What came before what is now about to be gone

Spent a fairly pleasant day in a City planning exercise on the Gladstone CDP. A lot of time and focus was on the “Oak Street Complex”, or PWGSC warehouse complex that starts at 1010 Somerset and extends all the way up the east side of the OTrain corridor to Gladstone Avenue.

As previously reported here, the southern half of the site is for sale. Most of the giant warehouse will be demolished next year, structurally unsound.

The planning study focussed on what might be done with the area, once the warehouse is gone.

But it is worthwhile to remember that before the warehouse was built, the site was used for something else. My father tells me that as a boy, in the 1930’s, the circus train would stop in the grassy fields there (the tracks were then at ground level, not being thrown into the ditch by the NCC until 1963). The elephants would be unloaded, and the circus parade went up Somerset to Bank and then through the downtown.

Recently, elsewhere, I came across a circus train, parked here in an urban area.

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After halting, this circus member popped out a window to install his satellite dish. The circus has changed. The circus remains the same.

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