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.

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Then & Now: Woodbine at Queen East

Woodbine, looking north from Queen East, c. 1972. Image: Toronto Public Library, Beaches, LOCHIST-BE-40.

It has not been often that I’ve posted “then and now” photos here on Margins. While browsing the photographs that have been digitized by the Toronto Public Library this evening, I was reminded of one of the more influential-to-me discussion threads on the Urban Toronto boards: Miscellany Toronto Photographs: Then and Now. Although it has slowed down considerably in recent times, the nearly 900 page discussion is a rich one.

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Update: Kinhurst Plaza (1961)

Kinhurst Plaza, May 2016. Image: Google Maps.
Kinhurst Plaza, May 2016. Image: Google Maps.

When I wrote this past summer about the closing of Harry’s Char-Broil and its location in Kinhurst Plaza, I was a little disappointed that I was not able to locate photographs of the shopping centre soon after completion, an architect, or some more specific information about the proposal itself. It is also true that when I wrote it, I did not have the opportunity to get into the City of Toronto Archives, which limited the resources available to me.

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Parkdale’s Kinhurst Plaza (1961)

Kinhurst Plaza, May 2016. Image: Google Maps.
Harry's. Image: omgrealestate.ca.
Harry’s. Image: omgrealestate.ca.

Admittedly, I’ve never been to Harry’s. I’m absolutely certain that the love it earned in Parkdale over its 48 years was both earned and well-deserved. Though I’m not familiar with Harry’s itself, the story is one I believe we’re all familiar with. The family-owned establishment becomes a neighbourhood staple, the owners retire, and a new one comes in with promises not to radically alter what has been established. The promises are often broken as the new owners soon discover that the business fundamentals weren’t as healthy as the community love or that an entrepreneur close to retirement is rarely motivated by future growth. Sometimes, as is the case with Boushey’s on Elgin street here in Ottawa, the retirement means the end of business entirely. For the purposes of this story, however, it is not actually Harry’s that has captured my imagination as such,1Though I do now regret not stopping in at least once on my walks in the area. but rather it is the smart midcentury retail plaza on King West between Jameson and Springhurst that has served as its home that has.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. Though I do now regret not stopping in at least once on my walks in the area.