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On This Spot: Yonge and Bloor


Image: "Action at Yonge and Bloor" by blogTO Flickr pooler Metrix X

Love it or hate it the intersection of Yonge and Bloor is one of Toronto's busiest and most famous. It's the crossroads between the city's two longest subway lines and home to large office towers and street level retail. This marquee intersection is home to world-class establishments like Stollery's, City Optical, Popeye's, Harvey's... okay, maybe they're not all that world-class.

But it's still one of the busiest intersections in the city.

The area has grown and changed for years. The subway brought new life into the Bloor/Yonge intersection in 1954. The city's second subway rumbled through the same intersection as the Bloor-Danforth line was born in 1966. Prior to the subways arriving numerous streetcars served the intersection. Early photos show a criss-crossing network of streetcar wires looming above the streets.

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Image: Toronto Achives

In 1924 the Imperial Bank of Canada was situated on the southeast corner, where the optical building now sits. A Laura Secord, a haberdashery and an optician, among other small shops, were just south of the bank. The successor to the Imperial Bank of Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, now lives kitty-corner at 2 Bloor Street West. The Royal Bank of Canada was located at the northeast corner, where the Hudson's Bay Centre now towers above the intersection. It appears that all of the buildings that once stood at this intersection have since been torn down.

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Image: Toronto Achives

And the demolition and reconstruction have not stopped yet. In April of this year Bazis International unveiled plans to create 1 Bloor, an 80 storey mixed-use tower. The building will contain residences, a hotel, and numerous retail stores. It hopes to lure true world-class brands like Armani, Cartier, and Rolex into the region.

Yonge and Bloor are two of the most important streets in this city, and their story is far from finished.

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Image: Toronto Achives


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