Queen Street East: from Baseball Place to the East Don Roadway

Join us as we continue our visual tour of the history of the East End’s main drag from the Don to Victoria Park. This is the third installment. A nod of appreciation to the Riverdale Historical Society who has done amazing work to keep local history of Riverdale alive. To find out more about them and to join, go to: https://riverdalehistoricalsociety.com/

By Joanne Doucette. Joanne is a local historian, a past Chair of the Toronto Public Library, founding member of the Leslieville Historical Society, and co-founder of the DisAbled Women’s Network. She is retired and lives in the Coxwell-Gerrard neighbourhood. She is administrator for the Metis Minute Facebook Page and moderates the following Facebook groups: Midway, Toronto Beaches Historical Photos, and the Coxwell-Gerrard Facebook page.

View of Queen Street East, looking west to Don bridge – May 11, 1977
Queen Street East, south side, detail, from Goad’s Atlas, 1924
Queen St. E., looking e. from Baseball Place, 1954, by James Victor Salmon, TPL
Baseball Place, looking s. from Queen St. E., 1954 by James Victor Salmon, TPL
639-661 Queen Street East 1920 City Directory

This walk starts at Baseball Place and goes along the south side of Queen Street. As well as photographs, newspaper articles will be posted to help us understand more about who lived and worked here.

for more about Sunlight Stadium, one of Toronto’s lost baseball fields go to: https://leslievillehistory.com/2018/02/01/smiths-grounds-a-lost-riverside-athletic-field/
Conboy Carriage fire, general view from Queen Street bridge – July 10, 1924 For a brief history of the Conboy Carriage Company go to: https://www.trha.ca/trha/the-history-of-the-conboy-carriage-company/
For more about Sunlight Soap and Lever Brothers go to: https://leslievillehistory.com/2018/05/13/sunlight-soap-works-new-plant-1901/
661 Queen St E Don Garage ad, Toronto Star, Feb. 3, 1920
657 Queen St Toronto Star, April 30, 1921
Parts Diagram for Willys Knight Model 20 1920
A history and description of billiards, its sanitary advantages, etc., with instructions how to play the game, 1860’s TPL
651 Queen St E Billiard license Globe, Jan. 31, 1906

The Smith Block is one of the treasures of Riverside. For more about it I recommend taking a look at this background paper from the City of Toronto:

The slideshow below uses images from that report.

Settlement house Globe, Nov. 9, 1904
643 Queen St E, Globe, July 14, 1922
Evangelia Settlement, Queen Street East, northeast corner of River Street, Toronto, Ontario, 1922

View of Smith’s Block with Wrigley’s billboard, 635-655 Queen Street East, Visible in the image is the Edwin Hotel, on the north side of the street. Photo taken 1920-1926
639 Queen St E Mrs. Bellamy obituary, Globe, March 24, 1904
Woodgreen Methodist (United) Church, Queen Street East, southwest corner of Strange Street, 1939 by Alexandra Studio, TPL
641 Queen St E The Lend A Hand Mission, Globe, June 16, 1913
The Canadian Courier, Vol. X, No. 18, September 30, 1911
View of Queen Street, looking east from the Don Bridge – June 5, 1923
Scadding Cabin. Watercolour by Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe (nee Gwillim)
1890 Scadding cabin
The only 18th-century building still standing in Toronto is this log cabin built in 1794 by John Scadding near today’s Don Jail. It was moved to the CNE when the fair started in 1879. Photo 1978, by Ron Bull, The Toronto Star, reproduced under a TORSTAR license.
Detail – View of Queen Street East, looking east to Don bridge – May 11, 1977
Some things remain the same. Pigeons on wire – Queen St E., opposite baseball place – August 11, 1977 Creator: Harvey R. Naylor Date: August 11, 1977 Archival Citation: Fonds 1526, File 40, Item 33 Credit: City of Toronto Archives http://www.toronto.ca/archives Copyright was transferred to the City of Toronto by the copyright owner.

To contact us go email: leslievillehistory@gmail.com

To visit our Facebook page go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/821994634490152

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