Tag Archives:

The Gordon House, Toronto’s lost mansion

c. 1900  pictures-r-5407[1]

The Gordon Mansion on Clarence Square (Toronto) in 1900. Toronto Public Library, r-5407

On the east side of Spadina Avenue, between Front and King Streets, there is a small green space named Clarence Square. During the early 19th century, it was part of the military reserve attached to Fort York. The square was laid out in the 1830s by British engineers to complement the lakeside promenade, a green area near the lake where citizens were able to enjoy strolling and picnicking during good weather. In those years, Lake Ontario was directly to the south of it. The shoreline was eventually pushed further south by dumping landfill into the harbour, so today, Clarence Square is isolated from the water. However, it remains a quiet retreat in the heart of the city, where mature trees provide shelter from the heat of the summer sun.

DSCN7044   s0372_ss0052_it0198[1]

Clarence Square in the spring of 2014 (left) and in 1913 (right). The right-hand photo is from Toronto Archives, S 0372, SS 0052, Item 0198.

Clarence Square is reminiscent of squares created in London, England during the 1820s. Referred to as Regency-style squares, they were generally enclosed on three sides by stylish homes, with one side facing a wide avenue. The green space within them was usually open to the public, although sometimes, particularly in Britain, it was private. Regent Square Gardens in central London is perhaps one of the best-known examples.

The design was promoted in Canada by amateur architects such as William Warren Baldwin. When Clarence Square was built, its counterpart in Toronto was Victoria Square (old Garrison Cemetery), on the west side of Spadina Avenue, at Portland Street. The squares were like bookends, with Wellington Place (now Wellington Street) in between. Wellington Place was viewed as an ideal site for grand mansions and stately homes as it was a wide tree-lined avenue. Clarence Square was nearby, so it too was deemed to be a prestigious location.


            Clarence Square, in today’s Fashion District, Toronto

Clarence Square received its name from the third son of King George III, Prince William Henry, born in 1765. In 1789, he was granted the title Duke of Clarence and St. Andrew’s. The Duke served in the Royal Navy and became Admiral of the Fleet in 1811. The Duke of Clarence ascended the throne as King William IV, and died on June 20, 1837. This was the decade when Clarence Square was created by the British troops from Fort York. William IV was succeeded on the throne by his niece, Elizabeth Victoria, and the Victorian era began.

Because of the location of Clarence Square, for a few years it was viewed as a possible site for a new Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor, Queen Victoria’s representative in the province. However, about the year 1853, the square was no longer considered suitable for this purpose, so the land surrounding it was opened for development. John Gordon purchased property near the southeast corner of the square, and about the year 1874 built a palatial mansion. Its postal address was 303 Clarence Square. Gordon was businessman, born in Scotland in 1828, who arrived in Canada with his family in 1841. He became a partner in a wholesale importing company, and later, the president of the Toronto, Bruce and Grey Railway.

Gordon chose the architect John Browne to design his 2 1/2-storey residence. Browne decided on the Italianate style, with ornate trim and intricate classical detailing. The pediment on the north facade contained two gables. The heavy cornice below the roof was supported by large scrolled brackets (modillions). In the centre of the roof, at the summit, was  a structure referred to as a monitor, with its own roof that was parallel to the roof line of the house. The monitor contained windows that illuminated the central staircase located directly beneath it. The porch had two sets of narrow double columns, with arches above them, the columns supporting an impressive roof. The east and west facades of the house possessed rounded extensions with windows that allowed extra light into the interior, similar to the bay windows in Toronto’s Bay and Gable homes.

The mansion, near the southeast corner of the square, was an impressive sight. Its location added to its appeal since the mature trees and gardens in the square, as well as the ornate fountain in the square’s centre, created a setting that was almost rural, yet near the heart of the city.

Gordon lived in his mansion until 1879, when he departed Toronto to take up residency in Paris, France, where he died in 1882. He had retained ownership of the house while abroad, but after his death it was offered for sale. It remained empty for two years before it was purchased by his brother-in-law William Mortimer Clark. Clark maintained it as his residence until 1903. In that year he was appointed lieutenant governor of Ontario and moved to Government House at Simcoe Street and King Street West. When his term as lieutenant governor ended in 1908, he returned to his home on Clarence Square and lived there until 1912.

By this year, the area was no longer deemed prestigious due to the construction of CPR railway sidings on the land to the south of Front Street. In 1913, the Steele Briggs Seed Company purchased the property, demolished the house and erected a large warehouse on the site. 

