A Storied Past

In the early 20th century, downtown Yonge Street was dominated by important Victorian-era retail properties, most notably the Eaton’s and Simpsons stores at Yonge Street and Queen Street West. These huge department stores were surrounded by smaller commercial properties, a mix of building styles and materials in various states of repair with awnings and signage jutting out over the busy sidewalk. The result was a cramped streetscape which assaulted the senses as retailers clamoured for pedestrians’ attention.