Monday, June 28, 2010

Brantford demolition continues

below: as seen Jun.28, 2010 - the demolition along Colborne St. has reached #61-63 Colborne St., the building seen half-demolished at the right. (earlier view here)
This building was built by grain merchant John F. Simmons in 1901. In 1906, the Brantford Willow Works moved into #63, then in 1909 expanded next door into #61, remaining in business here until closing in 1956. They produced and exported finely crafted wicker and rattan furniture, still collectible today; interestingly, the firm at one time had 35 acres of willow trees outside of the city from which they sourced some of their raw material.
Next to the left, at #65-69 Colborne St., is the Esquire Theatre, built 1937, now seen with its deco stone-Thunderbird marquee removed from the center top of the building - see earlier view here. Wonder where that stone Thunderbird is now??

Dalton vanishes

Premier Liberal Liar of Ontario Dalton McGuinty has conveniently disappeared into the Grit Cone of Silence (borrowed from Jim Bradley) since the G20 riots and arrests in Toronto this weekend.
McGuinty - Ontario's Great Leader and Deceiver-In-Chief - has vanished.
Where's Dalton?
Jim Bradley's Liberal friends at the St.Catharines Standard have reported SFA regarding Jim Bradley's role in the secret order-in-council passed by his sneaky Liberal greaseballs earlier this month.
The St.Catharines Standard couldn't be bothered to report on or contact Liberal MPP Bradley to ask him details about this law amendment. There was NOTHING about it in the St.Catharines Standard, aka The Jim Bradley Fan Club. ['Why, by the time y'all find out what it was about, it'll have expired - so what's the big deal, anyway?']
No word about Jim Bradley explaining to his Niagara constituents how his Liberal law abides by our Charter rights. No explanations from Jim Bradley in his Fan Club at all!!
Why - it's as if Good Ole Jimmy (once again) has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with any of this!! ha ha ha
We all know what the Jim Bradley Fan Club (aka - in case ya fergot: the St.Catharines Standard) would have done had this happened under Harris! Come on - the reporters and editors would be spitting (and spinning) indignant denunciations by the paragraph load.
Now: nothing!! Bradley, Craitor, McGuinty, Bartolucci - vanished!
All we hear is the sound of media silence, when it comes to the Liberal King of Niagara.
Move along, now, people: there's nothing to see here!
Don't ask too many questions (especially about Liberals).
Don't ask whether this law was yet another example of McGuinty's smarmy Liberal secrecy and slithery duplicity!
Don't ask whether this law provoked and infuriated the rioters!
No, just bend over - once again - and let McGuinty's Liberals have their way with you.
Why, McGuinty's Liberal gangsters are hot'n'eager to victimize us again on Canada Day with their greatest gang-tax-rape yet of the Ontario taxpayer, with McGuinty's HST!!
So be a good taxpayer, bend over and take yer medicine from disgusting Dr. Dalton McGuinty.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

House demolished on Stanley Ave.

below: as seen on Jun.23, 2010, this house at 6015 Stanley Ave. in Niagara Falls, which had sat vacant for quite some time, was demolished on the morning of Jun.24, 2010.
above: same view, Jun.24, 2010; the house is gone.
below: Jun.23, 2010, view of front from Stanley Ave. as workers salvage aluminum siding; under the siding can be seen a cement block construction, so this structure couldn't have been significantly old, despite its rather traditional appearance.

above: same view, Jun.24, 2010. There had also been a wooden garage at the right rear of the lot, which was torn down a year or so ago.
above: same view, Jun.30, 2010 - the site is being cleared. Note the tree, which had stood along Stanley Ave. at the left, has been cut down and removed.
below: a closer look as seen on Jun.23, 2010; this house had stood at the south-west corner of Stanley Ave. and the tiny, yet uniquely still two-way, Peer La.

above: same view, Jun.24, 2010.

above: same view, Jun.30, 2010 - the lot is levelled; the tree, seen earlier at the left, has been removed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Brantford demolition continues

above: Feb.15, 2010 - looking east down Colborne St. in Brantford Ont. The four-storey building at the right (the 'Huntington Block', #35-39 Colborne St., built in 1867) would become the first building along this four-block-stretch of buildings to be demolished, on Jun.8, 2010.
above: same view, Jun.9, 2010 - the west-half (#35) of the Huntington Block has been demolished, exposing the centre-wall of the east-half (#39) of the building. Lamont Aluminum (building built 1913) is seen next to the east, with the blue sign.
above: Jun.14, 2010 - the east-half (#39) of the Huntington Block has been demolished; next to its east (at #41 Colborne St.) the old Lamont Aluminum store has also been demolished, and its site is shown being cleared. In a week, since the start of the demolition on Jun.8, 2010, three buildings so far have been demolished along this stretch, with some-38 more to go.
Above photos by R. Bobak.
For more photos, click 'Brantford Then and Now' link below.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mass demolition of Colborne St., Brantford Ont., slowly begins

On Jun.8, 2010, the first building to be demolished in the mass-demolition of the south side of Colborne St. in Brantford, Ont., was 35 Colborne St., where City Sign once was.