TRL,   c. 1900  pictures-r-6486[1]

The Gordon House on Clarence Square c. 1900 (Toronto Public Library r-6486)

drawing room  pictures-r-6491[1] 

The drawing room in the Gordon House in 1912 (Toronto Public Library r-6489). The rounded shape from the exterior extensions provides extra depth and added light during daylight hours. The ornate plaster designs on the ceiling add dignity to a room that was already impressive. The large mirror above the marble mantel of the fireplace reflects the intricacy of the patterns on the ceiling

drawing room, 1912,  pictures-r-6490[1]

Drawing room in 1912, the year William Mortimer Clark departed the property. Toronto Public Library r- 6490

dining rom, 1912  pictures-r-6489[1]

Dining room of the Gordon home in 1912, Toronto Public Library, r-6489

drawing room, 1912  pictures-r-6488[1]

      Dining room in 1912, Toronto Public Library, r-6488

library. 1912  pictures-r-6493[1]

The library in the Gordon mansion in 1912, Toronto Public Library r- 6493

The north facade of the Steele Briggs Warehouse at 49 Spadina Avenue, which is today on the south side of Clarence Square, where the Gordon mansion once stood.

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.




Tags: , ,—check it out!


The blog first appeared on the internet in 2011. Since its inception, over 800 posts have been published that explore the Toronto’s history and its heritage structures, including those that have been demolished and lost forever. The blog’s purpose is to generate an interest in our city’s past and its historic buildings, to prevent remaining heritage sites from being destroyed by developers or indifference on the part of the civic government. During the past few years, Torontonians have become more aware of the importance of preserving the past, but the laws remain weak and ineffective, so our architectural heritage continues to disappear.

As a result of the blog, three books have been published about the topics that have appeared on it: Toronto Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen (published by History Press), Toronto’s Local Movie Theatres of Yesteryear (Dundurn Press), and Toronto Then and Now (Pavilion Press). The latter two books will be available in the spring of 2016. 

Toronto’s Old Movie Theatres

Over 130 posts posts relate stories about the city’s old movie theatres. They include archival and modern photos that depict the theatres’ grand facades, marquees, auditoriums, and  lobbies. There are also present-day images of the locations where the theatres once existed. The great movie palaces of the early decades of the 20th century (e.g. Shea’s Hippodrome, Pantages, Victoria, Tivoli etc.) are explored, as well as the more modern film palaces such as the University and the Odeon Carlton. The following is a link to the posts about the old movie theatres of Toronto.

Heritage Buildings and Sites

Famous heritage building such as Toronto’s First City Hall, the Old City Hall, St. Lawrence Hall, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, Mackenzie House, St. James Cathedral, Union Station, St. Michael’s Cathedral, and the St. Lawrence Market have been researched and documented. Other sites, some of them less known, are also explored: Farr House, Oddfellow’s Temple, Grossman’s Tavern, Waverly Hotel, Gooderham Building, and the Bellevue Fire Station. Structures that no longer exist are included — a part of lost Toronto. The following is a link to a list of the sites included on this blog:

Toronto’s 19th-Century Streetscapes

Several streets that possess timeless qualities have been researched. They harken back to the more tranquil days of the 19th century. Below are the links to access the posts about these unique avenues of downtown Toronto.

Draper Street:

Wilcocks Street:

Bulwer Street:

Glasgow Street: 

Huron Street:

Toronto Disasters

Three of the greatest disasters that Toronto suffered are chronicled on the blog. In 1914, the “RMS Empress of Ireland” sank in fourteen minutes in the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River. More passengers lost their lives than on the Titanic, yet few Canadian know about this maritime tragedy. Many of those who perished were from Toronto.

In 1949, a lake steamer named the “S S Noronic” caught fire in Toronto Harbour and 122 people lost their lives.

In 1954, Hurricane Hazel flooded the Humber and Don Valley, and over 100 drowned in the flood waters.

Below are the links to read about these events.

Empress of Ireland:


Hurricane Hazel: 

History of Toronto Streetcars and Toronto Island Ferries

Posts on Streetcars:

A post about the Toronto Island Ferries

Posts on the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Memories of War-Time Toronto During the 1940s

Sunnyside Beach and Amusement Park

Snow storm of December 1944, the largest amount of snow to ever descend on Toronto.

