THE SPADINA MUSEUM, 285 SPADINA ROAD, IS A VICTORIAN HOUSE IN AN EDWARDIAN GARDEN

The Spadina (Spa-dee-na) Museum, 285 Spadina (Spa-dye-na) Road, sits atop Davenport Hill. One of several museums operated by the City of TORONTO, the house was built in 1866. Its interior is furnished in styles from the 1860’s to the 1930’s.

Located near Casa Loma and the stables, the surrounding neighborhood contains some of TORONTO’s finest homes. Within easy walking distance – Nordheimer Ravine and its trails, Ardwold Gate, Winston Churchill Park and the St. Clair Reservoir.  A short drive or walk away – Forest Hill Village.

PHOTOS ABOVE by Roland Shainidze – http://www.ilovetoronto.com

The Museum is surrounded by immaculate Victorian and Edwardian gardens.

The Spadina Museum is open Tuesday to Friday, noon-4 pm; Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 pm.
Subway stop: DUPONT, and then walk northwest uphill, or ST. CLAIR subway stop, and then streetcar #512 westbound to Spadina Road, and walk south.

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A LOOK AT OUR TOWN’S SOOTY INDUSTRIAL PAST – FROM THE CITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES

<Weston streetcar, the Junction, 1906>

<St. Clair Avenue at Houslow Heath Road, 1924>

<Railway crossing, Strachan Avenue>

<The Maple Leaf Stockyards, Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West>

<Runnymede bus stop and drinking fountain, Keele Street, 1929>

<Union Street at St. Clair Avenue, 1931>

<Laying streetcar tracks, Dundas West at Keele, 1923>

<Heading for Union Station, ca1940-50>

MERRIL RESEARCH COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION, 72,000 ITEMS, IS ONE OF THE PLANET’S LARGEST

Housed in the state-of-the-art Lillian H. Smith library at 239 College Street, the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, is made up of 72,000 items.  A gift to our city from Judith Josephine Grossman (1923-1997), pen-name Judith Merril, this archive is one of the planet’s finest popular culture collections.  Its focus is science fiction fantasy, speculative fiction, magic realism, experimental writing, parapsychology, UFO’s, etc.

“Judith Merril was not only a vital member of the literary community, but a vital person in the largest sense of the word.  She lived her times and places thoroughly and enriched us all.”  <MARGARET ATWOOD>

A founding resident of TORONTO’s Rochdale College, television broadcaster; magazine, book and short story writer; anthologist, activist – Judith Merril was all of these and much more.

American-born, she became a Canadian citizen in 1976, and spent 40 years writing about and researching science fiction and the paranormal.  A book on the life and times of Judith Merril – “Better To Have Loved . . . ” – is available on Amazon.

AFTER A 30-YEAR SEARCH, MASSEY HALL’S BACH & BEETHOVEN WINDOWS HAVE BEEN FOUND

<PHOTO – @The York Pioneers>

Massey Hall’s Bach and Beethoven have been found in the basement of Roy Thomson Hall. The two stained glass windows were there all along, both in need of restoration by architectural historians from GBCA Architects.

On opening night, June 14, 1894, about 100 stained glass windows were in place around TORONTO’s brand new concert hall. Twelve composer portraits were the most expensive, painted by hand in lead, enamel, glass and silver. They were all lined up on the main floor – the ‘12 apostles of music’.

The 100 windows comprised the largest collection of commercial art glass in Canada, not in a church.

Handel, Haydn, Beethoven and Bach were removed in the early 20th century to make room for emergency exits. Then Beethoven and Bach went AWOL in 1991. They turned up this year after an extensive search.

In July/2018 the Hall will close for two years after a week of concerts by GORDON LIGHTFOOT. The interior will be refurbished; stained glass windows re-installed; there’ll be a new building at the rear; expanded loading docks, two new performance spaces and a small museum.  The lower level bar, which features the photographic history of the building, will no doubt remain intact.

<RENDERING – the new Massey Hall, as it will look in September/2020>

WHEN SPIFFY CUMBERLAND STREET IN YORKVILLE LOOKED SOMETHING LIKE THIS – 1934

<CUMBERLAND STREET, YORKVILLE, 1934, City of Toronto Archives/Sidewalk Labs>

30,000+ historic photos are now on-line thanks to Sidewalk Labs & the City of TORONTO Archives. An invaluable research facility, the OLD TORONTO website is very easy to use. You’ll find it at https://oldtoronto.sidewalklabs.com/

SOME GLIMPSES OF TORONTO’S GAY VILLAGE AS IT WAS IN THE 1970’S AND AS IT IS TODAY

This was a steak house in 1972, and it’s still a restaurant in 2018.  Hair of the Dog, Wood Street at Church.  CBC’s free-standing television tower & offices are in the background.

The laundromat on the southeast corner of Maitland Street at Church in 1972, is now the Church Mouse Pub.

The parking lot opposite Maple Leaf Gardens in 1972 is now being replaced by two condo towers.

Northeast corner of Maitland and Church remains much the same as it was in 1972.

The Loblaw’s store and parking lot (1971) have been replaced by Barbara Hall Park.  The Monteith Street townhouses remain intact, but their white paint has been removed.

All archival photos are from the City of Toronto Archives & Sidewalk Labs’ OLD TORONTO project.