Remember When…

Buying liquor and wine in Ontario used to be quite a chore. There was no self service until the mid 1980’s. Arriving at the LCBO you would find rows of counters with the various items listed on a series of  vertical boards.


Unless you knew exactly what you wanted, this could prove difficult. You would then fill out your request on a slip of paper and present it to the cashier and pay. Once this step was completed, your slip of paper would then be passed on to one of the men behind the long counter.


He would in turn, retrieve your item from the back and put it in a paper bag.He would present your purchase to you and quickly pull it out of the bag for your inspection before handing it to you. There was a strange sense of secrecy to the whole event.

More of a pharmacy than a store….

Toronto House Prices 1889

From the Globe and Mail.

Note that some of these prices are for TWO houses!

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Housing in the city used to be affordable. Using the Bank of Canada’s Inflation calculator,

a house that cost $3000.00 at the turn of the century  is equal to about $70,000.00 in today’s money.

Bloor and Lansdowne

Where has all the neon gone?

PHOTO+-+TORONTO+-+BLOOR+AND+LANDSDOWNE+-+ELMS+RESTAURANT+-+DALE+BAR-B-Q+-+TAMBLYN+DRUGS++-+STREETCAR+STOPPED+-+TTC+INSPECTOR++-+1965.jpgWhile having lunch at the Dale restaurant with some work friends 1n the late 1980’s, a big street fight broke out across the street. The owner immediately locked the front door with us inside. As one group battled the other I saw a hand come up with a knife and plunge it into someone’s back. Everyone ran away and the Police were there almost instantly….

The Beverley Tavern

 What do the two images below have in common? An illustration of the original St. Patrick’s Market circa 1845 and the Beverley Tavern circa 1982?pictures-r-5352.jpgScreen Shot 2016-12-06 at 6.38.37 PM.png

The building on the left, Angus McIntosh Groceries and the Bev are one and the same!

The roof line and the two surviving windows on the side are the clues.

This would make this one of the oldest buildings in the city.

According to Landmarks of Toronto the building was built in 1838 and was  the first brick building on Queen Street West and operated as a grocers and a Saloon.

I ‘m sure that the building had a new decorative facade added sometime in the 1880’s or so, as well as an addition or two on the back.

the bev mash.jpg

Photo courtesy of Patrick Cummins.


This map from 1857 shows the Market, the Church and the Grocery Store with little else around.