Tuesday, October 25, 2016Clear 5°C

What Danforth Avenue used to look like in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / November 12, 2012

Danforth Toronto historyIt'd be fair to say that there's been something of a west-side bias to the collection of historical posts we've published over the years, so by way of increasing the breadth of our history series I'll be taking a look at some important east-side street and neighbourhoods over the next little bit. Up first, perhaps naturally, is Danforth Avenue. First built in the 1850s, the street is named after the man originally commissioned to build a route that headed east from Scarborough towards Trenton. Danforth's Road, as it was called after Asa Danforth Jr., would eventually fall into disuse when Kingston Road became the more popular passage between Toronto and destinations to the east of the city.

Danforth Avenue was built in the 1850s as a connection between the city and these east-heading routes, though to look at photos from the early 1900s there's nothing particularly urban about the the street. Aside from an area of density around Broadview and the presence of Toronto Civic Railway cars from 1913 onward, the Danforth was a mostly lazy stretch of road that wouldn't see major development until the 1920s, following the completion of the Bloor Viaduct in 1918.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of the Viaduct as a connection between the east and west ends of the city. Although there were bridges across the Don River to the south, as the city to the west was expanding northward, there was no easy way to cross the Don Valley north of Gerrard Street. With the bridge came regular streetcar service and a wave of construction ensued.

The street's Greek presence dates back to the late 1950s as the city experienced a surge of immigrants from Italy and Greece during this period through the 1960s. Although Greektown has lost some of its identity in recent years as this stretch of the Danforth is steadily commercialized and diversified, core businesses — many of them restaurants — ensure that this bit of the street's history remains vibrant.


20121112-before-bridge-1908-f1244_it7244.jpgNot the Danforth, but what Bloor Street looked like before the ravine was filled in for the Viaduct, 1908

20121112-danforth-approach-broadview-1910s-f1244_it0016.jpgDanforth approaching Broadview, 1910s

20121112-danforth-1912-s0372_ss0020_it0003.jpgDanforth, 1912

20121112-danforth-broadview-1912-s0372_ss0010_it0037.jpgDanforth & Broadview, 1912

20121112-pre-boor-viaduct-1912-s0372_ss0010_it0039.jpgWestern terminus of the Danforth (pre-Bloor Viaduct), 1912

20121112-250-danforth-1912-s0372_ss0003_it0107.jpg250 Danforth Ave, 1912

20121112-danforth-east-pape-1913-s0372_ss0020_it0008.jpgDanforth looking east from Pape, 1913

20121112-danforth-don-mills-1913-s0372_ss0010_it0168.jpgDanforth & Don Mills (what we'd refer to as the northwest corner of Danforth & Broadview today — thanks Steve Munro), 1913

20121112-danforth-car-barns-1915-f1231_it0400.jpgDanforth Car Barns, 1912

20121112-danforth-car-barns-int-1915-f1231_it0403.jpgInterior of Danforth Car Barns, 1915

20121112-danforth-west-woodbine-1915-f1231_it1477.jpgDanforth looking west from Woodbine, 1915

20121112-danforth-track-laying-1918-s0372_ss0058_it0749.jpgLaying track on Danforth, 1918 (any guesses as to the location?) — this is just east of Broadview

20121112-425-danforth-ave-1919-s0372_ss0058_it0797.jpg425 Danforth Avenue, 1919

Pape and DanforthPape & Danforth, 1919

20121112-boradview-danforth-west-1920-s0372_ss0058_it0862.jpgBroadview & Danforth looking south, 1920

20121112-danforth-public-lavatory-s0372_ss0001_it0629.jpgDanforth public lavatory, 1920s (55 Danforth, just west of Broadview -- the building is now the École Napoléon)

20121112-danforth-fruitstore-1930-f1244_it0339.jpgDanforth Fruit Store, 1930

20121112-danforth-east-bowden-1932-s0071_it9468.jpgDanforth east from Bowden, 1932

20121112-carlaw-danforth-1934-s0372_ss0058_it1364.jpgCarlaw & Danforth, 1934

20121112-accident-danforth-1935-f1244_it1156.jpgDramatic accident in 1935 (location unspecified — as a commenter points out, this is near Glebemount)

20121112-danforth-east-coxwell-1935-s0071_it10735.jpgDanforth east from Coxwell, 1935

20121112-danforth-coxwell-ttc-waiting-room-s0071_it11485.jpgDanforth & Coxwell, TTC waiting room 1936

20121112-danforth-east-ladysmith-1936-s0071_it11591.jpgDanforth looking east from Ladysmith, 1936

20121112-danforth-west-monarch-park-s0071_it11601.jpgDanforth looking west from Monarch Park, 1936

20121112-linsmore-hotel-1945-f1257_s1057_it0528.jpgLinsmore Hotel, 1945 (now the Linsmore Tavern -- near Greenwood)

20121112-hotel-quigley-1945-f1257_s1057_it0534.jpgHotel Quigley, 1945 (near Oak Park Avenue)

20121112-danforth-greenwood-1947-s0372_ss0003_it1426.jpgDanforth & Greenwood, 1947

20121112-danforth-jones-1952-s0372_ss0058_it2352.jpgDanforth & Jones, 1952

20121112-power-supermarket-1953-f1257_s1057_it0496.jpgPower Supermarket (near Danforth & Woodbine), 1953

20121112-danforth-woodnine-1954-s0065_fl0009_id0002.jpgDanforth & Woodbine, 1954

20121112-danforth-east-luttrell-1959-s0372_ss0100_it0277.jpgDanforth looking east from Luttrell, 1959

20121112-danforth-west-woodington-1960-s0372_ss0100_it0279.jpgDanforth looking west from Woodington, 1960

