The CNR’s Over/Under on Bloor Street

I’m always captivated by a fine-grain urban fabric, like the integration of buildings with infrastructure. Image: December 29, 2016.

As I wrote about a few times this past Fall, one of the homiest neighbourhoods in Toronto for me is the Junction Triangle. I won’t go over the ultimately poetic reasons again, but there are also more mundane things that really pull me in. One of those is one of my favourite examples of buildings being integrated with infrastructure is the warehouse on Bloor built into the first of the two subways (underpasses) in the area. I should note that in the time I’ve been researching this, the good folks on the Urban Toronto discussion boards have also been sleuthing the same underpass.

Toronto’s Booming North West

Detail of the Bloor-Dundas-Lansdowne area from 1892 Toronto Railway Company route map. As was the case with the 1893 Goad’s Atlas plate reproduced below, the area, while subdivided, had not yet become a hot spot for development. Source: Historical Maps of Toronto.

When the spaghetti-like array of railway track way laid out in Toronto’s northwest quadrant between the 1850s and 1880s, there were few local residents to complain.1I acknowledge that there is a rich urban, transportation, and environmental history here that I’ve glossed over in a cavalier way. The tracks had, for the most part, successfully dodged the built-up portions of the city, where they made their way to settlements like Newmarket, Owen Sound, and Brampton. While these rails crossed the various roads in the area, they were more or less rural in their feel and traffic levels and this was as much of a problem at streets like Bloor or Dupont as it was in any other rural area. By the time the 20th century came into focus, however, not only had Toronto and a number of small suburban municipalities come out to meet what had itself become the considerable rail apparatus of the West Toronto Junction, but they were poised to envelop the whole thing.

In anticipation of development in the district (which, as the Goad’s plates above show had picked up considerably since 1900), grade separation on Bloor Street West between Lansdowne and Dundas West was first given serious consideration at the end of 1911. On the advice of the city’s engineering department, the construction of two subways (underpasses) – one below the Grand Trunk (later Canadian National’s Newmarket Subdivision2The line had a much longer history than a mere sub, of course. It began life as the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway (Ontario’s first steam railway) and later known as the Northern Railway of Canada (NRoC). The NRoC was, in turn, acquired by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in 1888 and following protracted bankruptcy proceedings, the GTR was nationalized and folded completely into Canadian National Railway (CNR) in 1923.) line west of Lansdowne and one below the combined Canadian Pacific and Canadian National line just east of Dundas – appear to have been Board of Control‘s preferred solution.3”Eager to Know Car Earnings,” The Globe, November 17, 1921, p. 11. The Northwestern Ratepayers’ Association, on the other hand, rapidly organized opposition to the installation of subways. While the Association’s members were in favour of grade separation, they blanched at the estimated $800,000 price tag attached to the project. In the face of this opposition and without a clear path forward, Arthur Bunnell, of the city’s engineering department asked the Dominion Board of Railway Commissioners to set aide their consideration until the city could develop an acceptable plan.4”Subways Not Wanted By The Ratepayers,” The Globe, February 8, 1912, p. 2. The Board, at its meeting, did approve the Canadian Pacific’s (CPR’s) subway scheme for its line along Dupont between Avenue Road and Dovercourt, but, as asked, reserved its decision for the Bloor subways.5”Board Approves Plans of C.P.R.,” The Globe, February 10, 1912, p. 8. With no easy solutions in sight, the Recession of 1913-15, and Canada’s entry into the First World War, solving the issue was effectively shelved.6Should that not have been enough, the Canadian economy was treated to a recession immediately following the War too. See Michael Hart. A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade Policy from Colonialism to Globalization (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002): 88-92.

While the vision was to see that red line extended to Jane street, it’s doubtless that many would have liked to have seen the half-mile gap between Lansdowne and Dundas. This system map from 1912 illustrates the frustration.. Source: Transit Toronto.

The Issue of Grade Separation Returns

After having laid dormant for nearly a decade, the issue of Bloor Street grade separation was raised once again. Of Toronto’s eight wards,7Ward 8 was added in 1919 after the annexation of East Toronto. Ward 6, the site of the desired grade separations, was not only Toronto’s most populous ward by a considerable margin, but was second only to its neighbour, Ward 7 (West Toronto Junction) in population growth during that period.8City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1912 (Toronto: Carswell, 1912): 56; City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1922 (Toronto: United Press, 1922): 70.

Wards 6 and 7 were hot. Sources: City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1912 (Toronto: Carswell, 1912): 56; City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1922 (Toronto: United Press, 1922): 70.

On November 16, 1921, Ward 7 (West Toronto-Junction) Aldermen Samuel Ryding and H.M. Davy urged the Board of Control to resurrect plans for grade separation and reapply to the Board of Railway Commissioners.9”Eager to Know Car Earnings,” The Globe, November 17, 1921, p. 11. With an election coming up on January 2, it appears to be the case that the Controllers demurred.

One of the most important questions to come before the City Council this year will be that of grade separation in Ward Six.10”Grade Separation Must Be Decided,” The Globe, January 5, 1922, p. 10.

1922 was, of course a new year with a newly-invigorated council. The Globe’s expected Aldermen Davy (Ward 7), Brook Sykes (Ward 6), and Ryding (Ward 7) to introduce motions. The sticky wicket that was the Esplanade viaduct question had been settled and the aldermen of the western wards felt that their residents “had waited long enough.”11Ibid. Even if restricted to Bloor Street, competition for public works money was fierce. A plan to widen the street between Sherbourne and Spadina was delayed in favour of the subways further west. Widening hadn’t fallen off the table, however. More than one unnamed Ward 6 Alderman brought up the widening of the street between Lansdowne and Dundas as an additional aspect to the west’s cries for relief.12”Bloor St. Plan Again Defeated,” The Globe, April 5, 1922, p. 13.

By the 1922, the Globe had come to characterize the area as the “half mile gap”. The CN rail we’re considering here is on the right, nearest Lansdowne Avenue. Image: Google Maps.

By September, with Ward 6 and 7 residents anxious, Works Commissioner (R.C.) Harris was expected to release his department’s report recommending just how to proceed with the grade separation. The Globe, while anxiously awaiting for Harris’ report, published the thoughts of W.R. Willard, a local Barrister. His plan’s showpiece? To consolidate the CPR and GTR(CN) lines, close the various existing West Toronto stations, and construct a union station at the southeast corner of Bloor and Dundas. The paper also gave Alderman Davy opportunity to make his case for the project at length. In addition to all of the expected arguments concerning danger, congestion, and the half-mile streetcar gap, he also implied that the level crossings also rendered the city’s west end isolated from the remainder. Finally, Davy made it clear that some of the delay concerned the sharing of costs between the City and the railway companies.13”Advises Elimination of Grade Crossings Over Half-Mils Gap,” The Globe, September 23, 1922, p. 18.

Had Willard’s vision been seen through, the southeast corner of Bloor and Dundas West might have been quite different. Image: Google Maps.

