FROM THE CABBAGETOWN/REGENT PARK MUSEUM – TWO LONG-GONE PARLIAMENT STREET CINEMAS

The Eclipse, 389 Parliament Street, made way for apartment buildings in North Regent Park in the mid-1950’s. It was quite normal for Cabbagetown theatres to show out-of-date movies, and The Eclipse was one of them. <PHOTO – The Eclipse, July 27, 1949. City of Toronto Arcives.>

The Bluebell Theatre, later named The Gay, stood next to Frenchie’s Fish & Chips on Parliament at Dundas. After a renovation, it didn’t take long to again become a dump. According to the Museum, the Bluebell’s floor was coated with gallons of spilled soda pop making it very sticky. Saturday matinees could get so rowdy that there was a bouncer on hand to throw troublemakers out.

CARVED FROM BACKYARDS OF NEIGHBOURING HOMES, CRAVEN ROAD’S ‘TINY TOWN’ HOUSES ARE UNIQUE

“As TORONTO continues to be surrounded by more and more condo buildings, it is fun being reminded that somewhere near these gigantic high-rise buildings lives a world of little spaces. Craven Road and the Tiny House Society have managed to prove that a few hundred square feet is more than enough space to live comfortably — even among rooms full of history.” – Spacing Magazine

CRAVEN ROAD is reachable by the Queen Street East and Dundas East streetcar lines. The subway stop is COXWELL.

A VICTORIAN GHOST REAPPEARS AS RYERSON U. UNVEILS PLANS FOR AN URBAN INNOVATION CENTRE

Hidden behind a 1960‘s-era facade, a 40,000-square-foot piece of Victoriana, chimneys and all, will soon be part of Ryerson University’s $46-million Centre for Urban Innovation. The 1886 heritage building once housed Canada’s first pharmacy school, and until recently was the university’s Theatre Arts School.

The Centre for Urban Innovation will bring together researchers of separate but related subjects with a focus on nutrition, energy and water in an urban context. Carol Phillips of Moriyama and Teshima Architects is the lead designer of the project.

The Ontario College of Pharmacy Gerrard Street East entrance, built in 1887, was demolished and replaced by a modern facade in 1963. <PHOTO – City of Toronto Archives>

TORONTO SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS CELEBRATES CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY WITH A SPEAKER SERIES

The TORONTO Society of Architects’ lecture for this year’s ‘Doors Open’ will take place in the former Unilever Factory, 21 Don Roadway, East Harbour. ‘What is Canadian Architecture?’ is the focus, and the program will feature a debate among leading designers and architects from Canada and beyond.

Closed-toed shoes are strongly recommended because this is a former factory building. Both covered bike racks and free parking will be available. Friday, May 26 at 7pm.

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=89f1e4c8bb34b510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

THE TOLLKEEPER’S COTTAGE – RESCUED & REBUILT BY VOLUNTEERS – IS NOW A HERITAGE MUSEUM

In the 1800’s private companies were contracted to build, improve and maintain roads in (what was then called) Upper Canada.  This was costly, so to pay for upkeep, all users were charged a small toll.  A tollkeeper’s cottage – the oldest survivor anywhere in Canada – was discovered in 1993 attached to a house in the Davenport/Bathurst Street neighbourhood.  <PHOTO ABOVE – cottage when discovered, with original window intact, 1996>

In 1996 the Community History Project rescued the cottage and transported it to a temporary location inside the Toronto Transit Commission’s Wychwood Barns site.  A Tollkeeper’s Fund was setup while volunteers searched for a permanent site.  <PHOTOS ABOVE – Cottage transported to the TTC Wychwood Barns>

<PHOTOS BELOW – volunteers apply replacement clapboard with handmade nails; cedar roof goes on; chimney rebuilt with handmade bricks, 2002/2003>

The Cottage was eventually moved to 750 Davenport Road, where it sits today, surrounded by its very own namesake park.  Additions were made to the rear of the building, providing space for a museum and interpretive centre.  The Cottage is a block or so from the very unique Wychwood Park neighbourhood.  <PHOTO BELOW – Opening Day, July 1, 2008>

For background info and museum opening times: http://www.tollkeeperscottage.ca