time, to a high standard of craftsmanship and that it's still standing and functional eighty years
later. How long does it take to get new cabinets in a kitchen these days?
A vintage matchbook from the Terminal Restaurant courtesy of the Chuckman Collection.
Looking north on Bay, 1950's.
A Greyhound Vista Cruiser from the early 1960's departs from the terminal.