The Ward Six Transportation Committee was an initiative of Alderman Donald McGregor and founded on November 24 to accomplish one thing: agitate for grade separation in the neighbourhood. Although Bloor was certainly the level crossing that had received the greatest share of attention and energies, there were still crossings at Wallace, Royce (Dupont), St. Clair, and Weston to contend with as well.14”Are to Wage War Upon Death-Trap,” The Globe, November 25, 1922, p. 18. Their first meeting was held on December 1 at the Kent School at Bloor and Dufferin and featured a number of speakers, including W.R. Willard, the President of the High Park Ratepayers’ Association, E.R.J. Wray, the President of the Bloor-Dovercourt Business Men’s Association, O. Earl Hodgson, President of the Bloor-Lansdowne Business Men’s Association, J. Walter Curry, the local MPP, A.R. Green, the President of the Ontario Motor League, Wallace T. Fisher, member of the City’s Executive Committee and Ward 7 Ratepayers’ Association, and Russell Nesbitt and Joseph Gibbons, Controllers.15”Intends to Eliminate Deadly Level Crossing,” The Globe, December 1, 1922, p. 13.

Ontario’s municipal elections were held on an annual basis in the 1920s. Source: Toronto Star, January 1, 1923, p. 1.

Once the 1923 election was out of the way, the newly-elected Fred McBrien and incumbent Donald MacGregor set to work immediately and introduced a motion “that the Dominion Government be memorialized to have these dangerous crossings eliminated at the earliest possible date,” and that “reports and estimates be prepared ready for making an application to the Ontario Railway Board for the depression of the steam railway tracks to do away with these crossings.” It was also moved that “the City Solicitor be instructed to press for an early hearing of the city’s application to the Dominion Railway Board on this grade separation problem.” In order to alleviate the congestion problem in the meantime, McBrien also inquired to the Toronto Transportation Commission about having the Bloor streetcar “looped farther west on Bloor street than Lansdowne avenue, to avoid traffic danger at a congested spot.” Finally, and as would later become a source of difficulty, MacGregor requested that the Public Works Committee to study the widening of Bloor between Lansdowne and Dundas from 66 to 86 feet.16”Multitude of Motions Placed Before Council at Inaugural Meeting,” The Globe, January 9, 1923, p. 13.

Bloor Street’s “menace to life and limb” in 1923. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231 Item 1299, May 25, 1923.

Engaging the Railway Board of Commissioners was first order of business out the gate: City Solicitor Johnston made the request and a hearing was scheduled for February 14.17”Crossings Danger May Be Removed,” The Globe, February 2, 1923, p. 11. On the topic of pushing the Bloor streetcar further west, TTC Manager Herbert Couzens was able to lend his full support to grade separation, but until that happened, there was little he could do. “It would unsafe for us to operate street cars over a level crossing. Schedules, for instance, would be disorganized, and service difficult to maintain.” He was anxious, however, for the grade separation to take place so that the link could be constructed. Raising the spectre of western isolation, he continued “it practically divides east from west. Without connecting the lines we cannot give adequate service.”18”Level Crossing Must Go,” The Globe, February 10, 1923, p. 13.

Among commercial centres of the city awakening to building activity this spring is the Bloor street district, west of Dundas street. There is evidence that a shopping centre is being developed along Bloor street in close proximity to Dundas, where seven stores are now being made, and arrangements planned for more store buildings in the early spring.

Fourteen stores were built in this district last year, the majority already occupied. It has been predicted that this important corner is destined to rival other active businesses and shopping centres in the Dundas street neighborhood.

Land with a Bloor street frontage is selling from $200 to $250 a foor, and there is a healthy demand for commercial building property in the vicinity of Dundas street. Grade separation on Bloor street with a through car service along Bloor street is expected to be a factor in the commercial development of the district.19”Western Districts Being Developed,” The Globe, March 21, 1923, p. 9.

As shown above, the growth that was expected in 1911 when grade separation was first pitched had quite definitely materialized by 1923 and only threatened to increase further. As such, both pedestrian and motor traffic had increased dramatically in the area. Localized growth alone this might have been manageable, though with continued industrialization, rail traffic on the CPR and CNR’s lines in the area also increased considerably. With so much congestion being faced on a day-to-day basis, residents of Wards 6 and 7 had grown impatient. The issue had, after all, been put in front of the Railway Board of Commissioners in February and the silence afterwards was deafening. On June 1, the Ratepayers’ Association, after having written to the Board of Railway Commissioners, was informed that the City and the railways were working together to find some amiable solution and that the “Board has nothing before it to justify the conclusion that the city officials are withholding any assistance from the railways.”20”Grade Separation in Lap of Future, Commission Writes,” The Globe, June 1, 1923, p. 15.

Bloor’s “death trap” looking east. Image: City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231 Item 1327, April 23, 1923.

One week later, and it appears that the Board of Railways Commissioners had come to develop some concern was well. Frank Carvell, who was the Board’s Chair told Toronto’s Commissioner of Works, R.C. Harris, that he would be quite interested in seeing some plans within the next month. Harris, while he did acknowledge that the planning was more complex than anticipated, was confident that plans would be submitted in four weeks. A cost-sharing agreement between the city and railway companies had, however, been difficult to nail down.21”All Hands Working, But Little Progress on Crossings Danger,” The Globe, June 8, 1923, p. 13. To the Ward 6 Ratepayers’ Association and Alderman Fred McBrien, Carvell acknowledged the danger and inconvenience of the level crossings but urged patience, saying “you can’t prepare plans for million-dollar transaction and hurry the thing up as fast as you like.”22Ibid.

Frank Carvell, the Chair of the Board of Railway Commissioners, had become concerned as well. Image: Library and Archives Canada / Topley Studio Fonds / PA-033972.

Of course, pleas for patience are often pleas to look away from conflict or difficulty. On the June 26 Council meeting, Alderman Davy introduced a motion to expedite the planning process “in accordance with the decision of the Dominion Railway Board.” His urgency did not exclusively stem from ward pressure: he had received word that the railways were “making permanent arrangements on Bloor street between Lansdowne and Dundas by the installation of a watch tower instead of preparing for the elimination of the level crossing.”23”New Election Date Wanted for City,” The Globe, June 23, 1923, p. 16. (emphasis mine)

Should the the City’s delay in the plan’s development and railway company recalcitrance have not been enough to deal with, the TTC had come up with its own plan to deal with the congestion at Bloor and Lansdowne. On July 4, the TTC and the Works Commissioner tabled a plan to install a loop that would send cars up Lansdowne, west on Wade, down a private right-of-way, and back on to Bloor. Not only did this seem to be out of the blue for most of the players in this decade-long drama, but it appeared to be in harmony with the CNR and CPR’s attempt to avoid the whole grade separation. When Alderman MacGregor envisioned improved TTC service for the west end of Bloor, a new loop at Bloor and Lansdowne was not what he had in mind. He was sufficiently angered by the proposal that, if passed by Council, he planned to secure an injunction against it as a private citizen. For the interested in Wards 6 and 7, this was apparently another stab in an already-festering wound.24”Loop at Lansdowne to East Congestion Starts Lively Row,” The Globe, July 5, 1923, p. 12.

Ever since the T.T.C. took over the railway, it has been making a monkey out of the West End. Citizens in the district west of Bathurst street have never been given a square deal ad the East End has got everything it asked for. If that proposition goes through I’m going to take action as a private citizen and a property-owner in the section immediately affected and seek an injunction. We it to go through it would turn Lansdowne avenue into a regular rail yard. It’s absurd. I’m the senior Alderman for the ward, and have been in the Council nine years, and no one knows more than I do about the conditions of that corner.25Ibid.

