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1300-1308 Queen Street West

LAST UPDATE: September 25 2021

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1300-1308 Queen Street West, Toronto - 23 September 2021 - Photograph by Adam Wynne

1300-1308 Queen Street West, Toronto - 23 September 2021 - Photograph by Adam Wynne

AT RISK INFORMATION
At risk status:
This building is at risk

Info:

The Parkdale Hotel at 1300-1308 Queen Street West has been largely vacant for several years. The property is falling into disrepair, including visible holes forming in the mansard roof. 

A pre-application public consultation was submitted for the site in January 2020. A formal application has not yet been submitted to the City of Toronto as of late September 2021.

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
1300-1308 Queen Street West
1300-1308 Queen Street West
Roncesvalles, Toronto

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Alternate names:
Parkdale Hotel / Timms Block

Notes:

Description: 

 

1300-1308 Queen Street West is a 2.5 storey Second Empire style building on the north side of Queen Street West between Dufferin Street and Brock Avenue in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. 1300-1308 Queen Street West is of masonry construction and contains ornate polychrome brickwork on its primary (Queen Street West) elevation.

 

There is currently a discrepancy as to when the extant structure at 1300-1308 Queen Street West was built. Margaret Laycock and Barbara Myrvold note in Parkdale in Pictures: Its Development to 1889 (1991) that the current building was constructed in 1880/1881 after a large fire on 23 September 1880 destroyed several buildings on this block including an earlier version of the hotel. However, a newspaper article in The Globe describing the 23 September 1880 fire notes that the front wall was damaged but still standing after the fire. As such, it is possible that this section of the building may have been repaired and could predate the fire. Comparatively, the City of Toronto Heritage Register provides the date of construction of 1300-1308 Queen Street West / the Parkdale Hotel as circa. 1888. 

 

Prior to 1890, 1300-1308 Queen Street West was known as 56-62 Queen Street, Parkdale.

 

1300-1308 Queen Street West contains a porte-cochère (carriageway) on its primary elevation. A council report from Parkdale Town Council published in The Globe on 14 July 1881 indicates that there was a livestock pound (stable) at the rear of the hotel and that cattle drivers could house their cattle there while at the hotel. The pound (stable) was managed by Herman Timm, an early proprietor of the hotel. If original to the building, this porte-cochère (carriageway) may have originally provided access to the pound (stable) from Queen Street West, as well as facilitating access for carriages, deliveries, luggage, etc. alongside access to various parts of the hotel itself.

 

The ground floor storefront of 1300-1308 Queen Street West appears to have been altered with renovations.

 

1300-1308 Queen Street West was listed on the City of Toronto Heritage Register in 1985.

 

The Parkdale Hotel (Early History): 

 

The Parkdale Hotel operated at 1300-1308 Queen Street West under various proprietors between circa. 1880 and the 1990s. 

 

Newspaper articles indicate that by June 1880 a hotel known as the Parkdale Hotel was operating on Queen Street in Parkdale. Margaret Laycock and Barbara Myrvold note in Parkdale in Pictures: Its Development to 1889 (1991) that on 23 September 1880 a large fire destroyed several buildings on Queen Street, including this early iteration of the Parkdale Hotel. The extant structure at 1300-1308 Queen Street West was constructed following this fire. However, there is a discrepancy as to the precise date of construction, details of which have been included above. Interestingly, neighbouring 1296-1298 Queen Street West has a datestone with the date 1880 visible near its roofline. 

 

Further research is required to discern when precisely the first iteration of the Parkdale Hotel opened on this site, as well as when precisely the hotel shut down in the 1990s.

 

The Parkdale Hotel was one of the first hotels that opened in Parkdale. Other early area hotels include the Union Hotel - at the southwest corner of Dufferin Street and Queen Street West - that opened in 1879; the Ocean Hotel - located further west at the southeast corner of Queen Street West and King Street West - that opened in 1882; and the Gladstone Hotel - at the northeast corner of Gladstone Avenue and Queen Street West -  that opened in 1889.

 

Historically, several shops abutted the hotel's entryway along the Queen Street West elevation of 1300-1308 Queen Street West. During the 1880s, these shops included a barber shop and hair salon; a gentlemen's furnishings shop; and a fancy goods and stationery shop. A branch of the Great North Western Telegraph Company was located next door in 1298 Queen Street West as of 1890.

