Loved and loathed, the original stand that would later form part of Exhibition Stadium was built in 1879 for spectators of horse racing and equestrian shows at the Ex. It burned down in 1906 and was quickly re-built. During the 1920s, the horses, as they had on the streets of Toronto, gave way to deafening motorcycle and auto races. An astonishingly dangerous game called automobile polo was popular around the time of the first world war.
The biggest obstacle is funding. Subways are astronomically expensive: the smallest version of the relief line, which would link a station on Yonge with one on the Danforth, will cost upwards of $3 billion ($13 billion to reach Eglinton), excluding the western arm to Bloor. Even big cities like Toronto cannot afford a price tag that big without revenue tools and help from higher levels of government.
The story of the grey, apocalyptic landmark, which marked the location of a massive underground parking garage and took a decade and a half to finally destroy, is one of deal-making, powerful lobbying and awful timing.
Today we tend to look at Niagara with disdain. Tourist trap. Motel wasteland. Kitsch paradise. This is a place where the various wax museums seem to spill out into the streets and claim the town in suspended animation. The heart-shaped jacuzzi tubs are mostly empty now, residual metaphors of a place down on its luck. These days you go to Niagara to gamble, to revive old love in a falls-view suite. And you always come back broke.