The Blog

Junction Flea as it was run on the current LCBO and condo site.

When Limin Group wanted to develop Weston Rd.

Pacific Ave and Dundas St West. Auto dealer (historical post)

Sat on the South West corner of Dundas Street West was a cafe dealership.


1929 advertisement.
McLaughlin-Buick Dealers
Authorized Pontiac
The buying season is here, and you
are looldng for dependable, econoW-
cal transportation.Let us help you
make your selection from the finest
stock available anywhere.
Company still trading in 1953, no junction location found,

The refugee co-operative in the Junction, La Paz Co-Op and newspapers more local coverage.






News as reported in newspapers has changed from local and coukd be interpreted as mundane for those not Interedted or affected by a event.

Here the The Globe and Mail NEWSPAPER in 1989 covers a new social housing project on St Clair Ave west. The news story is about the seemingly long struggle for a group of new Canadians to establish a new housing coop.

The original article is in italics.


Sod turned for refugee co-operative home

LESLEY SIMPSON The Globe and mail

 Feb 19 1989 The Globe and Mail

pg. A11


Daniel Sanchez is looking forward to his last trip down the elevator. The 30-year-old former refugee does not like the atmosphere in Metro Toronto’s apartment buildings.

“You’re all in the same elevator. You look at each other. And nobody says anything… You can be dying and your neighbor doesn’t care.”

The lack of community for refugees led the Metro hostel supervisor to get together with some friends and form Cocento, an association of Toronto’s Central American refugees, in 1985.

Note the authorsinterview captured the news but also the emotional postion of one of the residents.

Three years later, after approaching the Co-Operative Housing Federation of Toronto, fighting two city halls and two levels of government, the president of La Paz Co-Op finally saw a mound of sod turned Saturday at the St. Clair Avenue excavation site.

Asked what accounted for his spirit of tenacity Mr. Sanchez smiled and shrugged. “I live in an apartment and I don’t know who my neighbors are. I just stuck to my principles. I thought a co-op would be a solution for the community. A kind of brotherhood.”

Located west Keele Street between stockyards and meat packers, the site is on the boundary between the City of Toronto and the City of York. After the building permit has been issued, construction is scheduled to being this month.

In November, La Paz Co-op will open 62 units made up of one- and two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom townhouses to refugees. Four units will be set aside to provide permanent housing for battered women. The co-op will set up a committee to review applications.

While the project will provide housing for 62 families, Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Bob Rae questioned the government’s commitment to affordable housing. “The government is way behind target. When I hear the Minister (of Housing) talking, I get confused. Is it 3,000 units over 30 years or 30,000 units over three years?” Mr. Rae said as an audience gathered to watch the sod-turning ceremony [source unreadable]

La Paz C-op is part of a federal and provincial cost-sharing program. The total cost will be more than $8-million. The province will supply rental assistance geared to income for about half of the units.


Note: One line toward end unreadable.



