Then & Now: Queen East and Sherbourne, 1981 and 2016

The former Canada Tavern at the southwest corner of Queen East and Sherbourne, 1981 and 2016. The stories some have shared at Vintage Toronto are pretty well expected. Though clearly on the dive side of the establishment ledger (and Moss Park had long been mixed), it was at least enough on the up to be the site of the Star’s New Years’ reporting in the late 1970s.1”First baby greets New Year,” Toronto Star, January 1, 1978, A1; “Sunday goes with a swing in hotels and taverns,” Toronto Star, January 3, 1979, A3. By 1999, however, fortunes had waned, and the corner became better known for poverty and substance abuse.2Catherine Dunphy, “Crack corner: Drugs are turning a vibrant slice of Toronto’s downtown into an urban wasteland,” Toronto Star, February 20, 1999, B1, B4.

In more recent years, it was slated for replacement-by-condo, but things have since quieted on the site and it has been boarded up for years. Much like Norm’s Open Kitchen, the Canada Tavern has figured into the memories and imaginaries of Toronto writers.

Notes   [ + ]

1. ”First baby greets New Year,” Toronto Star, January 1, 1978, A1; “Sunday goes with a swing in hotels and taverns,” Toronto Star, January 3, 1979, A3.
2. Catherine Dunphy, “Crack corner: Drugs are turning a vibrant slice of Toronto’s downtown into an urban wasteland,” Toronto Star, February 20, 1999, B1, B4.

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