Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Toronto Then and Now: Old Parkdale, part five

below: Jun.28, 1911 - looking east from Dowling Ave., over the Grand Trunk railway as the railroad track right of way is being excavated to a lower grade. To the centre left is seen the temporary Grand Trunk South Parkdale railroad station which sat north of the tracks, on the south side of Springhurst Ave., just west of Jameson Ave., where Springhurst makes its curve turning north up to King St.
The original older station had stood just east of Jameson Ave., between Jameson  and Close Ave. It had to be torn down to allow the grade separation work to proceed. Note the houses seen behind the station at the left; these houses were, and still are, facing onto the north-east side curve of Springhurst Ave. The houses seen to the right, south of the tracks, were demolished in the mid 1950s to make way for an expanded Lakeshore Blvd., and a new Gardiner Expressway.
click on photos to enlarge!

above: same view, Mar.31, 2009 - Looking east from the original Dowling bridge. The temporary train station had been at centre left, about where the slope now is. A bit of the house roofs on Springhurst Ave. can be seen above the trees. At right, where the houses once stood, the grade has since been excavated, making way for the Jameson entrance ramp onto the westbound Gardiner. The bridge in the distance is the Jameson Ave. bridge. The original station  had been located just past (just east of) the Jameson bridge.
below: Mar.31, 2009 - a view of the same location from a bit further south; the Dowling Ave. bridge rail is in the foreground. The houses on Springhurst can be seen a bit better.

above: Jun.28, 1911 - a closer view (cropped from the third-previous photo above) looking from the west, at the temporary South Parkdale railroad station, located on Springhurst Ave. west of Jameson Ave. Note - again - that this is NOT the original station (which had stood east of Jameson Ave, and was brick; this is the TEMPORARY station which stood WEST  of Jameson Ave. and was wooden.
Many 'experts' keep repeating incorrect information that this photo shows the original south Parkdale station, but this is the temporary station. The houses on Springhurst Ave. (houses which are still there) can be clearly seen standing behind the temp station. 
below: ca.1910? - this photo looks at the temporary South Parkdale station from the south, with the houses (which front onto the the north-side of Springhurst Ave.) seen in the background. The archive information which accompanied this photo (#1470) claimed that the station shown in this photo was located on the south side of Springhurst Ave. between Jameson and Close - however, that is incorrect info: the station which had stood between Jameson and Close (in other wards, the one which  had stood just east of Jameson) was the original station. The temporary replacement station was built nearby, on the WEST side of Jameson, so that the original station could be torn down to allow work to begin on the grade excavation.
The station shown in this photo is clearly not the original station which stood east of Jameson; this is the interim "new" (as the caption on the photos says) station which is shown standing west of Jameson. As the caption also reads, this station was "later discarded" when the new station at Sunnyside (where King St and Queen st. met, at Roncesvalles) was opened. I have yet to find whether that brand new station which was built below the new Dufferin bridge was ever permanently used as a station - were the Dufferin and Sunnyside stations both active at the same time? I remember that GO trains and CN passenger trains had stopped at the Dufferin station during the EX on a seasonal basis.

above: same view, Mar. 31, 2009 - in the foreground is where the Grand Trunk temporary railroad station had once stood. The same houses are seen along Springhurst in the background.
above: Mar.31, 2009 - a wide angle view of the houses along the north-east curve of Springhurst Ave. which once faced the temporary Grand Trunk railway station across the street from them. The fence at the far right is at the top of the slope which drops down to the tracks.
below: Jul.14, 2008 - looking eastward along the curve of Springhurst Ave., which turns northward to the right. To the left, where the trees are, is the where the slope starts heading down to the railroad tracks. The temporary station had stood somewhere at the left, along that grassed area or the parking lot.

above: same view, ca.1980 - After the old station was torn down, and before the little grassed area, seen previously above, was there, for about eighty years houses stood on the west side of Springhurst at the curve, starting almost from the track-slope. For years, in the seventies, a row of these houses stood abandoned and boarded up, as a developer, Meridian, blockbusted the area; there were also abandoned houses facing the east side of Dowling Ave. which made up this large Springhurst/Dowling land assembly. The photo I took above shows the houses on the west side curve of Springhurst being demolished.
below: same view as earlier, of the same  houses on the west side of Springhurst Ave. under demolition; from a few steps further north.

