One section of the city that has changed immensely is Dundas Street through the heart of downtown, and the area around City Hall.
Here we are at Bay and Dundas looking east with the Ford Hotel on the north side of the street, and no trace of what would become Dundas Square in the background. The south side still has classic Toronto storefronts, not yet the Ryerson building nor the Eaton Centre. The date is July 1967, before the BD extensions opened, and the Dundas car still ran through to Runnymede Loop. Tracks on Bay lead south to City Hall Loop which was eliminated by the Eaton Centre.
We’re a bit further west here at Elizabeth Street where the tracks leading to the old City Hall loop are still evident. (The original route went through the middle of what is now New City Hall.) The Ford Hotel dominates the landscape. (For more info about the Ford, see a recent Torontoist article.)
Yonge and Dundas looking east. The demolition in the background had been the site of O’Keefe’s brewery (hence the name “O’Keefe Lane”), and the Brown Derby tavern sat where the AMC complex is today.
Bay Street looking south at Hagerman (the north side of New City Hall) in June 1967. Most of the old buildings in the background are gone, but Old City Hall survives. The Simpson Tower is under construction, and the single TD tower is the only modern skyscraper visible on the Toronto skyline.
City Hall Loop (Albert Street looking east from Bay) in July 1966. Old City Hall hasn’t been cleaned off yet (if Eaton’s had had their original way, it would have been demolished for a shopping centre). The Eaton Budget Store is on the north side of Albert where the Bell Canada building is now, and you can see straight through to Yonge because the Eaton Centre isn’t in the way yet.
Just in front of the streetcar is the remnant of track that ran through what is now New City Hall to reach the Elizabeth Street connection to Dundas. The rest of City Hall Loop was made up of Louisa Street (eastbound, now vanished under redevelopment) and James Street (southbound).
Dundas and Spadina looking east in August 1967. The building on the northeast corner was, at that time, the Victory Burlesque. Many of the houses along Dundas still exist, but they have been converted to shops in what would become “Chinatown 2″ as the original area around City Hall was pushed westward. Many more were demolished for new buildings.
This section of Dundas was a proposed route for a six-lane arterial through downtown connecting the Spadina Expressway to the DVP. A few buildings stepped back from the street based on the new, wider street layout (the police station at Simcoe, the Eaton Centre), but much of the 4-lane Dundas Street survives.
[Click on the photos for larger versions.]