An angry MacGregor continued, suggesting that

“it looks to me as if the T.T.C. was playing the C.P.R.’s game — evading the main issue and trying to fool the people into thinking that they are getting something. The loop will do nothing to help eliminate the dangerous crossings on Bloor street. It will merely serve the T.T.C.’s own convenience and turn Wade avenue into a railway yard. I’ve got property up there, and I know what that means.26Ibid.

Though his opposition was doubtlessly sincere, MacGregor’s anger did not exactly stiffen any Controller spines. The Board of Control approved the TTC’s plan the following day and Works Commissioner Harris angrily dismissed MacGregor’s invective.27”Lansdowne Car Loop Approved by Board,” The Globe, July 6, 1923, p. 12. He was not alone, of course: the Council meeting later in the week saw 50 show up in opposition to the loop. The message? “Hands off Bloor street until Bloor street is fixed right.” TTC Manager Couzens, for his own part, insisted that the loop was not proposed to allow the TTC to avoid doing anything about the crossings. Rather, it was allow cars from the Lansdowne barns to safely head west once the underpasses were completed. Aldermen MacGregor and Davy were also concerned that the capital spent installing a loop would be better put towards the project. By a vote of 16 to 5, MacGregor’s motion to have the proposal sent back and reconsidered was carried.28”Trio Battles in Vain Against Higher Pay for City Hall Heads,” The Globe, July 10, 1923, p. 11.

The question of widening Bloor once again hit the Board of Control on August 1. On that day, Alderman McBrien appeared before the Board arguing for a 60/40 split of the $445,000 cost between the City and the properties that would benefit directly. This time is was the Controllers who were less than impressed: they saw any movement towards widening at that point as a potential impediment to the grade separation project, which was still before the Railway Board of Commissioners. Most exasperated, it seemed, was Mayor Charled Maguire, who was quoted in The Globe: “Here we think that we have the  question settled and now you come along the with this.” The deputation was most unwelcome and Maguire felt that introducing the widening at that juncture would allow the railways to continue to delay the whole process.29”Suburban Proposal Stirs Controllers to Vigorous Protest,” The Globe, August 2, 1923, p. 12.

Faced with railway company foot-dragging on grade separation (real or perceived) and a rapidly-growing west end, the subject of widening did not fall off the political agendas of Wards 6 and 7. In mid-September, at a community meeting held at the Perth Avenue School demonstrated that a bare majority of the interested neighbourhood residents would support a widened Bloor if the cost was to be shared 50/50. Logically, it was felt by some present that grade separation and the widening could be undertaken at the same time.30”Opposes Widening on Proposed Basis,” The Globe, September 11, 1923, p. 12. Ward Six suspicion didn’t go unnoticed. In reply to a letter from A. Greenhill, the Ward Six Ratepayers Association President, F.B. Carvell, the Dominion Railway Board’s Chair, wrote that he was at a loss to understand the suspicion the group had with the City’s intentions and that he believed fully that plans for the underpasses would be prepared for October 1.31”Will Finish Plans Early Next Month,” The Globe, September 21, 1923, p. 9.

It was the Bloor-Lansdowne ratepayers that blinked first. In a Globe report on September 24, it was suggested that

Rather than do anything that might retard progress on the plans for the elimination of the railway level crossings on Bloor street, between Dundas street and Lansdowne avenue, property owners will, if necessary, drop their request for the widening of Bloor street to 86 feet.

Seeing that their wider-roads advocacy might very well derail the whole grade-separation enterprise, the Ward Six Ratepayers’ Association resolved to send a deputation to Mayor Mcguire requesting to set the Bloor widening aside until the Board of Railway Commissioners had arrived at its conclusion.32”Grade Separation if First Objective,” The Globe, September 24, 1923, p. 11. The request was well-received by Mcguire, who assured the organization that “the city plans were ready and had been virtually approved by engineers for the railways.”33”Grade Separation Should Come First,” The Globe, September 26, 1923, p. 15. The Board of Control agreed and decided to drop the issue, at least until the grade separation issue was better in hand.34”Widening of Bloor is not Sanctioned,” The Globe, September 28, 1923, p. 11.

The temporary settlement of the issue at 60 Queen West, of course, did not necessarily settle the mood in Ward 6. While the road-widening dogs may have been called off for the time being, the Ward Six Ratepayers’ Association turned its attention to Board of Railway Commissioners, so that it may apply pressure to the city and railway companies.35”Urges Railway Board to use its Influence,” The Globe, October 30, 1923, p. 12. Weeks later, with a municipal election approaching quickly, even that peace was limited: grade separation was the top issue for the Ward 6 Aldermanic candidates.36”Almost Utter Absence of Oratory Marks Ward Nomination Meetings,” The Globe, December 22, 1923, p. 14; “Aldermanic Candidates Invited to be Present,” The Globe, December 27, 1923, p. 11. In the week following the election, the Business Association sent a large pro-subway delegation to the Dominion Railway Board meeting held at City Hall on January 8, 1924.37”Want Level Crossings Made Things of Past,” The Globe, January 8, 1924, p. 9.

Though it was likely that the writing was on the wall, it was also likely that the Businessmen’s deputation didn’t hurt the cause. Engineers from the City, CPR, and CNR also appeared before the Commissioners that day to present plans for the underpasses. As much as it was needed, it was not an inexpensive venture. The City’s department estimated nearly $6 million, and the CPR, nearly $4 million (without the needed expropriations). The CNR declined to provide numbers to the Board because they did not involve grade separation. Although not opposed to the subways, the CNR was more interested in re-routing trains, which would demote the Newmarket Sub to a mere switch line.38”Hope for Solution Within one Month on Level Crossings,” The Globe, January 9, 1924, p. 11. While all parties involved appeared to be close and the Board gave them five weeks to arrive at a solution before being given an official order to do so.39”Given Five Weeks to Come to Terms,” The Globe, January 10, 1924, p. 9.

For some, notably a group of Bloor street business interests, that five weeks was interpreted as an opportunity to get creative. On January 18, The Globe reported that “Bloor street business men” had developed a new proposal for the Board of Railway Commissioners that would see streetcars pushed west of Lansdowne and a temporary loop constructed on a vacant lot. Under this plan, the group felt, Bloor could be widened and adjacent property values maintained.40”New Plan is Proposed on Grade Separation,” The Globe, January 18, 1924, p. 10. One month later, manufacturers of the district including Canadian General Electric on Wallace, met to consider the City’s plans.41”Discuss Grade Separation,” The Globe, February 16, 1924, p. 15.

After the the the Dominion Railway Board of Commissioners’ five week adjournment had expired, a session was held on February 19. It should come as no surprise that the three parties – the City, CPR, and CNR – were unable to come up with a solution. The CNR, in a plan that was designed to keep costs down, proposed to raise the track, beginning south of Bloor and rising to a height of 10 feet at Royce (Dupont) and returning to level at the West Toronto diamond. The CPR’s engineers were less than impressed: E.P. Filntoft, the railway’s Assistant General Solicitor noted that its state-owned rival’s plan might save upfront would result in increased operating costs and it would be nearly impossible to properly serve industrial sidings. The railway had its own criticisms for the City’s proposal as well. Most of the industrial firms in the area were reported by The Globe to be opposed to the CNR’s plan.42”Grade Separation Along Northwest Remains Problem,” The Globe, February 20, 1924, p. 14.

