Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Harbord Village

July 2016 - Toronto ON

We took a walk around the area near the Bathurst subway station. This area is known as Harbord Village and is close to part of the University of Toronto campus.

Side view of Central Technical School.

Around the start of the 20th century, the northern and western limits of the City of Toronto intersected approximately at the corner of Bloor and Spadina. It was here that the horse-drawn trolleys of the Toronto Street Railway turned off Bloor Street and made their way south towards the lakefront.

Suburbia began at Spadina, and slightly to the west, where Central Tech now stands was a large apple orchard owned by members of the Saywell family. As more people moved to the suburbs part of this orchard was purchased by the Board of Education and it became the site of Borden St. public school. The fact that the Board already owned this property was largely responsible for its choice as the site of the Toronto Technical School when construction of this school was finally approved.

Harbord House

U of T building on Spadina.

St. Vladimir outside a student residence.

The side streets are filled with unique homes. A home here will cost you upwards of $600,000.

I took this photo because I had no idea who it was named after. As serendipity works a couple of days later I was reading an article about an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario that I plan to see in a couple of weeks. The works of Lawren Harris will be displayed and the article featured a photo of him at a table with Barker Fairley.

Lawren Stewart Harris (October 23, 1885 – January 29, 1970) was a Canadian painter born in Brantford, Ontario, who was one of the best known landscape painters of the Group of Seven, a group of artists who set out to create a distinctly Canadian art. He pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century.

Barker Fairley, scholar, literary and art critic, painter (born at Barnsley, Eng 21 May 1887; died at Toronto 11 Oct 1986). One of the foremost German scholars of the century and author of two epoch-making books on Goethe (Goethe as Revealed in His Poetry, 1932; A Study of Goethe, 1947), Fairley was co-founder of the CANADIAN FORUM, and friend and promoter of the GROUP OF SEVEN.

The Toronto Fringe Festival is an annual theatre festival, featuring un-juried plays by unknown or well-known artists, taking place in the theatres of Toronto. It is in full swing right now.

The building was originally home to Bathurst Street Wesleyan Methodist Church when the area was still known as Seaton Village, still outside of the Toronto city limits.

After a gift of land on Bathurst Street from the son of John Strachan, the first building on this site was constructed in 1866.

The present building (Bathurst Street Methodist Church) was erected by the congregation in 1888 to meet the demands of the growing population, and the United Methodist presence..

In 1925 the congregation joined the new United Church of Canada and became Bathurst Street United Church.

In the 1950s, as the earlier families emigrated to the suburbs, the congregation shrank.

The small congregation had difficulty maintaining the old structure and increasingly they began to rent out the building for concerts and plays.

In 1985 the congregation finally opted to leave the building and it now meets at nearby Trinity-St. Paul's United Church. The building became a permanent and well known theatre. In 2000 the United Church of Canada sold the building to George Randolph Jr..

Currently, the Bathurst Street Theatre remains home to the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.

The theater seats 500 people at full capacity.

Honest Ed's is a landmark discount store. It is named for its proprietor, Ed Mirvish, who opened the store in 1948 and oversaw its operations for almost 60 years, until his death in 2007.The outside facade is covered with puns and slogans such as "Come in and get lost!" and "Only the floors are crooked!"
On 16 July 2013, it was announced that the site of Honest Ed's was for sale for $100 million, and that the store was likely to be closed and replaced with condominiums.
David Mirvish announced that he would rent the property from Westbank for two to three years, during which time Honest Ed's and the Mirvish Village businesses would continue to operate until the developer decided what to do with the 1.8 hectare parcel of land. The Honest Ed's retail store is scheduled to close on December 31, 2016.

Driving back home along Bloor St. W Click here to read about Bloor St. 

And click here to see some murals and more here from today's walk.

1 comment:

  1. The tiger mural's my favourite of these. I have never been into Honest Ed's, and now won't be. I think the idea that the land is worth that much is a bit ridiculous, but developers don't really seem to deal in reality.


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