Toyland at Eaton’s (Queen and and Yonge Street Store) and Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade

The village on Manitou Road on Centre Island

The Author of this Blog

Doug Taylor was a member of the faculty of the Lakeshore Teachers’ College (York University) and the Ontario Teacher Education College, where he shared his love of history with promising young teachers-to-be. During the 1970s, he conducted walking tours of Toronto’s historic districts for university students, during the days when such tours were rare. He also led tours of Chinatown, the Kensington Market, and the Necropolis Cemetery.

Now retired, he lives in downtown Toronto, within walking distance of Toronto’s historic neighbourhoods. Since retiring, he has written ten books, all of them employing the history of his native city as either the subject or the background for the story.  He continues to promote the history of the city he loves through his books and his blog. He can be contacted at

To view the Home Page for this blog:

The publication entitled, “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” is one of the books that was written incorporating the research material from 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.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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:


Tags: ,

Old Movie Theatres—

/Shea's Hippodrome  DSCN0638

Links to posts that have appeared on about Toronto’s old movie theatres since the blog commenced in 2011.

Academy Theatre on Bloor West at St. Clarens

Ace Theatre on Danforth (see Iola)

Ace Theatre on Queen near Bay

Adelphi Theatre (Kum Bac) on Dovercourt Road

Alhambra Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bathurst Street

Allen’s Bloor Theatre, (now Lee’s Palace)

Allenby on the Danforth

Allen’s Danforth

Apollo (Crystal) Theatre on Dundas West

Arcadian (Variety) Theatre

Auditorium Theatre

Avalon Theatre on Danforth Avenue

Avenue Theatre (see Pickford)

Avon Theatre at 1092 Queen Street West

Bay (Colonial Theatre) at Queen and Bay

Bayview Theatre

Beaver Theatre in the Junction area at Keele and Dundas Street West

Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

Bellevue Theatre on College Street that became the Lux Burlesque Theatre

Belsize Theatre (see Regent)

Biltmore Theatre on Yonge, north of Dundas St.

Birchcliff Theatre on Kingston Rd.

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Bloor Street West

Bloordale Theatre (the State) on Bloor St. West, near Dundas Street.

Blue Bell (Gay) Theatre on Parliament Street

Bonita (Gerrard) Theatre on Gerrard East

Brighton Theatre on Roncesvalles Avenue

Brock Theatre (the Gem)

Cameo Theatre

Cannon Theatre (see Ed Mirvish)

Capitol Theatre on Yonge at Castlefield

Carlton Theatre on Parliament Street

Casino Burlesque Theatre on Queen Street 

Cineplex Eaton Centre

Cineplex Odeon Varsity Theatre at Bloor and Bay

Cineplex Theatre at Yonge and Dundas Streets

Circle on Dundas West (see Duchess)

Circle Theatre on Yonge Street

Clyde Theatre (Avalon)

College Theatre at College St. and Dovercourt Rd.

Colonial Theatre (see Bay Theatre)

Colony Theatre at Vaughan Road and Eglinton Avenue

Community Theatre on Woodbine Avenue

Coronet Theatre (Savoy) on Yonge St. at Gerrard

Crest Theatre (see Regent)

Crown Theatre on Gerrard St. East

Crystal Theatre (see Apollo)

Cumberland In Yorkville 

Danforth Music Hall (Allen’s Danforth)

Donlands Theatre

Downtown Theatre (now demolished) at Yonge and Dundas

Duchess Theatre (Circle) on Dundas West

Eastwood Theatre on Gerrard St. East

Ed Mirvish Theatre (the Pantages, Imperial and Cannon)

Eglinton Theatre

Elgin Theatre (Loew’s Downtown)

Elgin/Winter/Garden Theatres on Yonge Street

Empire (Rialto, Palton) on Queen East

Esquire (Lyndhurst) Theatre on Bloor Street West

Eve’s Paradise (see Paradise)

Garden Theatre at 290 College Street.

Gay Theatre (see Blue Bell)

Gem Theatre (see Brock)

Gerrard Theatre (see Bonita)

Glendale Theatre on Avenue Rd.

Golden Mile Theatre on Eglinton East

Grand Opera House on Adelaide Street West

Grant Theatre on Oakwood Avenue near Vaughan Road

Greenwood Theatre (the Guild)

Grover on Danforth Avenue

Guild Theatre (see Greenwood)

Hillcrest Theatre on Christie Street, south of Dupont St.

Hollywood Theatre on the east side of Yonge Street, north of St. Clair Avenue.