Our engineers are going to go into this thing very carefully, and nobody is going to get anything which they do not justify. The C.N.R. will have to show satisfactory reasons in support of its contention that the grade separation is not neessary on the Newmarket subdivision.43”Engineers Cautious in Studying Plans for Grade Problem,” The Globe, February 21, 1924, p. 11.

The Commissioners met the following day to consider the proposals more in depth and to encourage the City and railways to further justify their designs. It does appear to be the case that, while there were issues with the City and CPR proposals, it was the CNR’s plan that appears to have been the sticking point.44Ibid. Of course it wasn’t only the lawyers and Commissioners who had problems sorting the plans out. For a third consecutive day, the Dominion Railway Board of Commissioners met to sort the issue and for a third day no solution was in sight.45”Railways’ Experts in Disagreement on Grade Schemes,” The Globe, February 23, 1924, p. 15. From there, once again, progress was stalled.

The Board of Railway Commissioners Makes the Call

In April, with no end in sight, The Globe reported that Railway Board Chair Carvel was getting set to “make an order setting forth the best plan for operating the trains over Bloor street, Royce [Dupont] avenue, and St. Clair avenue, and the personal inspection was made to gather further information in the district.”46”To Lay Down Rules for Trains at ‘Gap’,” The Globe, April 8, 1924, p. 13. This might have been wishful thinking to some degree, however, as the local business association dispatched another letter to Carvell, urging him to take action as soon as possible.47”Bloor Business Men Consult Mr. Carvell,” The Globe, May 3, 1924, p. 16.

Northwest Toronto was to be filled with grade separation projects and this map illustrates clearly one of the reasons negotiations between the City, CPR, and CNR spent 15 months in front of the Board of Railway Commissioners. The one I’m interested in is the one on Bloor at Lansdowne. Source: The Globe, May 10, 1924, p. 14.

Fifteen months after the Board of Railway Commissioners first convened to hear the issue, on May 9, it made its order.

Toronto’s death-traps must go. This is the decree of the Dominion Railway Board, issued today. The railway companies must eliminate the level crossings on Bloor Street West between Lansdowne Avenue and Dundas Street, while subways are to be constructed on the Newmarket [CNR] subdivision at Bloor Street and Royce [Dupont] Avenue, Davenport Road and St. Clair Avenue, all to the full width of street and 14-foot clearances, and in all these cases, if the city requires greater clearances than 14 feet,48The City had requested 18-foot clearances on St. Clair because the TTC had plans to run double-decker buses along the route. See “Engineers Cautious in Studying Plans for Grade Problem,” The Globe, February 21, 1924, p. 11. which is the statutory standard, the same to be granted, the additional expense, however, to be borne entirely by the city.49”Northwest Toronto Will Soon be Freed of Level Crossings,” The Globe, May 10, 1924, p. 13.

The Bloor West Ratepayers’ Association was pleased by the decision. Association member [Albert] Greenaway was quoted in The Globe as saying “It has been a long fight, but the results will be worth all the effort put into it.” A. Greenhill, President of the Ward Six Ratepayers’ Association was similarly pleased, but added that the grade separation “will be a big factor in the unemployment situation.” The TTC was also pleased with the ruling, as the gap would be closed and the Bloor streetcar would soon be able to serve the passengers from the eastern to the western border of the city.50Ibid.

With the Ward Six Ratepayers’ champing at the bit to get the show on the road,51”Would Hasten Work to Assist Idle Men,” The Globe, May 15, 1924, p. 14. the Board of Railway Commissioners met with the three parties to deal with engineering and scheduling specifics.52”Railway Board Men Meet on Wednesday,” The Globe, May 17, 1924, p. 18. Of course, it is one thing to arrive at a project’s basic principles, but it’s quite another to come to an agreement on the details. With the City, CNR, and CPR joined by the TTC and Hydro Commission as interested parties, the practical realities faced by each party had to find common ground. From the first meeting, the railways felt that July 1925 was a realistic date for completion of the Bloor subway, though the City wanted the Bloor and Royce [Dupont] subways constructed concurrently. The Commissioners left the issue to cost share to another session.53”Bridge at Spadina Approved by Board,” The Globe, May 22, 1924, pp. 13-15. After the second day’s meeting, the Board indicated that it would issue and interim order to direct construction within two weeks.54”Will Specify Work by Interim Order,” The Globe, May 23, 1924, p. 12.

On May 28, much to the excitement of Bloor West residents, two groups of surveyors appeared to take measurements.55”Parties of Surveyors Appear at ‘The Gap’,” The Globe, May 29, 1924, p. 12. Perhaps encouraged by a sign that the project was finally at its beginning, the Ward Six Ratepayers resurrected their request that the City widen Bloor street from 66 to 86 feet. Might as well add the 20 feet while the street was to be closed and dug up anyway, so the reasoning went.56”Ratepayers of Ward Six Ask for Street Widening,” The Globe, May 30, 1924, p. 11. Such a request demanded by the Ratepayers would, of course, be above and beyond the Railway Commissioners’ order and all costs would have to be absorbed by the City.57”Touring Motorists Will Not Camp Here,” The Globe, July 4, 1924, pp. 9, 11. On July 8, the CPR filed its plans for its subway nearer Dundas: 60 feet wide and with 14 feet of clearance.58”Subway Plans Filed,” The Globe, July 9, 1924, p. 10.

Shovels in the Ground

Backing up a little, on June 5th, the Commissioners made the following order:

  1. That the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway Companies be, and they are hereby, directed to construct, jointly, two subways, one under the double tracks of the Galt Subdivision and the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Subdivision of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the Brampton Subdivision of the Canadian National Railway Company on Bloor Street, and one under the tracks on Royce [Dupont] Avenue, in the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario.
  2. That the Canadian National Railway Company, be, and it is hereby, directed to construct a subway under the tracks of its Newmarket Subdivision on Bloor Street, in the said City of Toronto.
  3. That plans showing the two subways on Bloor Street be filed by the Railway Companies, for the approval of the Chief Engineer of the Board, within thirty days from the date of this Order; and that plans showing Royce [Dupont] Avenue subway be filed, for the approval of the Chief Engineer of the Board, not later than January 1st, 1925; detail plans of the said work also to be filed for the approval of the Chief Engineer of the Board.
  4. That the work on the two subways at Bloor Street be commenced not later than August 1st, 1924, and completed not later than July 1st, 1925.
  5. That the work on the subway at Royce [Dupont] Avenue be commenced as early in the Spring of 1925 as convenient, and completed not later than January 1st, 1926.
  6. That all questions of distribution of costs, interest, or other matters involved in the construction of the said work be reserved for further Order of the Board.59Ellen Boland v The Canadian National Railway Company [1926] UKPC 85, 1926/07/30.

At the end of July, The Globe reported that construction on the subways was to begin mid-August. While a few of the plans were yet to be submitted to the Railway Board, most of the ducks were in a row. The new subways were reported to resemble “that at the Parkdale Station on Queen Street, with the exception that steel pillars instead of stone will separate the vehicle ways on each side where the Bloor Street car lines and street traffic run.” While work was being completed, a construction detour was set up to Glenlake Avenue.60”Work on Subways to Begin in August,” The Globe, July 28, 1924, p. 9.

To the delight of many, work began on the grade separation at the end of July. Source: The Globe, July 31, 1924, p. 11.