 

The September 1880 Fire and Subsequent (Re)construction:

Margaret Laycock and Barbara Myrvold provide the following description of the September 1880 fire and subsequent reconstruction of the Parkdale Hotel in Parkdale in Pictures: Its Development To 1889 (1991): 

"The only other hotel in Parkdale proper before 1889 was the Parkdale Hotel, located on the north side of Queen between Dufferin and Brockton Road. On 23 September 1880, it and several adjacent buildings caught fire and burned down. Although Herman Timms, the hotel proprietor, had insurance for only half its $4000 value, the hotel was rebuilt, and in 1882 its new proprietor, John Parker, was granted a tavern license. An 1887 advertisement noted its other features: "Streetcars run past the door. Good accommodations for travellers. Excellent stabling." The hotel had several managers during the 1880s: Toronto directories list six different names. It too still stands, and remains a hotel." - pages 51-52. 

 

John Ross Robertson in Robertson's Landmarks of Toronto (Volume 2) (1896) also describes the 23 September 1880 Parkdale fire as: 

"A very destructive fire occurred in Parkdale between three and four a.m. on September 23, 1880, causing the total destruction of a hotel, fancy goods shop, drug store, grocery, and a coal, wood, and lumber yard office. The fire broke out on the ground floor of G. A. Devlin's drug store, on the north side of Queen Street West, now no. 1502 and 1504 [correction: 1302 and 1304] closely adjoining the Parkdale Hotel. The building where the fire commenced was owned and partly occupied by A. McKnight, who lost everything. G. A. Devlin lost all his stock of drugs. Mr. McBeath's coal office was entirely destroyed. H. [Herman] Timms' loss, who kept the Parkdale Hotel, and owned the block in which it was situated, was a total one. It was valued at $4000, with a slight insurance. T. P. Worth occupied the other part of the Timms Block as a fancy goods store. His furniture and stock was saved, but were greatly damaged. The total loss was about $8000. The insurances were as follow's: Devlin's loss $2600, insurance $800; McKnight, insurance $975; T. P. Worth, insurance $1700; H. Timms, insurance $2200; McBeath, insurance $50." - page 651.

 

The Parkdale Volunteer Fire Brigade was established only weeks prior in August 1880 following a major fire in May 1880 that destroyed the original Union Hotel and neighbouring buildings at the southwest corner of Dufferin Street and Queen Street West. However, Parkdale Town Council did not provide a fire engine or hose reel for the brigade until the following year. As such, during the 23 September 1880 fire Dr. Adam Lynd — Parkdale's coroner, doctor, and first mayor, who lived across the street at 1255 Queen Street West — and a Mr. Thompson rushed to the Dundas Street Fire Hall in Brockton Village to raise the alarm. A significant response was mustered, including firemen from the Dundas Street Fire Hall and the Portland Street and Queen Street West Fire Hall (Toronto), which was reported to have likely saved a significant portion of the village from burning. Parkdale's first municipal Fire Hall was subsequently constructed at Cowan Avenue and Queen Street in 1881.

 

The cause of the September 1880 fire was later determined to be incendiarism and coal oil igniting the rear of a neighbouring building. Another neighbouring building was reported to have been on fire twice that same year due to similar causes. 

 

Early Proprietors:

Between 1880 and 1890, the Parkdale Hotel had multiple proprietors:

 

1880-1881: Herman Timms.

1882-1885: John G. Parker.

1886: Mary Parker, widow of John G. Parker. 

1886: "Mrs. Tyler" - potentially Elizabeth Tyler - was reported in a Local Brief in The Globe to be the proprietress of the Parkdale Hotel. In August 1886, she sold her five year lease of the Parkdale Hotel to Frederick T. Mullan.

August 1886-1888: Frederick T. Mullan.

1889: Roberts and Leslie, a management company run by William B. Roberts and George B. Leslie. 

1890: George B. Leslie.


Please note the above dates are approximate. Of additional note is that the name Parkdale Hotel appears in newspaper articles as early as 1880, although does not appear in the City of Toronto Directories until 1890. Prior to 1890, the City of Toronto Directories list the hotel under the names of its various proprietors. 

 

Licensing Issues (Early 1900s):

During the early 1900s, controversy emerged regarding a license transfer from one owner to another when the Parkdale Hotel was sold. This controversy spanned several years and was covered in regional newspapers.


The Danby Family:

The Danby family was associated with 1300 Queen Street West from the 1890s until the 1960s. For many years, the Danby family were local shoemakers who ran a cobbling business at 1300 Queen Street West.

 

Chronological Overview of Occupants and Uses of 1300-1308 Queen Street West:  

 

1880-1881: 

The Parkdale Hotel proprietor was Herman Timms. Timms also operated the livestock pound (stable) at the rear of the hotel. Further research is required to determine what shops may have been based in the building at this point in time.

