Category Archives: High Park Mineral Baths

Toronto’s heritage buildings and sites on


Below are links to posts about Toronto’s heritage sites that have appeared on the blog,, since it commenced in 2011.

Toronto’s Maple Leaf Baseball Stadium

Brunswick House on Bloor Street West, now closed

Centre Island’s lost village

Demolition of the Westinghouse building on King Street West

Walker House Hotel at Front and York Streets, demolished 1976

Cyclorama on Front Street, demolished 1976

The Toronto Star Building on King Street West

Fond Memories of A&A Records on Yonge Street

Memories of Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street

Toronto’s old Land Registry Building (demolished)

The Gordon House on Clarence Square, one of Toronto’s lost mansions

Old Toronto Star Building on King Street West.

The Grand Opera House on Adelaide St. West

The High Park Mineral Baths

The old Dufferin Gates at the CNE

Toronto’s first brick house, built by Quetton St. George

Toronto’s Old Registry Office Building

Centre Island’s Lost Village

Arcadian Court Restaurant in Simpsons

Toronto’s Old Customs Houses

Grand Opera House on Adelaide St. West

Palace Pier Ballroom and Amusement Centre on Lakeshore, on West bank of the Humber River

Cawthra House—Toronto’s most historic mansion at Bay and King Streets (demolished)

Ford Hotel at Bay and Dundas (demolished)

Dufferin Gates of the CNE (demolished)

Quetton St. George’s mansion on King Street, now demolished

Mineral Baths (swimming pools) on Bloor Street opposite High Park

Upper Canada College’s first campus on Russell Square on King Street West

Upper Canada College’s former boarding house at Duncan and Adelaide Street

St. Patrick’s Market on Queen West – the first market buildings

Armouries on University Avenue (demolished)

Trinity College that once existed in Trinity Bellwoods Park

Hanlan’s Hotel on the Toronto Islands (Hanlan’s Point) now demolished

The Palace, the mansion of John Strachan (demolished)

Holland House—one of Toronto’s lost mansions (demolished)

Crystal Palace of the CNE (demolished) —now the site of the Muzik nightclub

Queen’s Hotel (demolished) —historic hotel on Front Street

CNE Grandstand (demolished) —History of

Maple Leaf Stadium (demolished) at Bathurst and Front Streets

Eaton’s old Queen Street Store at Queen and Yonge Streets (demolished)

Bank –Toronto’s First—Bank of Upper Canada (demolished)

Post Office—Toronto’s First

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on Dundas Street.

Ontario’s Fourth Legislative Assembly

Ontario’s First and Second Legislative Buildings

Old Mill Restaurant in the Humber Valley

Montgomery’s Inn at Dundas West and Islington Avenue

Cecil Street Community Centre near Spadina Avenue and Cecil Street

Former Ryerson Press Building (now Bell Media) at 299 Queen Street, at Queen and John Streets

Former Bank of Toronto Building at 205 Yonge Street, opposite the Eaton Centre

Buildings at 441-443 Queen Street, west of Spadina Avenue

History of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Boer War monument at Queen West and University Avenue

History of Toronto’s CN Tower

Gurney Stove Foundry at King West and Brant Streets

Historic Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street

Former Bank of Montreal at Queen and Yonge Streets, now a subway entrance and coffee shop

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Toronto’s Union Station of today that opened in 1927

Old Fort York

19th-century Bay and Gable house at 64 Spadina Avenue

Old houses hidden behind 58-60 Spadina Avenue 

Historic Gale Building at 24-30 Spadina Avenue

Commercial block at 654-672 Queen West containing shops

Warehouse loft at 80 Spadina Avenue

The Systems Building at 40-46 Spadina Avenue

The Steele Briggs Warehouse at 49 Spadina Avenue

The building at Queen and Portland Streets, which once was a bank of Montreal

The 1850s buildings at 150-154 King Street East and Jarvis Streets

The Manufacturers Building at 312 Adelaide St. West

The old Eaton’s College Street (College Park and the Carlu)

The John Kay (Wood Gundy) Building at 11 Adelaide St. West

The Grange (AGO)

The Eclipse Building at 322 King Street West

The Toronto Normal School on Gould Street

The Capitol Building at 366 Adelaide Street West, near Spadina

The Reid Building at 266-270 King Street West

Mackenzie House on Bond Street

Colborne Lodge in High Park

The Church of the Redeemer at Bloor West and Avenue Road

The Anderson Building at 284 King Street West

The Lumsden Building at Yonge and Adelaide Street East

The Gooderham (Flatiron) Building at Wellington and Front Streets East

The Sick Children’s Hospital on University Avenue

St. James Cathedral at King St. East and Church St.

