Friday, January 30, 2015Drifting Snow/Windy -11°C
City

10 key Toronto intersections as they were 100 years ago

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 28, 2015

toronto yonge queen100 years is a long time for a Toronto intersection to evolve. Streets get widened, buildings get knocked down, and in many cases rural idyll is replaced by urban hustle. For some of these 10 intersections, the changes have been profound (Bayview and Eglinton is barely recognizable,) but others remain familiar. At Queen and Yonge (above,) many of the buildings present in 1910 are still standing. In fact, the east side of the street remains largely unchanged. If it wasn't for construction of the Eaton Centre and the loss of the Yonge streetcars, the photo would likely be very similar today.

Here's a look at 10 key Toronto intersections as they were 100 years ago.

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Eat & Drink

That time when Harvey's hamburgers came to Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 28, 2015

toronto harvey'sWhen Richard Mauran opened his first burger restaurant in 1959, he figured he would call it Humphrey's. Henry's Hamburgers was already a successful chain in the U.S. with more than 200 franchise locations across the country and Mauran hoped to find a name that embodied the same down-home friendliness.

Flipping through the classified section of the Toronto Telegram, he found what he was looking for: John Harvey Motors at 2300 Danforth Ave--also known as Harvey's. The dealership on the southeast corner of the intersection with Patricia Dr. was closing to make way for a gas station, and the sign was up for grabs.

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City

Gorgeous heritage buildings unveiled at Yonge condo

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 28, 2015

five condos heritageAfter three years of painstaking heritage restoration, the scaffolding has finally come down on a row of century-old storefronts on Yonge St.

The FIVE Condos at the corner of Yonge and St. Joseph have been under construction since the summer of 2011. The podium of the 48-storey residential high rise is made up almost entirely of existing structures, several of them more than a hundred years old. The main entrance, on St. Joseph St., is the painstakingly retained and restored facade of Rawlinson Cartage, one of the oldest moving companies in Toronto.

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City

A 1910s Toronto photo extravaganza

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 25, 2015

toronto 1910sThe second decade of the 20th century left its mark on Toronto. The city undertook several major infrastructure projects during the 1910s, including building the Prince Edward Viaduct of the Don Valley, and the infilling of the Don River mouth and construction of the Port Lands. Canadian Pacific built what was briefly the tallest building in the British Empire at King and Yonge and put up Summerhill station on Yonge St.

By far the biggest event of the decade was the outbreak of the first world war. Between 1914 and 1918, some 630,000 Canadians served in the conflict in Europe, distinguishing themselves in battles at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. 60,661 didn't return. A further 172,000 were injured.

Here's the story of the 1910s in pictures.

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City

Another tower could be coming to Bay and Lake Shore

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 24, 2015

toronto 30 bayAn early rendering for a new office tower near the Air Canada Centre is providing a hint at the future of Bay St. south of the railway tracks. Planned by Oxford Properties for the parking lot surrounding the heritage-protected Toronto Harbour Commission Building, the designs show a 45-storey, 944,000 sq. ft. building with an unusual point at its northeast corner. An outdoor space appears about a third of the way up the west side of the building.

A time of writing no development application has been filed with the city's planning department and it's not clear how the building will affect the 98-year-old Harbour Commission Building, which has been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act since 1973. Before the area around the building became a parking lot, it was the location of two steamship passenger terminals.

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City

The 5 oldest restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 24, 2015

toronto lakeviewNailing down a list of the oldest restaurants in Toronto is much harder than you might think. There's no central database (that I know of) that details exactly when each of this city's thousands of eateries were founded, and there are all kinds of grey areas. Like whether or not a hotel or bar that serves food counts as a restaurant, or if a move to a premises kills some of the magic. Because this post was intended to be a list of places one can dine in historic surroundings, we had to establish a set of ground rules.

We decided changes are OK, but the restaurant has to have remained in the same location--moves reset the clock, the primary purpose of the business must be serving food (apologies to the Wheat Sheaf, Kind Edward, and Royal York,) and prolonged closures (more than a couple of years) are also grounds for disqualification.

With these criteria in mind, here's a list of (what might be) the oldest restaurants in Toronto.

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