20121112-danforth-at-birchmount-1960s-f1257_s1057_it5559.jpgDanforth at Birchmount, 1960s

20121112-danforth-west-westlake-1960-s0372_ss0100_it0281.jpgDanforth looking west from Westlake, 1960

20121112-danforth-west-east-lynn-1960-s0372_ss0100_it0282.jpgDanforth looking east from East Lynn, 1960

20121112-danforth-autobody-1965-s0648_fl0160_id0004.jpgDanforth Autobody, 1965

Photos from the Toronto Archives



Andrew / November 12, 2012 at 10:00 am
Awesome Derek!
Mg / November 12, 2012 at 10:08 am
The Pape & Danforth photo needs to be flipped -- it's a mirror image.
Mg / November 12, 2012 at 10:18 am
"Broadview & Danforth looking west, 1920" should be "looking south"
Johnny Tronno replying to a comment from Mg / November 12, 2012 at 10:39 am
It's the original negative that's flipped. It's in the archives forever in that state. Can still flip the digital image though.

Interesting look at development over the years. Thanks for putting it together Derek.
Peter / November 12, 2012 at 10:41 am
Love the historic pictures of Toronto/GTA
rudy / November 12, 2012 at 10:41 am
the 1918 photo captioned "any guesses as to the location?" is just west of broadview, looking east
Derek / November 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

Thanks! Both of those changes have been made.
John / November 12, 2012 at 10:45 am
Amazing! Thanks! As a long time Danforth and East end dweller, its nice to see these photos!
Neil / November 12, 2012 at 10:57 am
Not sure if it's a coincidence, but TODAY is the 59th anniversary of the opening of Power Supermarket! :)
Lioness / November 12, 2012 at 10:59 am
250 Danforth is really 350 Danforth I think- judging by what is written on the picture. Nice to see all these shots. Thanks
AmH / November 12, 2012 at 11:25 am
That brick building in the first black and white photo is still there. It's the TD Bank at the Northwest corner of Bloor and Sherbourne. Nice article.
Steve Munro / November 12, 2012 at 11:36 am
The 1918 photo at Danforth and Don Mills is the northwest corner of Broadview & Danforth. Don Mills was the original name for this road north of Danforth.

Rudy has already pointed out that the mystery intersection is looking east from what, by then, would be the east end of the viaduct with the foundation for new streetcar rails going.
Kate replying to a comment from rudy / November 12, 2012 at 11:38 am
Agree with Ruby as to 1918 photo. You can see the distinctive buildings at Danforth & Broadview in the distance. This is on the east end of the viaduct.
Dan4th / November 12, 2012 at 11:45 am
'Dramatic Accident in 1935' is a great photo. I bet the accident was covered in the newspapers back then, it would be interesting to know more about it. What really makes it for me is the evident danger in the background, and the looming danger in the foreground, where the gas pump is on the sidewalk.
Mark Moore / November 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm
The public lavatory building is west of Broadview Ave.
mara / November 12, 2012 at 01:49 pm
Fantastic! Will post to my East York Facebook group :)
Bradley / November 12, 2012 at 02:16 pm
The dramatic accident is at Glebemount, one block west of Woodbine. Some properties have an extra storey now, but the corner building's roof hasn't changed.
James / November 12, 2012 at 02:27 pm
These are great photos. As one who grew up in the east end, I know it well. By the way, we don't say east "side" in Toronto. We have ends, not sides.
Martin / November 12, 2012 at 02:34 pm
Danforth looking west from East Lynn, 1960 - I think this is looking EAST from East Lynn. The angle of the sun is wrong for looking west and Danforth is rising in the picture, up to Woodbine. Great series. Thanks for posting these.

Fig replying to a comment from Neil / November 12, 2012 at 02:41 pm
I noticed that too - excellent timing of your post Derek!
Jay / November 12, 2012 at 02:50 pm
The first photo that says it is looking east to Sherbourne is actually mislabled on the photo, which is interesting. Because it is taken on the south side looking back at Sherbourne which means it is looking west. The Sherbourne bridge leading into Rosedale is there with the ravine on the right and Don Valley road down below.
Also the 'any guesses' photo, as someone else has said, is of course Broadview Danforth ahead but is taken just before Cambridge Avenue (there on the left).
the lemur replying to a comment from Dan4th / November 12, 2012 at 03:04 pm
The streetcar actually looks burned out:

Kevin / November 12, 2012 at 03:06 pm
A wonderful collection of photos, Derek. The Union Bank of Canada at Pape & Danforth is now RBC on the north west corner. Also, nice to see the dry cleaner at Jones & Danforth is still a dry cleaner.
phuong / November 12, 2012 at 03:31 pm
what a terrific collection!
Mike replying to a comment from Martin / November 12, 2012 at 03:57 pm
Yes, "Danforth looking west from East Lynn" is definitely looking east to East Lynn.

Great set of pictures!

Anna F. / November 12, 2012 at 08:27 pm
Thanks Derek, yet again. Love your posts on old Toronto.
Andrew / November 12, 2012 at 09:16 pm
The building at Danforth and Jones is coloured differently, but looks much the same, and is still a dry cleaners 60 years later.
james / November 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm
The sidewalk at the dry cleaners at Jones appears to have been lowered by a foot.
East End Girl replying to a comment from Dan4th / November 13, 2012 at 12:40 am
Dramatic accident in 1935 (location unspecified) is Danforth & Woodmount Avenue (near East Lynn Park). I saw that in a historic Toronto book and it left an impression on me since it's my 'hood.
Albert / November 13, 2012 at 09:18 am
WOW love the pics. Street Cars then; subways 30 years later.
Seán / November 13, 2012 at 10:03 am
Many of the buildings definitely still there...ALSO, read recently that the Sunkist Fruit market at Danforth and Carlaw was Toronto's first 24hr store.
Sue / November 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
Amazing pics.
I too am an east ender so these are really cool to see
Derek / November 13, 2012 at 03:29 pm
Thanks for the correction on the orientation of the Danforth at East Lynn photo. The Archives actually have that labeled correctly as looking east — the mistake was mine.