More about Maria Street March 29 1965

Photo from Mar 29, 1965 The Globe and Mail pg. 6

Young, Scott Mar 29, 1965 The Globe and Mail pg. 6
More about Maria Street
By Scott Young
Last Wednesday I was in City Hall checking for background to City Councils decision to expropriate Benny Stark’s salvage yard business on Maria St. This busy short old street backs on to the Canadian Pacific Railway freight yards not far from the west-end stockyards and packing plants and is just south of St. Clair off Runnymede Road.
One of my conversations was with Alderman Mary Temple. Maria Street is in her ward. She took dead aim on Benny Stark’s yard more than five years ago, when Stark bought it. She and a militant group of Stark’s neighbors had lost every round until last summer when they began to win.
I told Mrs. Temple I was interested in how Stark’s business could be ruled legal by the Metro Licensing Commission in 1959, by a magistrates count in 1960, by a county court judge in 1961, and by a voluminous police report in 1964 – and still could be expropriated in 1965.
She wanted to know if I had spoken to any of Stark’s neighbors. I had. Stark’s business, by its very nature, never will win any Home Beautiful awards. But some of his opponents became his neighbors voluntarily, knowing fully what business he was in. Also, some did not agree with expropriating Stark. And several other businesses on the street are there only because their licenses, like his, pre-date a 1953 zoning bylaw. (This is called a legal non-conforming use, madam).
“He never should have been allowed a license there to start with, you know,” Mrs Temple said.
How did he get it, then? “He had help.”
What kind of help? “You know – under the table. Somebody exerting pressure.”
Who exerted the pressure? “I’d rather not say,” she said.
Somebody in City Council? She said yes.
Subsequently I repeated this allegation of influence to Mr. Stark. He denied that anyone at City Hall ever had exerted influence for him that he knew of.
If Mrs. Temple always has believed there was undue influence exerted in granting the Stark license, it may help to explain her dogged pursuit. But if she has any evidence, should she not have offered it to the City Council publicly at the time or in the many times later when the matter has come up?
I also found disturbing her reaction to the court decisions in Stark’s favor. “Those decisions were a laugh,” she said.
I got much the same reaction from Alderman Horace Brown, who telephoned me on the matter Friday. He scoffed at the court decision in such a way that I said, “if you are going to call a judge a fool, why don’t you do it out in the open and see what happens?” He said he had, but I do not recall the occasion myself.
I should correct one impression given in my capsule account of this strange case Friday. Board of Control was NOT unanimous in voting for expropriation. Controller Herbet Orliffe suggested sensibly that the Planning Board should provide a list of the worst non-conforming uses in the city. He thought Council could use such a list when planning expropriations, instead of shooting the bounders down more or less haphazardly. His amendment was defeated 4-1. Incidentally, Real Estate Commissioner David Alexander says there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of non-conforming uses in the city. But only Benny Stark has his neighbors, and the favorite alderman.
As a footnote, City Council does not seem to have been given full information in this case before voting for expropriation March 15. Old hands could remember at least some of the background, of course. But the eight freshmen aldermen could only put their faith in the good reputation of Mary Temple. And her reputation is among the best on Council However, in this case it was something like voting old Junius at the top of the page.




Gerhard Heintzman Pianos

From thevGlobe and Mail date lost,
Gerhard Heintzman Pianos

Canadians have advanced in the manufacture of pianos probably more than in any other line of national industry. One has but to examine the really wonderful instruments shown by the Gerhard Heintzman Company to be confirmed in the apparently sweeping opinion. The basis of the production is absolute skill. In the early days of the firm this principle was strictly acted upon. It was not a question o f a good, serviceable piano, but of the very best that human skill and business integrity could produce. This policy has been adhered to, has been emphasized indeed, and the result has been more flattering than had been hoped for. Today no piano surpasses the Gerhard Heintzman piano. It is spoken of highly everywhere and by all classes. 
The visitors to the Fair who linger about the Music pavilion are usually lovers of music who appreciate a good thing when they hear it. The stand on which the Gerhard Heintzman pianos are exhibited is never long without a crowed of intent listeners. The beauty of the music attracts them. The pianos are skillfully handled and the rolling volume of tone, its sympathetic melody, its ringing music of birdlike sweetness captivates the passerby until he is perfectly spellbound. Some instruments are good only when they new. The Gerhard Heintzman piano endures. It is constructed with such skill and success that it has no end of tear and wear in it. 
One of its special claims on the public patronage is the service that is in it; another  is the enduring good quality of its tone. And these two features are the most important ones of a high-class piano. If you want a really high-class piano. If you want a really high-class piano. If you want high-class piano which will last for years and years in good condition get the Gerhard Heintzman piano. An exhibition of Gerhard Heintzman pianos can also be seen at the city warerooms, No. 188 Yonge street.

A. B. Rice of the Junction letter chastising the City of Toronto after annexation about the conduct of the pre annexation management of West Toronto.

