Here is another short one. This time, it’s from Toronto and about an apartment that I’ve noticed every time I walk by.
Kathleen and I recently took a quick vacation to Toronto (as well as Hamilton and locations across Manitoulin Island) and while walking around, noticed this well-preserved and recently-revealed sign on one of the empty commercial properties along Ossington Avenue.
This shot of Toronto’s St. James Town, taken by the CMHC’s Bill Cadzow in July 1971, remains one of my favourites in what I’ve seen of the CMHC’s historic photo collection. I just wish they would digitize more of them after having done so many a few years back. A boy can dream.
At the beginning of the year, I ran a then and now of Queen East and Woodbine from 1972 to the (near) present. While browsing the City of Toronto Archives’ database, I landed on this one of the same view from 1955/56.
It all depends on how you slice and dice it, though it would not be unfair to at least entertain Thorncrest Village’s claim to be Canada’s first planned community. At least not Canada’s first post World War II planned community. To be certain, comprehensive community plans existed previous to the war and, honestly, claims to “first” tend to obscure the realities of invention and innovation. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, after all.
Midcentury hotels are one of the first things that got me into urban history. There is just something about their design and the role that they tended to play that proves endlessly interesting. Although hardly competition for the Constellation Hotel down the road (now demolished), the Skyline recently caught my eye.
Of the things I’ve hoped to see more often appear on the CMHC’s FTP site since it began being indexed by Google a few years back, I must say that it is photographs that I’ve wanted to see more of. Although I love the slow (but consistent) digitization of print materials, there is something to be said for high-quality scans of colour slides from the Corporation’s archives that really make so much come alive. A small handful of images from Toronto taken in 1969 and 1971 has always been interesting to me.
In 1955/56 the Etobicoke Council documented the location for the then-controversial sewage treatment plant along the Humber River. When looking through issues of the Etobicoke Guardian from the era, it was clear that, as a political topic, the plant soaked up much of the local government’s time.
I don’t have anything much to say about it other than I’ve been reminiscing lately about my visit to Casa Loma in the early 1990s. This is one of my favourite Boris Spremo shots (amazing how they tend to involve St. Clair in some way) and one that I would take myself today, given half the chance.
It was made effective April 1, 1982. The federal government designated Metropolitan Toronto as a bilingual service area. With a bit less than two years beyond it and the 1980 Quebec referendum, the government’s decision to take out some of the billboards en français seulment – in Toronto of all places – was seen by some as a political move. While it was to some degree, it was also a move that also recognized the presence of a Francophone community in the Toronto area.