Tuesday, September 22, 2015

bonus features: revisiting the past lives of st. lawrence market

This post offers supplementary material for an article I recently wrote for Torontoist, which you should read before diving into this piece.

St. Lawrence Market, north market (1850-1904), Front St. E., north side, between Market & Jarvis Sts.; interior, main corridor, looking north, before alterations of 1898. Toronto Public Library. Click on image for larger version.
The construction of the 1904 incarnation of the north market was anything but a smooth process. Mind you, if you changed the few specific details, the following Star editorial could apply to many projects which go off the rails.

star 1904-09-19 editorial on slm
Toronto Star, September 19, 1904.

Monday, September 14, 2015

off the grid: ghost city 10 scrivener square

This installment of my "Ghost City" column for The Grid was originally published on May 14, 2013. Last week, an onsite time capsule was opened.

Globe, September 10, 1915.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was tired of arguing. Negotiations with government bodies over the development of a replacement for the existing Union Station were heading nowhere fast. Fatigued by squabbling, in 1912, the CPR moved several passenger routes from downtown to a line it controlled in the north end of the city. While a train station already existed on the west side of Yonge Street near Summerhill Avenue, it hardly matched CPR executives’ visions of grandeur.

Friday, September 11, 2015

off the grid: ghost city 696 yonge street

This installment of my "Ghost City" column for The Grid was originally published on January 29, 2013. The building is still boarded up as of this reprint.

Toronto Star, September 12, 1957.
The Church of Scientology’s Toronto headquarters are in the midst of an “Ideal Org” makeover—signalled, last month, by boards nailed to the Yonge Street high-rise. While it remains to be seen whether the move will fracture the controversial faith’s local followers as similar, costly refurbishings have in other cities, the plans are less than modest, indicating a colourful new façade will be placed on the almost-60-year-old office building, along with a new bookstore, café, theatre, and “testing centre” inside.

Built around 1955 in the International style of architecture, 696 Yonge’s initial tenant roster included recognizable brands like Avon cosmetics and Robin Hood flour. They were joined by an array of accounting firms, coal and mining companies, and the Belgian consulate, along with a number of construction and property management companies run by Samuel Diamond, whose name later graced the building.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

bonus features: memory lane

This post offers supplementary material for an article I originally wrote for The Grid, and was recently republished by Torontoist, which you should read before diving into this piece. 

ts 66-07-23 viking books profile
Toronto Star, July 23, 1966. Click on image for larger version.
Of the other stores mentioned in this article, Ryerson Press's home at 299 Queen West would become home to the CHUM/CITY media empire.