While work had begun, there wast still the issue of the subway’s width to deal with. The 60 foot plans remained in place, but a large deputation of Ward Six residents had shown up to the August 14 Council meeting to make their desires known for a widened Bloor known. The question of the road’s width was not, in actuality, on the Council agenda, but the delegation led by Fred McBrien and A. Greenhill put the issue front-and-centre. Any motion dealing with the question would have been out of order and it was concluded that the Board of Control would have to deal with the matter.61”Board of Control Left to Consider Width of Subways,” The Globe, August 15, 1924, p. 9.

The first order of business was the sewers. Source: The Globe, September 9, 1924, p. 11.

With construction underway and the widening issue in the hands of the Board of Control, the other major interested party in grade separation – the TTC – was next up for consideration. While the main aim was the “closure of the gap” between Lansdowne and Dundas in the Bloor streetcar service, the TTC’s vision was actually more ambitious. Although the TTC had been running buses from the corner of High Park Avenue and Dundas in the Junction to Jane and Annette, a complete vision was the run the streetcar service out to Jane.62”Time Will Improve Bloor Car Service, Citizens Are Told,” The Globe, October 1, 1924, p. 11.

It would also not have been a large public works project without the human interest element. On October 25, The Globe ran a story about the Bloor street pie shop of Mrs. James Hodgins, who had suffered a considerable drop in business as construction had progressed.63”Song of Progress For City is Dirge to Many People,” The Globe, October 25, 1924, p. 13. On the positive side of the ledger (aside from the long-needed project being underway), the desired relief for unemployed labourers materialized.64”Gives Employment to Many Idle Men,” The Globe, March 26, 1925, p. 11.

To the relief of many the subway was nearing completion by June 1925. Image: The Globe, June 2, 1925, p. 13.

While great progress had been made on the grade separation, the widening was stuck in limbo. On April 16, The Globe reported that needed to gain the approval of the Ontario Railway Board to repeal a bylaw it passed in 1922 under the provincial Deferred Widening Act. The problem? While it was acknowledged that the widening of Bloor to 86 feet would likely be desirable, the level of damages that the City of Toronto would have to pay adjacent businesses in the event the widening went ahead would have been large. Although there were many arguments on both sides, it was ultimately this “material difference” that encouraged the City to seek to drop the widening plan.65”Bloor Street’s Fate Regarding Widening is Still Undecided,” The Globe, April 16, 1925, p. 11.

Just as it appeared that an end was in sight, the CNR filed a request with the Board of Railway Commissioners for an extension. The CNR line’s July 1925 deadline was fast approaching, but legal difficulties concerning property expropriation resulted in delays on the project.66This is how the Lords of the JCPC described the situation: To make the case intelligible it is now necessary to describe the locus. All that is relevant is the condition of affairs on the south side of Bloor Street. Previous to these operations the properties westward from the railway line were as follows: – The Fairbank property with a frontage of 160 ft. to Bloor Street; the Loblaw property with a frontage of about 130 ft., and then the Boland property. The Fairbank property and the Loblaw property had direct access on the level to Bloor Street. At the extreme west of the Loblaw property there was a strip of ground 12 ft. wide which touched Boland’s boundary on the west, and had its eastward boundary formed by Lowlaw’s warehouse. It became obvious from the plan and section that the subway being constructed, Loblaw’s property and the Fairbank property would have no longer access to Bloor street on the level but would find themselves a considerable number of feet above the track of the subway. This position of affairs gave food for thought on the part of the railway engineer in charge of the work, and he seems some time in the summer of 1925, to have held a colloquy with his colleague in the Land Department, the result of which was that they devised a scheme for securing a new entrance which would be available to Fairbank and Loblaw’s to get access to Bloor Street. For that purpose a plan was constructed to that effect. It was proposed to take a strip of about 30 ft. wide at the extreme east of the Boland property. That added to the existing 12 ft. strip would make a strip 42 ft. wide. On this strip it was proposed to construct a roadway leading down into the subway at a gradient of considerable steepness. The plan was communicated some time in October to Mr. Harris the City’s Commissioner of Works. The City did not like the proposal because they thought that a steep roadway at right angles into the subway, and likely to be used by heavy motors with trailers from Loblaw’s works, would be a source of danger to the traffic in Bloor Street. The railway people, however, took the matter into their own hands, and having made a large and working plan, they had it signed by the Vice-President of the railway, and assuming that under the powers of the Expropriation Act that gave them power to take the strip of Boland’s land they sent men to take possession. Mrs. Boland, acting through her son, objected to her land being taken, and after some preliminary discussion as to procedure, raised the present action to the Supreme Court praying for an injunction restraining the railway company from taking the land. Additional delays on the project were, in short, not an acceptable option for the local businesses. When work on the two subways started the previous autumn, there were nearly a dozen active businesses on Bloor between the subways, but by the end of June, there were only four that remained. J. Gordon Campbell, owner of Campbell’s Garage, plead with the Commissioners to deny the extension as any further delay would force him to close shop himself. His letter was supported by another submitted by local business owner T.H. Hancock. In support, Frank Greenaway, owner of Greenaway and Bolton’s Flour and Feed (the warehouse we’re interested in here) and acting in his new position as President of the Ward Six Ratepayers’ Association urged City Council to act on their behalf.67”Protest Entered Against Delaying Grade Separation,” The Globe, June 22, 1925, p. 11. Greenaway was elected to the position on June 10. See “Frank Greenaway Elected By Ward Six Ratepayers,” The Globe, June 11, 1925, p. 12.

The gathering clouds of expropriation troubles did not stop the plan’s moving pieces exactly. On June 22, the Ward Six Ratepayers, Bloor Business Men, and Controller MacGregor met with TTC Manager D.W. Harvey to go over the plans to close the streetcar gap. According to The Globe, the top concern was the purchase by the TTC of a lot at Bloor and Lansdowne “for use as a parking place for trailers to be operated on the new cross-town line.” Harvey also informed the delegation that he had received the go-ahead to lay track on Bloor between Lansdowne and Dundas. While all of the TTC’s ducks were in a row, the lingering dispute over the expropriation of the Boland property (1391 Bloor) was all that might stand in the way.68”Soon to Lay Rails for Bloor Subways and Over ‘The Gap’,” The Globe, June 23, 1925, p. 9.

While the expropriation issue remained, Canadian National’s request for an extension could not be considered by the Board of Railway Commissioners because the expropriation of the Boland property was not done by Commissioners’ order or under the Railway Act. Rather, for one reason or another, the CNR expropriated the property using a measure under the Expropriation Act.69”Board Could Grant No Time Extension for Work on Bloor,” The Globe, June 24, 1925, p. 11.

The Boland dispute, which was soon to be heard in front of the Supreme Court, could not stop the opening of the subways, but the TTC was stopped in its yet-to-be-laid tracks. After having completed an inspection of the subways, engineers from the Board of Railway Commissioners concluded that automobiles and pedestrians would be allowed to use it “very soon”. This inspection was completed in response to J. Gordon Campbell’s urgent letter. While that was pleasing, the Commissioners and staff could not find a way for the TTC to lay track and operate streetcars without running afoul the rights of the parties involved in the Boland suit.70”Subways Are Ready For General Traffic But Not Street Cars,” The Globe, June 27, 1925, p. 15. While further consideration was being given to the issue, work had been suspended, much to the consternation of Ward Six.71”Seeks City’s Help in Bloor Problem,” The Globe, July 4, 1925, p. 13.

West Toronto Gets Its Subways

The delay for the TTC was short and the laying of track allowed to proceed by July 6. Image: Alfred J. Pearson / City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 3922.