Old West Toronto
Rice, A B letter to the Dec 3, 1931; The Globe and Mail pg. 4
About Old West Toronto
To the Editor of The Globe: May I thank you in anticipation of space to relate some facts concerning the finances of the former city of West Toronto, in view of statements contained recently in the press which are misleading and do an injustice to members of the old West Toronto Council, many of whom are still living. The statements, in effect, are that West Toronto, while awaiting annexation, let its finances go from bad to worse, and finally had to be taken in anyway.
As a matter of fact, during the seventeen years immediately preceding the amalgamation of West Toronto with Toronto the former municipality never issued a bond nor otherwise increased its debt to the extent of one dollar.
During that seventeen-year period it grew from a struggling town to a prosperous young industrial city, and increased its population from 3,000 to 10,000. Meanwhile many improvement were effected and paid for out of the annual taxes. It is incorrect to say that West Toronto was “awaiting annexation,” for the smaller city did not ask to be absorbed. The overtures emanated from the City Hall.
Mayor Baird, learning that  Toronto representative desired to confer with West Toronto as to the possibility of the to cities merging, invited them to a luncheon in a West Toronto hotel, where, to quote their exact words, the Toronto men, with ex-Mayor Urquhart as the chief speaker, proceed to “lay their cards on the table.” Hearty congratulations were expressed upon West Toronto’s amazing recovery after its serious financial crisis of a dozen years before.
The Toronto men declared there was abundant evidence that that young city could have a good future as an independent municipality, but pleaded for union in order to build up a Greater Toronto, and frankly stated that Toronto had about reached the limit of its borrowing powers with its then acreage, and that the absorption of West Toronto was desirable, in view of its location and sound financial condition.
The writer, who was a guest at the luncheon, had been constrained to set forth these facts in fairness to those who so wisely administered the affairs of West Toronto, and also because this fragment of local history may be of interest now while the question of again extending he city boundaries is under consideration.
A. B. Rice.


Who was

A. B. (Allan Berlin) Rice

Descended from United Empire Loyalist stock and Born November 11, 1858, Allan Rice was the civic-minded editor of the influential newspaper, The Tribune, from 1889 to 1904. He became the manager of a unique facility in the town, the customs house, and later served as Chairman of the West Toronto Public Library Board. In 1949–50 he published a column in the West Toronto Weekly in which he chronicled the political and social forces which shaped West Toronto Junction. Rice died on August 2, 1950.
He is interned at Section 10, Lot 537
Prospect Cemetery




WEST TORONTO JUNCTION Another Money By-law – Bonuses for Industries

Another Money By-law – Bonuses for Industries
The Town Council baseball nine are dissatisfied with the result of Wednesday’s match with the School Board team, and have challenged the latter to meet them again in the near future.
The house in connection with the tollgate which for the last couple of years occupied a position in front of Blea’s Hotel is now passing through the town to take the place of the check gate recently burned near Jane street. Junctionites are taking a last look at this relic of barbarism as it slowly wends its way westward.
Friday morning during the thunderstorm two houses situated in the gravel pit on St. Clair avenue were shattered by lightning. 
Arrangements are being  made fro an electric fire alarm system for the town. Several companies are applying for a charter to build and operate a line of electric railway through the town connecting the Brockton bridges with Lambton and Weston. A committee appointed by the Council is considering the question of granting the use of certain streets to one of the companies if it will agree to have the line ready for traffic by January 1, 1891.
On Wednesday, August 13, another by-law will come before the people to provide $30,000, and $20,000 of which, if the by-law is carried, is to be divided between the Toronto Drop Forge and Rolling Mills Company and a large iron industry from Detroit, which have secured sites on the line of railway north of the town. The sites have been donated by ex-Mayor Clendenan, and it is understood the companies referred to will commence operations in a short time on condition that the town grant them the amount asked. The remaining $10,000 the by-law proposed to devote to the improvement of the approaches to the town, sidings from railway, etc. This by-law will require the assent of two-fifths of the ratepayers entitled to vote, as well as a majority of those voting. The Property Owners’ Association will meet on Thursday evening in the editorial rooms of The Daily Tribune, when the question will be discussed.
The C. P. R. will commence the enlargement of their roundhouse here in the course of a few days. 
The enlargement of the Annette Street Methodist Church is rapidly approaching completion.
The Disciples’ Church building is ready for the roof.

The Keele St lot were the public washrooms were until the early 80’s.

On this lot at the west side of Keele St., at Jackson Place stood up against the sidewalk a 1 story public washroom owned by the city. 

It was staffed during the day.

Cooling centers in Toronto are now much less restrictive in the stage 2 Covid 19 comeback.

Photographed Sat June 18th 2020 a cooling centre in Toronto, show Social distancing.