Also: thanks to other commenters who have helped to fill in some of the blanks on locations. Much appreciated!
Catherine / November 13, 2012 at 06:50 pm
LOVE the shot of the lady at Woodbine and Danforth in the fur coat and cropped pants!
Stephen Wickens / November 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm
The Glebemount scene is from June 27, 1935, and the incident and pictures are one of the stops on the Jane's Walk I do each year. Incredibly, there were no serious injuries, especially when you consider the seriousness of the blaze and the fact that in lower-right corner of the picture, you're looking at an old sidewalk style gas pump. The first store on the corner is one of the original Brewer's Retail outlets and the second was a wine store, undoubtedly a purveyor of plonk. Some run-on sentences from the next day's Daily Star: "Passengers leaped through jagged street car windows--three men riding in the front of a flame-enveloped gasoline truck escaped injury as if by miracle--a dentist's office, liquor store and apartment suite were set ablaze, and several man-hole covers were hurled into the air as the result of a terrific crash between a street car and a 1,000-gallon oil truck at Glebemount and Danforth Aves. yesterday. Gasoline flames shot across the roadway, igniting curtains, awnings and window fronts of the apartment at Glebemount and Danforth Aves., the windows being shattered. Police report that gasoline seeping into sewers caused the explosion of four man-hole covers a quarter of a mile apart. Leonard Bigelow, driver of the truck was questioned by Main St. station detectives as to how the accident occurred.
Simon Tarses / November 14, 2012 at 08:00 am
Looking at the pictures of the streetcars going down Bloor and Danforth, I can honestly say that getting rid of them on order to build a subway may have sounded great at the time, but I think that we lost something along the way when we did this. I much prefer riding a streetcar/LRT all across a city (with just the occasional underground trip crossing half the city.) For that reason, I'll be welcoming the LRT lines when they're finally completed.
rudy replying to a comment from Derek / November 14, 2012 at 08:37 am
the correction you made to the "any guesses as to location" photo now says it's east of broadview, but it's actually west of broadview looking east
Larry robins / November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am
Thanks for the memories..I was born 1945 and grew up on the danforth(1334/1336)
My father owned a greasy spoon a half block east of linsmore hotel/tavern...all the waiters were ex prize fighters, and ate at " the robins nest" for many years..
Again, thanks for your time and hard work in putting this together.
Larry robins
Dan4th replying to a comment from Stephen Wickens / November 14, 2012 at 04:02 pm
Wow, fascinating bkgd on that accident, thank you.
W. K. Lis / November 14, 2012 at 05:13 pm
Danforth Avenue was just a narrow country road before the streetcars arrived. When the streetcars were installed on Danforth Avenue, Bloor Street West (west of Dundas Street West), and St. Clair Avenue West, the made the streets wider than the older streets in Toronto. However these days, those streets are narrow when compared with the arterial roads that were converted from country roads after World War II.
Boris / November 16, 2012 at 09:53 pm
I was born in Toronto 2 days before the picture taken at Carlaw and Danforth...October 13, 1934. I lived in central Toronto and never ventured east of Yonge Street until the early 50s. While in high school I worked part-time at the Monarch Park Cigar Store close to the north-east side of the intersection.
Chris Van Ihinger / November 19, 2012 at 01:21 pm
The pix 'Danforth & Coxwell, TTC waiting room 1936' was taken when its storefront was a restaurant. I remember this building when it was a news stand with its counter open to the street. That was the winter of 1965/66.

Never knew about the waiting room; maybe the TTC in its infinite wisdom had closed it by then. Sure was cold standing outside. As often as not, there would be a PCC streetcar sitting in the loop, motorman sitting inside with the heaters on, perusing the Greenwood (formerly Woodbine) racing sheet and chomping on a cigar, waiting for the next northbound streetcar to turn in and push him forward to the boarding point.

The following year the Bloor Danforth subway opened and they killed the Kingston Road/Coxwell streetcar, to be replaced by a bus.
bill kennedy / November 24, 2012 at 02:18 pm
I am sure the picture at east lynn is looking east there is a slight rise in the road i walked that location at least a thousand times and i certainly remember the gas station.
Murray Burke / November 24, 2012 at 06:17 pm
great pictures I was born 1932 upstairs at 2644 Danforth over my fathers hardware store. This was between Main St. & Dawes Rd. just a few doors east of Barrington. Coal yards and lumber were across the road and the busy york marshalling yards. Always remember the Duckworths Fish & Chips and they are still the best i have ever had. Also Maple Leaf Dairy now St. Clair Ice Cream or something like that.
bill kennedy / November 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Love your picture of woodbine and danforth 1915.I hung around there 1958 to 1967.I recall woolworths and kresges flamingo restaurant woodbine grill (ernies),united cigar store the pool hall allens jewellers, the beer store where you had to fill out and order form to get your beer, later o we would go to the commodore where a glass of beer was 15 cents. I like the picture of the power store i only recall that as the A&P. How about dainty miss clothing store and of course the Prince of wales movie theatre. Great place great times

bill kennedy / November 27, 2012 at 10:22 am
love the picture of the quigley hotel near oak park.i recall that as the wembley hotel in the 50s and 60s it was west of oak park in between there and gledhill,on the south side of the danny.We hung around sams conveniece store about a 100 yds. west of there. Great picture.
stephen Wickens / December 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm
The last picture cannot be 1965. I'd say 1961. The reason the picture was taken by the city is because that's where the excavation was about to take place for the cut-and-cover tunnels joining the Bloor-Danforth subway to the Greenwood yards. Those sites are now an LCBO and a City children's services building, across from the butt-ugly seniors tower that replaced a thriving retail strip.
stephen Wickens replying to a comment from bill kennedy / December 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm
Before 1940, the Quigley was the Ridley. In 1947, Quigley became the Wembley. I don't know what year it became Wise Guys, but a nickname such as the Wisely, might be appropriate now.