above: same view, Jul.14, 2008, new homes now sit where the old ones were. The temporary train station had once been in the area off to the left.
below: Aug.4, 1910 - looking east from Jameson Ave. at the original Grand Trunk South Parkdale station seen in the left distance, which was located on the south-side of Springhurst Ave. between Jameson and Close Ave. NOTE: to clarify - this station was the original south Parkdale station, and it was located EAST of Jameson Ave. NOT west of Jameson Ave. There seem to be few photos in existence of this station. Springhurst Ave. is seen along the left; the level crossing of Jameson Ave. is seen at the bottom; more South Parkdale streets and houses, and Lake Ontario, would be off to the right, behind the tree-row. Note the signalman looking out of his shed at the bottom right, on the south-east side of the tracks along Jameson Ave. The timber planks seen along the bottom are the actual roadway of Jameson Ave.

above: Mar.31, 2009 - same view, looking east from the Jameson Ave. bridge, which now crosses the lowered tracks. The original station once stood about centre-left, where the slope is - today, that station would be standing in mid air, in the area above the slope and the northern two sets of rails. Springhurst is at the upper left, running parallel to the tracks, behind the trees. In the far distance is the Dunn Ave. bridge, and farther are the domes of buildings at the CNE.
below: looking westwards towards the Jameson Ave. bridge under construction, as the railway grade separation is underway. The houses seen to the south (at left) have all since been demolished. Springhurst Ave. is seen along the right. Note the Victorian gabled house at the centre-right; it was located on the north-side of Springhurst Ave, a bit west of Jameson.  Also note, that the temporary station was located on the west side of the new bridge (in the center-right distance, behind the bridge), however, it's not clear in this photo whether that station is still there at this point. Also, the original station would have stood at the very far right of the photo, just out of the frame; it would have stood above what is now the sloped cut. 

above: Mar.31, 2009 - same view, looking west towards the Jameson Ave. bridge. The same Victorian houses can still be seen at the centre-right, along Springhurst Ave., (behind the bridge, just to the left of the grey apartment building). Where the houses at the left had once stood, is now a highway.
below: July 23, 1920 - looking westwards at the Jameson Ave. bridge, now completed; to the left (south) are seen houses at the top of the slope, which are since gone. In the distance around the curve, a bit of the Dowling Ave. bridge can be seen. Springhurst runs along the upper right.

above: same view, Mar.31, 2009 - The Jameson Ave. bridge in the foreground, Dowling Ave. bridge in the distance. The area now seen at the left distance has been excavated for the Gardiner Expressway; in the previous view, there was still a slope there with houses at the top.
below: Feb.9, 1911 - here is a westward view from Jameson Ave. before the grade separation: note the same Victorian houses along Springhurst Ave., seen at the centre-right. The original train station would have been located just behind the photographer's right shoulder.

above: Mar.30, 2009 - same view, looking west from the Jameson Ave. bridge. The same Victorian houses on Springhurst are seen clearer at the right. In front of them is where the temporary station (seen earlier above) had once been. The Dowling Ave. bridge is in the distance.
below: Aug.4, 1910 - looking westward along the GTR tracks from Dowling Ave. Note homes by the tracks at right (north)

above: Mar.31, 2009 - same location, looking west across Dowling Ave.; bridge over the tracks is at left. The Gardiner Expressway is seen at the centre left distance.
below: Mar.14, 1930 - looking east, standing south of the railway tracks, just about where Spencer Ave. and Empress Cres. were. The short tower in the centre foreground (below the tall hydro lines) was where a deep water well was being drilled by the Toronto Water Works.
At the centre distance can clearly be seen the towers and round dome of the Arts and Crafts building at the CNE. At the far left can be seen the new train station which was built below and to the west of the Dufferin St. bridge. Where the hydro towers ran eventually was the path where the Gardiner would be built.
above: Mar. 31, 2009 , same location - the tracks and now-abandoned station are at the left; the domes of the same buildings (now Medieval Times) in the CNE are still in the distance; the water well sits encased in a round concrete bunker at the right.
below two photos: Mar.14, 1930 - closer views of the fresh water well construction at Spencer Ave. and Empress Cres.:

above: the same capped well, Mar.31, 2009 - now on a slope overlooking the excavated Gardiner, with Lake Ontario in the distance. In the summer this is where tons of kids and their parents would come to watch the nightly fireworks during the CNE. Getting a place on the well was a prized seat for the show.
Older photos in this study from the Toronto City Archives; recent photos are by R. Bobak
See more in this series at Old Parkdale, PART SIX

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