The E.W. Gillett Building at 276 Queen King St. West

The Oddfellows Temple at the corner of Yonge and College Streets

The Birkbeck Building at 8-18 Adelaide Street East

The Toronto Seventh Post Office at 10 Toronto St.

Former hotel at Bay and Elm streets

The 1881 block of shops on Queen near Spadina

The stone archway on Yonge Street, south of Carlton Street

The former St. Patrick’s Market on Queen West, now the City Market

The Brooke Building (three shops) at King East and Jarvis streets.

The old Work House at 87 Elm Street, an historic structure from the 19th century.

The building on the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen Street.

The former student residence of Upper Canada College, built in 1833, at 22 Duncan Street, at the corner of Adelaide streets.

Church of the Holy Trinity beside the Eaton Centre

The former site of the “Silver Snail” comic store at 367 Queen Street West.

The Toronto Club at 107 Wellington, built 1888,  at the corner of York Street. 

The YMCA at 18 Elm Street, built in 1890, now the Elmwood Club.

The old St. George’s Hall at 14 Elm Street, now the Arts and Letters Club.

The 1860s houses on Elm St. (now Barbarian’s Steak House)

The old “Silver Snail” shop on Queen St. West

The north building at the St. Lawrence Market, which is slated to be demolished

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave.

The Heintzman Building on Yonge Street, next to the Elgin Theatre

The tall narrow building at 242 Yonge Street, south of Dundas

Toronto’s first Reference Library at College and St. George Streets.

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

The Traders Bank on Yonge Street—the city’s second skyscraper

Toronto’s old Union Station on Front Street, built in 1884

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe Streets.

The row houses on Glasgow Street, near Spadina and College Streets

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

The cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King East and Church Streets

St. Stanislaus Koska RC Church on Denison Avenue, north of Queen West

The historical St. Mary’s Church at Adelaide and Bathurst Streets

The Bishop’s (St, Michael’s) Palace on Church Street, Toronto

The Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

The Ed Mirvish (Pantages, Imperial, Canon) Theatre, a true architectural gem on Toronto’s Yonge Street

The Waverly Hotel on Spadina near College Street.

The Art Deco Bank of Commerce building on King Street West.

The Postal Delivery Building, now the Air Canada Centre (ACC)

The Bellevue Fire Station on College Street

The Bank of Nova Scotia at King and Bay Streets

Toronto’s old Sunnyside Beach

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Runnymede Library

Spadina Avenue – sinful, spicy and diverse

The Reading Building, a warehouse loft building on Spadina Avenue

The Darling Building on Spadina Avenue

The amazing Fashion Building on Spadina Avenue

Toronto’s architectural gems – the Tower Building at Spadina and Adelaide Street

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

The Robertson Building at 215 Spadina that houses the Dark Horse Espresso Bar

An architectural gem – Grossman’s Tavern at Spadina and Cecil Streets

History of the house that contains the Paul Magder Fur Shop at 202 Spadina

An important historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina and College

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

The Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina

Buildings on the west side of Spadina a short distance north of Queen Street.

History of the site of the Mcdonalds on northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

A former mansion at 235 Spadina that is now almost hidden from view.


Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina Avenue and Queen Street West.

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

Toronto’s Draper Street, a time-tunnel into the 19th century

The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West, near York Street

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

The opening of the University Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bay St.

122 persons perish in the Noronic Disaster on Toronto’s waterfront in 1949

Historic Victoria Memorial Square where Toronto’s first cemetery was located, now hidden amid the Entertainment District

Visiting one of Toronto’s best preserved 19th-century streets-Willcocks Avenue

The 1930s Water Maintenance Building on Brant Street, north of St. Andrew’s Park

Toronto’s architectural gems-photos of the Old City from a book published by the city in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems – the bank on the northeast corner of Queen West and Spadina

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

To view the Home Page for this blog:

To view the post that contains a list of Toronto’s old movie houses and information about them:


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Toronto’s lost mineral baths on Bloor Street


High Park Mineral Baths on Bloor Street in 1920. Photo from the Toronto Public Library, r-2113

The first time I heard the shrieks and laughter from the swimming pools near High Park was on a June day in the 1940s. My family was attending a Sunday school picnic in the park, and the sky on that Saturday morning was crystal clear, a hint of the afternoon’s heat already evident in the air. I vividly remember the scorching sunshine that day, even after all these years, as it was one of the few times in my life that I received a painful sunburn.