bill kennedy / December 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm
Well Steve I only knew the hotel as the Wembly and that was as late as 1967. I now live in NB but I plan on being up there next year I will check it out thnx for the info.
Jill replying to a comment from Martin / December 16, 2012 at 03:34 pm
Wow These are really cool photos! I grew up on West Lynn Ave! My Mum shopped at that Power Store
Carol replying to a comment from mara / December 17, 2012 at 02:34 pm
Fantastic photos, brought back lots of memories. We lived in an apt. 1169 Danforth Avenue for 16 years... the subway was built just outside our bedroom window. Rice's Dairy was next door with the horses clomping in the lane early in the morning to deliver milk.
Ron Sargent replying to a comment from Boris / January 11, 2013 at 02:59 pm
Wonderful photos. I lived with family Pape and Gerrard area from 1939 to 1960. Scarborough 1960 to 1962 then Vancouver 1962 to now 2012.Odd live now in area called West Lynn Terrace in N Vancouver and have seen some references to an area in east Toronto known as West Lynn Ave. Can not recall where that was.Spent happiest days at Danforth Tech Greenwood and Danforth 49 to 55 .Return some years to Danforth Tech annual golf tornament and Danforth Tech Society . Still returning to deal with old family home on Austin Ave . Thanks again for very happy memories . Ron
Norman Goldie / January 11, 2013 at 07:13 pm
Thank you all the memories,,from 1950 until 1959 Danforth was my territory..we lived on Langley Avenue much of `growing up` happened there. Danforth Tech was the place & school. Really didn`t stay all that much living close in East York..until Montreal then to the Beaches. I have not had a chance yet to return having spent the last 17 years in Brasil..but will. Gee I remember Milne Stadium & the skating rink (?) behind..ALL GONE..BUT THE MEMORIES WOOW!!
bill kennedy / January 21, 2013 at 02:11 pm
At the near left is New Era at the far left the tall building also became New Era and across the street at Perkins that also became New Era. On the near right that was British Ensign Motors they sold mainly English cars. I was there I believe in 1961 when the brought in the BMW Isetta price tag was $495. Beyond Perkins furniture was the plant where they assembled Nash cars and prior to that Ford cars. That of course became the Eatons store in Shoppers World.The very first Shoppers drug mart was in the mall and was named after the mall Shoppers World. In between the 2 New Eras on the left was Rays Furniture that is where we purchased our first lot of Furniture after we got married.
bill kennedy / January 21, 2013 at 02:13 pm
The previous info was based on the picture Danforth east of Luttrel
Edie / January 29, 2013 at 08:51 pm
tthanks Dereke very intersting and educatiuonal
Bob Pridham / February 1, 2013 at 01:05 pm
Great pictures bring back great memories. I also went to Danforth Tech and also went to the Danforth Society golf tournament the last 2 years. Parents also shopped at the Power supermarket. It would be interesting to connect with some of the people who used to call the Danforth home. If it is allowed and you would be interested contact me at bpridham2@cogeco.ca
Hugh Thomas / February 5, 2013 at 08:22 am
Does anyone remember the name of the rink behind Milne Stadium? The Terrace?
Don / March 15, 2013 at 01:15 pm
The Danforth, anyone born and raised in the east end always refers to the street as " The Danforth " never Danforth Ave. At one time The Danforth had more new and used car sales lots than any other street in the world.
ОТИОЯОТ / April 3, 2013 at 01:42 pm
"Danforth at Birchmount, 1960s" - that's actually Birchmount at Danforth (Avenue), looking north.
health / April 4, 2013 at 07:46 am
Just how did you have the ability to construct such a fantastic crowd of commenters to your site?
Femma / May 12, 2013 at 04:06 pm
Loved this post, thanks! I Google Mapped some of the buildings using street view just to see if they're still standing. I walk by the Ecole Napoleon bldg all the time, had no idea it's almost 100 yrs old.
Jamie Nazaroff / May 14, 2013 at 09:10 am
The École Napoleon is *west* of Broadview, not east.
Marilyn Meloche ( Easton) / June 3, 2013 at 06:27 pm
OMG !! found this accidently while looking for fabric stores..awesome..lived on Fulton Ave.north of Danforth at very young age til teens..now in 70's.. shopped at some of these stores..'specially the fruit market, Irish Linen. Kresges etc. worked there at age 14 for 2 yrs.went to Danforth United Church @ Jackman Ave., Earl Grey School the first year it was gr.7&8, then to Danforth Tech @ age 12 1/2yrs. wonderful memories of the Danforth..
Georgia Youngs / July 6, 2013 at 06:21 pm
Loved all the old photos. Found your site as I was searching for photos or information on my grandfather's Dairy - called Rice's Dairy. He sold it I think around 1950 and it was on the Queen St., W of Glen Manor Rd. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
From his loving grand daughter
Margaret Collins / July 9, 2013 at 04:05 pm
Wonderful photos, I have been idly interested in the company known as Danforth Hardware, I situated around Danforth and Pape. I also believe it was owned by the Toms family in around 1920 ... any information?
S. Murphy / July 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm
Love these photos! Do you have any pictures of the house in the 1920's at Woodbine and Danforth?
John replying to a comment from james / August 1, 2013 at 11:43 am
That happened in 1952 when they widened Jones Avenue - cutting into the sidewalk that appeared in the picture.
Lynn / August 7, 2013 at 08:45 am
Do you know if there was a car dealership (new or used cars) named Cruickshanks (or maybe spelled Cruikshanks) on the Danforth in the 50's or if a family by that name owned a car dealership under a different name?
robert clarke / September 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm
What an awesome presentation. born an East Yorker (Barker Ave.) spent a lot of time on the Danny and in the Beach areas 50's - 80's. thanks for the memories.
Edgar Murdoch / October 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm
I was born 1935 in the Beaches. and was an Eaton's driver from 1950 to 1958. I went to UCC on Avenue Road and took the Bloor streetcar and Main St. bus to get home. Used to skate at east end of the Viaduct and was organist at Woodbine United Church. I now live in BC. These pics bring it all back. Thanks for sharing. Sighhhhhh......
Kim replying to a comment from Chris Van Ihinger / November 9, 2013 at 07:26 pm
Anyone can provide me a picture of A view of Coxwell and danforth looking east? Thanks.
Clive / January 14, 2014 at 02:42 pm
Born June '35 and spent '36 and '37 summer renting a home on the Beaches - as did half the city because the temperature stayed above 100 in the shade - we all slept on the beach. So much for global whatever. The permanent house was built on Chesterhill Rd (misspelling intentional)just north of the Danforth off Broadview west to the ravine. Just north of that intersection between Browning and Fulton on the west side was Chester Public School a six-room formidable stone structure. It was where East York began north and east. Hastings Dairy and the blacksmith shop were neighbours.
The first Greeks arrived in the Depression and owned a dairy and restaurants of course and the Letros on King and Diana Sweets on Yonge. My buddy let me taste his father's white lightning and touch a million drachma bill.
Back on the Danforth, Bazos owned the fruit market beside Curtis Markets at the north-east corner of Logan and Danforth. The bank (a two-storey brick structure) had to be lifted and dragged west to smooth out the jog in Logan as it intersected Danforth. Another Curtis Markets replaced the A&P at Logan and Riverdale. At Jackman (north-west corner) is Eastminster United Church. Founded on Cambridge in 1907 by my Methodist grandfather, it was moved and fully completed in the twenties. The Anglicans, not to be outdone, moved their Church on the north side at Player to the south side now just west of Jackman. Well almost, because the Danforth as the pictures well show, turns into a quagmire with not much rain. The slid on logs half-way across when the logs and the floor of the church stopped - dead stopped. That was on Saturday of course so when set on having a service the next day the worshippers helped each other slide across some more logs and when settled into their pews, rose as one to sing "How Firm a Foundation!" Much more of this era was described 100 years on The Danforth at the centennial of Danforth United. On quite a different note, no one comments on the public washrooms at the southeast corner of Broadview and Danforth. Today it would be shocking! to teenagers then it was a hoot! thank you very much for letting a picture or two pull history into life.
bill kennedy / February 10, 2014 at 03:09 pm
Heres a story I wonder how many out there will remember. Well most of us will remember Stoneys used car lot at the Danny and Jones ave. In the early 50s I used to go with the old man down to the Fleet street flats to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play ball. When you walked into the stadiam you could smell those hot dogs especially the mustard. Well Stoneys had a billboard out in right field and the letter O in Stoneys was cut out and if a ball player could put the ball through the letter O he won a Bulova watch from Peoples Credit Jewllers.We had a great team in those days with players like Sam Jethro, Lou Morton Eddy Blake and the greatest coach of all times Sparky Anderson.
peter shannon / February 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm
these picture are marvelos totaly enjoyed them
Barry Page / February 16, 2014 at 10:01 pm
Just a double check I think the washrooms were on the south west side of Broadview & Danforth not the south east.
What was the name of the football field behind the washrooms?
What was the name of the school built on this property?
Lisa replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / March 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm
I hope you are never in a hurry to get anywhere and you don't mind when the winter weather puts a damper on street level traffic. I think the forward thinkers who built the subway line into the Bloor viaduct were brilliant. Wish we'd had more of those minds putting in additional tunnels for subways years ago.
torontosean / March 24, 2014 at 08:34 am
Great stuff! Born amd raised on the Danforth. ..and still here 44 years later!
Tony / March 24, 2014 at 04:00 pm
Same here, born at Toronto East General in 1953 and live and Broadview Danforth now.
East York ..a great place to live!
These photos are awesome! Thank you
Robert Roy Ward / March 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm
My twin brother (Keith) and I were born and raised at 73 Cavell Ave. Toronto, Ontario in 1934. We attended Earl Grey School on Jones Ave. 1941-1949 (the old building) ...

