Here are some of the lost gems and landmarks people in Toronto miss the most
The Toronto that many of us grew up with has vanished, landmarks of yesteryear replaced by a growing conglomeration of modern towers or lost to hard times. We all have specific spots we miss from the recent and distant past, our nostalgia ranging from restaurants to stores, to other landmarks erased by time.
But what are some of the places we miss the most? To get a better sense of which lost businesses and landmarks people still reminisce about, we asked Twitter to answer "What place is now gone, but you wished was still open in the city?"
It was a simple enough question, but it seems to have struck a chord with some, opening a floodgate of mentions of places that now only exist in photographs and our memories.
Anyone who grew up in the 1990s remembers Speakers Corner. It gave performers and randoms off the street a soapbox in an era before handheld digital devices made vlogging a thing.
It was such a great idea, vlogging before the age of the internet.— Sans visage (@QuantaWave) February 9, 2022
Honest Ed's is almost universally missed, though the incorrect narrative that the landmark was axed for condos persists years later.
The towers will actually be rentals, including desperately-needed affordable housing, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend I don't miss that glowing beacon of incandescent bulbs and hand-painted signs.
Broke my heart when they tore it down to build condos..For sixty years I enjoyed those bright lights with the great signs especially a Xmas time..— Rock solid (@PepjoecarrSolid) February 9, 2022
Still sad when I walk past there.
The World's Biggest Bookstore, however, was torn down in 2014 to make way for condos, its replacement having recently wrapped up construction on Edward Street, just northwest of Yonge-Dundas Square.
Its mustard-yellow interiors and quirky advertising live on in the memories of local bibliophiles.
World's Biggest Bookstore pic.twitter.com/2JXHvR3BKX— 5💉1💉5💉1🤢 (@5151photography) February 9, 2022
Businesses lost to redevelopment is a recurring theme in this Twitter thread, with another lost landmark near Yonge and Bloor also torn down to make way for condos in 2003.
The lost Uptown Theatre is still remembered though.
The glorious Uptown Theatre. Thousands of hours waiting on Yonge to be the first in for the showing. Beeline straight to the row with the railings at the front to put your feet up during the movie. My wife and I almost got married there.— Murat (@moo_rat) February 9, 2022
Lost restaurants proved to be a popular memory among locals, including "musical eatery" The Organ Grinder on The Esplanade.
The Organ Grinder. Parents would take me there sometimes. I kinda remember going on the stage to sing along.— Ephraim Zev🔜FE2022 🇨🇦🇮🇱🔭🌌🐺💉3/3 (@ephraim613) February 9, 2022
A more recent loss in the dining scene, pizza joint Big Slice was a legendary place for university students to grab a cheap, late-night bite. It relocated from its decades-long spot at Yonge and Gerrard back in 2016 to make way for, you guessed it, condos. A few people mentioned the beloved pizza spot's lost location.
The Big Slice - first on Yonge St. and it doesn’t look good for the one on St Clair Ave. either pic.twitter.com/b7O6HonNVI— Chris McGale (@MARATHONFITSYS) February 9, 2022
Also among the more recent losses mentioned, Cold Tea in Kensington Market was a late-night fave, and some are apparently just getting the memo that it has permanently closed.
this tweet is how I found out... commence heartbreak.— veesha (@VeeshaS) February 9, 2022
Most of the responses pay respect to places lost in the last generation, but at least one commenter is looking further into the past at some of the lost architectural gems that graced our city in its earlier days.
Must I only choose one ? My fav. The belle of Toronto St. Toronto Post Office No 8. pic.twitter.com/p6FyTDKHHH— Toronto Past (@TorontoPast) February 9, 2022
Others mention lost chain restaurants like The Olive Garden and Chi-Chi's, while one even used the question as an opportunity to slam Toronto's lack of housing affordability.
But this writer is personally fuming after not seeing one single mention of proto-fusion restaurant Ginsberg and Wong, which operated at Village By The Grange until the early 1990s.
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