A visual history of Yonge and Queen
After a brief trip westward, our visual history series heads back to Yonge Street to survey one of the most photogenic intersections in the city. Yonge and Queen has always been a hub in Toronto since the turn of the century when both City Hall and the Timothy Eaton Co. took up residence nearby. Oddly, not much has changed in this capacity as Viljo Revell's City Hall and the Eaton Centre are still draws to the area.
In fact, as far as Toronto intersections go, preservation of the original character of the intersection has been pretty good, with three of the corners retaining direct connection with buildings that date back over 100 years. The northeast and southwest are best, of course, but despite the ugliness of the upper portion of the facade on the northwest corner, at least some of the original is exposed and the rounded shape of the building remains intact.
As an illustration from the 1920s shows (see below), all of the land to the northwest of the intersection was owned by Timothy Eaton throughout much of 20th Century, and even before the Eaton Centre, there existed a complex of buildings related to his retail operation. With the construction of Toronto's downtown shopping mall in the 1970s, the streetscape in the area underwent profound change, but a walk along Yonge today reveals that a number of buildings on the east side of street are still in existence.
Early 1990s (north)
Other entries in the series:
- A visual history of Yonge and Dundas
- A visual history of Yonge and Bloor
- A visual history of Queen, King and Roncesvalles
All images prior to the 1970s are from the Toronto Archives (via the Wikimedia Commons). The 1970s postcard is from the Commons, the first 1980s shot is by CanadaGood. The second 80s shot and the 90s shot are also from the Toronto Archives. Contemporary photos are by (in order): Jarret E Hather, 9:30, and Wherever I Roam.