Hudson Theatre (see Mount Pleasant)

Imperial and Downtown Theatres on Yonge Street (archival photos)

Imperial Theatre (see Ed Mirvish)

Iola (Ace, Regal) on Danforth Avenue

Island Theatre on Centre Island

Kent Theatre at Yonge and St. Clair

Kenwood Theatre on Bloor St. West

King Theatre at College and Manning Streets

Kingsway Theatre in the Kingsway Village on Bloor St. West

Kum-Bac Theatre (see Adelphi)

KUM-C Theatre in Parkdale

La Plaza Theatre (the Opera House) on Queen Street East

La Salle Theatre on Dundas, near Spadina

Lansdowne Theatre on Lansdowne Avenue, north of Bloor St. West

Loew’s Uptown Theatre (the Uptown)

Loew’s Downtown Theatre (see Elgin)

Lyndhurst Theatre (see Esquire)

Major St. Clair Theatre on St. Clair Avenue, east of Old Weston Road.

Mayfair Theatre at Jane and Annette

Metro Theatre at 679 Bloor West

Mount Dennis Theatre on Weston Rd, north of Eglinton

Mount Pleasant (Hudson) Theatre

Nortown Theatre on Eglinton, west of Bathurst St.

Oakwood Theatre on Oakwood Avenue, near St. Clair Avenue West Oakwood Theatre, Part II

Odeon Carlton at Yonge and Carlton Streets

Odeon Carlton Theatre

Odeon Danforth Theatre on the Danforth, near Pape Avenue

Odeon Humber Theatre at Bloor and Jane Streets (now Humber Cinemas)

Odeon Hyland Theatre at Yonge and St. Clair

Odeon Theatre On Queen West in Parkdale

Opera House (see La Plaza)

Orpheum Theatre on Queen St., west of Bathurst

Palace Theatre on the Danforth

Palace Theatre on the Danforth near Pape Avenue

Palton Theatre (see Empire)

Panasonic Theatre on Yonge Street

Pantages Theatre (see Ed Mirvish)

Paradise (Eve’s Paradise)

Paramount Theatre on St. Clair West, between Oakwood and Dufferin streets.

Parkdale Theatre on Queen Street, near Roncesvalles

Photodrome (Ace) Theatre on Queen St. West

Pickford (Auditorium, Avenue) Theatre

Princess Theatre on King Street

Radio City Theatre on Bathurst, south of St. Clair.

Regal Theatre (see Iola)

Regent Theatre on Mt. Pleasant Rd. (the Belsize, the Crest)

Revue Theatre at 400 Roncesvalles Avenue

Rex Theatre (the Joy)

Rialto Theatre (see Empire)

Rivoli Theatre on Queen Street West

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Royal George Theatre on St. Clair W., west of Dufferin Street.

Royal Theatre on Dundas Street

Royal Theatre (the Pylon) on College St.

Runnymede Theatre in the Bloor West Village

Savoy Theatre (see Coronet)

Scarboro Theatre

Scotiabank Theatre at Richmond and John Streets

Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre on Bay St. near Queen

Shea’s Victoria (The Victoria) at Victoria and Adelaide Streets

St. Clair Theatre, west of Dufferin Street

State Theatre (see Bloordale)

Teck Theatre on Queen St. East

The Tivoli Theatre on Richmond Street East

Toronto’s first movie screening and its first movie theatre

Town Cinema on Bloor East, near Yonge Street

University Theatre on Bloor St., west of Bay Street.

Uptown 5 Multiplex Theatre on Yonge south of Bloor

Variety Theatre (see Arcadian)

Vaughan Theatre on St. Clair Avenue 

Victoria (Shea’s Victoria)

Victory burlesque and movie theatre on Spadina at Dundas:

Village Theatre on Spadina Road in Forest Hill Village

Westwood Theatre on Bloor Street West near Six Points

The Willow Theatre on north Yonge St. in Willowdale

York Theatre on Yonge near Bloor St.

Note: I welcome comments from reader who are willing to share their memories. As well, I always appreciate it when corrections or other opnions are offered. I can be contacted at

To view the Home Page for this blog:

To view posts about Toronto’s history and its heritage architecture:

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


              To place an order for this book: .

Book also available at Chapters/Indigo, the book shop at the Bell Lightbox or University of Toronto Press at 416-667-7791

ISBN # 978.1.62619.450.2


Tags: ,