 

1882-1885:

The Parkdale Hotel proprietor was John G. Parker. By 1884, Charles Clark(e) had opened his fancy goods shop at 56 Queen Street West (1300 Queen Street West). By 1885, Marcus H. Smith (M. H. Smith) had opened his barber shop at 60 Queen Street, Toronto (1306 Queen Street West). Prior to this, M. H. Smith was based next door to the Union Hotel. 

 

1886:

56 Queen Street, Parkdale (1300 Queen Street West): Charles Clarke - a fancy goods shop; and Hannah Lassetter - a boarding house.

58 Queen Street, Parkdale (1302-1304 Queen Street West): Parkdale Hotel (Mary Parker).

60 Queen Street, Parkdale (1306 Queen Street West): Marcus H. Smith (M. H. Smith) - a barber shop.

62 Queen Street, Parkdale (1308 Queen Street West): Henry T. King (H. T. King) - a stationery shop.

 

1887:

56 Queen Street, Parkdale (1300 Queen Street West): Benjamin H. Smith (B. H. Smith & Company) - gentlemen's furnishings.

58 Queen Street, Parkdale (1302-1304 Queen Street West): Parkdale Hotel (Frederick T. Mullan).

60 Queen Street, Parkdale (1306 Queen Street West): Marcus H. Smith (M. H. Smith) - a barber shop.

62 Queen Street, Parkdale (1308 Queen Street West): Henry T. King (H. T. King) - a stationery shop.

 

1888:

56 Queen Street, Parkdale (1300 Queen Street West): Benjamin H. Smith (B. H. Smith) - gentlemen's furnishings; and Isaac Clayton.

58 Queen Street, Parkdale (1302-1304 Queen Street West): Parkdale Hotel (Frederick T. Mullan).

60 Queen Street, Parkdale (1306 Queen Street West): Marcus H. Smith (M. H. Smith) - a barber shop.

62 Queen Street, Parkdale (1308 Queen Street West): Henry T. King (H. T. King) - a stationery shop.

 

1889:

56 Queen Street, Parkdale (1300 Queen Street West): Benjamin H. Smith (B. H. Smith) - gentlemen's furnishings.

58 Queen Street, Parkdale (1302-1304 Queen Street West): Parkdale Hotel (Roberts and Leslie).

60 Queen Street, Parkdale (1306 Queen Street West): Alexander Hopkirk - a barber shop.

62 Queen Street, Parkdale (1308 Queen Street West): Henry T. King (H. T. King)- a stationery shop.

 

1890:

1300 Queen Street West: Gordon W. Tracie - gentlemen's furnishings.

1302-1304 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1890, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was George B. Leslie.

1306 Queen Street West: Alexander Hopkirk - a barber shop.

1308 Queen Street West: Henry T. King (H. T. King) - a stationary shop.

 

1900:

1300 Queen Street West:  J. G. Danby - a shoemaker; and Mary A. Stuart - a confectionary shop.

1302-1304 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1900, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was Andy Martin.

1306 Queen Street West: J. J. O'Neill - a barber shop.

1308 Queen Street West: Rose E. King (Mrs. R. E. King) - a stationery shop. Rose E. King was the widow of Henry T. King.

 

1910:

1300 Queen Street West: T. A. Danby - a shoemaker; and William J. Dixon - a harness maker.

1302-1304 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1910, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was William A. Ball. 

1306-1308 Queen Street West does not appear in the 1910 City of Toronto Directory.

 

1920:

1300 Queen Street West: T. A. Danby - a shoemaker; and E. M. Watson - a harness maker. 

1302-1304 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. The 1920 City of Toronto Directory does not name a proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel. 

1306-1308 Queen Street West does not appear in the 1920 City of Toronto Directory.

 

1930:

1300 Queen Street West: S. Hickton & Son - a wallpaper merchant and 2 upstairs residential apartments, home to Arthur H. Bates and Florence Danby. 

1302-1306 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1930, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was Mathias McDonald, who lived next door at 1308 Queen Street West.

1308 Queen Street West: Mathias McDonald.

 

1940:

1300 Queen Street West: Canadian Hand Laundry and 2 upstairs residential apartments, with one being home to Mary A. Danby - the building's owner - and the other vacant. 

1302-1308 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1940, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was Matthias McDonald.

 

1950:

1300 Queen Street West: Cleanitorium - a cleaning company, with 3 upstairs residential apartments home to: George B. Strachan, Marjory Bruton, and Mary A. Danby.

1302-1308 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1950, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel appears to be Matthias McDonald. 

 

1960:

1300 Queen Street West: Flora Flower Shop; and 2 upstairs residential apartments, one of which was vacant and the other which was home to Mary A. Danby and Nellie Danby.

