Sometimes the past is still here to see, if we just look beyond the present.
When we sent our “Then and Now” photographer to shoot the corner of Queen Street East and Waverley Road where a lovely wooden house was shown standing in 1903, we were fairly certain we’d get back a photo of a relatively new business on the Queen strip.
And we did.
But what we didn’t realize until inspecting the photo, featuring the Cobs Bread outlet on the southeast corner of the intersection, is that the old wooden structure is still there too.
See for yourself. Look behind the traffic, the hydro poles, the street signs and the store —
And note the distinctive tower, gables and domed windows of the original house. The roof and colours have changed, but that’s the same building alright.
It’s no longer a residence though. It houses La Sala Restaurant now, which specializes in Italian pasta, seafood and meat dishes.
And, despite facing Waverley, it’s still listed as being on The Beach’s main drag — 1975A Queen St. E. to be exact. Cobs is listed at 1975 Queen St. E.
The store is actually considered an addition to the former house, having been built by the home owners in 1925.
Here’s a screenshot from Google of the two as seen from Waverley last year:
The building is counted as one of the oldest structures still standing in this area.
The house is likely to have been among the last to be built in what was called the Queen Anne Revival style — with its wrap-around porch, asymmetric design, and polygonal tower.
Both 1975 and 1975A Queen St. E. were designated heritage sites by Toronto City Council in 1989. In the designation the house is called the John Wright House, built around 1903.
The photographer of the old image is unknown. The picture was featured in Historical Walking Tour of Kew Beach by Mary Campbell and Barbara Myrvold, published by the TorToronto Public Library Board in 1995. The book is no longer available but you can find a copy in the library and can see the tour map online.