demolition history toronto

A visual history of demolition in Toronto

If you lived in Toronto during the 1970s and '80s, you'd probably be familiar with the names Greenspoon and Teperman. In fact, it would have been relatively difficult to drive around Toronto a whole lot with encountering signs bearing the names of these businesses during this period. They are, of course, demolition companies -- and Toronto was a place where a hell of a lot of demolition took place. Some of it was perhaps justified by huge projects like City Hall, the Eaton Centre, and all of our modern skyscrapers in the Financial District. But there were also a lot of buildings that suffered the fate of the wrecking ball on account of the city's utter lack of respect for heritage structures. Old Union Station comes to mind here, but also the Board of Trade, Trinity College, the Temple Building, and the Armouries.

We've already nominated our most tragic losses in previous post, but thanks to some new digital scans from the Toronto Archives, it's possible to get a sense of what the Toronto streetscape looked like during all of this destruction. Some of the views are painful, while others offer a fascinating look at the city during a period of massive transformation. Here's what Toronto looked like during the wrecking ball's reign of terror.

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Demolition for Union Station

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Train shed at Old Union Station being demolished

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Demoltion at Queen & Yonge

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Demolition at Gilead Place in old Corktown

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Demolition at Yonge & Bloor

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The notorious Teperman sign

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The last remains of a now long lost building downtown

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Demolition at Frederick St.

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Demolition at Bay and Albert streets

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Demolition for the Eaton Centre

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Same deal here

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And another one

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The Old Eaton's store bites the dust

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Different angle, looking towards Yonge St.

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The smouldering ruins of the old Eaton's store

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Getting ready to kill the Board of Trade building

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Demolition off the Bayview Extension

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The Registry Building gives way for city hall

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Demolition at King & Dufferin

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Colonial Tavern Demolition

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The remains of Sam the Record Man

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And this is what you get when you demolish everything. Parking lots!

Photos from the Toronto Archives


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