Each week we bring you another Beachify Time Machine 'now & then' mashup from around the Beach, and across time. Culled from the depths of the City of Toronto Archives, we choose a different image every week and then re-shoot the photo from the same location as the original photographer.
Just grab the blue dot in the middle of the picture and slide.
Queen & Kenilworth (1934)
The north-west corner of Queen St. E. and Kenilworth Ave. is seen in this photo from 1934. Genova's Fruit Market stood on this corner in 1934, later replaced by the yellow brick Bank of Toronto building, Today, the Stone Lion restaurant occupies the property. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Kew Williams House (The Gardner's Cottage c.1902)
The 20-acre property that would become Kew Gardens began as a private farm, purchased by an early and influential Beaches pioneer named Joseph Williams. In May 1879, Williams opened the property to the public as "The Canadian Kew Gardens". The park operated successfully from 1879 until 1907, when Williams sold the land to the City of Toronto.
Kew Williams House (c. 1902) was built for Joseph Williams’ son Kew with stones dredged from Lake Ontario. In 1908 the City turned the property into a public park and demolished or moved all of the buildings except the Kew Williams House, which the city used as a residence for the parks’ head gardener until 2002. The building is now ubiquitously known as the ‘Gardener’s Cottage’. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Bellefair Methodist Church (1923)
Built in 1914, Bellfair Methodist Church (later Bellfair United Church) was sold to developers in 2011 after the dwindling congregation merged with Kew Beach United Church to form Beach United Church. Converted to condos and retail space, the church maintains much of its original facade.(Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Beach at Kippendavie, looking West (1929)
You might be surprised to see houses lining the beach, but in 1929 private homes stretched along the shoreline from the foot of Woodbine Ave. to Kew Gardens. Faced with severe erosion and controversies over beach access, the City of Toronto expropriated and demolished the buildings in 1929-1930, creating the Eastern Beaches Park in 1932. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Silver Birch Boathouse (1934)
Built in 1934 by the City of Toronto, this public boathouse at Balmy Beach replaced an earlier one that stood nearby. The building has storage space for 136 canoes and other small, unpowered boats. City of Toronto residents can rent a berth to store their personal craft for a modest annual fee of $106. The Silverbirch Boathouse has served the local community continuously for eighty-four years, even as the population has exploded; the average wait time to get one of the coveted spots is around twenty-five years. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Queen Street East & Lee Avenue (c.1910)
The track work never ends on Queen Street East, as this photo from around 1910 reminds us. Looking west along Queen towards downtown, the photo illustrates the dramatic changes that a century has wrought on the Beach. In the photo, the street is being paved with hand-cut stone pavers, a familiar sight on many area driveways, walkways and edgings. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
The Beach Theatre (1940)
Originally constructed in 1919, this building was home to the grand Allen Beach Theatre for nearly 50 years. Gutted and rebuilt in the 1960’s, the building today houses the Beach Mall, an indoor shopping mall consisting of small shops, services, and offices. (Photo: National Archives of Canada)
The Beaches Library (1916)
The Beaches branch of the Toronto Public Library was built in 1916 with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of three nearly identical libraries in the city built with Carnegie grant money. The building has been expanded twice, first in 1981 and again in 2005, when the large west addition was added. During the 2005 renovations, some of the original features of the building were restored, including the high vaulted ceilings and 'minstrel's gallery' loft at the north end of the building. (Photo: Toronto Public Library)
Kew Beach Fire Hall (1905)
Kew Beach Fire Hall (1905)
Two photos (above) show the construction of Fire Station No. 17 in 1905. The station, when completed, boasted an 80-foot tower topped by a cupola (later removed). The clock wasn't added to the tower until a few years after its construction. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)
Beach at Waverley, looking East (1919)
In the centre-left of this 1919 photo is the Kew Beach Pavilion, sadly later demolished. In the center distance is the illuminated 30-meter (98 foot) tower of Scarboro Beach Amusement Park (1907-1925). The building to the far right is a boat rental business, next to which Leuty Lifesaving Station would be built the following year. (Photo: City of Toronto Archives)