IF BUILDINGS COULD TALK, 1133 YONGE STREET WOULD HAVE PLENTY TO SAY

cbcstudio12cbcstudio81It’s a Staples Business Depot with a glamourous past.  Buried under a red and silver facade at 1133 Yonge Street, north of Marlborough Avenue, is a former Pierce-Arrow automobile showroom <B/W PHOTO ABOVE, 1930>, and CBC television’s old Studio 4.

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North America’s longest running television quiz show – ‘Front Page Challenge’ (1957-1995) – came out of here.  Panelists Pierre Berton, Gordon Sinclair, Betty Kennedy, Toby Robins and unflappable host Fred Davis faced international newsmakers – Indira Gandhi, Ed Sullivan, Pierre Trudeau, Randolph Churchill, Shania Twain, Upton Sinclair, Dame Edith Evans, etc. 

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From 1956-66, Juliette did her live coast-to-coast variety show on Saturday nights from here.  Nightcap, a one hour late-night 1960’s comedy/satire show was another Studio 4 production.  It featured June Sampson, Billy Van, Bonnie Brooks, Al Hamel and Vanda King.

Photo: Alex Trebek 1971 Print borrowed from Darlene Hebert, Talent Resource Centre, Toronto.

Alex Trebek hosted Music Hop from Studio 4 for Canadian teens.  Alex eventually went off to Hollywood and the rest is history.  This little studio was in production several nights a week.

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  A book about 1133 Yonge Street – ‘The Pierce-Arrow Showroom Is Leaking’ by journalist and broadcaster Alex Barris is still available on ebay and several online bookshops.

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