Have you ever wondered where the coffee houses of Yorkville went and why there are few physical traces of them today? Or why Gerrard Street jogs at Coxwell Avenue and why the upper portion isn’t straight? Or where the first McDonald’s opened? Or if the Eatonville neighbourhood is connected in name to the big mall in Toronto? (Spoiler: It is.)
This site started in 2012 as an attempt at capturing my physical explorations of the city and fulfilling my curiosities within Toronto’s diverse and exciting neighbourhoods, landmarks, parks, events, and anywhere else that compels me. Modern images come via my camera (for now, my Samsung Galaxy S20) while observations, commentary, and context through my own brain as well as the ideas and works of the many great historians and fellow enthusiasts in this amazing city. While this started with walking as the catalyst for learning and discovery, this morphed into a general approach of explaining important and perhaps lesser known episodes in the city’s past.
I am fascinated by the history of Toronto, thus much of the approach I will take will be to look at the remnants of the past that still exist, and to look explain those have been erased in time. In my opinion, Toronto’s heritage is a collection of historical layers, created and recreated by different occupants of same spaces at different times. Through written exposition, archival photos and maps and directories, and modern day images, this site is proof of this idea.
As you read through these posts, hopefully you will find it makes for an insightful, enjoyable, unique take on the city.