Friday, March 27, 2009

Toronto Then and Now: Old Parkdale, part six

Below: This Feb.9, 1911 photo from the Toronto Archives only states that it's in Parkdale on the GTR (Grand Trunk Railroad) tracks. I've often wondered where this photo had been taken from, and now believe it is actually looking westwards from Dufferin St., standing just north of the level-crossing tracks. The Dufferin Loop is at the far right, the Exhibition grounds are to the left.
A house at the corner of Ft. Rouille and Springhurst is the same in both below photos, as are some of the houses visible in the far centre-right distance. In the distance somewhere around Tyndall Ave. there appears to be an interesting house with a large tower.
click on photos to enlarge!

above: Apr.13, 2009 - same view; the same house (on the south-west corner of Springhurst and Fort Rouille) is still there, at far upper right. Dufferin Loop is still at the right. The railroad right of way has been excavated and the tracks have been dropped lower, and the Gardiner now runs south of the tracks. Some of the houses in the right distance are 'newer', while others may have been demolished.
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below: Feb.4, 1914 - looking north from Dominion St. (approx. today's British Columbia Rd.) across field towards the GTR tracks and the rear of houses south of Springhurst Ave. Note the hydro towers, located south of the tracks (where the future Gardiner expressway would later run), bringing in electricity from Niagara. Note the two houses side-views seen at the end of Spencer are the same ones seen today. Note again, interesting house tower seen along or behind Tyndall Ave. (a bit to the left of the hydro tower), as also seen in the photo at the top. Was this tower perhaps on a house which was on Springhurst Ave, between Spencer and Tyndall? Seen to the right of the hydro tower at Tyndall are the rears of houses which front onto the south side of Springhurst, and further in the distance, you can see the front gables of houses which sit on the west side of Tyndall, north of Springhurst.

above: view of the houses at the end of Spencer Ave., as also seen earlier above.
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below: Feb.24, 1913 - again, looking north from the Exhibition grounds at the houses located between Springhurst Ave. and the railway tracks; Tyndall Ave. is at the left, Dufferin is to the right. Note the steam emanating from below at the centre of shot - this is where the new railroad station (located just west of the Dufferin bridge) was built after the GTR tracks were dropped; so steam engines were idling there at the station. Note same two houses just to the right (east) of Tyndall Ave. (on each side behind the hydro tower), these are same two houses seen in the second last above photo, and also in the very first shot above. (Note house in centre far right, which must have been located behind the Government (later Arts Crafts and Hobbies) Building, which would have been built a year earlier, in 1912) The Government Building should be to the right, just out of frame.

above: a wide angle view of the same area as seen Apr.13, 2009. Click to enlarge photos!
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below: Sept.15, 1913 - a positively idyllic entrance to the Exhibition grounds, looking from the west along a treed Dominion St. A bit of the dome on the Arts and Crafts Building is seen at the left, behind the trees.

above: same location, Apr.14, 2009 - hard to believe along here was once that quiet gate to the fairgrounds. The dome (of the now-Medieval Times) is still seen at the left, behind the chestnut tree.
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below: The dome can be seen on the Arts, Crafts and Hobbies building, Sept.7, 1936, looking at the building from the south-east; Dufferin runs north along the right.

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009
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below: ca 1985; looking at the east side of Cowan Ave., south of King St., where the old Cowan Press Shop used to be, with a Lennox (LE2; aka 532) phone number. In the same building, to the left, facing onto King St., a hairstylist was once located on the corner. Photo by R. Bobak

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009, some twenty years later. Our old Cowan Cleaners is gone.
Above b&w photos from Toronto Archives, recent photos by R. Bobak
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below: ca. 1985 - looking at the west side of Springhurst Ave., just south of King St., at the demolition of two houses, both of which faced onto the south side of King St. The house in the foreground was on the south-west corner of King and Springhurst.
All below Photos taken by R. Bobak.

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009
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below: looking at the south-west corner of King St. and Springhurst Ave. The streetcar tracks along King are seen along the bottom.

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009
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below: looking at both houses, on the south side of King St., in an eastward direction towards Springhurst Ave.
below: closer view of the house directly on the south west corner of King and Springhurst.

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009, where the two houses with trees once stood. The same office building (on the south-east corner of King and Springhurst) at the far left, is seen in above three shots. Where the No Frills is now was once a Dominion, with a bowling alley beneath.
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below: another closer view of the south-west corner of King and Springhurst.
below: looking west down King St. , the house under demolition is at the left. In the centre lower right distance is seen the apt. bldng. which is still on the north-west corner of King and Dowling Ave.

above: same view, the same apt. on Dowling is seen at the far right distance.
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below: the rear of the house on the south-west corner of King and Springhurst, taken from Springhurst Ave., looking at its south-east side.

above: looking at the porch on the west side of the house which stood on the south-west corner of King and Springhurst.
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below: looking at the south-side of King St., at the second house west of Springhurst Ave., a laneway was at its west (right) side.

above: same view, Apr.13, 2009; the roof of the same building (see arrow at the centre-right distance, down the laneway) is seen in both shots.
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See more of this series at OLD PARKDALE, PART SEVEN
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Thanks for visiting Right In Niagara!
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2 comments:

Gregory White Photography said...

I own/live in a house on the south side of Springhurst Ave between Cowan and Spencer. This is absolutely fascinating to see all these then-and-now comparisons. How did you get all these old photos? Thank you so much for posting these and all the excellent descriptions.
greg

Jennifer Smith said...

I lived briefly at 74 Springhurst (just west of Dunn) back in the mid-80s, so I'm finding all this fascinating! I especially remember Dunn Milk - I used to buy the freshest, juiciest plums I've ever had there and eat them for breakfast on my way to work.

I just finished reading a book called "Suburb, Slum, Urban Village" about the physical and perceptual transformations of Parkdale over its history. If you haven't read it, you should check it out.