Knowing that an indeterminate delay would not have been tenable, the Commissioners’ engineers developed a solution that would not only allow cars and pedestrians, but would also allow the TTC to begin laying tracks. In the south barrel of the subway there to be a ramp constructed leading to the Loblaw’s warehouse on the southwest side. In order to make space for the safe passage of a streetcar while also remaining on the right side of the legal dispute, a temporary trestle ramp would be constructed further south that would maintain access to the grocer’s facility while the dispute was waiting for settlement.72”Subway Trouble Coming to an End,” The Globe, July 6, 1925, p. 11.

Residents were more than happy to see the end of the 14-year odyssey. Source: The Globe, August 25, 1925, p. 10.

Worthy of an epochal event in civic history was the popular demonstration that marked the opening last night of the Bloor Street subways and the inauguration of a transportation service linking east and west.73”Bloor Dense River of Happy Humanity When Subways Open,” The Globe, August 25, 1925, p. 10.

August 24 marked the end of what turned out to be a 14 year project. On that evening, a procession of 300 floats made its way from the Prince Edward viaduct to Jane Street. The Globe described the size of the crowd as having note been seen “since the Armistice” and described in Civic Booster Purple™, the ecstasy of the Bloor West crowds, the decorated streetscape, and a bustling grandstand that was set up on the slope of High Park.74Ibid.

The crush of people was so great at the western end of the procession that plans for an address by Mayor Foster in High Park had to be cancelled. Late night saw High Park Avenue crowded with people enjoying community dances.75Ibid.

It was not unnoticed that chests puffed out just a little more as the procession of local politicians, residents, and organizations passed beneath the CNR line. The TTC’s procession emphasized its own streetcar history, beginning with its oldest on hand: a horse-drawn car, and ending with its newest streetcars.76Ibid.; I am not certain about the specific model run as the newest, but the CPTDB Wiki has a few clues.

The TTC’s west end transit map was finally complete. Source: Transit Toronto.

In the meantime, as much as completion of the subways and the TTC’s west-end network cause for celebration, it was not an inexpensive project for the city. Because of this expense, other needed projects faced great opposition. The $991,000 extension of Bay Street, for example, was strongly opposed on the basis of cost alone. Although it was still not entirely resolved at the time, cost was the reason the Bloor Street widening was cancelled.77”Robbins to Oppose Bay Street Outlet,” The Globe, October 3, 1925, p. 15.

Alfred Pearson’s low-to-the-ground shot facing west at Bloor at Lansdowne. The afternoon sun shines into his lens. Image: Alfred J. Pearson / City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7846.

The Boland dispute almost came to a resolution in November 1925.  The Supreme Court verdict was, in effect, that the CNR was allowed to expropriate as it did under the Expropriation Act and it may stand.

ANGLIN C.J.C. – For the reasons stated above we are, with respect, of the opinion that that the judgment of the learned judge of the Exchequer Court declining jurisdiction was erroneous.

For the reasons stated by Mr. Justice Middleton in delivering the judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Ontario (1), affirming the judgment of Orde J., in Boland v. Canadian National Railway Co. (2), we agree with the conclusions of that court that the impugned expropriation:

‘falls within the provisions of the Railway Act, 1919, and that the order of the Board of Railway Commissioners of Canada was sufficient to justify all that has been done by the railway company.’

The appeal will accordingly be allowed with costs and the proceedings will be remitted to the learned judge of the Exchequer Court to be pursued under s. 21 of the Expropriation Act.78Canadian National Ry. Co. v Boland [1926] SCR 239, 1925/11/02.

It was not until 1949 that non-criminal appeals to the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were abolished,79The Supreme Court of Canada became the last court of appeal for criminal cases in 1933. so decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada were not quite final. Rather than rest, Boland appealed to London for relief. While the Lords had strong condemnation for the process by which the whole enterprise was managed, the CNR was ultimately nevertheless allowed to maintain its taking and the matter of appropriate damages was left to the Appeal Court.80Ellen Boland v The Canadian National Railway Company [1926] UKPC 85, 1926/07/30. The decision also contains a nice rundown of the entire expropriation issue and of some aspects of the planning process for the subway that I have not outlined entirely.

Another one of Alfred Pearson’s low-to-the-ground shot facing west at Bloor at Lansdowne, one year on. Image: Alfred J. Pearson / City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 8678.

With the Boland case finally settled by the Lords in London at the end of July, weary west-enders turned their attention to the removal of the temporary Loblaw’s ramp which had been obstructing the flow of traffic on the eastbound lane. Frank Greenaway, speaking on behalf of the Ward Six Ratepayers’, contacted The Globe almost as soon as the ink on the JCPC decision was dried in hopes that the paper could help pressure the city to remove the ramp. He claimed that as traffic increased, it would become increasingly dangerous. It was also considered an attractive nuisance, with neighbourhood boys constantly playing on it.81”Removal of Ramp Wanted by Ward Six,” The Globe, August 9, 1926, p. 10. A similar request was later made by the organization to have a smaller ramp across the street at 1386.82”Removal of Ramp,” The Globe, August 21, 1926, p. 13. With no movement made by October, the association met once more to press R.C. Harris on the issue.83”Ward Six Ratepayers Annoyed by ‘Ramp’,” The Globe, October 26, 1926, p. 13.

Creator: Alfred J. Pearson. Date: April 23, 1932. Archival Citation: Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 9181.

In the meantime, while the subway had been opened and the ramp was getting closer to removal, there remained some additional business to clear up. In October 1926, the Board of Railway Commissioners made its final ruling on the sharing of costs. S.J. McLean, speaking for the Board and with the concurrence of A.C. Boyce and Frank Oliver, the final breakdown was that Bell, Consumers’ Gas, the TTC, Toronto Hydro, and Ontario Hydro should share in the costs of their parts of the subway, that the City of Toronto pay half the cost of the grade separation, and the two railways share the remaining 50%. The CNR’s final estimate was about $2.5 million and the CPR’s final estimate was approximately $1.4 million. Neither total included property damages.84”Reasons Are Given By Railway Board on Toronto Costs,” The Globe, December 24, 1926, p. 2.

In 1922, this image was a dream. In the 1950s, when the image was taken, it was just day-to-day. Around 16 years later, the tracks would no longer be used, as the Bloor-Danforth line opened. Image: W. Choo (c. 1950) / Dave Shaw. Transit Toronto.
And, of course, the TTC did get streetcar service to Jane Street. This photograph depicts the last night of service. 41 years of service wasn’t a bad run. Image: Transit Toronto.

Greenaway & Bolton’s Flour and Feed

Here it is again. Wondering about how that basement door and lights came to be installed is what got me started on this journey. Image: December 29, 2016.

Since my motivation for looking into this story in the first place was my own wondering about how access to a building came to be integrated into a piece of civic infrastructure, I should mention a thing or two about it. After having uploaded this photograph to Instagram and being asked about the building, I set to work. I will preface this with one major caveat. I am currently back in Ottawa and do not have convenient access to the Land Registry Offices there. While I could make use of Teranet Express, doing so somewhat blindly and for personal interest research is, to say the least, cost-prohibitive.

The Greenaway & Bolton warehouse had not yet been constructed in 1913. Source: Goad’s Atlas, 1913, Plate 62.

