Friday, September 1, 2017

Just Strolling

August 2017 - Toronto ON

The only set part of this agenda was getting my hair cut on King St. East. After that, I had no particular destination in mind. I've walked and blogged this area before so these are just random photos as I enjoyed the stroll.
WARNING - heavy with historical plaques.

The King Edward Hotel was designed by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb and Toronto architect E.J. Lennox for developer George Gooderham's Toronto Hotel Company, and was granted its name by namesake King Edward VII. The structure opened in 1903 with 400 rooms and 300 baths and claimed to be entirely fireproof.

King Street in 1908, with the King Edward Hotel on the left
In 1922, an 18-storey tower with 530 additional rooms was added to the east of the original eight-storey structure. On the two top floors of the tower is the Crystal Ballroom, that until the late 1950s was the most fashionable in the city. The room was closed in the late 1950s due to stricter fire codes and was not restored during the 1979-81 renovation. When the Omni Hotel chain invested in the hotel in 2013, restoring the ballroom was one of its announced goals. The ballroom re-opened in April 2017 after a 38-year absence.

Bucket List - afternoon tea

They hanged men here where the King Edward Hotel now stands at 37 King Street East. Mounted on the east wing of the hotel is this plaque.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an anti-slavery activist, an advocate for the rights of women, and a pioneering woman newspaper editor and publisher. The daughter of a free African American shoemaker and abolitionist, Shadd began a life of teaching at age 16 by founding a school for African American children in the slave state of Delaware. Following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act (1850), many escaped and free African Americans (like Shadd) sought refuge in Canada. Shadd moved to Windsor, Ontario, opened a school, and in 1853, founded with Samuel R. Ward the Provincial Freeman, a newspaper "devoted to anti-slavery, temperance, and general literature." Through 1854 and 1855, Shadd lived in Toronto and published the struggling Freeman from a former building on this site. She married Thomas J. Cary in 1856, but was widowed with children only four years later. Shadd Cary returned to the United States in 1863 to recruit African American soldiers for the Union army during the American Civil War. She later became one of the first American women of African descent to earn a law degree.

Sculpture Garden

St. James Cathedral is behind the Toronto Sculpture Garden sign.

Preserving an old water fountain in Market Square?

St. Lawrence Hall is a meeting hall located at the corner of King Street East and Jarvis Street. It was created to be Toronto's public meeting hall home to public gatherings, concerts, and exhibitions. Its main feature was a thousand-seat amphitheater. For decades the hall was the centre of Toronto's social life, before larger venues took over much of this business. Today the hall continues as a venue for events including weddings, conferences, and art shows.

In a gallery window, it appears to be done by the same person who did the painting at the Convention Centre that I saw a couple of weeks ago. 

Spotted high up on the wall of the above pizza joint.

The Leader was established in 1852 and was among the city's reform papers. Similar to other papers of its generation, the Leader operated as a weekly, semi-weekly and a daily newspaper that offered its readers, in the days before instant communication, the ability to follow the news as it happened. The Leader ceased publication in the 1870's.

There are many historical buildings in this area.

This building has two plaques.

On the same building on the King Street side:
On this site, on June 1, 1807, The Rev. George Okill Stuart opened the first public school at York in a small one-storey stone building attached to his modest frame house. In 1813 the school was removed to a barn at the corner of King and Yonge Streets where classes were held until 1816 when the "Old Blue School" was erected on Church Street.

Built in the 1950s, The Patrician Grill located at 219 King Street East (just one block west of Sherbourne on King Street) has been a family owned restaurant since November 1967 when Louie and Helen Papas purchased it. Not much has changed since then. The cozy booths and long 50s style countertop which overlooks the kitchen has been feeding the business crowd, students from George Brown College and more recently the local residents.

I was tempted to stop for lunch but it was packed.

This neighbourhood is now teeming with activity. So many condos have been built many building onto the original structures.

This two-storey Edwardian Classical bank was built in 1908 for the Imperial Bank of Canada around the same time as the Sovereign Bank of Canada was constructed just a block away at 172 King Street East; both banks were incorporated into current condominium buildings. In 1961, the Imperial Bank of Canada merged with the Canadian Bank of Commerce, giving us the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, or CIBC as we know it today. The branch continued to function until 2000.

The building was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1998, so it had to be used in part by the developers in their 2005 condominium project, King’s Court.

I'm at Wellseley now and decide I should do some shopping at St. Lawrence Market so I turn onto Front St. East.

Now the Canadian Opera Company this building also has two plaques.

In 1885, the Consumers Gas Company acquired the land west of Trinity Street and south of Front Street to the railway tracks. The building that presently houses the Imperial Oil Opera Theatre was built as the Consumers Gas Company's Purifying House No. 2 in 1887/88 by the architects Strictland and Symens, who designed it in the style of an early Christian basilica.

The special clerestory roof may have been built as a self-supporting structure and simply placed on top of the building so that any explosion would raise it without destroying the walls.

In 1954, with the introduction of natural gas, the Consumers Gas Company ceased to manufacture gas from the coal stockpiled at the Eastern Gap on Lake Ontario and sold its lands. The building at the southwest corner of Front and Berkeley streets passed through several hands until Dalton's, a manufacturer of foods and household goods, purchased it in 1967.

Standard Woollen Mills erected the building to the west in 1882. The architect was E. J. Lennox, a noted Toronto architect who designed Casa Loma and the City Hall buildings of 1899, located across Bay Street from Toronto's current City Hall. In 1893 an extension was joined to the woollen mill, and in 1897 a fourth floor was added to the building.

Dalton's was founded as a soap factory in London, Ont., in 1834 and relocated to Toronto in 1871. By 1909 the company produced "spices, coffee, extracts, mustard, jelly and lemonade powders." In 1936, Dalton's purchased 227 Front St. E. for its head office and main processing factories, and soon became famous for its maraschino cherries.

Now the Young People's Theatre.

The Toronto Railway Company (TRC) was the first operator of horseless streetcars in Toronto.

Formed by a partnership between James Ross and William Mackenzie, a 30-year franchise was granted in 1891 to modernize transit operations after a previous 30 year franchise that saw horse car service from the Toronto Street Railways (TSR). At the end of the TSR franchise, the city ran the railway for eight months, but ended up granting another 30-year franchise to a private operator, the TRC. The first electric car ran on August 15, 1892, and the last horse car ran on August 31, 1894, to meet franchise requirements. There came to be problems with interpretation of the franchise terms, for the city.  When the TRC franchise ended in 1921, the Toronto Transportation Commission was created, combining with the city-operated Toronto Civic Railways lines.

A stunning block of historical buildings.

I am finally at the market!

The gallery's signature fan windows, which once overlooked Toronto’s harbour, today overlook the main floor of the market featuring various food vendors.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful to go on walkabout like this with you. My favourite of these is your view of St. James through the gateway.


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