On Pape Ave. just 2 blocks south of the Danforth was Donlands Dairy. Their stables were located On Cavell Ave. beside Earl Grey School Yard Cavell Ave. entrance north side. There was Murphy's store on the southeast corner of Cavell & Pape, and Sofie's across Pape Ave. westside. At Pape and Danforth there was Sibery's clothing store (SE corner), and the Public Library on Pape. I remember the Palace theatre (Danforth & Pape), the Odeon theatre where Wayne & Shuster did live shows occasionally. The Ace theatre on the Danforth across the street from a bowling alley and the old Century Theatre at Broadview and Danforth etc. This was my playground when I was a child.
Robert Roy Ward / March 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm
The public washrooms at Broadview and Danforth were located on the south west side of Danforth just before the east side entrance onto the Bloor Viaduct. Behind it was a northside entrance to Riverdale Park (no school at the time). 1941-1949.
marilyn campbell / March 27, 2014 at 06:55 pm
omg I remember some of these times I grow up on the Danforth at greenwood and went to the palace show on sat afternoons went to earl gray school and as I got older went to the hotel at pape and Danforth called the eaton I slsow lived in the house beside the citys chrilden center on chatham ave its still their today this has been great times would like to speak to anyone who may think they know me thanks marilyn
Vasilis replying to a comment from Mg / March 27, 2014 at 06:58 pm
Pape and Danforth it's corrrect the north west corner now RBC.
len collins / March 28, 2014 at 01:37 am
this is so cool brings back so many memories.....pics from WestlaKE AND Danny are exceptionally memorable...going to the beer store with my dad between amroth and woodbine