1302-1308 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1960, the proprietors of the Parkdale Hotel were Isaac Eisen and Harry Saltzman. 

 

1969:

1300 Queen Street West: Flora Flower Shop and the Toronto Flower Exchange, as well as an upstairs residential apartment home to Otakar Styrsky and Elizabeth Chrak. 

1302-1308 Queen Street West: Parkdale Hotel. As of 1969, the proprietor of the Parkdale Hotel was Harry Saltzman.

 

1970-1990:

Research ongoing.

 

1992:

As of July 1992, the Parkdale Hotel was still in business and hosting summer music shows. 

 

Mid-to-Late 1990s:

Further research is required to determine when precisely the Parkdale Hotel closed.

 

The Cadillac Lounge:

Between 2000 and 2019, 1296-1300 Queen Street West was home to The Cadillac Lounge - a popular and unique live music venue and bar. The Cadillac Lounge was initially based in 1296-1298 Queen Street West and later expanded into 1300 Queen Street West during the late 2000s. The Cadillac Lounge was owned by Sam Goss, who also owned the El Mocambo on Spadina Avenue. The two buildings - formerly distinct - appear to be a consolidated space on the interior.

 

The Caddie:

Between 2019 and September 2020, a backyard bar known as The Caddie was in operation at the rear of 1300-1308 Queen Street West. 

 

Present-Day (September 2021):

1300-1308 Queen Street West is largely vacant. There are occasionally pop-up bars that utilize the rear space. The rear space also hosted a Christmas tree market in the winter of 2020-2021.

 

Redevelopment:

The Parkdale Hotel at 1300-1308 Queen Street West has been largely vacant for several years. The property is falling into disrepair, including visible holes forming in the mansard roof. 

 

A pre-application public consultation was submitted for the site in January 2020. A formal application has not yet been submitted to the City of Toronto as of late September 2021. 

 

 

Research by Adam Wynne.

Status:
Completed

Year Completed:
Circa. (pre-) 1880/1881 or 1888 (see above)

Map:
Loading Map

Companies:
No data at this time

BUILDING DATA
Current use:
Commercial

Former use:
Hotel

Heritage:
Listed

Main Style:

Sources:

Sources

  1. Inventory of Heritage Properties
    Author - City of Toronto
    More information

  2. The Cadillac Lounge is officially closing after 19 years in Toronto
    Author - Lauren O´Neil
    Date - 6 June 2019
    Notes - BlogTO article.
    More information

  3. Parkdale in Pictures: Its Development to 1889
    Author - Margaret Laycock and Barbara Myrvold
    Date - 1991
    Page - 51-52

  4. Disastrous Fire: Three Stores, a Hotel, and an Office Destroyed at Parkdale - Incendiarism Suspected
    Author - The Globe (Toronto)
    Date - 24 September 1880
    Page - 5
    Document - Disastrous Fire: Three Stores, a Hotel, and an Office Destroyed at Parkdale - Incendiarism Suspected

  5. Suburban News - Parkdale - Council Meeting
    Author - The Globe (Toronto)
    Date - 14 July 1881
    Page - 6
    Notes - Discusses livestock pound at rear of Parkdale Hotel.
    Document - Suburban News - Parkdale - Council Meeting

  6. Suburban News - Parkdale - Stone Throwing
    Author - The Globe (Toronto)
    Date - 26 June 1880
    Page - 10
    Notes - Early newspaper reference to Parkdale Hotel. 
    Document - Suburban News - Parkdale - Stone Throwing

  7. Real Purity Methods: The License Inquiry Will Begin On Monday: The Parkdale Hotel Case Will Be Probed
    Author - The Globe (Toronto)
    Date - 15 February 1907
    Page - 12
    Notes - Discusses licensing controversy of Parkdale Hotel´s ownership change.
    Document - Real Purity Methods: The License Inquiry Will Begin On Monday: The Parkdale Hotel Case Will Be Probed

  8. Local Brief - Mrs. Tyler, Proprietress of the Parkdale Hotel Sold Her Five Years Lease
    Author - 11 August 1886
    Date - 8
    Notes - Discusses "Mrs. Tyler" selling hotel. Potentially Elizabeth Tyler, who owned several buildings near Brockton Road (Brock Avenue) and Queen Street (Queen Street West) in Parkdale.
    Document - Local Brief - Mrs. Tyler, Proprietress of the Parkdale Hotel Sold Her Five Years Lease

  9. Robertson´s Landmarks of Toronto (Volume 2)
    Author - John Ross Robertson
    Date - 1896
    Page - 651

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