Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Century-Composite Map

Following yesterday's post of maps from the early days of the Craven Road area, here's a fun bonus: 

(Click above for larger image)
Combined 2009 and 1913 maps

Below is a 2009 City of Toronto traffic control map. Below that is a swatch of the 1913 Goad's Atlas of the City of Toronto that corresponds to the exact same area. And at the top of this post is an image that superimposes the modern streets on their counterparts a hundred-odd years earlier...

(Click above for larger image)
1913 Goad's Atlas of the City of Toronto, plates 106, 107, 109 and 110

If you've ever wondered why the rectangular grid west of Coxwell contrasts with the squiggly roads following watercourses to the east, the streams, ravines and now-disappeared Small's Pond on the 1913 map make it suddenly clear. That probably also explains why Gerrard used to dead-end at Coxwell (though not why the same name suddenly picks back up a whole block to the north).

Dundas Street didn't extend this far east until the 1950s, when the city widened it to create an arterial road alternative to Gerrard and Queen.  An article on blogTO has a great map showing the fifteen former streets that were stitched together to create the Dundas we know today.

There's also a lot of change above the railway tracks, including old housing cleared away to make way for Monarch Park and its high school, and new housing on an old brickyard. Thanks to the clay-rich banks of all those streams, brickworks were everywhere along Greenwood Avenue back in the day. Yet ironically, many of the houses of workers living in the area – like the owner-built homes on the affordably tiny lots of Erie Terrace/Craven Road – were originally tar-paper shacks. (More on Toronto's "shacktown" in a future post.)

Bonus: For a similar but far more tech-ified time-travel trick, check out this TEDTalk:

Eric Sanderson: New York before the city