Art Of The Danforth – History Help Needed

If you or someone you know has a lot of local knowledge, our streetscape artists are looking for some historical tidbits to be worked into their display for Art of the Danforth.  Can you answer any of the questions below?  If so, please let Real and Barbara Eguchi know by emailing real@breal.ca

Our project is a response to the Art of the Danforth theme “What is this place?” We will be celebrating the cultural and the natural history of the Danforth area with respect to people, plants and animals from the past and the present and with hopes for the future. I love pigeons, and surprisingly so do others, so pigeons will be the common thread for this project and they will provide visual continuity.

We need your input to source some imagery, to comment on our assumptions and also to let us know what you think would resonate the most in the minds of visitors.  Are there any major omissions?  Let us know that too.

ROXY

This will include the word ROXY in huge art deco letters as close to the intersection as possible. We considered ALLENBY as well. We will have people lined up at the door and an image from Star Wars that relates to the posters that once hung within. We considered referencing the Rocky Horror Picture Show with an image such as big lips. We need images of people from the days of the Allenby even though we will call it Roxy so that the work crosses different periods in time.

Indeed, we need images of people from the various cultures that are represented in the area, especially if there is a noticeable difference in clothing that we can distinguish. I realize this is not a history issue.

We need to know what colour(s) to make the ROXY letters.

We’d like to know if Cupid is more important than Yoda.

If you can get a copy of a poster used to announce upcoming attractions at the Roxy that would be interesting.  There will be a Great Grey Wolf here.

COMMUNITY HOUSING

This is a key site for people approaching Art or the Danforth from Greenwood Station. Others are working on this site but we will be putting a sign to acknowledge the river that was here. We are going to use a sign similar to the one’s the City uses to identify rivers but much larger. We were going to write on it LOST RIVER but in a non-English language that is spoken in the area. Can anyone provide the actual language and words?

COXWELL SUBWAY STATION

This will include GLUE in big letters in reference to the glue factory/ abattoir. We will have a big horse because we think that’s how they made the glue. We also intend to show chickens, pigs and cows to reference the abattoir AND the farms that were in the area and we are assuming those animals are appropriate. Some of our decisions are also based on what is easy to make and install.

We may show a few dead livestock animals hanging. We also understood that the animals were dead before they got there. Can that be confirmed?  Were there sheep in the area? Other livestock?

TTC BUILDING (and mostly along the fence to the east)

This is primarily a vegetable garden referencing the importance of urban agriculture for the future and the farms of the past. We will be mostly showing carrots and strawberries because they have the most imageability and our easy to make. We could add corn if that was grown in the area.

LIBRARY

This will include current day, street life along the wall but in the planters there will be bears…black not grizzly. There will also be lots of plants acknowledging the importance of plants. This is the most conservative display due to its location but we might add some coyotes since coyotes are a current day issue.

EAST LYNN PARK

We won’t have anything here, or at the Robertson Park for that matter. However we want to put a sign celebrating the river that was here and it will be the same as the one at the Community Housing.  In this instance, we’d like to write LOST RIVER in Ethiopian if someone can spell it for us because we are in close proximity to the Ethiopian Centre.

POWER

This is at the condo pit at Danforth and Woodbine. We need to know what colour the POWER sign was as we intend to remake it in large letters. We want to show some carrots since it was a grocery store and to add continuity and we’ll put a price beside them such as 5 cents for ?? We are not sure of the quantity. There will be a Great Grey Wolf here as well.  The POWER sign and the ROXY sign will bookend the two blocks of the artwalk.

MISCELLANEOUS HISTORICAL ELEMENTS

  • Grotesque/ gargoyle: There is one on the building at Woodmount. We will have a child pointing up to it. It would be nice to know what this is and what its history is.

ELEMENTS NOT INCLUDED

These are some element and ideas that we think are important and that could be acknowledged, however we don’t have the capacity to include these. We welcome anyone who can help us so that maybe we can take some of them on.

  • Car dealerships that dominated the area such as Robertson Motors.
  • The fact that horse drawn carts, streetcars and cars were here at the same time.
  • Gas supply pump stands along the sides of the streets that we could tie to a few light standards.
  • There were 2 other theatres, Oxford and Prince of Wales that deserve recognition especially since theatres were an integral part of the social life for many years.
  • Bowling alleys: Is Danforth Bowl an historic institution?
  • Is the word or concept of the MIDWAY important? We sense that it is.
  • Names: such as Danforth, Highway #5, Second Concession, original names for streets such as Ladysmith, Monarch Park, and Carven.
  • The corner where the 4 wards come together at Coxwell.
  • Woolworths and Kresges. The W at the art store in the pavement is noteworthy.
  • Streetcar turnaround at Coxwell. A streetcar would be a large undertaking.
  • Canada Bread
  • Linsmore Hotel, Crossroads Tavern
0 comments to “Art Of The Danforth – History Help Needed”
  1. I think the word “MIDWAY” is very important and should be featyured in a big way since it was what this stretch of the Danforth has traditionally been called.

  2. One of my strongest memories of the Roxy Theatre is from watching the Led Zeppelin movie “The Song Remains the Same” there back in the 80’s. Perhaps others have the same memories and a a symbol representing the band Led Zeppelin would resonate with others.

  3. It would be nice to see some recognition of the Italian community in this neighbourhood. I think they are aging out of the ‘hood but they certainly were a strong presence and remain a force with the coffee shops/men’s clubs and 3 barbers named Sam. Perhaps Italian can be one of the non-English languages represented.

  4. Me too. I remember foing to the Roxy to see the song remains the sa. I went down memory lane the other day and now its a 7/11 or somthing. Time to ramble on I guess

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