Catherine / March 28, 2014 at 08:58 am
Thank-you so much for these pictures !! Danforth and Woodbine was a huge part of my childhood in the 1950's. I used to go to the Power store with my grandmother every week, and walked Danforth between Woodbine and East Lynn to go to school.
In my later teen years I lived at Birchmount and Kingston Rd. Our Church was at the corner of Birchmount and Danforth, across from Lily plant.
Phil Groff replying to a comment from Mark Moore / March 30, 2014 at 01:12 pm
This caption still needs fixing. The lavatory is West of Broadview.
Bette / April 30, 2014 at 01:02 pm
Love the photos you have posted. Old streets and buildings are such a pleasure to look at, even for those not from the area. I have a photo of McNeill's Tire and Battery Service, located at 3359-6L Danforth Avenue and taken, I would say, in the 1920's. If you are interested, I would be happy to share.

Not knowing Danforth Ave., I do not know where along the avenue this would be located. Nor, do I know which McNeill was the proprietor. The latter, especially, would be so nice to find out, as it would be a family member of ours. If anyone can offer information on how to find this information, it would be gratefully received. I am not in Toronto, so cannot search archives in person.

Derek, please let me know if you would like to post the photo here.
angie / May 25, 2014 at 10:39 pm
These bring back so many memories. The Sunday night "stroll" along the Danforth.
I worked in the CIBC Bank at Broadview & Danforth for 9 years, My Husband worked at the Liquor store just East of Broadview, we met when he used to bring the deposits in from the liquor store to the Bank, we married and it lasted till his death.
Anybody remember Danforth Sweets and of course Playters Hall.
Just great pictures
bill / May 26, 2014 at 08:19 am
Well Angie I do remember Danforth sweets but I just cant place it, I am a Woodbine and the Danny boy. But you did solve something for me Playters Hall ,for the life of me I could not remember the name of that place.
eric / August 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm
There are also some very interesting views of the Danforth in Toronto Public Library's Digital Archive:


Bill Grant / August 25, 2014 at 10:45 am
If you are or were an East Yorker there is a site called "I'm from East York" come on and join.
Dianne Anderson Way / January 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm
Yes Ron you are right! I was born at St. Michaels downtown Toronto 1944, and lived at 43 Woodmount Ave. until we moved to 379 Milverton Blvd. north of the Danforth between Coxwell Ave. and Monarch Park.
Dianne Way replying to a comment from Marilyn Meloche ( Easton) / January 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm
Hi! Do you remember Ron and Fern Anderson from Danforth Tech.? Fern is 79 and Ron is 80!!
Kathleen Airdrie / January 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Dianne Anderson Way. We lived on Milverton Blvd. in 1947. A family named Anderson lived across the street from us. As I recall, one of the children had polio. Is that your family?
Mike / February 10, 2015 at 04:39 pm
Laying track on Danforth, 1918 (any guesses as to the location?) — this is just east of Broadview