35-39 Colborne St. was the 'Huntington block', built in 1867 by Mr. Arunah Huntington (1795-1877), who had also been elected as Brantford's mayor in 1852.

In the video below, taken Jun.9, 2010, by R.Bobak, the westerly-half of the structure (the site of #35, demolished yesterday) was still being cleared; now visible in the rear is the center-wall of the easterly-half of the building (#39; recently Hollywood Hairstyling) which is to be demolished next.

Click 'Brantford Then and Now' below for more photos of the south-side Colborne St. area.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Colborne St, Brantford, Ont. - historic stretch of downtown buildings, photos prior to demolition

The major demolition of the downtown buildings on the south side of Colborne St. in Brantford began on Jun.8, 2010. This four-block-long stretch of abandoned and expropriated buildings was fenced-off in early Feb. 2010, when crews began months of interior pre-demo preparation.

The Brantford Expositor's Heather Ibbotson wrote a detailed four-section feature article on these Colborne St. buildings, "A Walk on the South Side", which appeared in the May 15, 2010 edition, along with numerous photos, details, and descriptions about the history of the street and its people; some of the sections are seen below:
(click on photos to enlarge!)
Another good article in the Brantford Expositor was Ruth Lefler's article "South Colborne: a street that speaks" - check it out here.
Kathryn Blaze Carlson also wrote about the planned demolition in "The Block Battle" (see National Post, Jun.8, 2010) which had a neat photo-collage of Colborne St., below:
Back on Feb.8, 2010, I had photographed the front facades of this entire row of buildings which were scheduled for demolition along this stretch of Colborne St., (see here, "Old storefronts on Colborne St., Brantford, Ont.")
In this post, I document the rear facades of this entire stretch of buildings, as they were seen on Feb.8, 2010.
These views were taken from Icomm Dr. and from Water St., looking at the rear of the buildings whose fronts, of course, faced onto the south-side of Colborne St. This series of rear-elevation photos goes from west to east; in this case, the photos advance eastward to the right.
All photos below are by R. Bobak, taken Feb.8, 2010.
below: Feb.8, 2010 - looking at the rear of the first building in this row; this is the south-west corner of the building which stood on the south-side of Colborne St. closest to Brant St./Icomm Dr. (this building, the 'Huntington block', built 1867, was torn down today, Jun.8, 2010 - see here)

above: the 'Huntington block' building is at the far left; continuing east (to the right) the buildings fronting onto Colborne St. are seen up on the rise; - this photo was taken from Icomm Dr., which now runs over where the old Grand River Navigation Co. canal once ran in the late 1840's, and which met the Grand River at a point just slightly left out-of-frame, connecting Brantford by boat from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
above: continuing east, at the far right, the large red brick structure is the rear of the 1937-built Esquire Theatre. Water St. is seen in the foreground.

above: continuing eastward, Water St. in the foreground

above: the Esquire Theatre building is at the far left.

above: at right is the parking garage

above: the Art Stanbridge Walkway crosses over Water St., connecting Colborne St. to the parking garage
above: a Feb.8, 2010 - looking west from the Art Stanbridge Walkway, towards the row of buildings which we have just walked by; Water St. is seen below; the large red building in the far distance is the Esquire Theatre; in the far distance at the top left can be seen the bridge which carries Colborne St. W. over the Grand River.
above: standing on the walkway, looking immediately to the west (left side) of the bridge.
above: closer view of the structures at the west-side of the walkway
above: this view looks to the right (to the east side) of the Art Stanbridge Walkway. Note the recently-cut tree stump.
above: looking still further east from atop the walkway. Water St. runs below; the parking structure runs along the right.
above: from back down on Water St., this view looks towards the east side of the walkway.
above: note that all the hydro wires have been removed from the posts

above: looking westwards along Water St., back towards the walkway

above: this building (fronting onto the north-side of Water St.) with its leaning brick tower looks like it could once have been a fire hall, though I haven't found much info on it - most of what has been written has focused on the Colborne St. side. The old painted-on-brick signs read 'Riverview Automotive Machine Co.' At the upper right side, an older faded sign reads 'Wholesale Auto Supplies, Use Our Machine Shop', below, between the two doors, another faded painted sign reads 'We sell quality parts and service'

above: continuing eastwards, "Heinbuck's" is seen at the right; it had been a used furniture shop.above: continuing eastward, in the centre building a painted sign on the brick reads ''Tea impo (rters)'. The building at the right with the large fire-escape is the rear of the Right House building, which had its origins in 1870.

above: looking back westward along Water St., at all the buildings we have walked past in this post.
above: Feb.8, 2010 - the building at the right (at 151 Colborne St., known as the 'Smith Building', from 1867) is the last building of this entire row of approx. 40 old structures which are scheduled for demolition; it sits at the eastern-end of the demolition strip. At the western-end of this row, the demolition had begun (at #35 Colborne St., just east of Brant Ave.) on Jun.8, 2010.
The above photographs in this post were taken by R.Bobak on a very cold Feb.8, 2010.
For my other photos of the front-facades of these same buildings, as seen from Colborne St., click here.