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July 10, 2015
A few weeks back we showcased vintage photos from our Sherbourne Street neighbourhood and talked about the transformation of the area and accompanying buildings. It's hard to distill the colourful evolution of the neighbourhood in a few snapshots so that's why have part 2 to share with you here. I wish I had time to take after photos but being as busy as we are, we'll have to settle on these little time capsules.
Anyone that's lived in Toronto for a while, works in the neighbourhood or even visited is a witness to just how much it's changing daily. From the industrial age to the information age, condos, offices and educational institutions have supplanted manufacturing and churn out a different product in 2015.
For now, lets just look at a bygone era. One that was a little grittier.
Goodwill Buy The Pound. I miss the Goodwill complex almost every day. It was a great place to kill time, do some picking and find some treasures. The Buy The Pound warehouse was housed in a beautiful Art Deco factory which sadly met the wrecking ball to make way for a condo. Located at the corner of Adelaide and George St, that's where you went to buy clothing in bulk. And was it ever busy!
Factory on the north side of Richmond St east of George. The loading dock was still active in this mixed use factory. In the 90s and early 2000s, Richmond was in transition and a lot of these mixed use industrial buildings were operational but in disrepair. Currently converted to offices, it houses animation studios and George Brown College. Love the old windows!
The Bank of Upper Canada and De LaSalle Institute. One of Toronto's earliest and most interesting buildings, it's looking really forlorn in this photo from the 60s. Parking is hithero and it might have been when the building was used as a meat processing plant of all things! Was once the Bank of Upper Canada and a target of William Lyon Mackenzie's rebellion. Didn't go so well for Billy Boy. Restored over 30 years ago, it's a gem!
Erected in 1907 for the Sovereign Bank of Canada, this Edwardian gem has a distinct Renaissance revival treatment to the facade. Standing alone before the King George condos went up around it, it looks pretty dignified.
Standing on the west side of Sherbourne Street just south of King, this small factory/warehouse has undergone and amazing transformation. Once home to the furniture company Biltmore, it now houses Jardin de Ville which is an outdoor living boutique shop.
I love this photo. There's a calm to it before the giant wave of commercialization swept through King St East. Looking north up Frederick st the factories are still and it's just one person going about there day with parking lots on the horizon. I dare you to look at it now with George Brown College anchoring the view.
The gray paint disappeared in the mid 2000s along with photo studios and a cool Scandinavian installation artist that use to have a studio on the main floor. Richmond street east is more uniform now but these mixed use and painted facade factories were everywhere.
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December 09, 2015