In 1914, Frank Greenaway and James Bolton constructed their warehouse along the CNR tracks in what is now known as the Junction Triangle. The business of flour and feed was a solid one and the location along a rail line was a good decision. Research using various Might’s Directories demonstrates that Greenaway & Bolton did not secure a formal civc address, at 1328 Bloor West, until 1918. Previous to that year, it was listed without number below William Graham’s grocery business at 1326 Bloor West.85The Toronto City Directory, 19174 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1914): 110; The Toronto City Directory, 1917 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1917): 117; The Toronto City Directory, 1921 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1921): 167; The Toronto City Directory, 1922 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1922): 241.

Greenaway & Bolton, as indicated in the 1924 Goad’s. Source: Goad’s Atlas, 1924, Plate 62.

So far as I can tell, one of the reasons why the warehouse was able to be integrated into the infrastructure was because the CNR expropriated the property during construction of the subway in 1925. Greenaway & Bolton must have received what was felt to be an acceptable sum for their property, as I have not been able to locate evidence of complaint or opposition on their part.86I acknowledge that there is the possibility that G&B did not own the property in the first place and it could have been leased. This is the sort of detail I would like to verify at the land registry. By the autumn of that year, Greenaway’s business had moved across the street to 1311 Bloor.87Note that the organization’s phone number – Kenwood 0936 (KEN 936) – was retained. See The Globe, September 4, 1925, p. 16.

After all was said and done, in 1930, the CNR put the warehouse and surrounding property up for sale. Advertisements were run in both The Star and The Globe to dispose of the parcels. As part of a renumbering that was undertaken on Bloor Street, its civic address was amended to 1364 Bloor.

The advertisement to sell the lot, as it appeared in the Star. Source: Toronto Star, March 7, 1930, p. 6.

It appears that, as the 1932 photograph above shows, the purchaser of the property (or lessee) was Meredith Simmons, a paste and glue manufacturer that had just opened a factory nearby on Wallace Avenue.88”Permits Are Issued For Two Factories,” Toronto Star, June 28, 1929, p. 3; “New Toronto Manufactures to Result From Agreement,” Toronto Star, September 18, 1931, p. 35. The lot and building has gone on to serve a long industrial and commercial life. Once Meredith Simmons departed in 1932, the space was taken over by a branch of the C.C. Snowdon company, a Calgary-based manufacturer of petroleum products.89Toronto Star, May 21, 1932, p. 13.Snowdon BlockHeritage Property Corporation.

It is most likely that when the April 1932 photograph of the underpass was taken, C.C. Snowdon had already taken over. Source: Toronto Star, May 21, 1932, p. 13.

It is currently home to SPAR-Marathon Roofing.

Today. Image: Google Maps, 2015.

It’s heartening to know that this urban curiosity has generated much interest lately.  In addition to the Instagram comments and brief discussion on the Urban Toronto forums, this keen lil’ warehouse was captured in Ellen Kowalchuk’s (Taylor Hazell Architects) Cultural Heritage Screening Report for Metrolinx, which currently owns the line.

 

Note: this wound up being about 16x the length I had intended, so there are more twists and turns than were planned for.

Notes   [ + ]

