Panoramic Pictures from The Beaches Firehall

I put in a request to the Toronto Fire Department for permission to take pictures from the top of the local Firehall’s tower adjacent to Queen and Woodbine in order to take panoramic shots of the local area. This is for a future story in the BTRA newsletter that compares the modern view against that of a panoramic set of shots taken from the Firehall tower shortly after it was built in 1905.

Here are a couple of panoramic views showing the view east from the tower looking towards downtown via Queen Street East:

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 1

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 1

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 2

East Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower 2

Compare these to the view from the same vantage point from over a hundred years ago, from a panorama I stitched together taken from shots taken in the tower circa 1905 that were in the Toronto Municipal Archives. You can see the old Woodbine Racetrack, and muddier-looking Queen Street stretching off into a much smaller downtown Toronto core.

East and South Panorama from Beaches Firehall Tower circa 1905

East and South Panorama from Beaches Firehall Tower circa 1905

I also took some panoramic shots directly to the south, east and north. Here’s a panoramic shot looking southward:

South Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

South Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

Looking westward:

West Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

West Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

And looking Northward:

North Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

North Panorama from The Beaches Firehall Tower

Unfortunately all of these shots suffer from too many darn trees in the way to properly see the houses and buildings properly. Will have to see if I can request to go up the tower again sometime after the leaves are off of the trees.

I was shown around by local Fireman Mr. Lalonde, who is also an amateur historian who has done a lot of research on the background of the Beaches Firehall. Here he is pointing out some old signatures on the old wooden box that once protected the original clock’s escapement mechanism, with signatures (primarily) of the fireman who worked at the station dating back to the 1910s:

Mr. Lalonde Pointing at Some of the Old Fireman's Signatures

Mr. Lalonde Pointing at Some of the Old Fireman’s Signatures

Firehall Signatures 1

Firehall Signatures 1

Firehall Signatures 2 (from the 1910s and Later)

Firehall Signatures 2 (from the 1910s and Later)

One of the more poignant ones was of the fireman who were here at the firehall on 9/11:

Firehall Signatures 3: Firemen Present at the Beaches Firehall on 9/11

Firehall Signatures 3: Firemen Present at the Beaches Firehall on 9/11

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