The History and Future of Transit On Humber Bay

Our Villages, Transit and Employment shaped each other. Take a look at what worked and what was disaster in our history. Some very detailed maps and images are included. Click here to jump to the Detailed Research Images at the end of this article.


The following images include high Resolution Aerial photographs of Humber Bay Transit routes.

To see larger images in a Carousel click on any of the following pictures. In the Carousel right click (double click on a MAC) and you will see a larger savable image.  Use the back arrow to return to the Carousel. Any image you see here may be saved to your computer.

Click here to download the City of Toronto Plans, under development, for transit in Humber Bay as if June 2016. Provided by David L. Brutto Transportation Planner, city of Toronto.

I wish to thank some of the writers who have contributed so much to our understanding of our history.

I Remember Sunnyside | Dundurn Press
Mike Filey. Constantly supportive.

Lakeshore Bridge/Palace Pier/Then and Now
Lost Toronto greg chown

What Humber Bay Shores looked like before the condos
Posted by Derek Flack / August 7, 2016

What the Queensway used to look like in Toronto
Posted by Chris Bateman / June 7, 2015

Historicist: John Howard’s Enduring Monument
By David Wencer

Posted in Parkdale | 4 Comments

Ace Restaurant, Beautiful Restoration and Very Successful, 231A Roncesvalles Ave

In 2011 Greg Boggs purchased, preserved and restored the ACE Restaurant. Greg also provided a link to Ric McGinnis blogTO with pictures, history and a rich comment section. Old and new pictures, history and selected community comments are included here.


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Anatomy of a House

gc largeMy old house in Parkdale was in need of a serious facelift. Despite having spent considerable time and money 18 years ago the porch and facade had deteriorated to the point of embarrassment. By Greg Chown.

Reposted with kind permission of Greg Chown  Lost Toronto. Visit Greg’s site here.


The decorative medallions had rotted and given the squirrels and birds a chance to get in..

The first step was the porch and columns which had also rotted.


My friend Dan, a carpenter came over to help. We jacked up one side and pulled the column. My original intention was to replace the wooden bases and clean/patch the columns. However, once removed I found the base was infested with carpenter ants and the column itself in need of considerable work.


I called Roman Columns in Mimico and he had brand new fibreglass replacements in stock for $275.00 each!


Dan and I replaced both of them in about 3 hours (I painted them the night before).

Next we stripped the deck  off the porch and made any repairs to the base.



Next up was the medallions and trim up top.

A different Dan came over and we set up the scaffold.


I removed the rotted inserts and years of debris that the animals had left behind including a mummified squirrel…


I originally thought we could cut new pieces by hand out of marine grade plywood but it was obvious that this was beyond both of our capabilities.

A quick call to John K. (a film carpenter with a CNC machine) solved this problem.

His company in Mimico, Motion Designs.

He came to the house, picked up the plywood and returned the next day with new panels,

designed by John, cut by the computer.



These were primed/painted and installed the next day.


And there you have it, as good as new.

There’s still painting details to finish up.

Below is what the house looked like in 1998.


P.S. A mixture of Borax, sugar, honey and boiling water has proved a good deterrent to the ants.

Posted in Parkdale | 2 Comments

Parkdale Heritage Conservation District? Ideas 2016-07-12

Preservation areas.1884 Goads Map

Preservation areas.1884 Goads Map

The Sunnyside Historical Society is pleased to provide joint recommendations to the West Queen West Heritage Conservation District Study Group. We have filled out the Questionnaire you Provided.


A Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study is currently being undertaken in the West Queen West (WQW) Study Area, which intersects several neighbourhoods. This Study will assess the heritage character of the Study Area and recommend a strategic approach to conserving its heritage resources. Heritage planning tools to be considered include (but are not limited to) HCD designation, individual property listings and designations on the City’s Heritage Register and/or urban design guidelines. The findings from this study will also inform the WQW Planning Study. The community plays an important role in developing a thorough understanding of the character-defining attributes and cultural heritage values in the Study Area. This questionnaire will help us gain additional insight into the distinct history and character of your community.

Please provide your answers in the space below each question. Feel free to provide feedback on

additional pages if necessary.


  1. How long have you lived or worked in West Queen West?

In total most of a century but must we get specific?

  1. What do you think are the most important physical heritage features in West Queen West?

Please identify and briefly describe.

a Residential areas

We hope to keep the entire village, but we list our priorities.

Continuous stock of Victorian homes South of Dundas, & Dufferin to Roncesvalles (‘Roncy’) to south rail line.

Particularly the rows of Worker’s cottages: Gwynne, Dufferin south of Melbourne, Trenton Terrace, near 1360 Queen St W, Brock St north of Abbs St., Gwynne, Elm Grove, Cowan, Dunn, Brock,

Macdonell, Dowling, Beaty, Wilson Park, Triller etc.

b Commercial Areas

Antique Alley: Queen St both sides Roncesvalles to Triller. 1702-1684 are less valuable but complete the block.

Queen St north side:
West of Macdonell (ie. 1500 Queen), to Noble.

Queen St south side:
from Jameson (including 1347 the second building west), to Close
The buildings either side of Dunn A 1351 to 1345
The building south of Brock St (1291), to Gwynne at 1233
Small storefronts to provide essential diversity of local services.