1. I acknowledge that there is a rich urban, transportation, and environmental history here that I’ve glossed over in a cavalier way.
2. The line had a much longer history than a mere sub, of course. It began life as the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway (Ontario’s first steam railway) and later known as the Northern Railway of Canada (NRoC). The NRoC was, in turn, acquired by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in 1888 and following protracted bankruptcy proceedings, the GTR was nationalized and folded completely into Canadian National Railway (CNR) in 1923.
3. ”Eager to Know Car Earnings,” The Globe, November 17, 1921, p. 11.
4. ”Subways Not Wanted By The Ratepayers,” The Globe, February 8, 1912, p. 2.
5. ”Board Approves Plans of C.P.R.,” The Globe, February 10, 1912, p. 8.
6. Should that not have been enough, the Canadian economy was treated to a recession immediately following the War too. See Michael Hart. A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade Policy from Colonialism to Globalization (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002): 88-92.
7. Ward 8 was added in 1919 after the annexation of East Toronto.
8. City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1912 (Toronto: Carswell, 1912): 56; City of Toronto Municipal Handbook, 1922 (Toronto: United Press, 1922): 70.
9. ”Eager to Know Car Earnings,” The Globe, November 17, 1921, p. 11.
10. ”Grade Separation Must Be Decided,” The Globe, January 5, 1922, p. 10.
11. Ibid.
12. ”Bloor St. Plan Again Defeated,” The Globe, April 5, 1922, p. 13.
13. ”Advises Elimination of Grade Crossings Over Half-Mils Gap,” The Globe, September 23, 1922, p. 18.
14. ”Are to Wage War Upon Death-Trap,” The Globe, November 25, 1922, p. 18.
15. ”Intends to Eliminate Deadly Level Crossing,” The Globe, December 1, 1922, p. 13.
16. ”Multitude of Motions Placed Before Council at Inaugural Meeting,” The Globe, January 9, 1923, p. 13.
17. ”Crossings Danger May Be Removed,” The Globe, February 2, 1923, p. 11.
18. ”Level Crossing Must Go,” The Globe, February 10, 1923, p. 13.
19. ”Western Districts Being Developed,” The Globe, March 21, 1923, p. 9.
20. ”Grade Separation in Lap of Future, Commission Writes,” The Globe, June 1, 1923, p. 15.
21. ”All Hands Working, But Little Progress on Crossings Danger,” The Globe, June 8, 1923, p. 13.
22. Ibid.
23. ”New Election Date Wanted for City,” The Globe, June 23, 1923, p. 16.
24. ”Loop at Lansdowne to East Congestion Starts Lively Row,” The Globe, July 5, 1923, p. 12.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. ”Lansdowne Car Loop Approved by Board,” The Globe, July 6, 1923, p. 12.
28. ”Trio Battles in Vain Against Higher Pay for City Hall Heads,” The Globe, July 10, 1923, p. 11.
29. ”Suburban Proposal Stirs Controllers to Vigorous Protest,” The Globe, August 2, 1923, p. 12.
30. ”Opposes Widening on Proposed Basis,” The Globe, September 11, 1923, p. 12.
31. ”Will Finish Plans Early Next Month,” The Globe, September 21, 1923, p. 9.
32. ”Grade Separation if First Objective,” The Globe, September 24, 1923, p. 11.
33. ”Grade Separation Should Come First,” The Globe, September 26, 1923, p. 15.
34. ”Widening of Bloor is not Sanctioned,” The Globe, September 28, 1923, p. 11.
35. ”Urges Railway Board to use its Influence,” The Globe, October 30, 1923, p. 12.
36. ”Almost Utter Absence of Oratory Marks Ward Nomination Meetings,” The Globe, December 22, 1923, p. 14; “Aldermanic Candidates Invited to be Present,” The Globe, December 27, 1923, p. 11.
37. ”Want Level Crossings Made Things of Past,” The Globe, January 8, 1924, p. 9.
38. ”Hope for Solution Within one Month on Level Crossings,” The Globe, January 9, 1924, p. 11.
39. ”Given Five Weeks to Come to Terms,” The Globe, January 10, 1924, p. 9.
40. ”New Plan is Proposed on Grade Separation,” The Globe, January 18, 1924, p. 10.
41. ”Discuss Grade Separation,” The Globe, February 16, 1924, p. 15.
42. ”Grade Separation Along Northwest Remains Problem,” The Globe, February 20, 1924, p. 14.
43. ”Engineers Cautious in Studying Plans for Grade Problem,” The Globe, February 21, 1924, p. 11.
44. Ibid.
45. ”Railways’ Experts in Disagreement on Grade Schemes,” The Globe, February 23, 1924, p. 15.
46. ”To Lay Down Rules for Trains at ‘Gap’,” The Globe, April 8, 1924, p. 13.
47. ”Bloor Business Men Consult Mr. Carvell,” The Globe, May 3, 1924, p. 16.
48. The City had requested 18-foot clearances on St. Clair because the TTC had plans to run double-decker buses along the route. See “Engineers Cautious in Studying Plans for Grade Problem,” The Globe, February 21, 1924, p. 11.
49. ”Northwest Toronto Will Soon be Freed of Level Crossings,” The Globe, May 10, 1924, p. 13.
50. Ibid.
51. ”Would Hasten Work to Assist Idle Men,” The Globe, May 15, 1924, p. 14.
52. ”Railway Board Men Meet on Wednesday,” The Globe, May 17, 1924, p. 18.
53. ”Bridge at Spadina Approved by Board,” The Globe, May 22, 1924, pp. 13-15.
54. ”Will Specify Work by Interim Order,” The Globe, May 23, 1924, p. 12.
55. ”Parties of Surveyors Appear at ‘The Gap’,” The Globe, May 29, 1924, p. 12.
56. ”Ratepayers of Ward Six Ask for Street Widening,” The Globe, May 30, 1924, p. 11.
57. ”Touring Motorists Will Not Camp Here,” The Globe, July 4, 1924, pp. 9, 11.
58. ”Subway Plans Filed,” The Globe, July 9, 1924, p. 10.
59. Ellen Boland v The Canadian National Railway Company [1926] UKPC 85, 1926/07/30.
60. ”Work on Subways to Begin in August,” The Globe, July 28, 1924, p. 9.
61. ”Board of Control Left to Consider Width of Subways,” The Globe, August 15, 1924, p. 9.
62. ”Time Will Improve Bloor Car Service, Citizens Are Told,” The Globe, October 1, 1924, p. 11.
63. ”Song of Progress For City is Dirge to Many People,” The Globe, October 25, 1924, p. 13.
64. ”Gives Employment to Many Idle Men,” The Globe, March 26, 1925, p. 11.
65. ”Bloor Street’s Fate Regarding Widening is Still Undecided,” The Globe, April 16, 1925, p. 11.
66. This is how the Lords of the JCPC described the situation: To make the case intelligible it is now necessary to describe the locus. All that is relevant is the condition of affairs on the south side of Bloor Street. Previous to these operations the properties westward from the railway line were as follows: – The Fairbank property with a frontage of 160 ft. to Bloor Street; the Loblaw property with a frontage of about 130 ft., and then the Boland property. The Fairbank property and the Loblaw property had direct access on the level to Bloor Street. At the extreme west of the Loblaw property there was a strip of ground 12 ft. wide which touched Boland’s boundary on the west, and had its eastward boundary formed by Lowlaw’s warehouse. It became obvious from the plan and section that the subway being constructed, Loblaw’s property and the Fairbank property would have no longer access to Bloor street on the level but would find themselves a considerable number of feet above the track of the subway. This position of affairs gave food for thought on the part of the railway engineer in charge of the work, and he seems some time in the summer of 1925, to have held a colloquy with his colleague in the Land Department, the result of which was that they devised a scheme for securing a new entrance which would be available to Fairbank and Loblaw’s to get access to Bloor Street. For that purpose a plan was constructed to that effect. It was proposed to take a strip of about 30 ft. wide at the extreme east of the Boland property. That added to the existing 12 ft. strip would make a strip 42 ft. wide. On this strip it was proposed to construct a roadway leading down into the subway at a gradient of considerable steepness. The plan was communicated some time in October to Mr. Harris the City’s Commissioner of Works. The City did not like the proposal because they thought that a steep roadway at right angles into the subway, and likely to be used by heavy motors with trailers from Loblaw’s works, would be a source of danger to the traffic in Bloor Street. The railway people, however, took the matter into their own hands, and having made a large and working plan, they had it signed by the Vice-President of the railway, and assuming that under the powers of the Expropriation Act that gave them power to take the strip of Boland’s land they sent men to take possession. Mrs. Boland, acting through her son, objected to her land being taken, and after some preliminary discussion as to procedure, raised the present action to the Supreme Court praying for an injunction restraining the railway company from taking the land.
67. ”Protest Entered Against Delaying Grade Separation,” The Globe, June 22, 1925, p. 11. Greenaway was elected to the position on June 10. See “Frank Greenaway Elected By Ward Six Ratepayers,” The Globe, June 11, 1925, p. 12.
68. ”Soon to Lay Rails for Bloor Subways and Over ‘The Gap’,” The Globe, June 23, 1925, p. 9.
69. ”Board Could Grant No Time Extension for Work on Bloor,” The Globe, June 24, 1925, p. 11.
70. ”Subways Are Ready For General Traffic But Not Street Cars,” The Globe, June 27, 1925, p. 15.
71. ”Seeks City’s Help in Bloor Problem,” The Globe, July 4, 1925, p. 13.
72. ”Subway Trouble Coming to an End,” The Globe, July 6, 1925, p. 11.
73. ”Bloor Dense River of Happy Humanity When Subways Open,” The Globe, August 25, 1925, p. 10.
74. Ibid.
75. Ibid.
76. Ibid.; I am not certain about the specific model run as the newest, but the CPTDB Wiki has a few clues.
77. ”Robbins to Oppose Bay Street Outlet,” The Globe, October 3, 1925, p. 15.
78. Canadian National Ry. Co. v Boland [1926] SCR 239, 1925/11/02.
79. The Supreme Court of Canada became the last court of appeal for criminal cases in 1933.
80. Ellen Boland v The Canadian National Railway Company [1926] UKPC 85, 1926/07/30. The decision also contains a nice rundown of the entire expropriation issue and of some aspects of the planning process for the subway that I have not outlined entirely.
81. ”Removal of Ramp Wanted by Ward Six,” The Globe, August 9, 1926, p. 10.
82. ”Removal of Ramp,” The Globe, August 21, 1926, p. 13.
83. ”Ward Six Ratepayers Annoyed by ‘Ramp’,” The Globe, October 26, 1926, p. 13.
84. ”Reasons Are Given By Railway Board on Toronto Costs,” The Globe, December 24, 1926, p. 2.
85. The Toronto City Directory, 19174 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1914): 110; The Toronto City Directory, 1917 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1917): 117; The Toronto City Directory, 1921 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1921): 167; The Toronto City Directory, 1922 (Toronto: Might’s Directories, 1922): 241.
86. I acknowledge that there is the possibility that G&B did not own the property in the first place and it could have been leased. This is the sort of detail I would like to verify at the land registry.
87. Note that the organization’s phone number – Kenwood 0936 (KEN 936) – was retained. See The Globe, September 4, 1925, p. 16.
88. ”Permits Are Issued For Two Factories,” Toronto Star, June 28, 1929, p. 3; “New Toronto Manufactures to Result From Agreement,” Toronto Star, September 18, 1931, p. 35.
89. Toronto Star, May 21, 1932, p. 13.Snowdon BlockHeritage Property Corporation.

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