Friday, September 28, 2012

Trick Photography

This iconic photo is a fake. No dirigibles ever docked at the Empire State Building.
More on the story here.
For a story on the Toronto connection to the dirigible, His Majesty's Airship, please click here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Toronto Real Estate Map 1855

Queen and Sherbourne/Then and Now

The N/E corner of Queen and Sherbourne looking east at the turn of the century. Lots of bicycles and horse drawn carriages. Note the awnings to shield the customers from the elements.
A somewhat current view.

Queen and Roncesvalles/Then

Looking south towards the lake in the early 1960's. Note the early Corvair on the right.

Yonge and King/Then and Now

Adelaide and Sherbourne/Then and Now

Looking east along Adelaide (then Duke Street) at Sherbourne in 1933.
2010. The building to the right, the Paul Bishop House, built in 1848 on the foundations of a previous house, has recently undergone a successful restoration.
The Paul Bishop House circa 1890.
A more current view.
Looking North up Sherbourne across Adelaide.
Looking south in 1933 with the Hawes Foor Wax Company on the left.
Hawes Wax tin.
Some correspondence.

Adelaide and Victoria/Then and Now

 An early photograph of the N/W corner of Adelaide and Victoria Street.

A current view.

Adelaide and George/Then and Now

 Toronto's first Post Office.

Six Points Plaza 1960/2012

Six Points/Then and Now

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sam the Record Man

Yonge Street in the 1960's. Postcard courtesy of Chuckman's.

There was a time not that long ago, when buying records (vinyl) at Sam's was a Saturday ritual.
You'd take the subway downtown and walk the strip up to Yonge and Gould.
This is of course before the young shoe shine boy, Emanuel Jaques was cruelly tortured and murdered prompting a sweeping "clean-up" of the Yonge Street strip.
Back then a record cost anywhere between $1.98-$4.98 and were visually very impressive.
There was a big wall display with new releases and sale items covered in hand made signs.
Riding home on the subway, you'd review your purchases and be tempted to unseal the albums in search of the extras inside (posters, lyric sheets,booklets, stickers etc) or just to look at the
gatefold inner cover. Over time the actual records were getting so thin that even the new ones were warped and would skip when you finally got them home.

An early shot of the Sam's facade.

Looking south on Yonge with A&A Records as well as Sam's. The Empress Hotel is also visible.
Sadly it's all gone in 2010 and the Empress Hotel faces demolition as well.

Before Sam's in 1949.
This is all that's left and soon to be demolished as well.
Here's link to a vintage Sam's commercial on Youtube.
Here's another former customer's reflections on the store.

Does anyone remember the short lived "Sam the Chinese Food Man" restaurant that was located a few doors north in the early 1970's?

 Sadly Sam (the Record Man) Sniderman passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
Funeral held for Toronto’s Sam Sniderman | CTV Toronto News

Monday, September 24, 2012

Toronto Boom Town

Mark Moore sent me a link to this NFB film from 1951.
Some good shots of traffic congestion at Five Corners in Parkdale
(Queen and Roncesvalles).

The link to the film can be found here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yonge and Shuter/Then and Now

A nice shot looking north on Yonge past Shuter just after the war. Muirhead's
Cafeteria would close soon and re open as the Silver Rail Tavern.
1949 just as subway construction was starting.
 A similar, current view.

Yonge and Dundas Then

Looking east across Yonge Street in the early 1960's with the old Brown Derby Tavern and O'Keefe Building in the B/G.