Ever wonder what the MarkeTo District BIA looked like in the 1950s?

Take a trip down memory lane and scroll through these past and present photographs of the Dufferin-Lawrence Area. You can travel from the top of the MarkeTo District BIA, north of Lawrence Avenue West all the way south before Wingold Avenue. It’s like the moment when Dorothy spiralled out of a sepia-toned Kansas City and stepped into the vibrant City of Oz.

811 Lawrence Ave West

St. Charles Borromeo Church

At the time this photograph was taken in 1955, the St. Charles Borromeo Church on Lawrence Avenue West was in the process of being constructed. It has served as a place of worship in the Dufferin-Lawrence area for over 60 years.

2939 Dufferin St

A&P Grocery Store (1955), Lady York Foods (2020)

Lady York Foods has been a staple in the Dufferin-Lawrence area for over 60 years specializing in large selection of European food and fresh meats, cheeses and produce. Before Lady York occupied this space, an A&P grocery store was the food supplier for the community here in the 1950s. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company or more commonly known A&P, operated in Canada from 1927-2009 until it was rebranded under the name Metro.

Dufferin Street at Glen Park Avenue looking south

Dufferin Street at Glen Park Avenue looking south

Here is a snapshot of Dufferin Street at Glen Park Avenue. In the left hand corner of the photograph, you can see the Bad Boy’s furniture store that stood at the corner of Dufferin Street and Glen Park Avenue. The street looks pretty similar after 50 years, only big difference are the amazing vintage cars!

2863-2867 Dufferin Street, southeast view toward Glencairn Avenue

Dufferin Motors and Ascot Shoe Repair (1955), Petro Canada (2020)

Before the Petro Canada gas station occupied the space at 2863 Dufferin Street, Petrofina or FINA gasoline fuel station provided residents in the community a spot to fuel up their vehicles. Petrofina was a Belgian oil company, their retail operations in Canada were sold to the Canadian government in 1981 and became part of Petro-Canada. There was also Dufferin Motors and Ascot Shoe Repair store next to the gas station back in the day.

2853 Dufferin Street, southeast corner of Dufferin Street and Glencairn Avenue

Capri Open Kitchen Restaurant (1955), DaRosa's Cafe & Restaurant (2020)

If you are familiar with the Dufferin-Glencairn area, you probably know about DaRosa’s Cafe & Restaurant that serves up delicious Portuguese cuisine. Capri Open Kitchen Restaurant resided at 2853 Dufferin Street over half a century ago before DaRosa’s. I wonder what kind of food fare they used to serve up there?

2853-2847 Dufferin Street, east side Dufferin Street and south Glencairn Avenue

Dominion Bank (1955), V&D Cannabis Dispensary (2020)

The former Dominion Bank at 2851 Dufferin Street was once the scene of armed heist by one of Toronto’s most infamous bank robbers, Edwin Alonzo Boyd. This photo was taken on July 4, 1950 just moments after the robbery was committed. Check out of our ‘Features’ page to read more about the crime!

2848-2852 Dufferin St, south of Glencairn Ave, west

Glencairn Men’s Wear, Flip-Glen Bakery & Delicatessen, Gordon Perlmutter Dentist (upper level), Judges Groceries (1955), Esto Es Colombia, 2 Star Cleaners, Equipped Laundry (2020)

This strip mall looks a lot different now 50 years later. Where Glencairn Men’s Wear stood is now Esto Es Colombia, a vibrant and cozy restaurant serving authentic Colombian cuisine. Flip-Glen Bakery & Delicatessen has transitioned into 2 Star Cleaners and Judges Groceries evolved into Dufferin Laundry 24 hours Coin Laundry.

2805-2821 Dufferin Street, looking southwest toward Briar Hill Avenue

Cutting Paper Ltd. and Dominion Welding Engineering Co. Lit. (1955), Lanterra Developments and Active Green + Ross Tire & Automotive Centre (2020)

Lanterra Developments is a real estate developer and builder based in Toronto. The former Dominion Welding Enginering Co. Lit. was established in 1928 but the company merged with another corporation in 1975. You can see the exterior structure and overall integrity of the building in still intact after such a long period of time!

2775 Dufferin Street

Dillon Vibrating Screens (1955), Imperial Home Hardware (2020)

Over 60 years ago, Thomas A. Dillon founded Dillon Screen Ltd., a company that specializes in manufacturing vibrating screens for the North American processing industry. Now Imperial Home Hardware resides at 2775 Dufferin Street, the store offers a wide variety of products and services including general hardware supplies, key cutting, window and screen repair and much more. Owner Joe Cimicata has been a dealer and owner at Home Hardware since 1967.