That is the Danforth west terminus...you can see the Playter building at the corner of Broadview...also the familiar white house north of Danforth is similar the the house in the photo pre 1912 Danforth west terminus.
Apolonia / February 16, 2015 at 03:59 am
Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing difficulties
with your RSS. I don't understand why I am unable to subscribe to it.
Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?
lois / March 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm
The dairy on Pape just south of the Danforth (south west corner of Pape and Harcourt) was Valley View Dairy. Another movie theatre on Danforth was the Granada, south side, just east of St. Barnabas.
Marjorie (nee Kitchen) / March 21, 2015 at 08:42 pm
Moved to Cavell Ave in June, 1939 when I was just 13. Only
child on the street with a Monopoly Game so our front porch was very popular -- a great way to meet "all the kids".
In September entered Riverdale Collegiate. That hill up Jones
was a task on a bicycle in the morning - okay returning home.
Thank you very much for renewing all the memories with your
great collection of photos.
Bob / March 23, 2015 at 03:41 pm
I lived on Dearborn near Broadview as a 5 year old in the early 50 s and remember my dad taking me to Danforth Sweets on the Southside of Danforth near Broadview. I suspect that it may have been the Allens restaurant now. Also the ball park that was on the south side of Danforth just west of Broadview when he took me to watch ball. Thanks for the memories!
Judy Campbell (nee Breward) / June 13, 2015 at 12:02 am
I was raised at Coleridge & Milverton Aves, born 1941, attended Danforth Park PS, Oak Park Jr. High and played in the East York H.S. Band until we moved to Kingston Road & Victoria Park area. While I remember most of what you all have talked about, my memories also include things like Silverwoods Dairy on Woodbine Avenue, Prince of Wales Theatre on the Danforth. My goodness, back in those days we could go to the show, buy penny candy,a Vernors drink and popcorn all for only a quarter. Many a time my name flashed up on the screen telling me my mother wanted me to go home cause I tried to stay for two movies...haha. I can remember Mrs. Millers convenience store on Woodbine and the Chinese Laundry beside her store. Oh boy, this is bringing back so many memories.
East York was a wonderful area to grow up in, toboganning at East Lynn Park, My doctors office on Danforth (Dr Smith and Lovering)..wow you have stirred the ashes in my mind. Thank you all so very much . Have loved this!! OH yeah...anyone remember the carnival/fair that would come to East York Stadium once a year....man we all looked forward to that. And speaking of East York Stadium..how about the visits to the old restaurants north of the high school as teenagers....the Drive, the Riviera and there was one more I can't recall the name...Anyone out there know it???
Oh gosh, I can taste the cherry coke now. This has been great....thanks again!!
bob davidson / June 28, 2015 at 10:09 am
the picture marked Danforth looking east from East Lynn, should read Danforth looking east from West Lynn
bill kennedy / June 29, 2015 at 09:02 am
Well Judy you brought back more memories I was born 1942 lived on King Edward also went to Danforth Park and Oak Park jr high.In the early 50s used to go to the Community theatre on Woodbine Ave and remember the Saturday serial movies usually 15 episodes. When it was closed in 55 went to the Prince of Wales. How about Danforth Radio downstairs at the record bar. I was there in 57 the day they brought in Elvis golden record volume 1 I still have it , it cost $1.89. The record portion of the store was run by 2 sisters at that time. Worked at Quality food store Woodbine and Lumsden in 58 and 59 for 40cents an hour. I still recall the house at 33 Frater Ave giving a 25 cent tip. The Chinese laundry next door and then Archers drug store. My barber across the street was Joe Hauth he was also a model in Eatons catalogue. Yes Silverwoods dairy on Woodbine we used to go there to see the horses. I remember Lake Simcoe Ice and Fuel delivering ice to our house for the ice box it came in 25 and 50 lb. chunks. Us kids used to go to the back of the truck and pick up loose pieces of ice. How about the rag man that used to collect rags I believe we called him the Sheeny man. And the man who came by to sharpen knives. I still have lots of great stories from that time it was a great time and era to have lived there.
marilyn / July 8, 2015 at 08:40 am
I was born in toronto, 1951, off of pape and danforth and lived for a few years on eaton ave. great pics.
Wayne Curry replying to a comment from marilyn / July 23, 2015 at 07:43 am
I was raised in my Grand parent s home at 75 Eaton Ave from around 1943 - 1951 They were the Caskie Family original owners of # 75 Eaton. My father had a butchers shop at around 888 Danforth Ave in the 1930's and my Mother managed a little bakery called Federal Bakery and Womans's bakery later on. I went o Wilkinson Public school and later on Danforth Technical school . My Mother is 101 years old now and I have heard many stories about this area over the years. Whenever I go down that way , I feel like I am coming home. I now live in Oshawa area.
Jim Flatman / August 3, 2015 at 01:47 am
When it was the Quigley Hotel, the hotel sponsored a baseball team, the "Quigley Aces". They played as one of the league teams at Dentonia Park's baseball diamond.
Ben replying to a comment from Marilyn Meloche ( Easton) / August 17, 2015 at 11:43 am
Hey, I went to Danforth Tech also :) Love Benjie
doug shaw / September 9, 2015 at 01:15 am
It is great reading all this stuff. I grew up on Wolverleigh and born in 1952. My mom born in 1932 and still alive grew up there as well. Bill Kennedy, I like your posts. I know most of the stuff you are talking about. The Power store was not A&P however. Power changed to Busy Bee and then Woodbine building supply and now the Carmelina Condos. Keep writing! I forward your posts to my mom!!
bill kennedy / September 12, 2015 at 04:14 pm
You are right Doug the A&P was across from Allen Jewellers. South side of Danforth east of Woodbine.
Gordon Wake / October 12, 2015 at 04:47 pm
Born on Strathmore east of Woodbine Thanks for the memories Fantastic Went to Danforth Park
Leo Cormier / November 9, 2015 at 11:42 am
Great pics ...I grew up at Jones and Gerrard and went to Danforth Tech . These were the best years growing up in the fifties / sixties , hot rods and hoola hoops . Currently retired and living in Fenelon Falls Ont. Brings back great memories....Thanks
donna woodhouse / December 2, 2015 at 10:13 pm
Love reading all these comments and looking at the great pictures. Hope more are added. I too grew up in East York (born 1952) and still live in EY, north of the danforth. I have great memories of the prince of wales show, skating at EY arena, shoppers world plaza (where in the late 1970's early 1980's my mother -Agnes Reed- ended up being the Mall Manager!), eating at the drive restaurant on lunch at EYCI, smoking cigarettes on the bus down dawes road -and only a quarter for 4 tickets! Such great stuff ... keep up the good work.
Carol / December 10, 2015 at 02:13 pm
The photo 'Dramatic Accident' is at the intersection of Danforth and Glebemount. The photo you see was taken from a second floor apartment, which is above a convenient store called Lucky Mart (today). I grew up on Roseheath Avenue (where you can see the gas pump) in the 50's, 60's and 70's. I was wondering if anyone recalls a huge fire on the south side of the Danforth in the mid 60's on or around July 23rd. The address was 1783-1785. It destroyed the Kitten Knit Sweater company and damaged businesses along the Danforth between Roseheath and Bastedo. I remember it being the scariest thing...my fellow classmates lived above those stores and lost everything.
Doug Maas / December 16, 2015 at 01:24 pm
My mother, Edith Durham who was born in 1915, grew up on Broadview Ave., north of the Danforth. Her mother Mabel was born a Roberts and her family owned the Valley View Dairy on Pape Ave. until it was sold in the 1960s. The Roberts Family owned a farm near Port Perry and this was a place to rest the horses used for the milk delivery. Loved seeing the pictures of this beautiful area of Toronto.
M.hutcheson / December 23, 2015 at 06:59 am
My father lived on Wiley ave.and worked as a butcher on Pape and Danforth in 1928. He would be over 100 years old now. Thanks for the great pictures.
Ian / December 23, 2015 at 01:27 pm
Eastside is the bestside!
Bob Hartley / December 27, 2015 at 02:29 pm
I too am an east ender, I lived all over the east end, (I think we moved every time the rent was due). Went to Leslie, Withrow, Kew Beach and Danforth Tech. Used to go to the Century Theatre and see the horror shows. Loved seeing these old pictures, brought back some great memories.
Glad I grew up at that time.
E. Ormston / January 19, 2016 at 07:08 pm
I used to live on Chisholm Ave, one block west of Main Street. I have a childhood memory of a lumber yard on the south east corner of Main and Danforth burning down. It would have been where Main Square is now situated. Can anyone tell me the date that happened?
Fred / January 27, 2016 at 09:39 pm
I lived on Seymour Ave (Jones & Danforth) until we moved to Scarborough in the early fifties when I was six. My older brother and sisters however grew up during the forties and fifties and married from that home .All my life I heard the wonderful stories of Holy Name school and church ,the little store around the corner that my Mother would order her Sat. morning groceries from ,the trips on the streetcar to shop at the Kresge's near Woodbine.I'm told that it had hardwood floors. Those houses that were across the street from us backed onto what my family referred to as the dump at that time. It has been the Greenwood yards for some time now .I do have many childhood memories and every year attend the Danforth festivals. I make a point to visit the old street with family pictures in hand to remember the good stories that were told so many times.
Gord / January 28, 2016 at 09:41 pm
Grew up on Cedarvale Ave.shopped at the Power graduated from Danforth Park the last year it was open it wasand renamed to Oak Park Junior High and I graduated from it the next year. School now torn down and b
new one built. I remember seeing the kids in limos going by the school on their way to Crescent School at Victoria Park wher all the condos are today. Silverwoods dairy on Woodbine north of Danforh. The Hollinger bus line garage at Woodbine and O'Connor where there is an apartment building same thing for the Silverwoods Dairy. Remember the milkman delivering and the iceman coming by and coalbeing dumped into the coal bin in our basement. Walking on the Danforth on Sunday night during WW2 because they had lights on.
Playing and swimming in the Don at the B.A.B. or Watsons Park.
Fishing for strange things in the creek under Woodbine Bridge.
The East York dump just North of Cosburn East of Cedarvale Ave.
Getting off the TTC and getting on a Hollinger bus at Woodbine and
Danforth. A great place to grow up. Boy East York sure has changed
from when you crossed the bridge at Woodbine and O'Connor and walked through farmers fields on our way to swim in the Don.
Sure can't swim there now.
EdwardOn / February 2, 2016 at 08:10 pm
Hi I’m new here. I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried Athletic Greens for their green drink? I'm seeing that most either taste overpowering or cause my stomach to cramp.
BB replying to a comment from angie / March 21, 2016 at 05:43 pm
According to the City Directory of 1921, Danforth Sweets was located at 5 Danforth. One of the owners was my grandfather, so I have especially enjoyed reading your memories of the place and times.
Mitchell / March 28, 2016 at 05:49 pm
My grandfather moved his family to Danforth and Eaton in 1921. A few years later, he opened a fish and chip shop on Danforth near his home. My father often talked about a gym that was near his father's chip shop that he and his brother worked out at and boxed. This would have been around 1932-33. He told me how he used to spar with Edwin Boyd, of the Boyd Gang fame, almost daily.

