Citroën DS Spotted in Toronto Archive Photos

By George Dyke…..

These two photos of Citroën D models, taken in Toronto in the early 1960s, were posted recently on Facebook. Having been born in Toronto in the 1950s ,moved back to Toronto in the mid 70s and still living here today, as well as having an interest in Citroëns for almost 60 years, I was curious to try and pinpoint the location were both these photos were taken and compare them to photos of those same spots today.

Driving around Toronto for decades, I know the city pretty well. Looking at the photos I instinctively knew the locales looked familiar. Thanks to my computer’s ability to zoom in on details in both photos, and the wonders of Google maps, I was able to identify both places;

The photo of the D wagon traveling eastbound was taken on the median of the Gardner Expressway (then called the Fred Gardner Expressway) facing west and just before the South Kingsway exit before the Gardner rises to go over the Humber River. The Google photos were probably taken early on a Sunday morning as at any other time this is a much traveled section that people take to go west from downtown Toronto, to Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and on to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

In the original photo the South Kingsway sign is clearly visible. Matching up the exit ramp to the current South Kingsway exit, even though the expressway has been widened, gave me the camera position that can be verified by the still present hydro-line towers on the right.

The other photo, where a D sedan is approaching an intersection, shows a building on the right, The Bank of Nova Scotia, also looked familiar to me. Zooming in to read the streetcar direction sign that said “Exhibition Bathurst” confirmed my suspicion that the streetcar was heading south on Bathurst Street toward Exhibition Place (also known as the Canadian National Exhibition or CNE). The original photo was taken from the southwest side of College St. looking north on Bathhurst St.

The Bank of Nova Scotia building is one of Toronto’s architectural gems, as it is one of the few buildings remaining in Toronto that has ceramic tiles employed as cladding on its facades.

In 1913, the architectural firm of Darling and Pearson designed the building with a style that is reminiscent of a Roman temple. The bank branch closed about 2010 and the building sat uninhabited for few years prior to a renovation where the upper level roof section was removed (and what you see in the above Google pics). Today it serves as a pop-up event locale.

Further back (to the north) on Bathurst St. you can see a red brick building which is the back of the King Edward Jr. and Senior Public School. You can see in the Google aerial view that the building still stands today.

It was a fun effort and nice to now know just where these two photos were taken.

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