For the dawn of the Yonge subway line, check out the thorough history over at Transit Toronto.
As for no fun on Sundays...
Once upon a time, Toronto shut down on Sundays. If you were a good, upstanding, preferably Protestant citizen, Sunday was strictly for church and family. Shopping? Evil. Recreational sports? Devil's work. Member of a faith whose holy day was any other day? Sorry! The overreaching moral views that created the Sunday blue laws stretched into other areas, producing effects like a strong film censor office and a labyrinth of laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. These were among the reasons the city came to be known as "Toronto the Good".
Even streetcar service was considered blasphemous. As Mike Filey notes in A Toronto Almanac, opponents of votes on Sunday service in the mid-1890s portrayed Sunday transit as "a desecration of the Sabbath" and "the work of the Devil". It took three civic votes before service was approved in May 1897, by a margin of 222 votes.
With nothing to do in Toronto, little wonder people took the advice of the song and shuffled on down to Niagara. I recall Dad grumbling about the long traffic jams on QEW, especially over the then one-span Burlington Skyway.
Cracks in Sunday laws came slowly. Professional baseball games weren't allowed until the late 1930s. Future mayor Allan Lamport led the battle for full approval of any Sunday sporting activity, which succeeded in a public vote in 1950. At the same time, several grocery stores attempted to break the law, beginning periodic battles that peaked in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Eventually, the loosening of spiritual ties and a diverse base of new immigrants to the city would hammer nails into many of these blue laws.
My search for quick information about Club Kingsway ran into dead ends. I scoured various newspapers from the 1930s through 1960s, but all I could find was an ad that appeared intermittently in the Toronto Telegram during the fall of 1948, featuring today's artist:
"taken from in front of the old Club Kingsway" circa 1912. A online search through archive holdings reveals several documents from the Swansea Area Ratepayers' Association regarding traffic issues with Club Kingsway in the 1960s and 1970s, opposition to Sunday bingo in the late 1970s and a land use committee to determine the redevelopment of the site. Though the records themselves aren't online, the latter finally reveals an address: 100 The Queensway.
If you know more about the location, leave a comment.
Ad source: Toronto Telegram, September 16, 1948