I can't find any record of where the fish and chip shop and the gym were located. Anyone have any ideas?

Dan / March 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm
Picture of Danforth "East Lynn my Grandfather then my father had a butcher store ``STRICKLANDS¨North Side close to East Llynn @1948 Danforth would be 4th store from NE cornor of woodmount. You can see a little bit of thye store in the picture. Next door was a bakeary. If anyone remembers this please let me know and if you have any pictures
Wendy McCourt replying to a comment from Norman Goldie / April 5, 2016 at 06:43 pm
The skating rink behind Milne was called "The Terrace Rink" cost .25 cents to get in. We didn't have any money so as kids we skated at the Pee Wee outside rink south of Danforth and Broadview in Riverdale Park.. BTW I was born at the Albany Clinic in 1945 at Playter/Danforth. It was a large big house at the time. I don't think it is there anymore.
Wendy McCourt replying to a comment from Mitchell / April 5, 2016 at 06:52 pm
The Model Fish & Chips was on the Danforth north side near Chester Ave. and a gym was across on the south side of Danforth just south of Chambers Fish Market in an alley sort of behind the stores on the Danforth. Could have been called "Golds Gym" We used to stop by on our way home from School (Franklan Sch) and watch the guys lift heavy weights until they chased us away. LOL I wonder if this is what you are thinking about.
d. tustin / April 7, 2016 at 04:27 pm
To: bill kennedy, yes i remember your place on king edward ave i used to hang out with you brother james at that time you drove a blue 1964 pontic 2 door and you had a 45 record player mounted under your dash . i lived at 156 barker ave. on the corner of cedervale and barker i went to parkside elementary school oak park jhs and danforth tech. i lost track of your brother back in the late 90s and just wondering if he is still around.also it would like to hear from other people from the old neighbourhood that grew up there from 1959 t0 1976
Other Cities: Montreal