demolition history toronto

A visual history of demolition in Toronto

If you've lived in Toronto for any reasonable period of time, you're probably be familiar with the names Greenspoon and Teperman. They are, of course, demolition companies — and Toronto is a place where a hell of a lot of demolition has taken 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's also been plenty of buildings that suffered the fate of the wrecking ball on account of the city's utter lack of respect for heritage structures. 

There have been some downright tragic losses. Trinity College, the Temple Building, the Grand Opera House, the Armouries, the Board of Trade Building — the list could go on for too long. Many still lament the loss of Sam the Record Man, even if the building itself wasn't so remarkable. 

The cycle of destruction and renewal is ingrained in the growth of all cities, but when you consider some of our losses, it's hard not to be regretful. On a positive note, at least our collective respect for the city's built heritage is much healthier than it was in the 60s and 70s.

Behold, Toronto under the wrecking ball.

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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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The Registry Building gives way for New City Hall.

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Demolition at Yonge & Bloor for the Hudson's Bay Centre.

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The notorious Teperman sign rears its head.

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The last remains of a now long lost building downtown.

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Demolition at Frederick St. for the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

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Getting ready to kill the Board of Trade building.

roundhouse torontoDemolition of the one of Toronto's old roundhouses.

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Demolition of the old Eaton's Annex near Bay and Albert streets.

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Eaton's Annex demolition.

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Eaton's buildings coming down to pave way for the new Eaton Centre in the 1970s.

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The demolition for the Eaton Centre left an enormous hole in the heart of Toronto.

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The Old Eaton's store along Queen west of Yonge 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.

maple leaf millsDemolition of Maple Leaf Mills.

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Demolition off the Bayview Extension.

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Demolition at King & Dufferin.

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Colonial Tavern Demolition.

demolition torontoDemolition at the southwest corner of Yonge and Richmond.

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The remains of Sam the Record Man.

Lead photo by

Toronto Archives


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