When we arrived at High Park on the Bloor streetcar, I gazed enviously at the hords of bathers crowded around the pool. The explosive splashing of the divers hitting the cool waters of the pools echoed in the morning air. Even though I was unable to swim, I fantasized about crossing over Bloor Street to join the other kids, wishing that I too could scream madly as I jumped from the sky-scraping diving tower. When you are five years of age, you might as well “dream big.”

Alas, despite my imaginary bravado, I was confined to the wading pool inside High Park. Later in the day, I won a book as a prize in the “sack race,” but it did not compensate for being too young to visit the swimming pools. When I was a few years older, I learned that they were the “High Park Mineral Baths,” often referred to as the “Minnies.” Located on the north side of Bloor Street West, they were between Quebec and Glendenan Avenues, across from Toronto’s largest park—High Park. The swimming pools were important during the summer months in Toronto, particularly before the popular pool at Sunnyside Beach opened in 1921.

The site where the mineral baths were located was purchased by George J. Leger in 1889. He was a retired businessman and politician, and when he bought the property, its northern boundary was on Gothic Avenue, its southern boundary on Bloor Street. He built a mansion, carriage house, and stable on the site, its postal address 32 Gothic Avenue. Leger named his mansion “Glandeboye,” after a place in Ireland that he remembered fondly. The view from the house was magnificent as it was on a hill, which on its western side overlooked the deep ravine that led down to Grenadier Pond. It was a wide ravine that was eventually filled in to allow the Bloor streetcar line to extend westward. In the late decades of the 19th century, the area to the north of High Park remained undeveloped, and was considered a rural district to the northwest of the city.

In 1905, George Leger sold the house and land to Dr. William McCormick from Bellevue, Ontario. Dr. McCormick’s wife was also a doctor, and together they renovated the mansion to create the High Park Sanatorium. It officially opened on June 27, 1907, and when full, it accommodated about 20 patient. The facility was associated with Kellogg’s Battle Creek Sanatorium in Michigan. Dr. Harvey Kellogg, the founder of the institution, was the creator of the breakfast cereal, “corn flakes.” Both sanatoriums treated diseases of the nervous system and promoted a healthy life style, stressing daily exercise and proper diet. In 1913, to assist his patients, Dr. McCormick built an outdoor swimming pool on the southern portion of his property, close to Bloor Street, believing that swimming in it would be therapeutic.

One research source states that the water for the swimming pool was likely from Wendigo Creek, which emptied into Grenadier Pond. However, another source states that the water was derived from artesian wells, one of them 80 feet deep and the other 650 feet in depth. Whatever the source, the water was cold and possessed a beneficial mineral content. It was said that the water was heated to 72 degrees Fahrenheit to accommodate the bathers. The pool’s shape was an elongated rectangle, and it was for the exclusive use of the patients of the sanatorium and their families.

In 1914, a year after the mineral baths were opened, the Toronto Civic Railway Company laid a single-track streetcar line along Bloor Street, westward from Dundas Street to Gothic Avenue. The High Park Mineral Baths were now at the terminus of the line, making them easily accessible by public transportation for residents across the city. The pool was enlarged and in 1915 and opened to the public. Difference hours were reserved for men, women, and mixed bathing. During the summer months, the pool was open from 9 am to 9 pm.

By 1917, because of the popularity of the mineral baths, a second pool was built, its dimensions about 50’ by 100’. The old diving tower was replaced by one that had diving boards on different levels and several slides for descending into the water. Because of the increase in the amount of water needed for the pools, the natural sources became insufficient, and the facility commenced using water from the City of Toronto.

During the 1920s, the mineral baths were among the most highly attended swimming facilities in the city. In 1924, they hosted the Olympic Swimming Trials. During the 1940s and 1950s, the mansion on the hill overlooking the pools was the Strathcona Hospital, which served as a private maternity hospital. However, in the 1960s, plans commenced for the Bloor/Danforth subway. To accommodate the subway line, a portion of the land on the southwest side of the mineral baths was needed. As a result, the pools closed in 1962.