The Sunnyside Historical Society has included a full exhaustive list of businesses with historic information and pictures in the following photo galleries.

Maps of HCD Recommendations.

The South side of Queen St W in Parkdale. Buildings recommended for preservation with historical information and pictures where available.

The North side of Queen St W in Parkdale. Buildings recommended for preservation with historical information and pictures where available.

c Public Spaces

Library, parks, public off street parking for robust future commercial growth to fund preservation.

d Specific buildings or structures

We are listing just some highlights.

Transit and places for it at Dufferin and Roncy

Ernest Smith and F.W. Hull Stores 1408-1410 Queen West
1486-1484 gothic beauty, with Ghost stories (agreed- desperately needs restoration)
Ocean House 1633-1647 Queen West
Parkdale Hotel 1302 Queen West
Parkdale Hardware at 1372 Queen West
Macmillan Storage and Moving 1291 Queen West
Houses 1075-1085 Queen West. (not unanimous)
1457 Queen St West–Toronto Hydro Substation

Gibson House 790 Queen West
The Great Hall- Dovercourt and Queen
Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen West
Drake Hotel
Anything on the Toronto’s oldest buildings

e Specific landscapes or streetscapes

Street views of historic Queen Street businesses, without overshadowing glass and steel buildings in background to north and south.

F Sightlines or vantage points

Sightline south Roncesvalles to the lake
Sightline south on Jameson to the lake
Sightline from Strachan north to Trinity Bellwoods Gates (needs to be reinforced)

  1. What do you think are the most important cultural or historical heritage features in West Queen West?

Please identify and briefly describe.

A Places associated with notable people or historic events

1302 the Parkdale Hotel later OV’s (a dancing venue) of 50 years ago.
     ‘Frenchy”, a long time Parkdalian recently a refugee from Harry’s Char Broil regailed us with stories of the Parkdale Hotel. Trish a Parkdale Blackfoot, told us how union organizers got her a place in the Parkdale Hotel shortly before it was locked up about 2008. It is rumored the current owner is looking for too much money and cares not for else.
1408-1410 Queen (see articles at Needs rescue.
     1. Introducing the Many Dimensions of 1408 and 1410 Queen St. W. Parkdale Toronto.
     2. Frank Hutt & Family Accomplishments Regards 1410 Queen St W Toronto.
1360-1354 Mussen Block. (yes!) Prominent Parkdale builder.
1486-1484 gothic beauty, with Ghost stories (agreed- desperately needs restoration)
     Ghost stories include the Parkdale Butcher about 1486-1484 Queen St W
     We could scare the ‘ghosts’ away by helping the owner resolve some tough problems.

B Historic or present-day links to cultural groups, movements or institutions
C Community or cultural identities

PARC the Parkdale Activity and Recreation Center Has done so much for Parkdale, Toronto and preservation

Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust (PNLT)

D Industrial or scientific legacy

  1. Do you have any personal or family histories, or other additional information about a building, street, public space, or the overall area that you would like to share?

We repeat: 1408-1410 Queen (see articles at Needs rescue.
     1. Introducing the Many Dimensions of 1408 and 1410 Queen St. W. Parkdale Toronto.
     2. Frank Hutt & Family Accomplishments Regards 1410 Queen St W Toronto.

…and more on the site.

  1. Are the most important and character-defining heritage attributes of West Queen West included within the Study Area boundaries?

Are there any buildings, blocks or public spaces important to West Queen West’s character that are not captured within these boundaries?

Transit, train stations at Dufferin, Roncesvalles and the south end. The south station moved several times. Early the south train stopped anywhere until things became too busy.

Parkdale developed from Transit and we need it back. Buy land now at Dufferin north & south of tracks for potential transit solutions or stations.

Create transit access down Dufferin to the lakeshore, CNE and GO, Metrolinx and TTC lines. Plan transit-train for Roncesvalles and Queen.

  1. Do you have any other comments or feedback regarding the West Queen West Heritage

Conservation District Study process?

Parkdale grew from JOBS at the rail yards east of Dufferin , Home for Incurables, Sunnyside Amusements, the Western Toronto Transit HUB at Roncesvalles and Queen and the Shops along Queen and Roncesvalles that served the travelers. If we retain the pillars that created our villages then the villages will maintain themselves with a minimum of government money.

We may need government money from the feds to preserve these old buildings. For example government money was not used for Palais Royale and govt. money is badly needed to preserve some of the these old buildings.

Facadism: it is a cheap solution to keep the façade and destroy the rest of the building and should be avoided if possible. As a heritage society, we want to keep as much of the old stock as possible and the funds won’t all come from private companies because their bottom line is making money. Consideration of the viability of the internal building is, of course, essential.

We need proper heritage plaques with historical information on specific buildings and sites. For the next generation we should also include barcodes (or ipod codes) so people can get more information via photos, audio commentary, etc. about sites in order for the public to appreciate historical significance/architectural importance of these locations.

Our detailed notes about what we believe should be included follow:
Maps HCD Recommendations
Queen St W South Side in 2014
Queen St W North Side in 2014

Finally, we thank you all those who are championing this important initiative.

Posted in Parkdale, Queen St W | Leave a comment