In 1948 the traffic on Yonge Street and other major arterial roads was so bad that the City’s Committee on Works recommended that the stretch of Yonge Street from Terauley Street (near Dundas) to Heath Street (north of St. Clair) be widened to approximately 86 feet. In preparation for this work, Alderman Allan Lamport, who would become Chairman of the TTC in 1955, commissioned a series of photographs along the east and west sides of Yonge Street to document existing conditions.
Since the cost to accomplish the street widening was estimated to be almost $9.5 million, the Board of Control requested the opinion of the TTC. TTC Chairman McBrien advised “that the Commission was of the opinion that…with the removal of street cars from Yonge Street when the Rapid Transit system is completed, it was not necessary, from the standpoint of traffic movement, to widen Yonge Street.”
Thus, the 1948 Yonge streetscape was saved from destruction, at least for a time. Here is a selection from Lamport’s 78 photographs of Yonge Street, showing a few recognizable buildings, and many more that are long gone.