The Evolution of Roundhouse Park - Part 5 of 7
Click on the picture for a closer look!
The image above is a colour postcard view that dates from around 1930-31 and is based on a photograph taken from the same location as the previous view. There are dramatic changes evident in just a year. The new Royal York Hotel opened in June 1929 is clearly the most prominent building on the horizon although the taller Bank of Commerce Building, completed in January 1931, is just peeking over the hotel roof in this perspective. The long, low building located on the other side of the tracks below and to the left of the hotel is the Canadian National Express building, opened in 1929. In 1989, the top two floors of this structure were demolished and the Skywalk was built on top. Union Station, the reason the Roundhouse was built, can be seen to the right of the express building.
The two largest buildings surrounding the Roundhouse include the Passenger Car Repair Shop, under construction on the left, and the Stores Building, the pink structure which, from this angle, appears to be enclosed by the Roundhouse. Both these buildings were demolished in the 1990s to make way for the Convention Centre which is located underground and occupies much of the middle third of this view. Bremner Boulevard is located between the Roundhouse and the Repair Shop and is also situated on top of the Convention Centre.
The Toronto Railway Historical Association has been unable to identify the purpose of the narrow building with the red roof located on the north side of the High Line. It doesn't appear to be in the plans for the Roundhouse complex. If anyone has any information about this structure, please let us know.
In 2009, the two other surviving roundhouse structures are the water tower on the far right and, just to the left of it, the sanding and coaling tower. The latter was moved 600 feet to the west in 1995 and is now located near the centre of this view.
Click here to read the next in this series of excerpts from Derek's article - The Evolution of Roundhouse Park.
Story by Derek Boles, TRHA Historian; Image from the collection of Derek Boles.