Why I Love Toronto Reason #8
The History of Sunnyside
I went for a bike ride today and always go past the Sunnyside area…as I was biking I was really depressed to see all the food stands closed for the season and an empty Gus Ryder Pool which was hustling and bustling all summer long…Anyways I stoped at the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion and I just stared at the building for a while, then I went down a bit further and stopped and stared at Palais Royale and I thought hey there must be some history here and now here I am an hour later after googling and am here to report my next love of Toronto.
I didn’t know this and neither did my father but Sunnyside was even more Hustle and Bustle than the Gus Ryder Pool was this summer. If fact there is so much history about that path I bike on that I was not aware of.
1) There was an Amusement Park!!
Yes Sunnyside Amusement Park was one of the best known parks in Canada when it opened in 1922 up until its demolition in 1955 for the construction of what is now the Gardiner Expressway. It featured a rollercoaster called the Flyer (which it was mostly known for) a merry-go-round and A Derby Racer Steeplechase ride. And according to reports when the park was demolished the Derby Racer was given to the CNE (or reason number 4 to why I love Toronto) and the carousel went to Disneyalnd!
2) Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion
Yes the building still stands there but did you know it was built so people could change after coming out of the water? I mean you probably did, but have you been to centre island and Ward’s Beach? The changing area isn’t in that nice of a building. Furthermore, you could rent bathing suits!! But being a germaphob I would have an issue with that but hey thats a cool tibit!
3) Gus Ryder Pool
It was called Sunnyside Pool and was built because the lake was really cold for the summers of 1923 and 24..it was also called the Tank (which makes sense since it is like mega huge for a pool)
4) There was a Stadium!!
Where Lacrosse and Softball was played, it opened in 1925 and was next to the Boulevard Club which still stands today! But a year after the amusement park was closed it was demolished and became the Boulevard Club parking lot.
5) Sunnyside Bandshell
Ohh I love the CNE Bandshell, and I can only imagine the acts that played there!
6) Palais Royale
Was originally a place for boat building, but part of it was also a dance hall. It eventually became primarily a Dancehall where the likes of Duke Ellington, the Dorsey brothers and Paul Whiteman performed (Toronto Historical Board Plaque, 1985)
Furthermore, the club banned the jitterbug because it was very scandalous at the time. (Check out this video, especially my friend Ariel!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbaNYWkQYYA)
Today it still hosts big names like the The Rolling stones who performed in 2002. (McLean, Steve (2006-06-05))
So now as I bike down Sunnyside I will imagine the streets filled with people ready to go to Palais Royale for a night of dancing, going to see softball at the Stadium or the teenagers and kids who wanted to get a thrill out of the amusement park. Regardless, the hidden mysteries of certain areas in this city is
Why I Love Toronto
(Other than what I cited above a majority of this information was taken from the book I Remember Sunnyside by Mike Filey)