Category Archives: Vintage Toronto

A pirate treasure hunt

Poster by Claudia Davila. Treasure map by Thbthttt!
Poster by Claudia Davila. Treasure map by Thbthttt!

Following up on the success of their annual Easter egg hunts, Scooter Girl Toys this year launched their very first Pirate Treasure Hunt on October 10 and in so doing, gave scores of families (and loyal customers) a chance to discover the neighbourhood—and maybe even work-off a bit of their Thanksgiving dinner—over what turned out to be a lovely long weekend.

Each crew was given some Scooter Girl buttons or maybe a Scooter Girl tattoo, but most importantly they were given a map carefully marked with the location of a number of neighbourhood treasures and other oddities. It was then their job to match one of a series of clues to each location and answer the riddle hidden there.

I developed the hunt and created the handout, using artwork and the Scooter Girl style developed by Claudia Davila. In addition, as the hunt progressed, it quickly became my job to start dropping some hints on the Scooter Girl Facebook page and spur the participants on.

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Telephone poles on Indian Road

Indian Road is one of the oldest streets in Toronto’s west end, and is thought to have once been a Mississauga Indian path that ran north from the lake.

I came upon this 1912 photo in the Toronto Archives earlier this year, simply labeled “Telephone poles, Indian Road,” and I’ve spent way too much time in the last few weeks trying to discover the specific location of this snowy valley and so figure out how much this little corner of my neighbourhood has changed in the last hundred years.

Telephone poles, Indian Road—March 21, 1912
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The Queensway runs through it

By the 1950s, Queen Street West had already been extended past St. Joseph’s Hospital to meet Parkside Drive, but the plans for the new Lakeshore Expressway (now the Gardiner) ended up taking 18 acres off the south end of High Park to construct an entirely new roadway to join it up with the stub of Queen Street previously laid out on the other side of Grenadier Pond.

Parkside Drive looking east along Queen Street towards St. Joseph’s Hospital, 1956
Parkside Drive looking east along Queen Street towards St. Joseph’s Hospital, 1956

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