I never had an opportunity to swim in the High Park Mineral Baths, but as a boy, I visited Crang’s Swimming Pool, near St. Clair and Oakwood Avenues. Its source of water was a branch of Garrison Creek. I also can recall a swimming pool named “Pelmo Park,” which was on Jane Street near Church Avenue. As a teenager, I also swam in the heated pool beside Sunnyside Beach. Because Toronto’s summers do not linger long on the calendar, summer swimming was a treasured treat of childhood. 

In the 21st century, the magnificent mansion at 32 Gothic Avenue was renovated to create a luxury condominium named “Gothic Heritage Estates.” The three-storey building contains 7 spacious residential units.

Sources for this post:—http://losttoronto2———http”//jamesellisarchitect.wordpress. The archival photos were also extremely helpful in determining the history of the mineral baths. 


               Location of the High Park Mineral Baths.

                c. 1911  -high park-mineral-baths-f1244_it8157[1]

The High Park Mineral Baths in 1913, when the pool was used exclusively by the patients of the sanatorium and their families. Photo from Toronto Archives, F1244, Item 8157. 

1st swimming pool, F1231, It. 292 20140524firstminbaths[1]

The first pool built on the sanatorium site. In the background, landfill is being dumped to fill in the ravine to allow Bloor Street to be extended westward. Toronto Archives, F1231, It. 292.

Bloor-west-high-park-1914  F1244, It. 0018  [1] 

Bloor Street near High Park in 1914. This photo illustrates how rural the area was to the north of High Park in the early decades of the 20th century. Toronto Archives, F1244, It. 0018.

Aug. 29, 1915 f1548_s0393_it12314[1]

The minerals baths on August 29, 1915, after the original pool was enlarged. The mansion that George Leger built in 1889, which was sold to Dr. McCormick, can be seen on the hill, in the background.  Toronto Archives F1548, s0393, Item 12314.

1915-- pictures-r-2103[1]

    A view of the swimming pool in 1916. Toronto Public Library, r-2103.

1915- pictures-r-2085[1] 

    The High Park Mineral Baths in 1916, Toronto Public Library, r-2085.

July 6, 1917. Fonds 200, Series 372, It. 489 20140524minbaths[1]

A view of the pools on July 6, 1917, looking west from the east side. Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, S. 373, Item 489.

1920,  pictures-r-4647[1]

View looking north from Bloor Street in 1920. Visible are the swimming pools and the High Park Sanatorium on the hill. Toronto Public Library. r-4647.


Gazing north from Bloor Street West in 1920. The two buildings on the right-hand side of the photo remain in existence today. The Bloor subway was built behind these buildings. Photo from the Toronto Public Library, r-2086.


View of the pools in 1950, looking south from the hill where the sanatorium was once located. Bloor Street and the northern edge of High Park are in the background. Toronto Public Library, r-2104. 

1953-- pictures-r-2117[1]

            High Park Mineral Baths in 1953, Toronto Public Library, r-2117.

1953, pictures-r-3796[1]

Gazing north to the house at 32 Gothic Avenue in 1953. Toronto Public Library, r-3796.


View in 2016 of Bloor Street West, where the High Park Mineral Baths were located.

1920--pictures-r-2086[1]   copy 2

View of the north side of Bloor Street, opposite High Park in 1920 (left) and in 2016 (right).


             The “Gothic Heritage Estates” today, at 32 Gothic Avenue.


Wood trim on the east side of the home of Dr. William McCormick, which was renovated to create a sanatorium.


            Verandas on the south and east sides of the McCormick house.

To view the Home Page for this blog:

For more information about the topics explored on this blog:

The publication entitled, “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” was written by the author of this blog. It explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It relates anecdotes and stories by the author and others who experienced these grand old movie houses.  


   To place an order for this book: .

Book also available in Chapter/Indigo, the Bell Lightbox Book Shop, and by phoning University of Toronto Press, Distribution: 416-667-7791 (ISBN 978.1.62619.450.2)


Another book, published by Dundurn Press, containing 80 of Toronto’s former movie theatres will be released in June, 2016. It is entitled, “Toronto’s Movie Theatres of Yesteryear—Brought Back to Thrill You Again.” It contains over 125 archival photographs and relates interesting anecdotes about these grand old theatres and their fascinating history.

                        Toronto: Then and Now®

Another publication, “Toronto Then and Now,” published by Pavilion Press (London, England) explores 75 of the city’s heritage sites. This book will be released on June 1, 2016. For further information follow the link to  here  or to contact the publisher directly:–then-and-now—products-9781910904077.php?page_id=21.



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