Lately, I’ve been using the City of Toronto Archives’ collection of aerial photographs to supplement my blog posts. I think they are an excellent way to unpack a story and show the physical changes in Toronto’s built environment. I have become quite fond of the 1965 aerials in particular, because beyond how pivotal a year 1965 was for Toronto, the images themselves are very crisp and great to look at.
While the whole city is interesting to look at, the east end and Leslieville have a certain fascination to me in particular. In 1965, the area was still very much a factory town.
All photos courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives
Consumers Gas Station B
Carlaw Avenue & Logan Avenue
Dunlop Tires (now the site of Jimmy Simpson Park) & Riverdale Station
The archives’ aerial photographs are also neat in that sometimes they include markings or writings on them. I’ve seen streets and buildings labelled, and also planned subdivisions and street extensions. The 1965 aerials take this a bit further in drawing out two possible routes of the Scarborough Expressway, which began planning in 1957 and was scrapped in 1974.
The route on the right was approved in 1968, but never built. I’m not sure if the left path was ever in serious consideration because while both involve serious neighbourhood destruction, the western route is much more dramatic in terms of expropriation.
From Lake Shore & Leslie, the two routes curve on either side of the sewage treatment plant, west of Greenwood Racetrack.
Both routes have parclos at Dundas. The western route runs over Ashdale and Craven (although much more than these streets would have suffered), while the eastern runs over the Small’s Pond (buried) and Creek east of Coxwell
North of Upper & Lower Gerrards, the paths seemingly have mini-routes within them (this might be scribbles too). They converge at the CNR tracks.
The routes parclo at Woodbine and run over the CNR right of way into Scarborough, meeting at Kingston Road and then the 401.
Other east end locales of note:
Greenwood Subway Yard, opened in 1965. Previously a brickyard and then a garbage dump.
Monarch Park. The last brickyard along Greenwood Avenue closed here in the 1950s.
St. John’s Norway Cemetery
Get Toronto Moving – “Scarborough Expressway (Gardiner Expressway Extension)”
Mark Osbaldeston – Unbuilt Toronto 2: More of the City that Might Have Been (Ebook)
Transit Toronto – “Expressways of Toronto (Built and Unbuilt)” by Sean Marshall